1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Due to a crippling strike at General Motors' assembly plant in Norwood, Ohio, the second-generation Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were introduced midway through the 1970 model year. They were offered only as sleek fastback coupes with styling cues reminiscent of Italy's design house. The Pontiac Firebird line continued to include the Trans Am as the high-performance model, which would rein in production in second-generation form through 1981. The Esprit leaned towards grand touring and the Formula 400 towards sport. For 1970, the exclusive Trans Am model found 3,198 willing buyers. 1,339 cars came with the L47 Ram Air III 400 CID V8 backed by the M40 Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission (the four-speed transmission with Hurst shifter was standard). Both transmission options came with 3.55:1 gears, and a 3.73:1 was available with the four-speed. Fewer than 50,000 Firebirds were built in total that year.

The 400 cubic-inch Ram Air III engine offered 345 horsepower and received cold air from the functional reverse-facing, solenoid-actuated Shaker hood scoop. A unique front air dam and decklid lip used air pressure at speed to help push the car down onto a specially-tuned suspension with heavy-duty front and rear sway bars, stiffer springs, 10.9-inch front disc brakes and 9.5-inch rear drums. The padded Formula steering wheel directed quick 12.1:1 variable-ratio power steering. The Kelsey Hayes Rally II wheels were wrapped with F60-15 Goodyear Polyglas tires and kept the Pontiac snugly planted to the road. The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am wore the same impact-absorbing nose as other Firebirds, but Pontiac claimed its unique front air dam and fender air extractors created 50 pounds of downforce on the nose at highway speeds. It claimed equal downforce to the tail from a big decklid lip and small spoilers in front of the rear wheels.

Many of the Firebird's aerodynamic add-ons had been developed by former Chaparral engineer Paul Lamar, who worked with Pontiac engineer Herb Adams and racer Jerry Titus during testing sessions held on a dry lake bed. The Trans Am's suspension was further improved through Adams' and Titus' racing experience. The conventional front coil/rear leaf-spring system was tuned with a larger-diameter 1.25-inch front sway bar and staggered shocks with a .875-inch bar at the rear. Two engineers responsible for the 1964 GTO named Russ Gee and Bill Collins further tested the Trans Am, helping to fulfill the mission of creating the best-handling American car in the land. With the Ram Air III, it was also among the fastest. Even with 57 percent of the weight on the front wheels, the car handling exceptionally well.

The 345-horsepower Ram Air III was capable of low-14-second lap times at the dragstrip. This was suitable for most buyers, but just 88 of the 3,198 Trans Am buyers selected the optional Ram Air IV. It came with bigger ports, better heads, swirl-polished valves, and an aluminum intake manifold for 370 horsepower, 25 more than in 1969. Even more rare and exclusive was the Ram Air V, an over-the-counter, special-order piece that included solid lifters and tunnel-port heads for as much as 500 horsepower.

The interior had bucket seats with headrests, a central floor console, Formula steering wheel, engine-turned dash insert, and comprehensive instrumentation including a tachometer. The tachometer was turned on its side to redline at 12 o'clock, in similar fashion to a real race car.


by Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2020

The Pontiac Firebird

Some refer to this as the coke bottle years, due to its body style. The bumpers were designed into the front end and the rear had slit taillights. Until 1969, a two-door hardtop and a convertible were only available. 1967 This marks the year Pontiac creates the Firebird, to be in competition with the Camaro. Five different Firebirds were available, with over 82,000 produced. Four speed....
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The Pontiac Firebird

Some refer to this as the coke bottle years, due to its body style. The bumpers were designed into the front end and the rear had slit taillights. Until 1969, a two-door hardtop and a convertible were only available. 1967 This marks the year Pontiac creates the Firebird, to be in competition with the Camaro. Five different Firebirds were available, with over 82,000 produced. Four speed....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Pontiac Firebird History

Pontiac was tired of viewing from the sidelines, while Ford introduced the Mustang, and Chevy brought out the Camaro, so in midst of 1967 Pontiac finally jumped in the ring with the all new Firebird. Available with either six or eight cylinder engines, the Firebird was based heavily on the Camaro chassis, though Pontiac did attempt to make it their own. The Camaro featured a styled split front grille,....
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1970 Vehicle Profiles

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

Pontiac abandoned their 2-seat sports car in 1966. General Manager John Delorean assembled a dynamic group of designers and engineers to create a replacement. In 1970, the Trans Am was introduced, and due to the late introduction of the model, only 3....[continue reading]

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

By 1953 Pontiac was producing a half million cars annually when stodgy designs torpedoed sales. Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen was brought in to turn it around, breathing new life into the beleaguered brand. He eliminated the venerable 'suspenders' - a styli....[continue reading]

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 991

This 1970 Pontiac Trans Am is powered by a L74 4-barrel 400 cubic-inch RAM Air III engine delivering 345 horsepower. There is a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic, factory air conditioning, custom trim package, custom interior package, and front and rear ....[continue reading]

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 228870L102707

This Pontiac Firebird Trans Am has 35,000 original miles and has been stored in a climate controlled environment for 17 years. It is completely original with the exception of one repaint in 2002. It has the correct Polar White paint finish, along wit....[continue reading]

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

Prior to 1970, Jerry Titus' team, TG Racing, built Firebirds for customers in addition to their own two-car team. In 1970, the team decided to focus all of their resources on a one-car effort with Titus as the driver. The team built three chassis tha....[continue reading]

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am vehicle information

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 228870N117510

The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am was a flamboyant machine with hood scoops and spoilers. Along with the outlandish exterior, it was backed by stunning performance. The standard 345 horsepower Ram Air III engine drew fresh air from the low-pressure area in f....[continue reading]

Hardtop
 
Hardtop
 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 991 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 228870L102707 
Hardtop
 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 228870N117510 


Concepts by Pontiac



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1970 Firebird Trans Am
$4,305-$28,120
1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Base Price : $4,305

$830 - $3,600
$3,165 - $3,790

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Pontiac
1975Chevrolet (1,755,773)Toyota (1,714,836)Ford (1,569,608)531,922
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)580,045
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)919,870
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,368,216)706,978
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)586,856
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)586,856
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)870,081
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)910,977
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)782,734
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)831,331
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)802,000

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