1979 marked the tenth year for the Trans Am. Pontiac celebrated the Chicago Auto Show with a special 10th Anniversary Edition Trans Am. While the black and gold Special Edition was an option package, the 10th Anniversary Edition was a separate model. It featured many exclusive items such as a huge screaming eagle on the hood that the tips of its wings extended on to the fenders. Also new was a silver leather interior to match the Silver and Charcoal paint. These came loaded with just about everything and the price tag also showed that as well. For the first time a Firebird broke the $10,000 mark. You still could choose the type of transmission though. The automatic came standard with the 403 Olds engine and had a 2.73 posi. If you wanted to do the shifting yourself, the 4 speed manual was connected to the Pontiac 400 V8, which put out 220 hp and was connected to a 3.23 posi. Since this was the last year for 400, the Tenth Anniversary cars got the limited stock pile of the W72 engines first held over from 1978. There were 60 cars used to pace the 1979 Daytona 500 and received Daytona 500 door and NASCAR rear quarter panel decals. These decals were also offered through Pontiac dealers. So, if a car has these graphics, documentation is a must to show that it was one of the 60 used at the event.
The 1979 Tenth Anniversary Trans Am Featured:
Platinum (silver) and Dark Charcoal - Paint
Silver hood bird 5 shades of Silver with Red highlights
Charcoal accented grill and bumper
Charcoal accented roof
Red and black pin-striping
Special Red and black lettering
10th Anniversary bird on fender
10th Anniversary bird on rear spoiler
Trans Am name on front bumper
Silver swirl dash
Gray Steering wheel with silver spokes
Deep Gray "shag" carpet
Red instrument panel lighting
Sliver leather seats w/vinyl surrounds
Sliver door panels w/embroidered bird
Embroidered bird on rear seat
Silver swirl shifter plate (Automatic only)
Mirrored sliver T-Tops
Polished Turbine wheels 15x8
Look for these items when looking for an Anniversary Edition. People call any 1979 Trans Am an Anniversary or Special Edition, even though it does not carry any these items. And even if the car has the special silver items and interior, doesn't mean it came with them. Luckily it is very easy to spot a true Anniversary Edition. Just look at the VIN. Since these were a separate model, the VIN will show a "X" for the 2nd digit in the VIN. Maybe Pontiac knew that these cars were going to be collectors and used this to stop the fakes?
If there is any documentation with the car it will show the Anniversary option on it. It should be on the window sticker and invoice for the car. It will also be on the build sheet as well. The Build Sheet is most commonly found in the rear seat back between the springs. Other common places are under the carpet, drivers or passengers side. Behind the kick panels and even between the gas tank and the trunk floor but are usually are in poor condition. The Build Sheet will show the Y89 Anniversary Edition package. Also, check the body tag located on the top of the firewall just below the windshield. On some cars the "X" code may be on stamped on it. Just because it isn't there doesn't mean the car isn't a true Anniversary Edition, but if it is there, then the Anniversary package can be confirmed.
Production breaks down as follows: