Pontiac’s Firebird Trans Am is one of those iconic models that is long gone, but certainly not forgotten. And not just because of its star roles in popular media, but also thanks to little-known individuals.
Although its name is a clear nod to the Trans Am sports car racing series, Pontiac’s Firebird Trans Am was not used at first during the motorsport competition because its engines exceeded the displacement regulations. Still, the specialty package was successful enough for its visual and technical modifications to endure across no less than four generations.
Built between 1969 and 2002, the Firebird Trans Am lived a long and fruitful life. Naturally, the iconic model produced on GM’s F-body architecture (shared with the Chevy Camaro) has managed to endure long after its demise. And its legacy continues to build not upon star media apparitions but piggybacking on the splendid work done by unknown individuals.
Let us take this menacing all-black example caught late at night by the good folks over at the Drag Racing and Car Stuff channel on YouTube. It’s the fourth generation, which is crystal clear. But what modifications were performed to allow its entry into the select club of ten-second quarter-mile cars might forever remain unknown. They’re not going to perspire this time around, that’s for sure.
After all, there’s virtually no information about this Pontiac. Even its opponent, a silver S550 Ford Mustang GT is something of a mystery. According to the description, it may or may not feature a twin-turbo Hellion Sleeper Hidden System. Of course, based on the exhibited performance, chances are the Blue Oval got some neat upgrades under the hood.
Just two quick races are featured between the Trans Am and the Mustang GT. The first one is entirely revelatory as the fire-popping Pontiac gets the jump off the start line. The Ford then gives chase and when the ETs come out it shows it wasn’t for nothing: 10.04s for the Mustang and 10.96s for the Firebird.
Although we secretly rooted for the crackling Trans Am, it was logical the second race would have about the same outcome. But, as it turned out, it was almost identical, with the ‘Stang claiming the victory with a similar 10.04s ET and the Trans Am marginally improving to 10.93s.