Pontiac Firebird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Pontiac Firebird / Firebird Trans Am
Trans Am Family.jpg
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Production1967–2002 (Trans Am Firebird)
1969–2002 (Firebird Trans Am)
Body and chassis
ClassPony car, Muscle car
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro
Jump to: navigation, search
Pontiac Firebird / Firebird Trans Am
Trans Am Family.jpg
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Production1967–2002 (Trans Am Firebird)
1969–2002 (Firebird Trans Am)
Body and chassis
ClassPony car, Muscle car
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro

The Pontiac Firebird is an automobile which was designed 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.[1]

The name "Firebird" was also previously used by General Motors for the General Motors Firebird.

First generation (1967–1969)[edit]

First generation
Pontiac Firebird.jpg
Production1967–1969 (Firebird)
1969 (Trans Am)
AssemblyLordstown, Ohio, United States
Norwood, Ohio, United States
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe
2-door convertible
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro (first generation)
Engine230 cu in (3.8 L) Pontiac OHC I6
326 cu in (5.3 L) Pontiac V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8
Wheelbase108.1 in (2,746 mm) (1967)
Length188.8 in (4,796 mm) (1967)
Width72.6 in (1,844 mm) (1967)
Height51.5 in (1,308 mm) (1967)[2]

The first generation Firebirds had a characteristic Coke bottle styling. Unlike its cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro, its bumpers were integrated into the design of the front end and its rear "slit" taillights were inspired by the Pontiac GTO. Both a two-door hardtop and a convertible were offered through the 1969 model year. Originally the car was a "consolation prize" for Pontiac, who had initially wished to produce a two-seat sports car of its own design, based on the original Banshee concept car. However, GM feared such a vehicle would directly compete with Chevrolet's Corvette, and the decision was made to give Pontiac a piece of the pony car market by having them share the F-body platform with Chevrolet.

The base model Firebird came equipped with the OHC inline-6 and a single-barrel carburetor. The next model, the Sprint, had a four-barrel carburetor, developing 215 hp (160 kW). Most buyers opted for one of the V8 engines: the 326 CID (5.3 L) with a two-barrel carburetor producing 250 hp (190 kW); the "H.O." (High Output) engine of the same displacement, but with a four-barrel carburetor and producing 285 hp (213 kW); or the 400 CID (6.6 L) from the GTO with 325 hp (242 kW). A "Ram Air" option was also available in 1968, providing functional hood scoops, higher flow heads with stronger valve springs, and a different camshaft. Power for the Ram Air package was the same as the conventional 400 H.O., but the engine peaked at a higher RPM. The 230 CID (3.8 L) engines were subsequently replaced by 250 CID (4.1 L) ones, the first developing 175 hp (130 kW) using a single-barrel carburetor, and the other 215 hp (160 kW) with a four-barrel carburetor. Also for the 1968 model, the 326 CID (5.3 L) engine was replaced by one with a displacement of 350 CID (5.7 L). An "H.O." version of the 350 CID with a revised cam was also offered starting in that year, developed 320 hp (240 kW). Power output of the other engines was increased marginally. In 1969, a $725 optional handling package called the "Trans Am Performance and Appearance Package,", named after the Trans Am Series, which included a rear spoiler, was introduced. Of these first "Trans Ams," only 689 hardtops and eight convertibles were made. There was an additional Ram Air IV option for the 400 CID engine during that year, complementing the Ram Air III; these generated 345 and 335 hp (250 kW) respectively. The 350 "H.O." engine was revised again with a different cam and cylinder heads resulting in 330 hp (250 kW). During 1969 a special 303 cu in (5.0 L) engine was designed for SCCA road racing applications that was not available in production cars.[3]

The styling difference from the 1967 to the 1968 model was the addition of Federally mandated side marker lights: for the front of the car, the turn signals were made larger and extended to wrap around the front edges of the car, and on the rear, the Pontiac (V-shaped) Arrowhead logo was added to each side. The front door vent-windows were replaced with a single pane of glass. The 1969 model received a major facelift with a new front end design but unlike its big brother the GTO, it did not have the Endura bumper. The instrument panel and steering wheel were revised. The ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to the steering column with the introduction of GM's new locking ignition switch/steering wheel.

Due to engineering problems that delayed the introduction of the all-new 1970 Firebird beyond the usual fall debut, Pontiac continued production of 1969 model Firebirds into the early months of the 1970 model year (the other 1970 Pontiac models had been introduced on September 18, 1969). By late spring of 1969, Pontiac had deleted all model-year references on Firebird literature and promotional materials, anticipating the extended production run of the then-current 1969 models.


1967230 cu in (3.8 L) Pontiac OHC I6326 cu in (5.3 L) Pontiac V8326 cu in (5.3 L) Pontiac H.O. V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air V8
1968250 cu in (4.1 L) Pontiac OHC I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac H.O. V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac H.O. V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air II V8 (mid-year release)
1969250 cu in (4.1 L) Pontiac OHC I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac H.O. V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac H.O. Ram Air III V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air IV V8

Second generation (1970–1981)[edit]

Second generation
70s Firebird.jpg
a 1974 model
Production1970–1981 (all models)
AssemblyVan Nuys, California, United States
Norwood, Ohio, United States
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro (second generation)
Engine231 cu in (3.8 L) V6
250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
265 cu in (4.3 L) Pontiac V8
301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8
301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac turbo V8
305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) Oldsmobile V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8
403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8
455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase108.2 in (2,748 mm) (1978)[4]
Length196.8 in (4,999 mm) (1978)
Width73.4 in (1,864 mm) (1978)
Height49.3 in (1,252 mm) (1978)
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula
1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
1978 Firebird Firebird Trans Am Special Edition
1981 Pontiac Firebird Turbo Trans Am

The second generation debut for the 1970 model year was delayed until February 26, 1970, because of tooling and engineering problems; thus, its popular designation as a 1970½ model, while leftover 1969s were listed in early Pontiac literature without a model-year identification.[5]


Special versions •Trans Am 1976 not bandit •Trans Am 1977 is Bandit

Replacing the "Coke bottle" styling was a more "swoopy" body style, with the top of the rear window line going almost straight down to the lip of the trunk lid—a look that was to epitomize F-body styling for the longest period during the Firebird's lifetime. The new design was initially characterized with a large C-pillar, until 1975 when the rear window was enlarged.

