AJ’s Car of the Day: 1976 Pontiac Firebird Coupe

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1976 Pontiac Firebird Coupe

Car: Pontiac Firebird

Year: 1976

What makes it special: Pontiac’s Firebird was designed as a pony car to compete with the Ford Mustang, it was introduced in February 1967, the same model year as GM’s Chevrolet division platform-sharing Camaro. This also coincided with the release of the 1967 Mercury Cougar, Ford’s upscale, platform-sharing version of the Mustang. (Car shown has an earlier model year Formula hood. )

What made it famous: For 1976, body revisions were the most extensive in five years, led by new urethane bumpers and smaller front air inlets. Axle ratios were lowered this year to boost fuel economy — a continuing matter of concern, even though gas shortages hadn’t lasted past 1974. A rear anti-sway bar no longer went into the radial-tuned suspension. Base Firebirds adopted a new rosewood instrument-panel inlay. Product planners reworked the Firebird options list, adding such items as a canopy-style roof, vinyl-covered on the front half. A 2-barrel 350 ci V8 was standard, delivering 160 horsepower. The 185 horsepower, 400 ci V8 was optional, and could drive a 4-speed.

Why I would want one: I’ve had the ’70. Great cars with good power with the 350 V8. For the most part, you’ll have a slight bit more rear vision with the mid-70’s rear window.

Fun Fact: The name “Firebird” was also previously used by GM for the General Motors Firebird 1950’s and early-1960’s concept cars.

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