Home Cars Pontiac Firebird: 20 Model Reviews to Help You Catch Up if You’re Too Young

Pontiac Firebird: 20 Model Reviews to Help You Catch Up if You’re Too Young

Vukasin Herbez October 14, 2018

11. 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA

The Trans Am was the best version of the third generation Pontiac F-body. They introduced it in 1987 as the top of the range Firebird on offer. The package was available until the 1992 model year, which Pontiac produced in relatively limited numbers. The secret weapons of the GTA were its engine and the WS6 handling package.

The engine was the 350 V8 with 210 HP in the early models and up to 245 HP in later versions. Rumor was the engine was the same as the Corvette since it used the same TPI fuel injection system and displacement, but it wasn’t the case. Corvette used aluminum heads while Pontiac used cast iron ones. However, the power and performance were similar.

The WS6 package offered unmatched road holding and braking capabilities because it came with four disc brakes and a stiffer suspension. It also had stronger sway bars, special wheels and performance tires, improving its performance.

12. 1989 Pontiac Trans Am 20th Anniversary

In 1989, Pontiac celebrated the 20th anniversary of its favorite muscle car, the Trans Am. So, what was a better way than to introduce a limited run of 1,500 cars to commemorate the occasion? But, the anniversary editions needed a twist and not just another decal and paint job. So, Pontiac decided to install the Buick 3.8-liter turbo V6 from the GNX to create the fastest Trans Am of the decade.

The white commemorative edition could accelerate 0.1 seconds faster from 0 to 60 mph than the GNX at 4.6 seconds. The reason was that the Trans Am 20th Anniversary had better weight distribution and gearing from the Pontiac gearbox.

13. 1994 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

The fourth generation of the GM F-Body platform debuted in 1993 with the new Camaro and Firebird. The new model brought modernization to the Firebird range, as well as improvements in power, equipment, handling and braking. The new car featured sleek, aerodynamic styling with coupe and convertible versions that attracted more buyers.

Also, the Trans Am version returned with the powerful LT1 V8 engine with 5.7-liters of displacement and 285 HP. The engine was the same as in the Corvette of similar vintage, but since the Pontiac had intake restrictors, it developed 15 HP less. But some crafty owners realized their Trans Ams could make more HP by installing a Corvette intake.

14. 1995 Pontiac SLP Formula Firehawk

The SLP Firehawks were interesting late muscle cars. The model first appeared in 1995, marking the start of a successful venture between GM and the Street Legal Performance Company from New Jersey. They were an outside firm that produced performance kits for Firebirds. However, these cars weren’t just improved base models, but much more.

The SLP Formula Firehawk had a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 300 or 315 HP which was a lofty number for 1995. The six-speed manual version could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, making it one of the fastest production cars in America. The package cost $6,500 over the price of the regular Trans Am. But it included numerous upgrades and a Ram Air hood, so it was well worth it.

15. 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6

By the early 2000’s, the Firebird/Camaro combo was outdated and with its live rear axle and big weight. In fact, the market wanted more modern and lighter muscle cars. The 2002 model year marked the end of the road for the Firebird and Pontiac. So they decided to go out with a bang, introducing one of the fastest, most powerful Trans Ams they ever made: the menacing WS6 version.

The WS6 was a handling package on Trans Ams available before, but in the 2002 model year, it represented the best Pontiac had to offer. With the venerable 5.7-liter V8 engine with 325 HP, a six-speed manual transmission and numerous suspension upgrades, the 2002 WS6 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. It proved that Pontiac still knew how to make a brutal, lightning quick muscle car.

The exterior came with the big Ram Air hood and sleek rear spoiler, making the Trans Am WS6 quite a looker despite having a 10-year-old design. If you can, get one of these cars since they are definitive future muscle car classics.

16. GM Firebird Concept Cars (1955)

Despite the fact that the first Pontiac Firebird was introduced in 1967, the name was already used by General Motors on four very popular concept cars presented in the late `50s. Named GM Firebird I to IV, those were purely show cars with rocket inspired styling, big fins and advanced equipment.

The first Firebird had a jet engine and was basically an airplane on wheels. Later cars were bit more conventional, but still pretty crazy.

17. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo (1980)

The second generation F-Body Firebird was introduced in 1970 and by late `70s was one of the dominant cars in the segment. Unfortunately, the days of big cube motors and high horsepower ratings were gone so Pontiac decided to invest in new technology to generate power. That new technology was turbocharging and in late 1979 it introduced the Trans Am Turbo.

The engine in question was 301 V8 with Garrett turbocharger bolted on it. Power output was relatively modest at 200 to 210 HP but the torque number was high at 340 lb-ft which resulted in solid performance.

18. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA (1991)

We have already mentioned Trans AM GTA which was one of the best Firebirds made in the `80s. The essence of GTA package was to install Corvette-sourced L89 engine into F-Body chassis and create the ultimate performer.

By 1991, the GTA package matured into a great driving and handling model which had restyled front and rear and cool looking body kit. The 5.7-liter now delivered healthy 245 HP and produced vivid performance.

19. Pontiac Trans Am Convertible 2000

If you wanted to combine performance with the comfort and enjoyment of an open top car, there was no better way than to look for early 2000s Trans Am Convertible. The glorious soundtrack from its 5.7-liter V8 with wind in the cabin provided the driver with unforgettable experience.

The good news is that early `2000s Trans Am convertibles are relatively cheap and easy to find so we suggest you snap up this cool piece of Pontiac`s muscle car history.

20. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am racing 1970

A lot of people don’t know this, but Pontiac Trans Am got its name from Trans Am racing championship which was very popular in the late `60s. Pontiac entered the series in 1970 with a newly introduced Firebird Trans Am and to comply with the rules, the engineers installed a 305 Chevrolet V8 engine.

The car didn’t win any championship titles but it was successful in its own right winning Watkins Glenn, Lime Rock and several other races during 1970/1971 season.

This is the history of the Pontiac Firebird – the symbol of a generation. All of these cars were iconic in the development of the muscle car, using upgraded, modern designs and equipment. If you see one of these beauties on the road, consider yourself lucky, as most are rare and highly collectible.

Please wait 5 sec.