Backdated ‘Bird: 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Sold?
December 5, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
“Backdating” is the process of making a newer model year of look like an older, more desirable model. The process is best known in the Porsche 911 and MG circles as it replaces those cars’ less desirable safety bumpers for better-looking and lighter earlier versions. In the case of this Martinique Blue 1979 Pontiac Trans Am originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Port Charlotte, Floria (Sarasota), the restorer bolted on a much more desirable ’78 front end rather than retain the original bottom-breathing, four-segmented headlight design. Combine that with a custom blue and white cloth interior and you now have a nice resto modded Trans Am the factory never offered when new.
Currently offered at $28,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Trans Am priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $22,500 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $44,900. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $19,900 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $27,800.
Heading into its ninth production model year run, Pontiac completed its final styling update of the second-generation Firebird line for the 1979 model year. Upfront, the somewhat polarizing difference was the new integrated front bumper and grille featuring four inset headlights set above two bumper-level intakes. In back, however, was a cool new blacked-out taillight treatment. With Pontiac’s bid block 400 cubic inch production actually ending in 1978, getting a 6.6 Litre motor in 1979 meant you definitely had to order a four-speed manual and either opt for the tenth year anniversary edition or hope for the best.
The Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube channel provides a modern-day perspective of what it’s like to drive a bone stock 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am:
Theres’ an old saying that you can meet your childhood heroes as you might be disappointed. With modern Toyota Camrys now able to outspeed and out-handle this 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, we get and respect why the seller (and we assume builder) of this mild restomod made functional updates rather than go back to the original.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“This Trans Am has been restored and is in excellent condition. The floors, trunk floor, and body are rust-free. The body gaps are excellent and the car is very straight. The paint is Martinique blue and is very nice. The front and rear ends have been changed to the ’78 Trans Am style. The wheels are original 15 x 8 snowflakes.
The interior has all new door panels, carpet, and a headliner. The seats are custom made with white vinyl and blue suede inserts. The dash gauges all work except the clock. Pioneer stereo system with an amp in the trunk.
The engine is a 400 and runs very strong with a 4-speed tranny. The car has vintage air which blows ice cold. Has power steering, power brakes, and Flowmaster exhaust. Has LED lights front and rear, the rear directionals and brake lights are sequential.
This Trans Am runs strong and is very fun to drive with the 4 speed. The car has no issues and needs nothing“
Show or go: what would you do with this 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Restomod? Comment below and let us know!