Q: Building Replica 1969 Trans Am
I’m building a replica 1969 Trans Am from my 1969 Firebird. I have many pictures and books to go from, but still have a few details I’m uncertain on:
1. On the front fender, is there a Firebird emblem or just the Trans Am sticker (I’ve seen them both ways)?
2. What is behind the fender air extractors? A hole or the same grills on a 1969 Firebird?
3. Is there a Pontiac arrow on the front bumper?
4. Are the Ram Air stickers on the hood black or blue (for white car with blue stripes)?
There should not be a Firebird emblem there. I have seen this in some GM promo pictures, but in actual production, there were no emblems. (This is a good way to tell a clone.) The T/A fenders are the only fenders that have no holes.
This part is the same as a firebird fender, but the ‘grills’ are not there.
The arrow on the frt bumper signifies a 400 engine.
The Ram -Air stickers were only on the RA-IV engines and I believe they were red, but I’m not sure about that. My T/A is a RA-III and has no stickers on the hood.
A: I disagree with a couple of the above comments:
I would agree here, that pilot cars and pre-productions that made the factory photos seemed to have Firebird nameplates plus the Trans Am decals.
The Trans Am fenders actually have 2 holes in each that are about the same size and in the same place as the grooved emblems on a regular Firebird. The air extractors actually do work, but they don’t pass much air. The reason was to relieve underhood pressure that caused lift in the front of the car at high speeds, not to cool the engine.
Trans Ams did NOT get the chrome surrounds in the grilles that the 400 Sport option Firebirds did, but they DID get the arrowhead emblem. Instead the grilles were blacked out, but the snorkel part of the grille was silver.
I’m not sure here, but I mentioned a couple weeks ago that when these cars were still on the road, I don’t ever remember seeing those decals. You’re probably correct.
Other points to consider:
Interiors? Black, Parchment and Blue were most common in either standard or Custom. A couple of Gold standard and a couple of Green standard were built, and one with Red Custom. There were NO 1969 TA’s with the Gold Leather.
Stripes on top of the spoiler or not? Most were not, but a few TA owners insist some were. All had the spoiler pedestals painted blue.
Steering wheel? Very late cars had the 70 style Formula wheel, but with a 69-specific emblem in the horn center. Early cars all seemed to have the wood wheel with the PMD center cap.
Vinyl top? A few actually were built with black or blue. (Yuck!)
Tire style? While most restored TA’s seem to have Good Year Poly Glas with the 3/4″ block letters, I believe most TA’s actually came with the 3/8″ white pinstriped tires. Also, some had wheelcovers including the dog-dish poverty caps, all the way up to the wire wheelcovers.
Gauges? Many TA’s had regular telltales (idiot lights), and many had the regular Rallye Gauge package without a tachometer. Only a small percentage had the in-dash tach and stepped gauges.
One more bit of trivia, although it means nothing for a clone TA. There were 20 1969 Trans Ams built in Van Nuys. The TA I used to own was a California car. Prior to that most TA enthusiasts believed that only Norwood built the 69 TA. None were built at Lordstown.
Weird 1969 TA? How about Ram Air IV Automatic column shift with wire wheelcovers and vinyl top?
I have 7 different road tests of 1969 Trans Ams, and two of the cars used were plain silver.
I shopped for a 1969 TA from 1978 until I bought one in 1987, and I passed up at least 3 A/C equipped cars, not knowing then that only 32 were built.
A: I have to disagree with you on “Trans Ams did NOT get the chrome surrounds in the grilles…”. My T/A has the chrome on the grills and the grills are silver. I bought this car is 1973 with 11,000 miles on it, so I doubt that it had been changed, no evidence of an accident, etc. It is a late production since you mentioned the 70 T/A steering wheel, which mine has. (door tag reads 11/69) Perhaps that could explain it? My car does have the in-dash tach and the stepped gauges, which I have only recently discovered how rare they are. It was (and is again) equipped with Goodyear Polyglas tires. No stripes on the spoiler.
A: I guess its all about production variances…never say never. I my self havent seen a 1969 TA with silver grilles. Maybe with this much time passing a previous owner may “remember” an accident that wasnt previously mentioned. this would be one thats very hard to document.
A: Anyhow, the grills used a different part number than std. Firebirds due to the black out treatment and lack of chrome trim. VIN was not unique for the T/A however, the Trim Tag was (code D80 or D080). This denoted the rear spoiler.
(NOTE: not all orig. T/A’s have this code).
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Content last modified: January 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm