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History Of The Pontiac Firebird

1974 - What Oil Embargo?

   As the 1974 lineup was rolling into showrooms with a revised front fascia, the Arab oil embargo hit, changing forever the way Americans would think about high performance and gasoline consumption. Although the days of the upper level performance engines were numbered, (the SD 455 was discontinued after 1974, the HO 455 a year later) the oil crisis years would be very kind to the Firebird, with sales exploding in the late Seventies. Why? One reason was the Trans Am, which had gradually evolved from an elite model to a mainstream offering; in 1976, for example, Trans Am production topped 46,000 units - nearly double the amount produced the year before. "It's the young singles buying their first new cars who can afford the higher prices of a Trans Am," Pontiac General Sales ManaLer Jim Vorhes explained to the Detroit Free Press in 1976.


1974 would also see the first "Special Edition" Trans Am, painted in a black-and-gold paint scheme that quickly become as much a part of Trans Am legend as the original white-and-blue combination. Honoring Pontiac's 50th anniversary, the Special Edition models were all to get Hurst-built removable T-tops, but installation problems ultimately limited T-Top production to just 643 cars, with 1947 built with normal roofs.


 CONTINUE READING - 1975 - 1980 Living The Dream  


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

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