The 70s were a roaring decade for muscle cars, with Pontiac, Chevrolet, and Ford releasing new beasts onto the tracks and highways. The introduction of the Ford Mustang and the Mercury Cougar kicked off the new competition for General Motors. They produced the first generation of F-body cars, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird, to re-establish their place in the 60s market.
The 1967 Firebird was intended to be a pony car and GM’s direct response to the Mustang. A couple of years after the vintage car’s debut, Pontiac announced a brand-new optional performance and appearance package dubbed Trans Am. 698 units of the first Trans Am were produced, making it a rarity that remotely resembles the power that future Trans Am models introduce.
1970 marked the start of the second generation of Firebirds and the production of the first true Trans Am. These classic cars were top-of-the-line for the F-body style at the time. 50 years later, they are still a sight to behold and a force to be reckoned with. Here’s why you shouldn’t think twice about owning one.
Pontiac Trans Am 455 H.O. V8 Engine Roars With Power
A Pontiac-exclusive beastly engine can be found under the hood of a 1970 Trans Am. The first 1970 Trans Ams packed a vigorous punch with its Ram Air 400-cid V-8, carried over from the 1969 model. Coupes produced further down the decade were fitted with more potent engines that produced varying amounts of horsepower.
The most powerful Trans Am of the era, the 1976 Pontiac Trans Am had an L75 7.5L 455 V8 engine capable of producing up to 360 hp and 500 lb-ft (678 N⋅m) of torque. Later muscle cars of the same generation suffered from a decline in engine size and output due to tightening emission restrictions.
The numerous engine power variations within the same generation of Trans Ams allow gearheads to match their muscle. Whether you’re cruising down the road or burning up the track, the well-endowed Trans Am will give you a 70s thrill ride you’ll never forget.
70s Trans Am Is Among The Best Handling Classic Muscle Cars
The 70s were popular for muscle cars that were handling nightmares. Most classic cars could only demonstrate speed when driving down a straight line. Pontiac’s high-performing coupes changed that. They performed admirably when turning corners, unrestricted by the large engine.
The 1976 Trans Am built an entire reputation around its ability to leave competitors in the dust when taking a curve. As Track and Road put it, the American muscle car’s handling was in the ‘same league as the Ferrari Dino 308 GT’.
The Trans Am’s unsurpassed handling is owed to its stabilizer bars and suspensions. Reportedly, they were tuned to be extra responsive while still maintaining a smooth and comfortable ride. The geniuses behind the car’s engineering have carefully selected the perfect front and rear spring deflection rates based on the model.
Pontiac engineers of the 70s made sure that drivers got more than what they asked for. The turning capabilities of the vehicle effectively bring it into the 21st century, leaving it on par with modern muscle cars.
70s Pontiac Trans Am’s Mean Appearance Raises Eyebrows
The 70s Pontiac Firebirds are widely dubbed by automotive historians as ‘the best designs in GM’s history’. Staring at a second-generation Trans Am from any angle will easily convince you that they aren’t mistaken. The Trans Ams of the early 70s were less-decorated and more performance-oriented. A handful of details that defined the Trans Am included front and rear spoilers, air outlets for engine bay cooling, and Rally II wheels.
Pontiac redesigned the nose to have the appearance of a streamlined beak, with the iconic screaming chicken hood decal right on the edge. Most cars had a bright racing stripe that dazzles onlookers as it runs into the hood and then from the top to the trunk. And the reverse scoop of matching color on the hood creates a distinctive touch.
Towards the middle 70s, Trans Am designs peaked with the masterful use of urethane bumper cover assembly for the front and rear. Most of the muscle car’s appearance remained in touch with the early 70s, but the state-of-the-art bumpers gave the 1976 Trans Am a bumperless streamlined look.
How Much Is A 1970s Pontiac Trans Am Worth Today?
Step into the driver’s seat of a 1970s Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and you’ll fly back in time. Staring at its exterior, you will convert into a die-hard classic muscle car fan. The 70s Trans Am is an alluring breath of nostalgic, not-so-fresh air for collectors and automobile enthusiasts alike. A used 70s Pontiac Firebird Trans Am goes for an average of $40,000, according to Classic.
And truly, well-maintained specimens coupled with its limited production catapults things easily to six figures! Pontiac produced the first Trans Am in 1969, but it was properly introduced by the second generation of Firebirds a year later. Owning an ‘original’ Trans Am model from the 70s is a treasure for any vintage car collector.