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"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."


Matt Hatten's 400 (L78-W72)
  Matt Hatten is a Pontiac lover. Over the years he's owned several Firebirds, but none of them are as special as his twenty year old classic 1979 TA 6.6 Trans Am. The PWH engine code identifies the 400 sitting between the fenders as one of the last 400 Pontiac motors (an L78-W72). Matt rescued the car in May of 1995. For years, he'd been seaching for a 400 powered  


4 speed TA and one day, by happenstance, he spotted it in a field. After a double-take, Matt stopped to check it out. The exterior paint and the blue hob-nail interior were shot, but the T-tops and the 15" x 8" snow flakes were in great shape. Most importantly, the VIN # sported that all important 'Z' that identified the car as a 6.6 TA (400 power). Checking under the hood, the VIN # matched the engine numbers stamped on the block, the PWH engine code, and 6x heads. This was the car; he had to have it! Matt's purchased the car that afternoon.

Since that day, many hours have been spent bringing this classic back to life. Matt rebuilt the engine, gave the body fresh paint, and installed new interior that includes Recaro seats. He recently installed Hooker Super Competition headers (after debating the virtues of Ram Air III repro manifolds) and free flowing exhaust to improve breathing. His Nocturne Blue 1979 TA, while not fully restored, is a prime example of late '70s Pontiac muscle.




Valve Springs











Rear gearing





Exterior paint

Curb weight


400 cid; 4.121"x 3.75" bored .030+ for 406 cid

6X (6x-4) small chambered heads; 2.11" /1.66" valves

stock springs, retainers

TRW forged +.030"; 8.25:1 cr with stock heads

TRW chromemoly #TRWT8377MX30.

stock, reconditioned using ARP rod bolts

stock, .020/.020 under

Competiton Cams 268 H; 218 intake/ 218 exhaust @.050", advertised duration 268 intake and exhaust; .454" lift both valves; 110 LSA; good low end torque and strong mid range power, fair idle

Edelbrock Performer (aluminum)

Hooker Super Competition 1.75" primaries into 3" collector; #4109; 2.5" pipe running through dual Flowtech mufflers

HEI, 1979, total mechanical advance 34 degrees

Super T-10, 2.43, 1.61, 1.32, 1.00; Hurst shifter

stock 11" diaphram, 2600 pounds pressure

stock safe-t-track, 3.23 gears; 8.5" 10 bolt

WS6, front and rear sway bars

Snowflakes, 15"x 8", aluminum alloy

Goodyear Eagles 245/60, front and rear

Full stock interior with Recaro buckets

#29, Nocturne Blue

3700 pounds

Best performance on street tires: 14.40 @ 97.10 mph


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