There were two Ram Air 400 cu in (6.6 L) engines for 1970: the 335 hp (250 kW) Ram Air III (366 hp (273 kW) in GTO) and the 345 hp (257 kW) Ram Air IV (370 hp (280 kW) in GTO) that were carried over from 1969. The difference between the GTO and Firebird engines was the secondary carburetor linkage which prevented the rear barrels from opening completely. Bending the linkage to allow full carburetor operation resulted in identical engine performance.

Curb weights rose dramatically in the 1974 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) in their first year of production (1974 model year).

The 455 engine available in the second generation Firebird Trans Am was arguably the last high-performance engine of the original muscle car generation. The 455 cu in (7.5 L) engine made its first appearance in the Firebird in 1971 as the 455-HO, which continued through the 1972 model year. In 1973 and 1974, a special version of the 455, called the Super Duty 455 (SD-455), was offered. The SD-455 consisted of a strengthened cylinder block that included 4-bolt main bearings and added material in various locations for improved strength. Original plans called for a forged crankshaft, although actual production SD455s received nodular iron crankshafts with minor enhancements. Forged rods and forged aluminum pistons were specified, as were unique high-flow cylinder heads.

The 480737 code cam (identical grind to the RAIV "041" cam) was originally specified for the SD455 engine and was fitted into the "pre-production" test cars (source: former Pontiac Special Projects Engineer Skip McCully*), one of which was tested by both HOT ROD and CAR AND DRIVER magazines. However, actual production cars were fitted with the milder 493323 cam and 1.5:1 rocker ratios, due to the ever-tightening emissions standards of the era. This cam and rocker combination, combined with a low compression ratio of 8.4:1 advertised (7.9:1 actual) yielded 290 SAE net horsepower. It should also be noted that production SD455 cars did not have functional hood scoops, while the "pre-production" test cars did.*

Actual production cars yielded 1/4 mile results in the high 14 to 15.0 second/98 MPH range (sources: MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE, July '73 and Roger Huntington's book, AMERICAN SUPERCAR) – results that are consistent with a 3,850 pound car (plus driver) and the rated 290 SAE net horsepower figure. (An original rating of 310 SAE net horsepower had been assigned to the SD455, though that rating was based on the emissions non-compliant "pre-production" engines, as discussed above. That rating appeared in published 1973 model year Pontiac literature, which had been printed prior to the "pre-production" engines "barely passing*" emissions testing, and the last minute switch to what became the production engine. 1974 model year production literature listed the specifications of the production engine (290 SAE net horsepower).

A production line stock SD455 produced 253 rear wheel HP on a chassis dyno, as reported by HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC magazine (January, 2007). This is also consistent with the 290 SAE Net horsepower factory rating (as measured at the crankshaft). Skip McCully verified that no production SD455s released to the public were fitted with the 480737 cam.* When asked about the compromises for the production SD455 engine, Mr. McCully responded, "Compression, camshaft, jetting, and vacuum advance." He followed by stating that he would have preferred a compression ratio of 10.25:1, a camshaft with 041 valve timing, slightly richer carburetor jetting, and as much vacuum advance as the engine would tolerate.* (*May, 2005 issue of HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC Magazine). Regrettably, that proved to be impossible due to the emissions regulations of the era.[8]

During a 1972 strike, the Firebird (and the sister F-body Camaro) were nearly dropped.[9] Pontiac offered the 455 through the 1976 model year, but tightening restrictions on vehicle emissions guaranteed its demise. Thus, the 1976 Trans Am was the last of the "Big Cube Birds," with only 7,100 units produced with the 455 engine.

The 1974 models featured a redesigned "shovel-nose" front end and new wide "slotted" taillights. In 1974, Pontiac offered two base engines for the Firebird: a 100 hp (75 kW) 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 and a 155 hp (116 kW) 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8. Available were 175 to 225 hp (130 to 168 kW) 400 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engines, as well as the 455 cu in (7.5 L) produced 215 or 250 hp (160 or 186 kW), while the SD-455 produced 290 hp (220 kW). The 400, 455, and SD-455 engines were offered in the Trans Am and Formula models during 1974

The 1975 models featured a new wraparound rear window with a revised roofline and the turn signals were moved up from the valance panel to the grills which distinguished it from the previous year model. The Super Duty engine, Muncie 4-speed, and TurboHydramatic were no longer available in 1975. The 400 was standard in the Trans Am and the 455 was optional for both 1975 and 1976 models.

In 1976, Pontiac celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and a special edition of the Trans Am was released. Painted in black with gold accents, this was the first anniversary Trans Am package and the first production Black and Gold special edition. In 1977, Pontiac offered the T/A 6.6 Litre 400 (RPO W72) rated at 200 hp (150 kW), as opposed to the regular 6.6 Litre 400 (RPO L78) rated at 180 hp (130 kW). The T/A 6.6 equipped engines had chrome valve covers, while the base 400 engines had painted valve covers. In addition, California and high-altitude cars received the Olds 403 engine, which offered a slightly higher compression ratio and a more usable torque band than the Pontiac engines of 1977.

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. The 1977 Trans-Am Special Edition became famous after being featured in Smokey and the Bandit. Later on the 1980 Turbo model was used for Smokey and the Bandit III.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hood
Pontiac 400CID V-8

Beginning in 1978, the Pontiac group introduces a new special edition vehicle. The Firebird Formula LT Sport Edition which featured a revised 10% raised compression Chevy 305 V8 powertrain producing 155 hp (same as 1977 Chevy Monza Mirage) combined with a floor center console 4 speed Manual T-10 BW Transmission coupled to a limited-slip differential final drive. The Limited Touring package (LT) also included a cabin roof, door, fender and hood graphics scheme, the Trans-Am sports handling package with HD gas shocks, Modular Alloy Wheels and the SE Trans-Am rear deck Spoiler with "Formula" word graphic detail. The engineers also revised the compression ratio in the 400ci through the installation of different cylinder heads with smaller combustion chambers (1977 Pontiac 400 engines also had the 350 heads bolted to the 400 blocks, these heads were known as the 6x-4 heads and were taken from the Pontiac 350). This increased power by 10% for a total of 220 during the 1978–79 model years. The 400/403 options remained available until 1979, when the 400 CID engines were only available in the 4-speed transmission Trans Ams and Formulas (the engines had actually been stockpiled from 1978, when PMD had cut production of the engine). 1979 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Trans Am, and a special anniversary package was made available: silver paint lower paint (with gray upper paint accents) with a silver leather interior. The 10th Anniversary cars also featured a special Firebird hood decal, which extended off of the hood and onto the front fenders. Pontiac produced 7,500 10th Anniversary cars, of which 1,817 were equipped with the Pontiac 400 engine (and coupled with the 4 speed Borg Warner Super T-10 transmission). The only option on these cars was the engine (the 400 was not certified for California, nor was cruise control available with it), which dictated the transmission and the gear ratio (3.23 on the 400 cars, 2.73 on the 403 cars). In 1979 Pontiac sold 116,535 Trans Ams which still holds the record to this day.

Up until the 1979 models, the performance of 400-equipped Firebirds could still be brought up to near pre-1970 levels by removing the catalytic converter and opening up the block off plate to make the hood scoop functional. Static compression ratios dropped in the early 70s which crippled horsepower and torque output. In 1980, due to ever-increasing emissions restrictions, Pontiac dropped all of its large displacement engines.[10]

1980 therefore saw the biggest engine changes for the Trans Am. The 301, offered in 1979 as a credit option, was now the standard engine. Options included a turbocharged 301 or the Chevrolet 305 small block.

In the final year of the Second Generation Firebirds (1981), Trans Am still used the same engines as it had in the previous model year, with the only change being the addition of a new electronic carburetion system. The assembly plant code for Norwood, OH is "N" (from 1972-1980 this would be the 5th VIN digit, for 1981 it is the 11th digit), and for Van Nuys, CA it is "L" (sometimes referred to as Los Angeles, but it is actually Van Nuys, a suburb of L.A.). In the later 2nd generation cars, Norwood used lacquer based paint (there will be an "L" on the cowl tag), and Van Nuys used water based paint (there will be a "W" on the cowl tag), due to California's tightening pollution regulations. The water based paint often failed and delaminated during the warranty period and subsequently, cars had to be repainted.


1970250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air III V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air IV V8
1971250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac H.O. V8 (low compression)
1972250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) H.O. (low compression)
1973250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac H.O. V8455 cu in (7.5 L) S.D. V8
1974250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac H.O. V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac S.D. V8
1975250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8
1976250 cu in (4.1 L) I6350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8
1977231 cu in (3.8 L) V6301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8
1978231 cu in (3.8 L) V6301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8
1979231 cu in (3.8 L) V6301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Chevrolet V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8
1980265 cu in (4.3 L) Pontiac V8301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8 (automatic only)301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac turbo V8
1981265 cu in (4.3 L) Pontiac V8301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8 (4-speed only)301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac turbo V8

Third generation (1982–1992)[edit]

Third generation
20th Anniversary Turbo TransAm Convertible august 2009 9,000 original miles.png
AssemblyVan Nuys, California, United States
Norwood, Ohio, United States (through 1987)
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe
2-door convertible
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro (third generation)
Engine151 cu in (2.5 L) Pontiac I4
173 cu in (2.8 L) "X" V6
191 cu in (3.1 L) "X" V6
231 cu in (3.8 L) Buick Turbo V6
305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8
350 cu in (5.7 L) Chevrolet V8
Transmission3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
Wheelbase101 in (2,565 mm)
Length1990–92 Firebird: 195.1 in (4,956 mm)
1990–92 Trans Am: 195.2 in (4,958 mm)
Pre-1988 Firebird: 190.5 in (4,839 mm)
Pre-1988 Trans Am: 191.8 in (4,872 mm)
Width72.4 in (1,839 mm)
Height49.7 in (1,262 mm)
1991 Firebird convertible with restyled nose

The availability and cost of gasoline (two fuel crises had occurred by this time) meant the weight and the fuel consumption of the 3rd generation had to be considered in the design. In F-body development, both the third generation Firebird and Camaro were proposed as possible front wheel drive platforms, but the idea was scrapped. The state of the art of computerized engine management was in its infancy, and as long as saving fuel was the primary objective, it was not possible to have high horsepower and torque numbers. They did manage to cut enough weight from the design so that acceleration performance would be better than the 1981 models. They also succeeded in the fuel consumption department, offering a 4-cylinder Firebird that would provide 34 miles per gallon.[12] GM executives decided that engineering effort would best be spent on aerodynamics and chassis development. They created a modern platform, so that when engine technology advanced, they would have a well-balanced package with acceleration, braking, handling, and aerodynamics. For the time being, they would have world class aerodynamics and handling, and excellent fuel economy.

The Firebird and Camaro were completely redesigned for the 1982 model year, with the windshield slope set at 62 degrees, (about 3 degrees steeper than anything GM had ever tried before), and for the first time, a large, glass-dominated hatchback that required no metal structure to support it. Two concealed pop-up headlights, a first on the F-Body cars, were the primary characteristic that distinguished the 3rd Gen Firebird from its both its Camaro sibling and its prior form; (a styling characteristic carried into the 4th Gen's design). In addition to being about 500 pounds (230 kg) lighter than the previous 2nd Gen design, the 3rd Generation Firebird was the most aerodynamic product GM had ever released. Wind tunnels were used to form the new F-Body platform's shape, and Pontiac took full advantage of it. The aerodynamic developments extended to the finned aluminum wheels with smooth hubcaps and a functional rear spoiler.


Firebird-(I4/V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1982–86)
Firebird-(V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1987)
Firebird-Series 2F-(V6/V8) (1988)
Firebird Special Edition (S/E)-(V6/V8)-Series 2FX (1982–86)
Formula Firebird-(V8)-Series 2FS (1987)
Formula Firebird-Series F/S-(V8) (1988)
Firebird Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW (1982–87)
Firebird Trans Am-Series F/W-(V8) (1988)
Firebird Recaro Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW/Y84 (1982–84)
Firebird Trans Am GTA-(V8)-Series 2FW (1987)
Firebird Trans Am GTA-Series F/W-(V8) (1988)
Firebird 25th Anniversary Daytona 500 Limited Edition Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW (1983)
Firebird 15th Anniversary Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW (1984)[13]


Pontiac I4 [RPO LQ9] (1982–86): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 151 cid (2.5 L). Bore & stroke: 4.0 x 3.0 in. Compression ratio: (8.2:1: 1982-83), (9.0:1: 1984-86). Brake horsepower: (90: 1982), (90-94: 1983) @ 4000 rpm, (92 @ 4000-4400 rpm: 1984), (88 @ 4400 rpm: 1985-86). Torque: (134: 1982), (132-135: 1983) ft/lbs @ 2400 rpm, (132–134 ft/lbs @ 2800 rpm: 1984-86). Hydraulic valve lifters. Induction: Throttle-body fuel-injected. VIN Code: (2: 1982, 84-86), (R: 1983). (Standard in base Firebird and available only in base Firebird: 1986).

Chevrolet EFI V6 [RPO LB8] (1985–88): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 173 cid (2.8L: 1988). Bore & stroke: 3.5 x (3.0: 1985-87), (2.99: 1988) in. Compression ratio: (8.5:1: 1985, 88), (8.9:1: 1986-87). Brake horsepower: 135 @ (5100: 1985-87), (4900: 1988) rpm. Torque: (160–165 ft/lbs @ 3600 rpm: 1985-87), (160 ft/lbs @ 3900 rpm: 1988). (Hydraulic valve lifters: 1985-87). Fuel system: (Electronic fuel injection: 1986), (Electronic multi port fuel injection: 1987), (EFI/TBI: 1988). VIN Code: (H: 1985), (S: 1986-88). (Standard in Firebird S/E. Optional in base Firebird. Not available in Trans Am: 1986), (Standard with 5-speed manual transmission in base Firebird. Available with 4-speed automatic transmission in base Firebird: 1987), (Standard in base Firebird. Produced in U.S., Canada, or Mexico: 1988).

Chevrolet V6 [RPO LC1] (1982–84): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 173 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.5 x 3.0 in. Compression ratio: 8.5:1. Brake horsepower: (105: 1982), (107: 1983-84) @ 4800 rpm. Torque: (142 ft/lbs @ 2400 rpm: 1982), (145 ft/lbs @ 2100 rpm: 1983-84). Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion: 2-barrel (Rochester E2SE: 1983-84). VIN Code: (S: 1982), (X: 1983), (1: 1983-84).

Chevrolet H.O. V6 [RPO LL1] (1983–84): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 173 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.5 x 3.0 in. Compression ratio: 8.9:1. Brake horsepower: 125 @ 5400 rpm. Torque: 145 ft/lbs @ 2400 rpm. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion: 2-barrel Rochester E2SE. VIN Code: (Z: 1983), (L: 1984).

Chevrolet 305 V8 [RPO LG4]: Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 306 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.74 x 3.48 in. Compression ratio: (8.6:1: 1982-84), (9.5:1: 1985-87). Brake horsepower: (145: 1982), (150: 1983-84), (155: 1986) @ 4000 rpm, (160: 1985), (155: 1987) @ 4200 rpm. Torque: 240 ft/lbs @ (2000 rpm: 1982), (2400 rpm: 1983-84), (250 @ 2400 rpm: 1985), (235–245 ft/lbs @ 2000-2400 rpm: 1986-87). Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion: 4-barrel (Rochester E4ME: 1983-87). (EFI: 1983-84). VIN Code: H. (Standard in Trans Am. Optional in base Firebird and Firebird S/E: 1986), (Standard with 5-speed manual transmission in base Firebird V8, Formula and Trans Am: 1987).

Chevrolet H.O. 305 V8 [RPO L69] (Late 1983 - Early 86): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 306 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.74 x 3.48 in. Compression ratio: 9.5:1. Brake horsepower: 190 @ 4800 rpm. Torque: 240 ft/lbs @ 3200 rpm. Hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetor: 4-barrel. VIN Code: G and was a Trans Am Only Option. Came Standard on the Y84 1984 Recaro Edition Trans Am SE and 1984 15th Anniversary T/A

Chevrolet V8 [RPO LB9] (1985–87) Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 306 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.74 x 3.48 in. Compression ratio: 9.5:1. Brake horsepower: (205: 1985-86), (165: 1987) @ 4400 rpm. Torque: (275 ft/lbs @ 3200 rpm: 1985-86), (235 ft/lbs @ 2000 rpm: 1987). Hydraulic valve lifters. Induction: (Electronic tuned port fuel injection: 1985-86), (Multi-port fuel injection: 1987). VIN Code: (F: 1985-86), (8: 1987). (Optional in Trans Am only: 1986), (Available with 5-speed manual transmission in Formula or Trans Am. Available as a delete option in the Trans Am GTA: 1987).

Chevrolet 305 V8 [RPO LU5] (1982–84): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 306 cid. Bore & stroke: 3.74 x 3.48 in. Compression ratio: 9.5:1. Brake horsepower: (165: 1982), (175: 1983) @ 4200 rpm, (190 @ 4800 rpm: 1984). Torque: 240 ft/lbs @ (2400 rpm: 1982, 3200 rpm: 1984), (250 ft/lbs @ 2800 rpm: 1983). Hydraulic valve lifters. (Induction: Crossfire fuel injection (EFI): 1982-83). (Carburetion: 4-barrel: 1984). VIN Code: (7: 1982-83), (G: 1984).

Chevrolet 350 V8 [RPO L98] (1987): Overhead valves. Cast-iron block. Displacement: 350 cid. Bore & stroke: 4.00 x 3.48 in. Compression ratio: 9.5:1. Brake horsepower: 210 @ 4000 rpm. Torque: 315 ft/lbs @ 3200 rpm. Hydraulic valve lifters. Induction: Tuned port fuel injection. VIN Code: 8. Includes roller valve lifters, a hardened steel camshaft, fast-burn combustion chambers, a remote-mounted coil, dual cooling fans, a low-profile air-induction system with aluminum plenum and individual tuned runners, an extruded dual fuel rail assembly with computer-controlled fuel injectors and a special low-restriction exhaust system. Limited-interim availability as base engine in the Trans Am GTA; optional in Formula Firebird and regular Trans Am.[11]



Fourth generation (1993–2002)[edit]

Fourth generation
1993-97 Pontiac Firebird.jpg
AssemblySainte-Thérèse, Quebec
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe
2-door convertible
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Camaro (fourth generation)
Engine3.4 L (207.5 cu in) L32 V6
3.8 L (231.9 cu in) Buick V6
5.7 L (347.8 cu in) LT1 V8
5.7 L (347.8 cu in) LS1 V8
TransmissionTHM 4L60 4-speed automatic (1993)
THM 4L60E 4-speed automatic (1994-2002)
Borg Warner T-5 5-speed manual (V6 engine)
Borg Warner T56 6-speed manual (V8 engine)
Wheelbase101.1 in (2,568 mm)
Length1993–1997 Firebird: 195.6 in (4,968 mm)
1998–2002 Firebird: 193.3 in (4,910 mm)
1993–1997 Trans Am: 197 in (5,004 mm)
1998–1999 Trans Am: 193.8 in (4,923 mm)
2000–2002 Trans Am: 193.7 in (4,920 mm)
Width1993–1997: 74.5 in (1,892 mm)
1998–2002: 74.4 in (1,890 mm)
Height1993–1999 Firebird 52 in (1,321 mm)
2000–2002 Firebird: 51.2 in (1,300 mm)
1993–1995 Trans Am: 51.7 in (1,313 mm)
1996–1999 Trans Am: 52 in (1,321 mm)
2000–2002 Trans Am: 51.8 in (1,316 mm)
1993-1999 Firebird Convertible: 52.7 in (1,339 mm)
2000–2002 Firebird Convertible 51.8 in (1,316 mm)
1994–1999 Trans Am Convertible: 52.4 in (1,331 mm)
Curb weight3,440 lb (1,560 kg) (5.7L LS1 Coupe)
3,284 lb (1,490 kg) (5.7L LT1 Coupe)

The fourth-generation F-body continued the aerodynamic formula initiated by the previous generation, but saw declining sales. As before, the Camaro kept the exposed headlights and the Firebird its pop-up units, with some minor changes. The overall styling of the Firebird more strongly reflected the "Banshee IV" concept car than the 1991 "face lift" received by the Third Generation model.

1993–1997 Trans Am Convertible
1996 Firebird Formula with functional "Ram Air" hood
The 1999 30th Anniversary Trans Am
Joe Aquilante on the front stretch of Pocono Raceway 1999, to become SCCA National Champ in T-1


From 1993 until 1995 (1995 non-California cars), Firebirds received a 3.4 L V6 with 160 hp (120 kW), or the 5.7 L 275 hp (205 kW) LT1 V8. The 1993 Firehawk (only available in Formula trim for 1993–1997) received the SLP package with a functional hood scoop and other performance enhancements that increased power to 300 hp (220 kW). Only 201 were built for 1993. The LT1 engine in the Formula and Trans Am was very similar to the one in the Corvette C4 except with 2-bolt mains and a more restrictive intake/exhaust system. The 1993 model year V6 models had angular cable driven throttle body units that later changed in 1994 to multi-port fuel injection.


The 1994 model year marked the 25th anniversary of the Trans Am, and another Anniversary Edition was released, painted white with a single blue stripe down the center of the vehicle that was reminiscent of the 1970 Trans Am. It was also the debut of the 4L60e 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission in the F-body, which took the place of the non-electronic 700R4. Beginning in 1994, the engine used a "MAF" (mass air-flow) system in the air intake, rather than the "speed density" setup on the 1993 cars. 1994 was also the first year the 4th generation convertible was available.

In 1994 only, a "Trans Am GT" option was available. Trans Am GT's did not receive any special badging, graphics, or emblems and looked externally identical to the base Trans Am cars. The GT package included Z-rated tires and a 155 mph speedometer. Non-GT optioned Trans Ams in 1994 received a 110 mph speedometer, and a much lower top-speed limiter. Contrary to popular belief, the "highrise spoiler", leather, and T-tops were not standard on the Trans am GT cars in 1994, nor any year of LT1 Trans Am for that matter. RPO Code T43 "Uplift spoiler" was an option on all Trans Ams, and while a mass majority of 1994 Trans Am GT cars received the T43 spoiler (along with the majority of all 93-97 Trans am's), it was not part of the Trans Am GT package. Both base Trans Ams and Trans am GTs could be ordered as hard top, t-top, or convertible cars and were both available with automatic or manual transmissions. While the GT package was a cost option on the 1994 Trans Am, a majority of 1994 Trans Ams were made with the GT package.

All of the 1994 Trans Am "GT" options became standard in 95-02 as part of the Trans Am package, and the GT name/package was dropped for 1995. Some of the early 4th generation Trans Am and Formula Firebirds will list "GT" on the vehicles title or registration. The reason behind this is because the VIN does not specify a "package" (Formula, Trans Am, Trans Am GT, Firehawk, etc.) it only specifies the engine (5.7L V8 LT1). Because the title is based on the VIN alone (which again does not specify trim) titles and registrations often list all of the packages, but it does not mean the car is equipped with any certain package. For instance, there is no such thing as a "Firebird Formula Trans Am GT", this is simply the title listing multiple possible trims because the VIN only specifies a V8 car. To decipher packages on a particular vehicle, RPO codes must be researched for that vehicle.


The 1995 models were the same as those of previous years, but traction control (ASR: Acceleration Slip Regulation) was now available. The "Trans Am GT" package was dropped this year from the lineup after it's 1 model year run in 1994. For 1995, All Trans Am's received the 155 mph speedometer and Z-rated tires. The steering wheel was also changed. It is shared with other cars from GM, such as the Pontiac Grand Prix. 1995 was the first year of the vented version of the opti-spark distributor on F-body's. The optional SLP Firehawk performance package was still available this year (since 1993) and included suspension upgrades, a functional ram air hood, 17" wheels with 275/40/17 tires, as well as a freer intake/exhaust similar to that on the Chevrolet Corvette, supplying 315 hp, but this package was seldom ordered. The 'Transmission Perform' button was available only in the 1994 and 1995 Formula and Trans Am. This option was stopped for the 1996 and later models, but the connections are still there for 1996 and 1997 Formula and Trans Am. While 1995 cars still used the OBD1 computer system (the last year of F-body to use OBD1), a majority of them had OBD2 connector ports under the dash.


