Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post Reply
User avatar
Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster (Charter member)
Posts: 112
Joined: May 24th, 2020, 4:50 pm
Location: Plantation, Florida
Contact:

Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by Admin »

Hey guys, I came across this expose of a little used, stock, 1979, L78-W72 Trans Am. It's a good looking car and it's no wonder '79 was PMD's biggest year. Jay does a nice job talking about the car. It's worth watching. Below is the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daALS8jpVmE
"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."
Image

JayS.
Chief Red Cloud
Posts: 185
Joined: June 23rd, 2020, 2:44 pm

Re: Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by JayS. »

He did do a nice job, that was a nice low milage car. I thought the 79’s had 2 cat’s on the w72, one on each side. Looked like that car had 1 big catalytic converter like my 77.

For a Nebraska car I was a little surprised it had all those options but didn’t have a/c. Appeared like it was detailed by restore a muscle in Lincoln.

User avatar
Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster (Charter member)
Posts: 112
Joined: May 24th, 2020, 4:50 pm
Location: Plantation, Florida
Contact:

Re: Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by Admin »

Leno knew the 79 TA with 6 speed and 4 wheel brakes handled well for that period. Before my 79 TA was delivered, I drove a 79 Z/28. It was a nice car and my wife enjoyed driving it but compared to the 400 it was pretty tame. I street raced a 79 TA in the Z/28 and won. Bad driver in the Pontiac, he missed 2nd gear. :roll: Leno commented about the engine only having 220 hp but felt much stronger. That's because it was much stronger. ;) Low compression and one large and heavy Cat it was really around 265 hp with 6x-4 heads.

My TA was ordered without T-tops and just the standard vinyl interior but it had AC. Needed AC in Florida! The car handled very well for it size and my garage holds numerous autocross trophies from the early 80s when the car was stock. Braking was the key advantage in my opinion. Rack and pinion steering was an improvement for all Camaros and Firebirds of the future but for a quick ratio gear set up and the WS-6 option it more than held its own back then.

The black TA in the Leno piece looked great. The engine was in need of TLC. The undercarriage was decent overall. I'd own that car in a minute. Very nice with 20K on the odometer. 8-). BTW, it was nice to see a black TA that was not a special edition. Few set up like that.
"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."
Image

JayS.
Chief Red Cloud
Posts: 185
Joined: June 23rd, 2020, 2:44 pm

Re: Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by JayS. »

It is unusual to see a 79 black t/a without the gold stripes. The 79s with silver stripes, I had forgotten how good they looked.

Miss second gear. :lol: Sounds like me. But in third.

We went an test drove a low milage 30k mile black 78 t/a automatic with the lower hp 400. I think it had the silver stripes also, but in the 78 style. I think it had 2.56 gears. Probably a lot of the performance was lost in the gearing. Pontiac sold a lot more of the slower versions of the t/a, but even they ran good enough to leave a impression. Although having driven a 78 w-72 right before hand, the l78 was really disappointing.

User avatar
Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster (Charter member)
Posts: 112
Joined: May 24th, 2020, 4:50 pm
Location: Plantation, Florida
Contact:

Re: Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by Admin »

Jay, I discovered another Pontiac video on Youtube. This one is a dyno pull of a 400. It's being done by Mopar guys. Not an issue, but they never tell what mods were done to the 400. It leaves a lot untold. Comments disclose nothing of value. This is disappointing but the engine makes plenty of torque and 480 hp at a respectable rpm with cast iron exhaust pipes in place.

For those interested, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2EOb2wrvSE
"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."
Image

JayS.
Chief Red Cloud
Posts: 185
Joined: June 23rd, 2020, 2:44 pm

Re: Jan Leno's Garage: 1979 T/A 6.6 (20,240 miles)

Post by JayS. »

They did make good hp and tq numbers. To make those numbers at 5200 rpm it makes me wonder if it had a stroker crank in it.

Post Reply