Coming from an experimental design of the all new F-body, General Motor Division used the "Firebird" name for their model introduced for the public in January of 1967. The car used similar sheet metal and chassis from the Camaro and only a few changes were made on the front and rear of the vehicle. The Firebird was offered in a coupe and a convertible form.
There were so many different engine options to choose from during its first years of production by as time went by, the manufacturer then settled and used a corporate GM engine for their model lineup. Performance level of the Firebird was really good up until the late 70's where the emissions standards affected and decreased its horsepower.
The next generation of the Firebird shared the looks of the second generation Camaro, but having its own fenders and wheel well shapes. The most distinctive Firebird design element was the "Endura" nose which completely surrounded the split grille and headlamps producing a lesser bumper appearance. It is best described as a muscle car with that styling look as if it was taken from Italy.
This generation of Firebird was divided with a base, luxury oriented Esprit, the intimidating Trans AM and the muscle minded Formula 400. The one that really starred during this generation is the Trans AM, with its rear-breathing shaker hood scoop; front fender vents, deep front spoilers and full-width rear spoiler, and was available in either a Polar White color with blue stripes or the Lucerne Blue with white stripes.
Because of the emission standards, Pontiac offered its largest version of the V8, with a 455 cubic-incher rated at 335 horsepower offered in the Trans Am and 350 horsepower for the Formula. Still this did not make up with what was lost because of the new standards, so Pontiac continued to develop and make new designs.
During the third generation, Firebird appeared in many ways more like the Camaro before. Firebird then too ended using Pontiac's own engine and stuck up with GM Chevrolet's classic small-block and was noted to share its V6 to the Camaro. Although the drivetrain were unappealing the new Firebirds were commended for their solid handling, good looks and became popular because of it being used as the Knight Rider's talking car starring David Hasselhoff. So all in all, this was the start of another bloom for the Firebird.
With the additional new models like the convertible, the Firebird didn't change much during the fourth generation until its last production in 2002. Some says the Firebirds are not given the right appreciation but still, it remains in the hearts of America's motorheads. Keep your Firebird's going, maintain and care for it by providing it with high quality Pontiac Firebird parts that is available almost everywhere.
Simple Tips to Keep Your Pontiac Firebird Looking Good as New
In its more than three decades of stay in the industry, the Pontiac Firebird has slowly but surely carved an indelible place in the hearts of the American motorheads. No wonder, it becomes the only pony car that has made it to the 21st century. If you're among the lucky ones who still have such ride in your garage, you should do whatever it takes to keep your Firebird looking great and always ready to impress. Is there a better way to do that than to maintain its like-new finish and luster? Here are some tips on how you can pull that off:
- Keep it out of direct sunlight.
Much like your skin, your Firebird's paint is also vulnerable to the damaging UV rays. So as much as possible, keep it under a covered garage. When you're taking it out for a show or a short drive, try to find a shaded spot or, at the very least, minimize its exposure to the UV rays as they are powerful enough to cause premature fading and oxidation of your car's paint. Besides the automotive paint and finish, you are also giving your headlights and the vehicle's rubberized trim a big favor by not leaving your Firebird to bake under the sun.
- Invest in a high-quality car cover.
Even if you have a covered garage, it still pays to shell out bucks for a high-quality indoor car cover. This type of cover is made of breathable fabric to keep moisture from getting trapped and causing damage on any car part. Providing your ride with a cover even when it's parked on a roofed garage is actually giving it an additional layer of protection against fingertips, pet claws, or anything that can leave scratches and permanent marks when rubbed on the paint.
- Use only the right cleaning products and tools.
The best way to keep your car's exterior in tiptop shape is to wash and shampoo it regularly. You can use commercial power washes every few months, but make sure that you or the one doing the power wash will keep a safe distance between the car's surface and the pressure jet, or else, you'll end up damaging its paint rather than maintaining it.
If you're doing the car wash by yourself, be mindful of the cleaning products and tools you'll use. It is wise to go for pH balanced, non-detergent formulas that won't strip off your car wax. It also pays to use only cotton or microfiber wash mitt that's friendly on your Firebird's finish.
- Steer clear of detailing products with abrasive agents.
When it comes to car detailing, it is a good idea to consult your manual first for the kind of paint used in your ride, and go for the wax, polish, and conditioner that suit such paint type. Again, stay away from detailing products that contain abrasive agents as they will just strip off your car's original luster. And even if you've got a non-abrasive conditioner, make sure to apply sparingly. Sticking to the instructions that usually come with the product will help you achieve best results.
You can also use detailing clay, but make sure that you clean your car with paint cleaner first before application. Use the right applicator pad or a soft terry towel so as not to scratch the vehicle's surface.
Pontiac Firebird: A Hollywood Car Forever Remembered
Once a car model is seen on screen, there is no stopping its ascent to stardom. The Pontiac Firebird, which debuted in 1967, became a Hollywood sensation after ten years when it sported a black and gold appearance in the movie Smokey and the Bandit. With its design closely similar to the Chevrolet Camaro, another General Motors model, the Firebird became a successful pony, muscle car that survived through four generations.
1967 – 1969: The sexy body style of a sporty vehicle
With a characteristic Coke-bottle styling, the first releases of the Firebird were available as two-door hardtop and two-door convertible versions. The units had bumpers integrated into the design of the front end, and side marker lights became standard to meet federal guidelines. Two engine choices were available: one was a 3.6 LG with 220-horsepower, and the other was a 6.6 V8 with 340-horsepower. The units had a three- or four-speed manual transmission or a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Aside from the Astro Ventilation for the windows, another feature added through the first generation was staggered rear shocks and multi-leaf rear springs. In 1969, the introduction of the Trans Am models made powerful, track-worthy, sophisticated-looking Firebirds; these models had a deck spoiler, a dual intake scoop hood, large tires, big anti-sway bars, fender vents, and a Ram Air III engine.
1970 – 1981: The bumperless look
The styling of the second-generation Firebirds was swoopier in a way that there was a large C-pillar and the lip of the trunk lid almost touching the top of the rear window line. The units looked bumperless with their single headlights and a split grille surrounded by a plastic nose. There were four engine versions available with displacements ranging between 4.1 and 7.5 liters and horsepower between 112 and 340. In 1971, when emission control regulations became stricter, the power of the units was reduced, but Pontiac still managed to create a large V8 that could produce 335-horsepower for the Trans Am models and 350-horsepower for the Formula. Despite this and other changes through the generation, sales of the Firebird started to drop.
1982 – 1992: The aerodynamic Firebird
Still considering fuel economy, the models in this generation came out with a four-cylinder engine with a 34-mile-per-gallon capacity. Also, the models became more aerodynamic with the steeper windshield slope, the wind-tunnel design of the F-body, the finned aluminum wheels with smooth hubcaps, and the rear spoiler. The main styling alteration on the outside was the pair of concealed pop-up headlights; on the inside, a new steering wheel and radios were installed.
1993 – 2002: The improved handling of the Firebird
The changes in the fourth-generation models started with the use of short/long-arm front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, but the engine bay received most of the upgrades with two available engine choices. There was a 3.4-liter V6 with a 160-horsepower output, and there was one with a 5.7-liter V8 that produced 275-horsepower. A new feature was a skip shift on the six-speed manual gearbox that would help save fuel by upshifting from first to fourth gear. Some of the added features and changes were a traction control, a Monsoon audio system, less forceful airbags, and a white leather interior.