The mid-1995 and later models had a 200 hp 3.8 L V6 as the base engine, and the power rating of the LT1 had been raised to 285 in 1996, due to a new dual catalytic converter exhaust system. 1996 was also the first year of the OBD2 computer system.

1996 was the first year the WS6 Performance Package was made available on 4th generation (93-02) Firebirds. For 1996 (and 1997) The WS6 Package was available on both the Formula and Trans am. The WS6 package included a larger 32mm front swaybar (base V8's being 30mm), a functional ram-air hood (similar to that of the 93-97 Firehawk, but with slightly different styling in the hood, and smaller air filter than the Firehawk), 17"x9" Wheels with 275/40 tires, and a WS6 Badge. Optional Bilstein Shocks were available, but not standard on the WS6 package.


While there were no major changes to the '97 models from the previous year, a special edition LT4 Firehawk was available this year. With only 29 produced, the LT4 Firehawk used the same 330 hp, balanced and blue-printed LT4 engine found in the manual transmission 1996 Corvette. The 1997 Firehawk LT4 model, made by SLP Performance Parts and sold through Pontiac dealerships, had 330 hp (250 kW) and 340 lb·ft (459 Nm) of torque.

The Ram Air (WS6) high performance package was added as an option for the Formula and Trans Am convertibles for the first time this year, boosting the horsepower from 285 to 305. There were 41 Formula convertibles and 463 Trans Am convertibles produced in 1997 with the WS6 high performance package.


In 1998, the Firebird received a "face lift" dominated by a new front fascia (now with two headlights in each fixture) as well as other changes, the most significant of which was the introduction of the latest Corvette small block V8 engine, the LS1. Starting in 1998, Formula and Trans am cars were equipped with an aluminum driveshaft (93-97 cars had steel driveshafts). 1998 was also the first year the dual-piston front brake calipers and new 12" brake rotors. The rear brakes were also increased in size for 1998 as compared to the 1993–1997 years. Other than the front fascia (fenders, hood, front bumper), nothing was changed on the body compared to 1993–1997 years with the exception of the honeycomb-style tail lights, which were found on all models of Firebirds from 1998-2002.

Initially, the color "Bright Purple Metallic" had been available, however it was discontinued due to poor sales. The color was replaced with "Navy Blue Metallic," but not before a total of 12 Trans Am models with the WS6 Ram Air package (10 coupés and two convertibles) made it out of the factory dressed in "Bright Purple Metal".


The Big 3-0 A new 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Trans Am added a little distinction to the 1999 Firebird offerings. Otherwise, there were only minor changes. Formulas and Trans Ams now had a four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. Buyers could choose from it or a six-speed manual, which had a Hurst shifter. Traction control was available on V-6 Firebirds. Specific V-6 Firebirds also got a Torsen II slip-reduction rear axle as standard equipment. An Electronic Brake Force Distribution system and solenoid-based Bosch anti-lock brake system enhanced stopping capabilities. Also new was an upgraded sensing and diagnostic module to improve the passenger-protection system.
Colors: 10=Artic White, 11=Pewter Metallic, 13=Silver Metallic, 20=Medium Blue Metallic, 28=Navy Blue Metallic, 31=Bright Green Metallic, 41=Black, 79=Blue-Green Chameleon and 81=Bright Red.
Firebird – Series F/ V6 The availability of GM's Traction Control system was extended to the V-6-powered Firebirds this year. All Firebirds with V-8 and some with a V-6 had a Zexel Torsen II slip-reduction rear axle. An Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system replaced the old hydraulic proportioning valve for improved brake performance. Also new was a solenoid-based Bosch antilock braking system. An enhanced Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) recorded vehicle speed, engine rpm, throttle position and brake use in the last five seconds prior to airbag deployment. Standard equipment for the Firebird coupe included extensive acoustical insulation, dual front airbags, air conditioning, a black fixed-mast antenna at right rear, a brake/transmission shift interlock safety feature (with automatic transmission), power four-wheel disc brakes with four-wheel ABS, the UPC L36 3800 Series II 200 hp SFI V-6 engine, cruise control, electric rear- and side-window defoggers, Solar-Ray tinted glass, instrumentation (including electric analog speedometer, tachometer, odometer, coolant temperature indicator, oil pressure gauge, voltmeter and LED trip odometer), sport exterior mirrors (left-hand remote controlled, right-hand manual), a day/night inside rearview mirror with reading lamps, left- and right-hand covered visor-vanity mirrors, a Delco AM/FM stereo ETR radio and cassette (with seven-band graphic equalizer, touch control, search-and-replay, Delco TheftLock, clock, seek up/down, remote CD pre-wiring and four-speaker coaxial sound system), reclining front bucket seats, four-way driver and passenger front seat manual adjusters, a rear two-passenger folding seat, a four-spoke sport tilt steering wheel with adjustable column, the PASS-Key II theft-deterrent system, P215/60R16 touring tires with a high-pressure compact spare, the UPC MM5 five-speed manual transmission, controlled-cycle windshield wipers and bright silver 16-in. five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels. Model Number: F/S; Body/Style Number: 87, 67; Body Type & Seating: 2d hatchback, convertible-4P; Factory Price: $18,700, $25,320; Shipping Weight: 3,340, 3,465 lbs.; Production Total: 17,170, 1,245.[14]


For 1998–2002 Pontiac used the same heavy duty brakes, steering ratios, fuel pumps[citation needed] and shocks (non-WS6) on both V6 and V8 models.

