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Pontiac Trans Am Firebird

General Motors brought out the Chevrolet Camaro to compete with Ford’s iconic Mustang in 1966. An incredible year because it was the only ever time when England won the world cup, and as a six-year-old I remember how people were vibrantly happy!

Another General Motors division that also launched a competitive car was Pontiac that came up with the Trans-Am series. Pontiac entered the Trans-Am Series in 1967, and a year later introduced the Trans-Am Firebird for public purchase. In 1977 the 2nd generation Firebird was produced. This was a very sexy while potent muscle car.

Muscle cars are known for their powerful engines and a broad, boxy shape. Think classics like the 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, and 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. They stood out with long, boxy hoods to contain larger-than-usual engines.

When it comes to factory horsepower and torque ratings, the most powerful Firebird of all time were 1969 and ‘70 Trans Ams with the Ram Air IV engine option. The 400-cubic-inch V-8 made 345 hp at 5,400 Rpm and 430 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 Rpm. It was a 6.6-liter engine that boasted an impressive top speed.

According to my research, from its powerful 400 cubic inch V8 engine to its sleek exterior design and iconic bird decal on the hood it stood out from the crowd. Its top speed was rated at 128 miles per hour (206 km), making it one of the fastest American muscle cars of its time. Certainly, with the current speed limits its adequate enough to have a good burn and adrenalin pump.

Having such a powerful engine gave it a throaty sound when it was ticking over and pottering around, and then when my ex-girlfriend’s father opened the throttle; an almighty burst of power elevated the whole experience, as we shot along the A3 freeway on the outskirts of London. The four-speed transmission made rugged changes, and a few years later, automatic transmission was offered. The muscle car was hot!

So, there you have it, probably one of the best muscle cars I’ve ever driven and written about. When I was in Miami for a convention in the mid-90s an opportunity arose to hire a black convertible one. I jumped at the unique chance and drove it over 200 miles from Miami to Orlando; returning to São Paulo by jet.

By the way, Pontiac eventually ceased production in 2002. 

Take care!

Prof. Carl Boniface


Vocabulary builder:

Pottering (v) = dawdling, shuffling, toddling, ambling, go slowly, (ant) hurrying

Outskirts (n) borders, suburbs, limits, outer edge, (ant) centers

Rugged (adj) = rocky, rough, craggy, uneven, jagged, sharp, harsh. Bleak, strong-featured, chiseled, (ant) rolling

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