Pontiac’s Rise In The 1970’s

A FLASH FROM THE PAST....We just had to share this...

In the late 1970’s mussel car performance took a drastic knock as the high gas prices, the latest emission controls and high insurance cost caused most of the automakers to severely drop their horsepower.

However, Pontiac only sped up.

The 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is quite popular since its starring role in Smokey and the Bandit. Pontiac added to the excitement of the 1978-year model, when they increased the horsepower of its top Trans Am from 200 to 220. A special handling package was also developed called the WS6 that added a sport-tuned suspension, new tires, 8-inch wheels and faster steering. The Pontiac Trans-Am was quicker and handled better than the Chevy Corvette as result of their new additions.

Interesting fact: The Pontiac’s T-top roof has been the closes as a buyer could get to a convertible Trans Am. The T-top roof only became an option for the buyer in 1976. Theses lift-out roof sections were initially made by Hurst and were known as the Hurst hat. Hurst originally made the lift-out roof sections and it was known as the Hurst Hatch. The only problem they had is that it leaked. Pontiac then decided o develop their own T-tops within GM’s Fisher body division and launched the option midway through the 1978 model year. That is why some ’78 Firebirds have Hurst T-tops and others have the Fisher units. The only difference is that the Fisher glass roof panels are bigger than the Hurst Hatch ones.

Information gathered at Popular Mechanics written by Ben Stewart on Mar 14,2017.


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