Y89 - Special Edition TRANS AM
Trans Am's 10th Anniversary Edition

1979

In 1979, Pontiac recently enjoyed their 50th year in business in 1976. They honored that with the 50th Limited Edition of the Trans Am in black and gold and a Grand Prix finished in gold. 1979 was the tenth anniversary of their sports car model, the Trans Am.

It debuted in mid 1969 as a burly muscle car with blue SCCA style stripes and the Trans Am name. As a sports car, it was a non contender for the actual series because the cubic inch displacement limit was held at 305 cubes.
Pontiac developed and campaigned their low block 303 V8 for those races but production versions of the engine never appeared. They were race hardware only.

Pontiac realized their Trans Am will soon be ten years old and sales were still rising, they had to celebrate.

Pontiac decided to not only re style the front and rear fascias, but create a special edition celebrating the model.

They called it Y89, or Tenth Anniversary Trans Am (TATA).This was Pontiac Firebird's most ambitious package yet. It wasn't just paint and decals this time. The entire car was special.
After taking this decision to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the first Trans Am that rolled off the line back in 1969, they made a limited production of 7500 cars fully equipped with every possible option including the WS6 option and others; your only choice at that time was the powertrain options only.
Out of the 7500 production cars, 1,817 were equipped with the 400/4-speed combo, and 5,683 were equipped with the 403/auto combo.
The exterior color was distingwished by its two-tone silver and charcoal paint, it was something exceptional and so beautiful.
This paint scheme was accented by a special 5 color hood-bird which wings extended over the hood and onto the side fenders.

This was the largest hood bird ever put onto a Trans Am from the factory. In 1980 we saw the Indy Pace car edition having a similar size hood bird as well as the 1981 Nascar edition.

The body of the car was also outlined in a special black and red stripe package much like the "Special Edition" striping of the earlier Special Edition Trans Ams.

The red and black lines also separated the tw-tone color scheme on the upper part of the car.

There were also special badges (decals) that were placed on the car signifying the 10th Anniversary Edition.

All of the 10th Anniversary cars were fully equipped with the WS6 handling package, custom silver interior with "shag" carpet and the Firebird emblem embroidered in the door panels and also in the rear seat back.

Also standard on all 10th Anniversary Trans Ams were power windows, power locks, Air Conditioning, power trunk release.... in short, pretty much every option available at the time.


The interior was also trimmed with a special "Engine-turned" gear shift bezel that went nicely with the dash, which for this model was illuminated red instead of the normal white gauges.

The "Turbo" wheels seen on later Special Edition Turbo, Pace Car, and other Turbo Trans Ams; were first introduced with the 10th Anniversary Trans Am.

These were the 15x8 inch Turbo rims that came equipped with the WS6 handing package which was standard on the 10th Anniversary. They had a special chrome finish shiny look.

 

 

Much like the mirrored "gold" T-tops on the Y88 Gold Special Edition, the 10th Anniversary T-tops were now a special "silver" mirrored finish instead of the regular "smoked" finish of T-tops seen previously.

 

Unlike Special Edition Trans Ams of the past, this car could easily be identified by using the VIN number as a reference. Instead of the normal "S" or "W" to signify Firebird or Trans Am, the 10th Anniversary had a "X" as the second digit in the VIN number to signify it is Special. The build sheet also could easily identify that you had a 10th Anniversary Trans Am by locating the "Y89" code listed on the build sheet for the "Silver Special Edition".


Although Pontiac produced 7,500 of the tenth anniversary cars, a handful of cars were prepared as pace cars on the NASCAR circuit, most notably those which wore the Daytona 500 guise.

Sixty of these 10th Anniversary cars were involved in a "dealer drive-away program" where local dealers received a car that was used to parade around the Daytona Motor Speedway.

These cars had "Daytona 500" emblems on the doors as well as NASCAR logos affixed to the rear quarter panels.

The cars serial numbers were not believed to have documented and Pontiac offered the decal package across the parts counter so verifying an actual Daytona 500 Parade car may prove to be difficult.

The "10th Anniversary Limited Edition Trans Am" was specially marketed to commemorate the 10th Anniversary since the introduction of the Trans Am .
It made its public debut on Feb 18,1979 at Daytona Speedway as the Official Pace Car for the Daytona 500 which was also the first nationally televised Nascar race.

 
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