1983 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 25th Anniversary Daytona 500
Original price: $18,185.83 (Base price: $10,396.00; options: $7,375.83)
Donated by: J. D. Franzen, Funk, NE
Previous owner: Original owner from Porterville, CA
Number made: Total, 1983: 31,930; only 2,500 special 25th Anniversary Daytona 500 Pace Cars with white/charcoal paint
Engine, etc. 305 cu. in. (5.0 L), 175 hp; V-8 with cross-fire injection; automatic transmission; special handling package including power front disc and drum rear brakes; power steering; factory hood graphics; retractable headlights; Recaro leather trimmed seats
Pontiac grew tired of watching from the sidelines and decided to enter into competition with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The all new Pontiac Firebird was introduced in 1967 and produced through 2002. The 1967 models were based on the Camaro chassis and available with either six or eight cylinder engines. Over 82,000 were made.
Though not known at the time, the Chevrolet Corvette and Pontiac Firebird Trans Am would be the only American high performance cars that would remain in continuous production since their inception. Sales, however, slipped to only 2,116 Trans Ams sold in 1971 and GM threatened to end production.
Things were not looking good by 1973 but two updates saved the Trans Am. The “screaming chicken” hood graphic and 455 Super Duty engine were introduced. With additional changes over the years, there were over 100,000 Firebirds sold in 1976.
Third generation Firebirds were produced from 1982 – 1992. The “F-body” Firebird was introduced in 1982 but had only 165 hp. Availability and cost of gasoline affected the new design. With fuel saving as the main objective, engines could not have high horsepower or torque. Wind tunnels shaped the new F-body’s platform. With a low and sleek appearance and a pronounced windshield rake, acceleration was better than the 1981 models. The look was thoroughly contemporary and produced a low drag coefficient.
Styling changed little in 1983 but the engines grew slightly in power. The 1983 Pontiac Firebird was basically unchanged from the previous year’s model. New was a T-handle automatic gearshift knob and they were admired for their solid handling and handsome looks. The third generation was a big hit.
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Pontiac/1983%20Pontiac/1983%20Pontiac%20Firebird%20Brochure/dirindex.html (Original sales brochure)