HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with full restoration

Pick of the Day: 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with full restoration

The eagle-festooned sport coupe is a ‘Bandit’ of a different color


Few cars epitomize 1970s automotive design and culture in the US as the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.  The 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, grossing $126 million, was second-only in success to Star Wars that year, and although Burt Reynolds acted as the key talent in the flick, equal attention was garnered by the iconic black Firebird Trans Am that also starred in the film. 

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Mesa, Arizona.

firebird, Pick of the Day: 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with full restoration, ClassicCars.com Journal

This Firebird reportedly underwent restoration during prior ownership, has logged only 52,000 miles since new, and “has been meticulously maintained and always garaged,” the seller says.  

“It’s originally a California car then purchased by two elderly folks here in Arizona who did all the restoration with pictures available before and after.  Lots of love and money have been invested in this beauty and nothing has been spared.”

Pontiac in 1967 launched the Firebird, which shared General Motors F-body underpinnings with the Chevrolet Camaro, but adding such innovative design features as integrated front bumpers and slit taillights.  The second generation followed in 1970, offered in coupe-only form, and continued through 1981.  Although a convertible wasn’t offered, T-tops were available for those who really needed the wind in their hair.

This fixed-roof Firebird is dressed in eye-catching Solar Gold, which the seller describes as being in “near flawless” condition.  For 1978, the grille pattern changed from honeycomb to crosshatch design, and other small aesthetic updates were applied. 


The Firebird’s window sticker, along with supporting Pontiac Historical Services (PHS) documentation, state that this car came factory-outfitted with the WS6 handling package.  Included in that package were a larger diameter sway bar, tighter-ratio steering box and frame bracing, in addition to model-specific 15-inch honeycomb wheels.

One of the most recognizable Trans Am features is the signature hood decal that depicts a rampant eagle, a controversial design element that became derided as the “screaming chicken.”  To the surprise of many, the style was popular and lived on through the end of the Firebird’s generation.


Under that dressed-up hood, a numbers-matching 6.6-liter V8 provides power and an automatic transmission gets the rear wheels spinning.  While largely stock, this Firebird Trans Am does benefit from a newer Bluetooth-enabled audio head unit.

 “This car has zero rust and has never been in an accident,” the seller notes.  “This has been my dream car but I’m getting married, need to buy a house, so I need to let her go!”

A walk-around video is included with the listing, where the seller is asking $35,000.

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

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. The engine compartments never looked good on these TA’s. Sure the Shaker looks good but the engine compartment is too crowded due to the A/C. The all blue engine is nothing to look at as there is no chrome on anything.

  2. The fender spoilers aren’t even lined up well and he’s asking 35k? Wonder what other deficiencies the buyer will find


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