ABOVE – Voila! Pontiac starts with a 400-inch top live power choice right off the bat. Engine can be GTO duplicate right down to Ram Air package if you want.
LEFT – And away-y-y we go, Pontiac engineer Trevor Brown and HRM’s Eric Dahlquist, for hot 1/4-mile.
BELOW LEFT – Swoop, dives the Firebird’s sleek hood to Indian hallmark; the divided-grille. 400’s twin scoops can be made functional to vent in cool atmosphere.
BELOW – Gather ’round, racing fans, and just savor the clever engineering that Mr. DeLorean has created in an adjustable traction bar. Big GTO axle will never break.
BELOW RIGHT -And this is the trick of the decade; a seemingly mild-mannered puny circle of rubber that puffs to a mighty 14-incher. Tube holds Freon cylinder.
than the Camaro (probably due, in part, to the Firestones) and also demonstrated a greater tendency to understeer in sharp radiused curves because of the additional engine weight. By contrast, the SOHC six we tried, if on the sluggish side at low end owing to an improperly calibrated Quadrajet carburetor, presented a very well balanced arrangement otherwise. Pontiac is the only American company that has gone out of their way to glamorize the six, and it’s a real shame that others haven’t followed this lead since most modern, light inlines are better-handling crates than the lordly eights.
It’s a funny thing, but when Mercury uncaged their Cougar, the car shared the same basic body with Mustang, but you’d never know it. Pontiac, apparently less prone to shoot-the-works on a big body bill or just less sold on the idea, came
up with a divided grille bumper configuration that some angles betray as an add-on afterthought. The Firebird 400’s beautiful twin-scoop hood really deserves a more sophisticated frontal assault. So does the obviously good suspension engineering.
A trial flight of 50,000 ‘Birds will wing their way to the American highways, and if the demand is phenomenal, this figure will be escalated and possibly a more enterprising variation hurried out next year. It is not anywhere as unique a vehicle as the GTO was, and the marketing boys do not see it eating into their loyal 100,000 buyers. And maybe this is the whole deal: Pontiac wants a car to snipe at the Cougar but not at the GTO’s expense. It’s a status thing for the older guys, you see. Besides, those micro-skirts just go so far. **