Take a look at this all American classic sports car; a black and gold 1986 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am powered by a 9.5:1 compression ratio, high output (205hp) LB9 5.0 liter (305cid) TPI Tuned Port Injected small block V8 backed by the (mandatory for that model year) MX0 700R4 four speed automatic overdrive transmission.  She's factory equipped with the legendary WS6 special performance option package which includes power assisted four wheel disc brakes (10.5 inches in diameter on all four corners), 36mm front sway bar, 24mm rear sway bar, special performance rated shocks and struts, specific coil springs, 12.7:1 quick ratio power steering and the super heavy duty (stronger than even the Dana 44) Australian-built 9 bolt Borg Warner limited slip differential  with 3.27 high speed / performance gears. 

The TA also sports the comparatively rare, extra cost B20 Recaro adjustable sport bucket seat optioned tan cloth interior (in its last year of being offered by the factory), top of the line UT4 ETR radio with UQ7 factory subwoofer system, power antenna and removable T-tops.  Follow along in the adventure of finding, buying, owning, and restoring back to full factory stock this particular Pontiac Firebird Trans Am ... a classic all-American grand touring sport coupe from way back in my teenage / high school years (aka "the '80's").

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"... the TA's handling is about as close as most people would want to get to an honest-to-God racing platform.  ... The TA's chassis is extremely stiff, and its front and rear roll characteristics are well balanced and tuned to each other.  With near-neutral handling characteristics at the limit of adhesion, and just a trace of understeer that easily transfers into controllable oversteer, the TA ... is a blast to hustle through corners.  It makes good drivers better drivers, and instantly transfers a feeling of confidence to the novice.  It is a car whose handling and acceleration are guaranteed to transform a bored rush-hour commuter into a wide-eyed and grinning enthusiast.  This is a fun car."

- John Hanson, Motor Trend, April 1986.
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"Lean.  Mean.  And outrageously beautiful.  Trans Am for 1986 is raw power, sleek aerodynamics and crisp handling. 
And it's ready to prove its performance title ... whenever you are."
 

-1986 Pontiac dealer brochure
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                STORY

 

 

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"The shape is lean, low, and aerodynamic.  Designed for performance.  Ready to set pulses racing on a hot Saturday night.
It's Firebird Trans Am.  And it's one of the most serious machines to ever put four tires to pavement."

- Pontiac Trans Am advertisement, 1985
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                PROGRESS
 

 

 

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"Acclaimed as one of the most visually stunning cars ever built, the Trans Am's styling will no doubt remain timeless.  
... If you think '57 Chevys still look good, you'll love the Trans Am - even 20 years from now."

- John Baechtel, "Different Strokes" comparison test
HOT ROD MAGAZINE, August 1986

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                MULTIMEDIA
 

PONTIAC COMMERCIAL #1                    PONTIAC COMMERCIAL #2
 

 

 

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"  ... these cars have enough performance to set your pulse racing.  The engines fire with a lusty, soul-stirring burble.  You push the throttle and blast away with a smack in the back that only big-torque V-8s like these provide.  You need to watch it if the road is damp or icy; these tails wag fast and furiously.  The little GM V-8s respond powerfully from low revs, they run cleanly through the midrange, and they will thrust on satisfyingly to the 5500 rpm redline.  On the road, opening them up from around 3500 rpm in second or third when you're hitting the apex of a good bend is just plain glorious.  You fairly pelt out, perhaps with the tail just starting to edge into oversteer.  This is classic muscle-car motoring, and these cars do it well." 

-Mel Nichols, "Family Feud", Automobile magazine, May 1987

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"It doesn't take long to realize the Trans Am is simply the better car ... and nowhere is this fact more apparent than in the drivetrain.  Alright, agreed, it's old-fashioned V8 power driving rear wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission.  No future-think, leading edge of technology here.  No eye to the future.  And no apologies, because the setup simply works great.  The 5-liter engine - rated at 205 hp - carries GM's latest sequential port fuel injection system.  Although the FI engine is only available with the 4-speed automatic, it's definitely worth trading off the 5-speed manual for the performance offered by this induction system (the 5-speed can be had only with the carbureted V8).  With eight cylinders ... the 5-liter engine delivers big-time torque through a hair-trigger, snapping your neck from a standing start with a quick, smooth, predictable transition from the bottom of the powerband to the top.  ... the TA drivetrain was a gem. Confident, sure, strong and more race car-like." 

- John Hanson, Motor Trend, April 1986.
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Gone but never forgotten ...



FIREBIRD
1967 to 2002
RIP

TRANS AM
1969 to 2002
RIP


1926 to 2009
RIP

 

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"If you want horsepower overload... Ooh, if you like kicks just take her to the floor and you’re red lined and shifting gears, hear the engine roar of my Trans Am..."
- Sammy Hagar, "Trans Am" STREET MACHINE album 

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