Here’s what a $159,000 1979 Pontiac Trans Am looks like rkmotors

Cars are rarely a good investment. If you buy them new, you get hit with massive depreciation. If you start to modify them well, you’d be better off addicted to drugs from a financial standpoint.

Every so often, a person has the foresight and restraint to buy a cool car and just wait. If stored properly and if it becomes a popular classic, you may just be rewarded with a pretty decent return. This sure beats watching a stock go up and down but the key here is living past the time it takes to appreciate.

Back in 1978 an 18 year old William Leland III, had the inclination that the “Smokey and the Bandit” Trans Am was going to be worth big money one day. He also knew most would be bought and trashed, so the only way for this to be a sound investment would be to store the new car as if it was the original Mona Lisa. William, otherwise known as Bill Jr. needed a co-signer for the purchase and was able to convince his father to take on the risk. His father agreed, but only for a maximum purchase amount of $10,000. Bill went straight over to Pell Pontiac in Massachusetts, and ordered the most optioned version of a Black “Smokey and the Bandit” Trans Am his 10 grand would buy.


Back then his money went far as his 1979 Trans Am was almost fully loaded. It came with the 6.6 liter V8, three-speed automatic, starlight black and gold combo and looked like it came straight off the movie set. Knowing exactly what the plan was for this car he instructed the dealer not to wash the car, not to drill a front plate bracket and basically to leave it exactly the way it was delivered.

He drove the 20 miles home and the car sat unregistered for years. When Leland moved he drove it another 20 miles and there it sat for another 17 years never being taken out or seeing any kind of weather. He would start it up, row through the gears and change fluids but that’s about it.
Eventually Bill Jr was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer and passed away at the young age of 42. In 2013 Bill’s father sold the car and the next year it won the “Survivor Award,” at the Pontiac-Oakland Club International All GM Car Show.


The car is now for sale for $159,900 at RKmotors. It sits with 65 miles and is probably the nicest of its kind. For more on this incredible story, or to buy the Trans Am check out the add here.

Alex Palmeri About the author:
Alex Palmeri graduated with an Associates in Automotive Technology and started his career with Mercedes-Benz as an apprentice and shortly after a Master Technician. Currently Alex works as shop foreman in a large fleet repair facility. Aside from writing his automotive passion is very diverse. Alex’s car collection consists of ...Read more
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