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Thread: Pontiac Firebird (3rd gen) 1982-1992

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    Pontiac Firebird (3rd gen) 1982-1992

    The Pontiac Firebird was an American automobile built by Pontiac from the 1967 to 2002 model years. Designed as a pony car to compete with the Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar, it was introduced on February 23, 1967, simultaneous with GM's Chevrolet division platform-sharing Camaro. This also coincided with the release of the 1967 Mercury Cougar, Ford's upscale, platform-sharing version of the Mustang.

    The name "Firebird" was also previously used by GM for the General Motors Firebird 1950s and early 1960s concept cars.

    Third generation (1982–1992)
    The availability and cost of gasoline (two fuel crises had occurred by this time) meant the weight and the fuel consumption of the 3rd generation had to be considered in the design. In F-body development, both the third generation Firebird and Camaro were proposed as possible front wheel drive platforms, but the idea was scrapped. Computerized engine management was in its infancy, and with fuel efficiency being the primary objective, it was not possible to have high horsepower and torque numbers. They did manage to cut enough weight from the design so that acceleration performance would be better than the 1981 models. They also succeeded in the fuel consumption department, offering a four-cylinder Firebird that would provide 34 miles per gallon. GM executives decided that engineering effort would best be spent on aerodynamics and chassis development. They created a modern platform, so that when engine technology advanced, they would have a well-balanced package with acceleration, braking, handling, and aerodynamics. For the time being, they would have world class aerodynamics and handling, and excellent fuel economy.

    The Firebird and Camaro were completely redesigned for the 1982 model year, with the windshield slope set at 62 degrees, (about three degrees steeper than anything GM had ever tried before), and for the first time, a large, glass-dominated hatchback that required no metal structure to support it. Two concealed pop-up headlights, a first on the F-Body cars, were the primary characteristic that distinguished the third generation Firebird from both its Camaro sibling and its prior form (a styling characteristic carried into the fourth generation's design). In addition to being about 500 pounds (230 kg) lighter than the previous design, the new design was the most aerodynamic product GM had ever released. Wind tunnels were used to form the new F-Body platform's shape, and Pontiac took full advantage of it. The aerodynamic developments extended to the finned aluminum wheels with smooth hubcaps and a functional rear spoiler.

    Models
    - Firebird Base
    - Firebird S/E (1982–1987)
    - Firebird Formula (1987–1992)
    - Firebird Trans Am

    Styles
    - Firebird Base (I4/V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1982–85)
    - Firebird Base (V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1986–92)
    - Firebird ASC Convertible (V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1986–89)
    - Firebird Convertible (V6/V8)-Series 2FS (1991–92)
    - Firebird Special Edition (S/E) (I4/V6/V8)-Series 2FX (1982–85)
    - Firebird Special Edition (S/E) (V6/V8)-Series 2FX (1986)
    - Firebird Formula (V8)-Series 2FS/W66 (1987–92)
    - Firebird Formula ASC Convertible (V8)-Series 2FS/W66 (1987–89)
    - Firebird Trans Am-Series 2FW/WS4 (V8) (1982–92)
    - Firebird Trans Am ASC Convertible (V8)-Series 2FW/WS4 (1986–89)
    - Firebird Trans Am Convertible (V8) 2FW/WS4 (1991–92)
    - Firebird Recaro Trans Am (V8)-Series 2FW/Y84 (1982–84)
    - Firebird Trans Am GTA (V8)-Series 2FW/Y84 (1987–92)
    - Firebird Trans Am GTA Convertible (V8)-Series 2FW/Y84 (1987–89)
    - Firebird 25th Anniversary Daytona 500 Limited Edition Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW/WS4 (1983)
    - Firebird 15th Anniversary Trans Am-(V8)-Series 2FW/WS4 (1984)
    - Firebird 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am-(V6 Turbo)-Series 5FW/WS4 (1989)

    1988
    In 1988 the Trans Am GTA, which was built with the standard 350 cu in 5.7 L V8 engine, was offered with the option of removable roof "T-Tops". However, any buyer ordering this option could only order the 305 cu in 5.0 L V8 engine, because the roof would not have the support for all the extra torque from the engine, requiring a power trade-off for those who wanted this option. Pontiac also introduced a rare option for the Trans Am GTA in the 1988 model year. This notable option on the 1988 Trans Am GTA was the $800 "Notchback", which replaced the standard long large, glass-dominated hatchback to make the Firebird design look less like the Camaro design. The Notchback was a special fiberglass rear deck lid, replacing the long-sloped window with a short vertical rear window, resembling the back of a Ferrari 288 GTO.

    Approximately 700 of these Notchbacks were built in 1988 and offered for sale by Pontiac. Promotion was only in the form of a sheet in the back of a notebook of available options. The Notchbacks were made by Auto-Fab of Auburn Hills, MI. Problems with incorrect fitting of the Notchbacks to the GTAs at the Van Nuys plant often resulted in delays of several months for buyers who wanted this option. Furthermore, quality control problems plagued the Notchback, many owners complained of rippling and deforming of the fiberglass rear deck, and others complained of large defects resembling acne forming in the Notchbacks. Pontiac had to repair them under warranty, sanding down the imperfections, and repainting them, only to have more flaws resurface months later. Due to poor quality and numerous expensive warranty repairs and repainting, it was subsequently canceled on the 1989 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am, although a handful of them were still produced.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 03-20-2020 at 04:55 PM.

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    Pontiac Firebird (3rd gen) #2
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    Tran Am's Rule

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