This was what we may delicately call a fib, as the identical engine in a Pontiac GTO claimed gross horsepower kW , a rating that was probably also somewhat understated. Only 65 Firebirds were sold with Ram Air; this may or may not be an original car. At first, it seems like Chevy will be in the same boat, limiting the Camaro to the new hp kW cu.
You cry foul and the Executive Committee finally, reluctantly agrees to authorize the cu. GM has a new policy that no passenger passenger car other than the Corvette will have more than one rated horsepower per 10 pounds of shipping weight, so the same cu. With the cammer, the , and the , your F-car sounds like a Pontiac and runs like a Pontiac, so the next order of business is the suspension.
The easiest, quickest fix for the hapless rear springs is to add a pair of adjustable traction bars to the rear suspension for all of the high-powered engine options. Only the most charitable critics will say the traction bars eliminate the hop, but they help. A few changes to spring rates and shock damping and the car rides like a Pontiac, too.
Unlike the rival Mustang, the Pontiac Firebird and Chevrolet Camaro were offered in only two body styles: a hardtop and a convertible. The Mustang also offered a fastback, but the hardtop outsold it by a significant margin. The semi-unitized F-body lost a great deal of rigidity in convertible form, leading to the addition of four 35 lb 16 kg , oil-filled dampers in the corners of the body to reduce vibration.
The result is that a Pontiac Firebird convertible is significantly heavier than a comparable hardtop.
You have one last ace in the hole: the options list. What made Pontiac a lot of money, even in the dark days before Bunkie, was that you could customize your Pontiac with every optional gewgaw known to man.
It sounds menacing and menacing is exactly what you want in a sporty car. After a bit of ferocious brainstorming, you end up with the name Firebird, borrowed from a series of turbine-powered GM show cars from the early fifties. Despite strong engines, a major detriment to first-gen Pontiac Firebird performance was the fact that if you wanted automatic with the lesser engines, you were stuck with a two-speed. The vastly superior three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic was restricted to Firebirds with the big cu. By comparison, any Mustang or Barracuda , even a six, could have a three-speed automatic, giving them better all-around performance.
The first Pontiac Firebird goes on sale in February of , about six months after its Chevrolet sibling. Ed Cole is pleased and so are you. These are the sort of suds Pontiac fans have come to expect. The following year you add a few new engine choices, tack on the side-marker lights demanded by the feds, and drop the vent windows, a dictate from Styling. The Mono-Plate springs and traction bars are abandoned on the more powerful F-bodies in favor of multi-leaf springs and staggered shocks — one ahead of the axle, one behind — to better resist axle tramp.
Sales climb to ,, not bad at all. A further 87, Firebirds go out the door for , despite an ill-advised facelift that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
The Notchback was a special fiberglass rear deck lid, replacing the long-sloped window with a short vertical rear window, resembling the back of a Ferrari GTO. How to Build Max-Performance 4. The 4L60 four-speed automatic was optional for both in , becoming the 4L60E with built-in electronic controls in Tin Indian Pontiac Firebird Would be a good article detailing its success, after other performance cars had died already. March 29, at am. Porsche Ulf Poschardt.
Side vent windows clearly mark this hardtop as a Pontiac Firebird; they were deleted on and models. DeLorean claimed later that he tried to fix them, but he clashed too often with the entrenched power structure, making him a lot of new enemies. He was promoted to group VP in , which DeLorean saw as a way of shutting him up and denying him any real power.
Not long afterward, on May 31, , he resigned. DeLorean went on to write a scathing tell-all book with J. He was acquitted of all charges in , but ongoing legal problems haunted him until his death in March The Pontiac Firebird, along with its Camaro brother, received a deft redesign for , work on which actually began in the fall of , before the first-generation even went on sale. The dramatic new look would soldier on through with a number of facelifts.
As with many of its pony car rivals, the Firebird suffered a serious sales slump in the early seventies, but rebounded once the fallout of the OPEC oil embargo had subsided.
Even so, it never sold as well as the Camaro and even its fans were all too aware that the Firebird was really just a slightly plusher, slightly swoopier, more expensive Camaro. After 35 years, the demand for both had faded to a trickle, eroded by sky-high insurance rates, the growing popularity of trucks, and a certain crudity of image that the F-bodies could never really shake.
