1979 Tenth Anniversary Pontiac Trans Am (TATA)

Trans Am Guru

Lone Crusader
Dec 15, 2018
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Butler, PA

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The 1979 Pontiac 10th Anniversary Trans Am was another commemorative Firebird, this one marking the first decade of Pontiac's still-successful Pony car. The 10th Anniversary Trans Am was officially priced at around $10,600, but the announced low production and the model's perceived historical significance created a rash of speculation (classified ads appeared shortly after introduction listing $30,000 asking prices).

Equipped with power everything, it also featured a distinctive silver and charcoal paint treatment, T-bar roof with silver-tint glass hatches, silver interior with leather upholstery, the heavy-duty WS-6 handling package, and "Turbo Alloy" wheels designed by John Schinella and made by Appliance.

The 10th Anniversary cars, code Y89, came only in silver and dark charcoal, trimmed in red, silver and gray striping with a “super bird” hood decal that flowed onto the fenders, 10th Anniversary decals, T-tops, and a silver interior. Leather seating was standard, as was a hand-embroidered bird on each door panel and the rear seat, a leather-wrapped Formula wheel, red instrument panel lighting, air conditioning, and many other comfort and convenience options including an AM/FM/8-track stereo with seek and scan functions available only on Y89 models.

Buyers outside California had a choice of two engines on this special-edition Trans Am: Opting for the 185-hp 403-cu.in. Oldsmobile-built V-8 (the only option for Golden State buyers) automatically selected the three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, while choosing the Pontiac-built 220-hp 400-cu.in. V-8 automatically selected the four-speed manual transmission. 5,683 examples were built with the 185-hp 403, while 1,817 examples were built with the 220-hp Pontiac 400.

All Y89 cars also came equipped with unique 15×8 Air Flow (or Turbo, as they’re also known) wheels and 225/70R15 white letter tires, as well as the WS6 handling package. The WS6 package included stiffer rear leaf springs; a .75-inch rear anti-roll bar (up from .625); nylon end-link bushings, instead of rubber bushings, for the existing 1.25-inch front anti-roll bar; firmer dampers; fixed ratio (14:1) steering box; and rear disc brakes, a new feature for 1979 models.

Wheelbase, inches: 108.2
Length, inches: 196.8
Weight, pounds: approximately 3,600
Price, new: $10,619 base (U.S.)

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