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This Pristine 1979 Pontiac Trans Am Has Traveled Just 65 Miles Since New

This all-original, highly spec’d car channels the pinnacle of America’s past muscle era.

byCaleb Jacobs|
This Pristine 1979 Pontiac Trans Am Has Traveled Just 65 Miles Since New


It's impossible to look at a late-1970s Pontiac Trans Am without thinking of Smokey and the Bandit, especially when dressed in the signature firechicken livery. And while it may be a bit stereotypical, the original owner of this 65-mile, like-new Pontiac knew that this trend was coming before it even kicked off, turning it into a key investment opportunity. This story is much more than skin deep, though, as this Trans Am has much more experience than the miles could ever hope to show.

Purchased from the factory in 1978, this top-notch Ponti fell in the hands of William Leland III, otherwise known as Bill Jr. His surname, Leland, is well known in the Detroit area and came to fame when William's ancestor Henry founded Cadillac in 1902. Additionally, he went on to start Lincoln Motor Company 15 years later. 

Upon ordering the car, Bill Jr. was only 18 years old and required a co-signer to finance it. This meant tapping in his father, William II, to lend a hand. He agreed, so long as the loan did not exceed $10,000, meaning that Bill Jr. now had the means to pick up the instant classic from Pell Pontiac in Massachusetts. He then visited the dealer and requested the most highly-optioned model he could buy for $10K, eventually receiving delivery of his own car that cost a grand total of $10,009.45, with a two-page window sticker to boot.

It was dressed to the nines, with the signature Starlight black and gold combo, three-speed automatic, and a thumping 6.6-liter "403" V8. Bill made it clear that it was not to be driven and gave special instructions to the dealer that included no detail washes as he feared the water could taint the car's image if it were left on for too long. They were also told not to drill holes in the bumpers for the license plates, keeping it as mint as possible for the pampered life it would soon be living.

When Leland went to pick up his car from Pell Pontiac, its odometer read only 6 miles. He then drove it 20 miles to his home, locking it away to preserve it in its original state. It sat unregistered for years before Leland moved somewhere else, yet again just 20 miles away, racking up a still-negligible amount of usage on its way there. 17 years it remained in Leland's garage while being started up and rowed through gears periodically to keep the drivetrain fresh.

Bill Jr. was then diagnosed with terminal melanoma cancer, leaving the '79 in his father's care. In the years since, the car has climbed to a mere 65 miles and is currently for sale. $159,900 will buy you this t-topped, performance version of the most iconic auto from the era. You can view the listing here at RK Motors of Charlotte, which includes every option in detail alongside pictures of the car's showroom condition, an unbelievable feat that still stands 40 years after the car was purchased.