1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The Legend

1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The Legend

Engine V8Horsepower 185 BHP (136.16 KW) @ 3600 RPMTorque 320 Ft-Lbs (434 NM) @ 2000 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 3550 lbs | 1610.253 kg Transmission 3-step manual, 3-step automatic Turbo  HydraMatic

The first-generation Pontiac Firebird was able to acquire the identity only in the second generation which according to the GM chief designer Bill Mitchell, it was lacking from the beginning. Due to problems with the production line, the second generation went on sale with a six-month delay, on February 26, 1970.

Source: Road & Track

The Firebird was not only the star of the roads but also of films that excited the imagination of youth and reckless folks striving for speed. They admired its sporty forms and unbridled character, dreaming to have it one day. In the course of the model’s evolution, it had several modifications, some of which today are the most sought-after trophy of any classic car collector.  Trans Am became one of those modifications that fans around the world cherished. It received the most powerful engines and the fanciest appearance in the Pontiac lineup.

The origins

Source: Wallpaper Flare

Firebird appeared in the brand’s line for a reason. The fast development of the pony car market, and the resounding success of the Ford Mustang, disturbed GM bosses. By the time the first generation Firebird entered the market in 1967, the trendsetter Mustang had already undergone its first restyling. In the three years since the introduction of the Ford “stallion” and the emergence of the “pony-car” segment (characterized by small, sporty, inexpensive, but powerful vehicles), all American automakers rushed to make the same type of vehicles. The competitiveness of each depended on quality, reliability, comfort, various “useful” options, and, of course, prices. To reduce the cost of development and, as a result, the selling price of the automobile, many resorted to the unification of the main components for models of different brands that were part of the brands. So, Pontiac Firebird received one platform with the Chevrolet Camaro. However, these two models were still different. The main external distinguishing feature was a chrome-plated bumper, made as a separate element in the first one, and chrome-plated “chubby lips” around the radiator grille in the second one. In addition, unlike the Chevrolet, the Pontiac’s twin-head optics consisted of headlights of the same size. It was available in 5 engine options: a 3.8-liter inline 6-cylinder equipped with a 1-chamber carburetor, with a capacity of 165 hp, a 3.8-liter in-line “six” equipped with a 4-chamber carburetor, and a modified camshaft, with a capacity of 215 hp (the Sprint modification), a 5.3-liter V8 equipped with a 2-barrel carburetor, 250 hp, the same 5.3-liter V8 equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor, 285 hp, a 6.6-liter V8 with a power 325 hp — for GTO.

The 1979 model year

Source: Supercars.net

A 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with a 6480 cm³ V8 engine and 4-speed transmission was a real high-speed sensation of the 70s. The V-shaped 8-cylinder engine and 4-speed gearbox were perfectly matched, and the resonating sound in the muffler indicated the unbridled character of this sports car. It had a unique control system and stood out from other American vehicles of the same period. The model’s brakes also deserved special attention: it was able to stop as quickly as it accelerated, thanks to disc brakes on all four wheels installed in 1979. All automobiles of this series, released for the 10th anniversary, had a silver interior. Produced for as long as 12 years, the second generation Trans Am featured a unibody structure with independent front and rear subframes, plus an independent front wishbone suspension with coil springs and a leaf-sprung live rear axle. In 1979, the Trans Am’s standard engine was a 185 hp Oldsmobile 6528 cm³ V8, the “native” 220 hp Pontiac 400 V8 was optional. In 1979, the company released the 403 automobiles with an automatic transmission and the 400 with a 4-speed manual. Only thorough analyses could determine which engine was in the vehicle. However, in the case of the automatic transmission, the air intake on the hood had  “6.6 liters” writing.

Did you know?

Source: WallpaperUp

The famous “screaming eagle” decal on the hood was popular in the late 70s and was installed on the 1979 model. In addition, the four headlights were located in four separate square sockets, and for the first time, customers could choose the option of installing halogen lamps. 

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1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am: The Legend

Engine V8Horsepower 185 BHP (136.16 KW) @ 3600 RPMTorque 320 Ft-Lbs (434 NM) @ 2000 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 3550 lbs | 1610.253 kg Transmission 3-step manual, 3-step automatic Turbo  HydraMatic

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