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History Of The Pontiac Firebird

1969 - The Best Yet

    Back when form had as much to do with sales as it did with function, automakers could afford quick restyling, and the Firebird was no exception. Even as the first Firebird was hitting the streets, work began on a facelift for 1969. The goal was to create more of a family look with a smaller but more pronounced grille flanked by body-color surrounds for the headlights. The rear fender was shared with Chevrolet  but the front fenders were now Pontiac's to shape, and the stylists added sets of horizontal gills above and below the beltline just ahead of the rear wheel housing.

 

   More important, though, was the birth of a Firebird that would quickly become legend: The Trans Am. A product of Pontiacís Skunkworks under the aegis of engineer Herb Adams, the Trans Amís character was defined with its own twin-nostril hood that channeled oxygen to a 400 cu-in. V-8 rated at 335 horsepower. The optional Ram Air engine, in its fourth iteration, was rated just slightly higher, but everyone knew that a small "adjustment" to the throttle linkage could make it go further still. Introduced late in February 1969, just 697 Ram Air IV models were produced for the model year, of which eight were convertibles, placing both among the most sought-after Trans Amís today. 

 

    The Trans Am was first introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in March of 1969. Because of this the model is actually a 1969Ĺ. All new 69 TAs received the same paint scheme seen here. White with a pair of blue stripes the ran the length of the car. Interestingly there were two kinds of stripes applied to these cars and the difference was seen on the rear of the car. Some came equipped with stripes that ran only beneath the spoiler on the trunk lid but some also came with stripes installed over the top of the spoiler as well.

 

 CONTINUE READING - 1970 - 1972 Redefining The Pony Car 

  

Photo's Courtesy: The Premier Firebird Trans-Am Gallery.

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