The Firebird died in along with the last F-body Camaro. Our sources for this article included C. Camaro SS vs.
Firebird HO vs. Barracuda Formula S vs. Mustang Mach 1 vs.
Cougar XR-7 vs. Firebird vs. A coworker once suggested that there was no need for engineers because there was a nifty spreadsheet that could find all the answers. I replied that I created that spreadsheet. Like sample physics problems that have a cruise ship stopping from 65mph in feet, calculation is nothing without understanding. From a certain standpoint, the Mono-Plate springs made sense. So, it made that much sense. Applying it to the F-body? Not so much. Funny you mentioned the taillight design of the models.
F-body sales started warming up during the model year. Yes, there was a fuel crisis, but there were quite a few young adults who wanted the smaller sporty cars. But also, the word got out that the 6. Would be a good article detailing its success, after other performance cars had died already. I think the Firebird and Camaro really benefited from being last man standing in the pony car class.
In the Monte Carlo article, I talked a little about the range of choices available to buyers in that period. For some strange reason the GTO owners always had the idea there engines were better, especially when it came to RamAirs. Put the in the bird and enjoy dude!
Keep the original drivetrane stored, so if you ever sell the Formula for any reason you can enjoy the big bucks a stock and original 70 Formula demands and still have a modified to play with in something else! This way its a win, win situation All the best! Knowing Pontiac back then with all the suprises its possible some where in Firebirds but I know for a fact that it is indeed a GTO engine.
I will see what I can find. I don't know if it came out of a GTO or a Firebird, and I am not saying that it came out of a Firebird, nor do I really care what it came out of, what I am trying to do is correct the misinformation that the Pontiac didn't have a YC code engine in Posted 07 March - AM Nope it was infact a block available in After that it was a block available in the in and But in it was then an engine code for a and in used as a code for the What I am saying is there was a with engine code YC offered in the Firebird.
Only if I said there were no 's in , something I did not say. Posted 07 March - AM Again, according to both the books I posted on the topic, it shows it as being available in the Firebird. Both of these books are independent of each other, and both produced in different years. Posted 07 March - AM ok it was available in its hp form in a Trans Am but not before that. Hopefully he will be able to shed more light on this topic or at least provide some references.
I can see why you thought I said that. One thing is for sure, we will get to the bottom of this. Posted 07 March - AM No problem, and actually is making for some interesting investigating. I also found out that before the the YC code was also used on the I never knew that!
Back to Second Generation Pontiac Firebird - Change Theme IP. Board IP. Board Pre 3. Need an account? The aerodynamic developments extended to the finned aluminum wheels with smooth hubcaps and a functional rear spoiler. T on the TV show Knight Rider. In a few episodes, a Firebird was K. R as well.
However, any buyer ordering this option could only order the cu in 5. The Notchback was a special fiberglass rear deck lid, replacing the long-sloped window with a short vertical rear window, resembling the back of a Ferrari GTO. Trans Am GTA owners with the Notchback installed attracted a lot of attention and had nicknamed them the "Ferrari Back", due to all the attention they got from passersby asking if this was a new Ferrari model. Approximately of these Notchbacks were built in and offered for sale by Pontiac, which is why many Firebird owners were unaware of its existence.
Also, this Pontiac documentation for this option was a slick sheet in the back of a notebook of available options, that unless a buyer asked to see it, and flipped through every option, they would never have known of this option, as it was not pushed by Pontiac salespeople, many of whom were unaware of it.
The head-turning Notchbacks were made by Auto-Fab, Inc. However, original problems with incorrect fitting of the Notchbacks to the GTAs at the Van Nuys plant often resulted in delays of several months for buyers who wanted this option. Pontiac had to repair them under warranty, sanding down the imperfections, and repainting them, only to have more flaws resurface months later. Due to poor quality and numerous expensive warranty repairs and repainting, it was subsequently canceled on the 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am, although a small handful of them were still produced. The fourth-generation Firebird amplified the aerodynamic styling initiated by the previous generation.
While the live rear axle and floorpan aft of the front seats remained largely the same, ninety percent of the Firebird's parts were all-new. Standard manual transmissions were the T5 five-speed manual for the V6s, Borg-Warner's T56 six-speed manual for the V8s. The 4L60 four-speed automatic was optional for both in , becoming the 4L60E with built-in electronic controls in Beginning mid-year onward, a Series II 3.