Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pontiac Firebird, 1967

Pontiac Firebird, 1967

The first-generation Firebirds had a characteristic "coke-bottle" styling. Unlike the Camaro, its bumpers were integrated into the design of the front end and its rear "slit" taillights were inspired by the Pontiac GTO. Both a two-door hardtop and a convertible were offered through the 1970 model year (the next generation, dropping the convertible, being announced as 1970 1/2 models).

The base model had a 230 in³ (3.8 L) OHC six-cylinder, single-barrel carburetor motor developing 165 hp (123 kW). The next model, the Sprint, had a four-barrel carburetor, developing 215 hp (160 kW). Most buyers opted for the V8s: the 326 in³ (5.3 L) two-barrel 250 hp (186 kW, the 'H.O.' (High Output) engine of the same size but with a four-barrel carburetor 285 hp (213 kW), or the 400 in³ (6.6 L) from the GTO 325 hp (242 kW). A Ram Air option was available, with functional hood scoops, higher flow heads with stronger valve springs and a different camshaft.
Power for the Ram/Air package was the same as the conventional 400HO, but peaked at a higher RPM. The 230 in³ (3.8 L) engines were replaced by 250 in³ (4.1 L) ones, developing 175 hp (130 kW) single barrel, and 215 hp (160 kW) four-barrel. An H.O. version of the 400 in³ (6.6 L) was offered from 1968, with a revised cam, and developed 330 hp (246 kW), while power output on the other engines increased marginally. In 1969, a $725 optional handling package called the Trans Am Performance and Appearance Package was introduced, named after the Trans-Am Series. As the name was used without permission, the SCCA threatened to sue, but GM settled the deal by paying $5 to the SCCA for every car sold. Of these first Trans Ams, 689 hardtops and eight convertibles were made. There was an additional Ram Air IV engine option for the 400 in³ that year to complement the Ram Air II; these generated 345 and 335 hp respectively.

Despite the 1969 model year being the last of this generation, production in fact went into 1970, totalling 17 months, due to problems with the 1970s.

The first-generation Firebird could easily be told from the Camaro with its four round headlamps, while the Camaro got only two.


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