Yes, we still long for a return to the Firebird Trans Am’s glory days. Every few years, we hear rumblings about the return of the Pontiac Firebird. And sadly, they often are just rumors. And while a new and very cool custom built Trans Am Firebird is indeed being released, it isn’t from General Motors or any of the Big Three. Don’t get us wrong, we are always thrilled when the possibility arises to get a new Firebird. However, these one-off models are produced in very limited numbers come with very big price tags;. Without the GM stamp of approval (and official F-Platform)…well, it just isn’t the same.
We first heard that Trans Am Depot will be releasing a 2021 Trans Am Firebird inspired by the ultimate film car: Burt Reynolds’ unforgettable Smokey and the Bandit ride. Based on the Chevy Camaro SS, the “Bandit Edition” was even endorsed by the late actor, and includes his signature on each of the 77 cars.
When it comes to the Pontiac Firebird; we tend to be in the “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby” camp. Especially the 4th-generation Firebird. The F-body marvels that rolled off the line from 1993 to 2002 embodied the pony car’s classic cool swagger. And, in 1998, included the C5 Corvette’s LS1 V8.
It was truly a Golden era for the Pontiac Firebird. And let’s face it, the car had already seen some great times. From its early days of performance muscle, to the late 1970s and the iconic Trans Am Firebird, it had a lot of highs. But the 4th-gen Firebird included the Trans Am, the mighty WS6 performance package, and incredibly cool special editions like the Firehawk, Trans Am GT, 30th Anniversary Trans Am, and others.
How cool was the 4th-gen Firebird? We find it ignites all the senses.
Sight Need we say more? This was a great looking car. It drew from racing roots, was sleek with perfect aero looks, but still had tons of pony car character.
Check out this commercial for the 1998 Firebird. They weren’t playing around. This was a menacing car, ready to strike.
TasteWhile the 4th-generation Firebirds were indeed tasty, that isn’t what we mean. We mean its sweet, sweet taste of victory every time it steps up on the track. Stock the LS1 was a revelation. However it has become LS swap favorite if you are seeking major boost and heat.
TouchWhen it comes to handling, the F-body 4th gen Firebird has a cult following. And it also has it detractors, who are partial to the 3rd generation. But when it comes to performance, you can’t argue with results. At the time, MotorWeek praised its grip and called the car “brutish” against the Ford Mustang. Let’s go to the video tape!
SmellThat would be the scent of burnt rubber. Check out more of LS1 Tech Forum member Ape Man‘s killer 2002 WS6.
And if you see this in your rear view mirror, step aside.
SoundWhat beats this exhaust note? Even a Mustang fan can’t resist. When it comes to the 4th-generation of the Pontiac Firebird, we are all the slow clap at the end of the video.