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History Of The Pontiac Firebird

1982 - 1992 - Legends In The Mist

   The third-generation Firebird was introduced in January 1982. Though it appeared substantially different from its predecessor, both it and the Camaro remained loyal to their original mission as low, sleek, rear-drive sport coupes. At one time, a front-wheel drive version had been considered but in the end tradition won out. “There were those who wanted front-wheel drive,” said Camaro Chief Engineer Tom Zimmer, “and those for rear-wheel drive. In the end, Pontiac sold rear-wheel drive to the corporation. The decision was more on the basis of building upon existing Camaro/Firebird tradition than anything else; we could have done a very fine-handling front-drive car. But we decided the original type of car still had plenty of market potential."

1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am


   The 1982 year model saw the most radical changes of any year before. The third generation Trans Am's were born and the were a completely new design from models past. Gone were stationary headlights; replaced by the popular "flip-up" or "pop-up" headlights that were still in use on the final 2002 Trans Am models.


   The third generations initiated as early as 1975, the program was interrupted by more pressing projects, such as the new J-body subcompacts (Pontiac Sunbird and Chevrolet Cavalier). However the program returned to the front burner in 1978, where stylists were given a mission to maintain cockpit dimensions while reducing the size of the exterior. This resulted in a 10-in. reduction in length and 2 inches in width. Although the Camaro and Firebird had as much as 65 percent of their parts compatible, they still reflected their individual divisional heritages. A notable benefit of the Firebird's new styling was a tremendous increase in aerodynamic efficiency: 


 1984 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am


 CONTINUE READING - 1982 - 1992 Legends In The Mist - Part Two  


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

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