V6FBody Online's - F-Body History


History Of The Pontiac Firebird

1998 / 2002 - The Final Redesign

   In 1998 the Firebird got a new sleeker front end and a more powerful engine, again borrowed from corvette. The LS1 V-8 350, pushing 305 bhp and 320 bhp with the option WS6 Ram Air package, as a result, sales where up 27 percent. Besides the engine and front end, GM has made other changes to the Firebird for 1998 including new wheels, standard leather seats, standard four-wheel disc brakes with bigger rotors and the addition of all-speed traction control. 


   In 1999 the special editions continue with the 30th Anniversary Trans Am. The car is covered in bright white paint and accented by dark blue racing stripes that taper off at the ends of the RAM AIR intake (resurrected from the first Trans Am in 1969), more striking are the powder-blue 17-inch aluminum wheels with 30th Anniversary center caps. Special headrest and door panel insignias, embroidered floor mats and a numbered ID plate complete the package and identify Firebirds as one of only 1,000 30th Anniversary T-top models built and 500 convertible versions.


   Sad to say, however, but this better looking, faster and better selling sports car has stopped rolling off the assembly line. The same is true for its sibling, the Chevy Camaro.  The bottom line is that while the pony-car war between Ford's Mustang and General Motors Camaro and Firebird has been waged for 30 years; horsepower, design and price have been the weapons in this derby. Customers have moved away from all three cars. On to more environmental and Earth destroying SUV's and other sub-compact vehicles.


   But Trans Am owners couldn't care less. They like its speed, its snarl and its slightly evil persona. Its buyers are dedicated to American heavy metal. Pontiac didn't leave its dedicated owners in vein, in 2002 it released a special edition T/A. Less than 2000 of these were made and all 2002 35th Anniversary Collector Editions come in Yellow only with Screaming Chicken graphics, 5.7 liter LS-1 325 Horsepower engine, Ram Air, All leather interior, a 500 watt Monsoon stereo system w/10 speakers, 12 disk CD changer, 4 speed automatic transmission, traction control, P275/40ZR 17" Goodyear Eagle F1 Tries, and 17"x 9" five spoke, black, collectors edition wheels. Long live the Firebird, the Trans-Am, and the F-Body Platform... In our hearts, minds, and souls.  


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

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