The all-aluminum 5.7 L V8 engine was sourced from the Corvette C5, and produced 305 hp (227 kW) at 5,200 rpm; 335 lb·ft (454 N·m) at 4,000 rpm, (310 after 2000) or 320 hp (325 after 2000) in the WS-6 "Ram Air" version. In 2001 and 2002, models equipped with a V8 received the high-flow LS6 intake manifold and a high-performance clutch. A Firehawk model, produced by SLP and sold through Pontiac dealerships, had 330 hp (335 after 2000, 345 in late 2002 models equipped with the optional Blackwing intake. The V6-equipped Firebirds were rated at 205 hp (153 kW).[citation needed]


19933.4 L (207.5 cu in) L32 V65.7L 350 CID LT1 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads)
19943.4 L (207.5 cu in) L32 V65.7L 350 CID LT1 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads)
19953.4 L (207.5 cu in) L32 V63.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V6 (California Only)5.7L 350 CID LT1 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads)
19963.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 350 CID LT1 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads)
19973.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 350 CID LT1 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads)5.7L 350 CID LT4 V8 (iron block, aluminum heads) in Firehawk by SLP
19983.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 346 CID LS1 V8 (aluminum block and heads)
19993.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 346 CID LS1 V8 (aluminum block and heads)
20003.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 346 CID LS1 V8 (aluminum block and heads)
20013.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 346 CID LS1 V8 (aluminum block and heads)
20023.8 L (231.9 cu in) L36 V65.7L 346 CID LS1 V8 (aluminum block and heads)

Firebird Trans Am[edit]

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
1989 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird GTA.png
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Body and chassis
ClassPony car, Muscle car
Body style2-door convertible 1969, 1987–1989 Pontiac sanctioned special edition, 1991–1992, 1994–2002
2-door coupe 1969–1981
LayoutFR layout
1972 Pontiac Trans Am
1974 Pontiac Trans Am
1978 Pontiac Trans Am
1981 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am
1987 Pontiac Trans Am
A modified 3rd generation Trans Am used as KITT.
1989 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am Convertible (TTA) (0–60 4.6 sec, 1/4 mile 13.4 sec, top speed 162)

The Trans Am was a specialty package for the Firebird, typically upgrading handling, suspension, and horsepower, as well as minor appearance modifications such as exclusive hoods, spoilers, fog lights and wheels. In using the name Trans Am, a registered trademark, GM agreed to pay $5 per car sold to the SCCA.[15] Four distinct generations were produced between 1969 and 2002. These cars were built on the F-body platform, which was also shared by the Chevrolet Camaro.

Despite its name, the Trans Am was not initially used in the Trans Am Series, as its smallest engine exceeded the SCCA's five liter displacement limit.

The second generation was available from 1970 to 1981 and was featured in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit, the 1978 movie Hooper and the 1980 movie Smokey and the Bandit II. The third generation, available from 1982 to 1992, was featured in the 1983 movie Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 and the 1984 movie Alphabet City. KITT, the automotive star, and its evil counterpart KARR, of the popular 1980s TV series Knight Rider, was a modified third generation Trans Am. The fourth generation Trans Am, available from model years 1993 to 2002, offered between 275 and 325 bhp (205 and 242 kW).The Trans AM GTA (Grand Turismo Americano) was an options package available on the Firebird Trans Am which added Gold 16 inch diamond spoke alloy wheels, a mono-chromatic paint scheme and special cloisonné GTA badges. The GTA (along with the Formula model that was intended to fill the gap between the base model Firebird and mid-level trans am) was the brainchild of former Pontiac marketing manager Lou Wassel. It was intended to be the "ultimate" Trans am and was the most expensive Firebird available. The GTA equipment package officially went on sale in 1987 and avoided a gas-guzzler tax thanks to its lightweight PW 16" gold cross-lace wheels. The high-performance WS6 suspension package was also re-tuned to offer a more compliant ride while still maintaining tight handling characteristics. Engine choices consisted of a L98 5.7 liter (350 ci) TPI (Tuned Port Injection) V8 mated to GM's corporate 700r4 automatic transmission or the 5.0 liter (305 ci) TPI V8. A five speed manual was available but was mated to the 5.0 liter only. The fastest TA Originally conceived by Bill Owen of Pontiac, the 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am project was outsourced to PAS, Inc., an engineering firm led by Jeff Beitzel. Beitzel and his team did most of the TTA development work. The V6 turbo engines were built by PAS at their 40,000 square foot City of Industry, CA plant. From there, they went to GM's plant in Van Nuys, CA to be installed into GTAs on the F-Body assembly line. The cars were then shipped back to PAS for final assembly, testing, and quality control. Incidentally, the GTA chassis were selected at random, thus there is no correlation between the VIN and production sequence number. The actual number of cars to be produced had ranged from 500 to 2,500 until GM finally settled on 1,500. In all, a total of 1,555 Turbo TAs were manufactured. Firebird Trans Am GTA (Third Generation F-body)

The last WS6 model produced 310 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 340 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm out of its 5.7-liter LS1 V8 engine.[16] A completely-stock WS6 completed the ¼—mile in 13.16 seconds at 106.05 mph on Eagle F1 street tires.[17]


First generation[edit]

1969400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air III V8 335 bhp (250 kW)400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air IV V8 345 bhp (257 kW)400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air V V8 (rare dealer-installed option) 500 bhp (370 kW)[citation needed]

Second generation[edit]

1970400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air III 345hp V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air IV 370hp V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac Ram Air V V8 There are no known 1970 Trans Ams with the Ram Air V, no complete engines were ever sold or shipped to dealers, but the parts needed to build one could be ordered over-the-counter.[18]
1971455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac H.O. V8
1972455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac H.O. V8
1973455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac S.D. V8
1974400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac S.D. V8
1975400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8 455-H.O. These cars came with a 455-H.O decal on the Shaker Hood Scoop but were not anywhere near the same engine as the 71-72 H.O.'s. They were standard production engines lifted from Pontiac's Station Wagon Line and transplanted straight into the T/A. Rated at ~ 200HP.Pontiac did this to try to boost sales and the engine was only available with the 4-speed manual transmission.Only 857 were built as it was a mid-year addition.[19]
1976400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8 455 H.O. The only difference between this engine and the previous 1975 engine is the "H.O." was removed from the Shaker Hood scoop and simply said "455". Once again only available with the 4-speed manual transmission.A total of 7,099 were built this year's full production run.[20]
1977403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac W72 V8
1978403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac W72 V8
1979301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8403 cu in (6.6 L) Oldsmobile V8 (Automatic Only)400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac W72 V8 (4-speed Only)These engines were actually 1978's that were stockpiled for '79. Pontiac ceased production of the 400 in 1978.
1980301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8 (4-speed only)301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac turbo V8
1981301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Chevrolet V8 (4-speed only)301 cu in (4.9 L) Pontiac turbo V8

Third generation[edit]

From 1982 on all engines are Chevrolet sourced, unless stated otherwise.

