Firebird – Pontiac introduced the third generation Pontiac Firebird in late 1981 along with the 1982 Chevrolet Camaro. They were also the first Firebirds to feature factory fuel injection, a four-speed automatic transmission, a five-speed manual transmission, a four-cylinder engine, 16-inch wheels, and a hatchback body.

The third generation of Firebirds consisted of three models: Firebird, Firebird S/E, and Firebird Trans Am. The Firebird was the base model equivalent of the Camaro Sport Coupe; The Firebird S/E was the luxury version; and the Trans Am, a high-performance version. In 1982, the new Firebird was completely redesigned and the windshield sloped to an aerodynamic 62 degrees.



(3 degrees steeper than anything GM had ever tried), flush-mounted side windows and, for the first time, a large, glass-dominated rear hatch. The electronically controlled folding headlights, rounded hood and taillights are key features that set the Firebird apart from its Camaro siblings and previous Firebird incarnations. The Firebird retained the hidden lights until 2002. Pontiac also hoped to drop the “Trans Am” name from the redesigned cars to save on royalties paid to the SCCA for use of the name. Early promotional cars were marked “T/A” as an option, but it was decided that doing so would be more trouble than it was worth, and the “Trans Am” designation remained. The third generation Firebird was the closest to the original 1967 model due to its smaller size, shorter wheelbase and reduced weight. It won Best Sport GT between $11,000 and $14,000 (also with Camaro). Road & Track called the fuel-injected Trans Am a “significant improvement over its predecessor,” with a 0-60 sprint time of 9.2 seconds.

Pick Of The Day: 1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula

The new Firebird gained a 101-inch wheelbase, was 8 inches shorter in overall length, nearly an inch narrower, and in 1981 weighed almost 500 pounds (227 kg) more than its predecessor. It was also the most aerodynamic production Firebird. has a pull factor of 0.33 so far. The new Trans Am went a little further with a factor of 0.32.

The Trans Am chassis improved aerodynamically over the years, and by 1985 it would have a drag coefficient of 0.29, the most aerodynamic vehicle ever produced by General Motors. Wind tunnels were used to shape the third-generation F-Body, and Pontiac’s design team took full advantage of these aerodynamic developments. The stylish new car had a low front d with a splitting grille. Although they do supply some air to the radiator, most of the air comes from the air dam under the front bumper. All parts of the car are designed to reduce drag. The new design of the wing mirror, made of light metal, was almost conical in shape, with the tip pointing into the wind. The windshield wipers were hidden under the hood along with the air vents. This created a constant flow of air over the windshield. Retractable lights emerge from the front edge of the hood. It was common to drive around Firebirds with a headlight or two stuck during the day as cars beat their plastic headlight door gears and dealers pay hundreds of dollars for repairs. Mounted on turbine-ribbed alloy wheels, the Trans Am featured smooth wheel covers. 0.87 m high, frameless, flush mounted, combined curved rear glass hatchback

It didn’t obstruct the airflow at the rear of the car. All these features combine to provide a low drag coefficient. At the front of the car were d 10.5-inch (270 mm) power disc brakes, now standard on all Firebird models. The new car carried styling from the 1981 model and featured full-width taillights with Firebird badges. The all-new suspension design was more advanced and aggressive than anything Detroit had previously offered, and easily rivaled (but not improved upon) the Corvette’s handling prowess. The front suspension used MacPherson struts with internally mounted coil springs and front lower control arms. At the rear, coil springs and shock absorbers are placed between the body and solid rear axle, with double lower control arm/rear links and torsion bars, replacing the old-style leaf spring design previously used on the 2nd generation Firebird. To further stabilize axle torsion, a huge torsion arm is installed from the rear axle of the gearbox to the center of the rear axle.

The interior now features aircraft-inspired details and gauges that use both fake and real Torx screws to secure the dash and console trim panels. Optional Recaro seats are offered. The 1981 non-Formula 3 spoked steering wheel was reused, with a Firebird logo mounted in the center of the horn pad and additional leather grips. There can be many power options. Special Viscount “PMD” bucket seats were optional, with small headrest openings and the PMD logo in the center of the backrest. Leather seats were available on both standard and Viscount “PMD” seats. Behind the driver was a standard locking rear glove box, and a small spare tire was hidden behind the dashboard opposite the passenger. All Firebirds had rear floor-locking trunk doors and a retractable trunk canopy.

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The Firebird comes standard with 14-inch steel wheels, and several wheel options are available on the base model. 14-inch turbo cast aluminum wheels were standard on S/E and Trans Am models, with smooth plastic caps and Pontiac “Bulletheads.” The WS6 Performance package available on S/E and Trans Am models includes 4-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch aluminum wheels with P215/65R15 Goodyear Eagle GT radials, stiffer springs, and thicker 32mm front and 21mm rear spokes. bars, a 12.7:1 quick-ratio steering box and a limited-slip rear differential. The RPO was the same as the WS6, but there was also a WS7 option that used rear wheel brakes. This option was created due to the lack of rear disc brake components.

The Firebird S/E was an attempt to appeal to buyers interested in Pontiac’s more luxurious character; It may have the fuel-efficient “Iron Duke” I-4 engine, but it offers more options. Ev Trans Am’s WS6 skis were available for S/E. It was distinguished from the base Firebird by the “S/E” lettering on the dash instead of the usual Firebird decals and dark Trans Am taillights. The interior trim was color coded plastic suitable for exterior/interior painting. On S/E models equipped with 14-inch or 15-inch “Turbocast” wheels, the “Bowling Ball” covers are color-matched to the car’s exterior paint.

The Trans Am came standard with a new look for its traditional “blowers” in the fenders. A darker version of the Firebird’s taillights is mounted at the rear of the car, with a silver or gold “Fix” between them. Rubber “Mini-Spats” (rock deflectors) are mounted just in front of the front and rear wheels, slightly reduced from the ’70s design used on the previous second-generation Trans Am. Following the previous ’80/’81 Turbo Trans Am, the Trans Am now had an optional free-form “Turbo Bulge” hood available. It was originally planned to use an upgraded version of Pontiac’s Turbo 4.9L engine. It was scrapped at the last minute, leaving many to wonder what would have happened if it had been allowed to survive like the turbocharged Buick Turbo 3.8L V6. However, the Turbo Bulge hood remains on the options list; On the Crossfire V-8, it became functional, and a lightweight aluminum version of the “RPO T45” Hood was on the accessories list. It was a curved section of pressed steel that was used as the main part of the Formula version in later years. The new, smaller “Phoix” was placed on top of the Turbo Bulge hood or on the nose of the flat hood. The Trans Am came standard with one of two 305 Chevy V8s. A worn-out Borg-Warner 4-speed manual was mated only to the 145-hp LG4 305ci engine, while the 165-hp Crossfire LU5 305ci came with the TH-200c’s 3-speed automatic.


A new version of the Trans Am Pontiac “RPO Y84” Black and Gold Trans Am S/E made famous by Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason in the 1977 movie “Smoke and the Bandit” continued until 1982 as a limited edition “Recaro T/”. . A”. Package adds about 25 percent to the price of the Trans Am. Some of the standard features with a variety of options include carbon fiber Parella cloth Recaro seats, a t-top, a black exterior with gold trim, and a black “Bowling Ball” hood. .mounted on 15-inch gold-painted aluminum wheels with special gold Pontiac Arrowhead badges.

Pontiac Firebird Formula Is Junkyard Treasure

Another special Trans Am also returns: the Daytona 500 Pace Car

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