Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

The Pontiac Firebird was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. The Firebird was introduced the same year as the automaker's platform-sharing model, the Chevrolet Camaro. This coincided with the release of the 1967 Mercury Cougar, which shared its platform with another pony car, the Ford Mustang.

The vehicles were powered by various four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and V8 engines sourced from several GM divisions. While primarily Pontiac-powered until 1977, Firebirds were built with several different engines from nearly every GM division until 1982 when GM began to discontinue engines it felt were unneeded and either spread successful designs from individual divisions among all divisions or use new engines of corporate architecture.

A distinctive, slant-nose facelift occurred in 1977, redone somewhat in 1979. From 1977 to 1981, the Firebird used four square headlamps, while the Camaro continued to retain the two round headlights that had previously been shared by both Second Generation designs. Curb weights rose dramatically in the 1973 model year due to the implementation of 5 mph (8.0 km/h) telescoping bumpers and various other crash and safety related structural enhancements; SD455 Trans Ams weighed in at 3,850 lb (1,750 kg).

Up until the 1979 models, the performance of 400-equipped Firebirds could still be brought up to pre-1970 levels by disabling emissions equipment- removing the catalytic converter and blocking off the exhaust gas recirculation system- and opening up the block off plate to make the hood scoop functional. However, in 1980, due to ever-increasing emissions restrictions, Pontiac dropped all of its large displacement engines.

Source: Wikipedia, 2012; RM Auctions as part of the event for John Staluppi in December, 2012
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

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