Better ‘Bandit’: ’79 Pontiac Trans Am benefits from fuel-injection upgrade

The Pick of the Day pays homage to iconic Burt Reynolds movie

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The Trans Am boasts a great, gold screaming eagle on its hood

Unleash your inner Burt Reynolds with the Pick of the Day, a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am all done up in Bandit Edition regalia and ready to outrun Sheriff Buford T. Justice. 

This Trans Am is in great condition in its original Black and Gold paint set off with gold Turbine wheels with BF Goodrich Radial TA raised white-letter tires, and “the Bandit Edition gold decals to really set it off,” according to the Palmetto, Florida, dealer advertising the Pontiac coupe on ClassicCars.com.

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“Vinyl decals of Burt Reynold’s signature and ‘Bandit’ have been added to the driver side and can easily be removed if they’re not your style,” the seller advises. “The shaker hood scoop proudly wears the iconic T/A 6.6 decal on each side.”

The odometer shows just under 24,000 miles, although the ad does not indicate whether those are original miles or if the 5-digit odometer has turned over.  Also, it’s unclear whether the Pontiac wears original paint.

The Pontiac does have a few upgrades, the ad notes, most significantly a swap to electronic fuel injection instead of the original carburetor.

“This car fires up with a bump of the key thanks to an electric fuel pump feeding a FITech GoEFI system,” the ad says. “That’s right, electronic fuel injection has been added in place of the carburetor for a sure start, more power and reliability.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1978 122’ CRN Nordic Star Yacht

“The EFI controller is right within your reach to monitor and make changes if necessary.”

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Other updates include Vintage Air A/C and Edelbrock valve covers on the engine, with the power fed through a Turbo 350 4-speed automatic transmission. 

Trans Am fans know that the ’79 coupe shows the restyling changes from the one driven by Reynolds in the iconic 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit.” But there’s no mistaking the intent here, with the screaming-eagle hood embellishment and everything else that set the Pontiac Trans Am apart in those heady days of discos and mighty mustaches.

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The asking price for this showy cruiser is $19,995.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Carburation and lack of electronics are a selling point for me in a car. The police can shut this one down long distance without a shot. Breaker breaker 19, this would not fly on a highway near you for very long. They are a bunch of communists.

      • So the drama.
        Not as slick nor “of a piece” as the ’77-’78s (pinnacle of loud T/A design, imo). A 3 gear, not 4.
        Not sure what Ross is getting at, but pretty sure he’s not out much. Only internet connected vehicles are subject to remote control- a FITech system is stand-alone in the car. Would take an EMP event to disable, and as far as I know, US law enforcement are not provided nuclear weapons. And really- WTF are you up to that you worry about this nonsense?
        Never cared for the nose on these. Looks forced “modern”; side by side with the ’77/’78, looks clumsy and “stuck on”. A ’79-? 6.6 ain’t nothin’ to brag about, either, although Pontiac’s inherent interchangeability allows for some shockingly quick/fast “stock” 6.6s.
        I ‘spect they want too much for the color combination. Not a “Bandit”, and certainly not the best of the T/A breed. A nice poseur cruiser, tho’.

    • Plus it’s not truly fuel injected; it as a throttle body, not much more fuel effecient than a quadrajet 4 barrel carburetor. And, there’s no such thing as a 4 speed Turbo Hydromatic 350 transmission.

  2. Had a 78 metallic brown Trans Am and had a famous painter remove factory stickers and use gold paint to stripe it like The Bandit; the letters were done in “Old English” exactly like this one. With only 3,000 miles on the car, it was stolen off the dealer lot when taken in for warranty work. Frank Gillman Pontiac gave me a 79 in its place. Did not like the nose much, but the 79 had 4 wheel discs where as the 78 did not. Both had T-tops.

  3. This is one email I look forward to everyday as you keep me guessing whats next. I would love to see you do a couple of real affordable cars or trucks a few times a week, I mean cars that the little working man can afford. just fuel for thought. Thank you for bighting my day.

  4. Seems like every Firebird is a “Bandit” now, just like every green Mustang is a “Bullitt”. I never quite understood the whole “tribute car” thing, especially when they think that adds some kind of value. Just me, I guess.

  5. There is no such thing as a “Bandit Edition”. They were actually black special editions, that had nothing to do with the movie. I want go into detail, but this car is an1981, not a 79. Also, all turbo 350 transmissions are 3 not 4 speed. That is also not the correct set of decals for 79 to 81.

  6. Had a black and gold ’79 T/A in the early ’80s. Fun car.
    My friends used to joke with me that girls fell out of the trees into the car during the summers in Toms River, NJ.

  7. Bill hate to say your wrong but your wrong. Its a 1979. 80 & 81 did not have the shaker because the had the turbo charged hood.

    • The 80 and 81 did have shakers only if they were 4.9 liter Pontiac or 5.0 Chevy engine. The 4.9L of 1980 also had a W72 version. How’s that for information! I know cause I reached this.

  8. Just to clarify…….4.9L came in the Turbo version and non Turbo version. So a 4.9L non Turbo would get the increased HP with the W72 package about 170Hp compared to the Turbo version which was about 210Hp. Anyways, all of them were fun especially with the T-Tops.

  9. i am pretty sure this is not a 1979. The biggest reason is the gauges in the car are from an 80 or 81. They don’t look as good. So i don’t see anyone swapping those gauges to a 79.

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