1982305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Cross-Fire Injection V8 (First year for fuel injection in Trans Am)
1983305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Cross-Fire Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8 H.O. (662 were made, all 5-speeds)
1984305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel H.O. V8 (1500 anniversary edition models were made, 500 of them 5-speed)
1985305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel H.O. V8 H.O. (5-speed only)
1986305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8 H.O. (5-speed only)Only 69 were built.
1987305 cu in (5.0 L) 4 barrel V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8
1988305 cu in (5.0 L) Throttle Body Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8
1989305 cu in (5.0 L) Throttle Body Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8231 cu in (3.8 L) Buick Turbo V6
1990305 cu in (5.0 L) Throttle Body Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8
1991305 cu in (5.0 L) Throttle Body Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8
1992305 cu in (5.0 L) Throttle Body Injection V8305 cu in (5.0 L) Tuned Port Injection V8350 cu in (5.7 L) Tuned Port Injection V8

Fourth generation[edit]

1993–1997 Trans Am Convertible
The 1999 30th Anniversary Trans Am
1993{5.7L 350 cu. in.} LT1 V8
1998{5.7 346 cu. in.} LS1 V8

Performance (Firebird / Firebird Trans Am)[edit]

EngineYear(s)Power0–60 mphTop SpeedComments
400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac W72 V81979220 bhp (160 kW)
8.2 s.
Trans Am model equipped with 400 4-speed manual[21]
305 cu in (5.0 L) LB9 V81989–1992225 bhp (168 kW)
8.0 s.
> 140 mph (230 km/h)Formula model equipped with N10/MM5/GM3 option codes[22]
231 cu in (3.8 L) Buick Turbo V61989250 bhp (190 kW)
4.6 s.[23]
162 mph (261 km/h)[24]20th Anniversary Trans Am Pace Car
5.7 L (347.8 cu in) LT1 V81993–1997275–285 bhp (205–213 kW)
6.0 s.
155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited)
1996–1997305 bhp (227 kW)
5.6 s.
155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited)Ram Air
5.7 L (347.8 cu in) LS1 V81998–2000305 bhp (227 kW) (Trans Am), 320 bhp (240 kW) WS.6
5.1 s.
160 mph (260 km/h) (electronically limited)
2001–2002310 bhp (230 kW) (Trans Am), 325 bhp (242 kW) WS.6
4.7 s.
160 mph (260 km/h) (electronically limited)


Firebirds were used in the Trans-Am series in the 1960s and 1970s. When the Firebird Trans Am was released, there was controversy over the model's inability to compete in the Trans-Am because the smallest available engine was too large for use in the series at 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters). The name also caused controversy because it was used without permission from the SCCA, who threatened suit. GM settled the dispute by paying US$5 to the SCCA for every car sold. When the Trans-Am was last seen, model year 2002 Firebirds were in use. Firebirds were used in the IROC Series until it folded after the 2006 season.

During the 1995, 1996, and 1997 NHRA seasons, 14-time Funny Car champion John Force used a Firebird body to replace the obsolete Oldsmobile Cutlass and Chevrolet Lumina body he had used since 1988. He used it for three seasons, winning the championship in all three years. The Firebird was also used by drivers such as Del Worsham, Tim Wilkerson, Frank Pedregon, and Jerry Toliver. The Firebird body also replaced the Oldsmobile Cutlass in the Pro Stock class in 1995, forcing drivers Warren Johnson, Jerry Eckman, and Mark Pawuk to replace their body styles for the 1996 year, none of them would win with the first year of the Firebird body, but Pro Stock driver Jim Yates, a second year driver, using the Firebird body, would.


  1. ^ Gunnel, John (2002). Standard Catalog of Firebird 1967–2002. Krause Publications. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-87349-494-6. 
  2. ^ "1967 Pontiac Firebird Sprint Technical Specifications". Carfolio.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ Pontiac Firebird History 1st Generation 1967–1969 by Muscle Car Club, undated, retrieved on August 22, 2008.
  4. ^ "Hitman's Pontiac Trans Am Site". 78ta.com. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ Editors of Publications International (December 21, 2007). "1970s Pontiac Firebird". auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Mecham Design Performance". mechamperformance.com. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hitman's Pontiac Trans Am Site – Special Edition". 78ta.com. Retrieved October 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/tech/pon_0505_inside_455_super_duty/viewall.html#ixzz2KZ9JDr34 (ref: May, 2005 issue of High Performance Pontiac Magazine).
  9. ^ Flory, J. Kelly (2004). American Cars, 1960–1972: Every Model, Year by Year. McFarland. p. 881. ISBN 978-0-7864-1273-0. 
  10. ^ Eric Peters. Automotive Atrocities: Cars You Love to Hate. p. 20. 
  11. ^ a b Gunnell, John (2002). standard catalog of Firebird 1967–2002. Iola, WI: krause publications. pp. 99–119. ISBN 0-87349-494-6. 
  12. ^ fueleconomy.gov "Find a Car; 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 Firebird 2.5L 5-speed fuel economy Official EPA Window Sticker MPG" Web. July 4, 2010
  13. ^ Gunnell, John (2002). standard catalog of Firebird 1967–2002. Iola, WI: krause publications. pp. 97–118. ISBN 0-87349-494-6. 
  14. ^ Gunnell, John (2002). standard catalog of Firebird 1967–2002. Iola, WI: krause publications. pp. 194–195. ISBN 0-87349-494-6. 
  15. ^ "Edmund's Pontiac Firebird History". Retrieved December 12, 2007. 
  16. ^ [1] 2002 Pontiac FIREBIRD-V8-6 Spd./AT Coupe 2D Trans Am WS6 - NADAGuides
  17. ^ [2] Stock 2002 Trans Am WS6 at the track - StreetFire
  18. ^ Pontiac Ram Air V Story - Wallace Racing
  19. ^ 1975 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  20. ^ The 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  21. ^ Hot Rod magazine 1979.
  22. ^ "Road Test". Car and Driver 35 (9). March 1990. 
  23. ^ 1989 20th Anniversary Trans Am Road Test, CAR & DRIVER Magazine, June 1989
  24. ^ "Flat-out Fastest American Cars II-the Sequel". Motor Trend 41 (6): 42–47, 50, 54. June 1989. 

External links[edit]