The 1974 Pontiac Firebird, Formula & Trans Am
This entry marks the second time we have been able to offer up
for display a special "protoype" or "promotional" Trans Am (the first was Bill
Mitchells '72 SD455 Trans Am see here).
This is the 1 of 1 special promotional Trans Am built for the 1974 Chicago Auto
Show. It featured a special black and gold paint scheme that would become the
foundation for the '76 50th Anniv. Limited Edition TA and the Special Edition
TAs that would be offered from 1977 to 1981. The car surfaced recently when it
was purchased in an estate sale in July 1994 by Bob Reason a collector out of
Michigan. It has changed hands a few times (over $100K most recently) and has landed in the lap of the current owner listed above. The
original owner, Clarence Sproul,
was a head accountant at GM and a close personal friend of Bill
Mitchell. Prototypes are normally destroyed after their usefulness had come to
an end but, in this case Mr. Mitchell saved the car and allowed it to be sold to
his friend. The last valid registration for the car was in 1977.
|This white Pro Street Trans Am is owned by Bill Gunzberg. Bill's bird has no problems getting around town. Here's the setup that makes sure of that: a 1970 455 H.O. bored 0.30, #64 high compression heads, 1962 SD connecting rods, a RAIV cam & 1.65 rockers, a Doug Nash Tunnel Ram topped with 2 Carter AFB 600 carbs, and an Accel HEI distributor & MSD box. Power is applied through a 4-speed Muncie to a 12 bolt rear end turning a 4.10 ratio (ouch!!). Hopefully Bill will send us some time slips in the future.|
|A rare Formula with the shaker scoop option. The car is also equipped with the optional SD455. 74' would be the last year this monster motor was available. 1974 marked the first time the Firebird received a front and rear makeover since the introduction of the 1970 model. The new front end with its slanted grills was known as the soft nose. The rear bumper received bigger tailights and a thin, black, warparound black strip, that served as a bumper. This was the most distinguishing feature of these cars.|
|A blue Trans Am with a white interior. This car is equipped with the optional SD455 engine, and a set of aftermarket Centerline wheels. The horsepower rating for the LS2 SD455 remained unchanged at 290hp but it would be the last year the block would see production. It would also be the last year dual exhaust was installed on Firebirds. Thats what increased emission laws and and a gas crisis will do to you.|
|| Dusty Randall owns this great looking Formula. Dusty writes:
"This is my 1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400. It has a 400 cubic inch big block, has been rebuilt with about 33,000 miles on it, 4 bbl Edlebrock carb, high performance Edlebrock intake, HEI distributer, with AC. It also has a 400 turbo 3 speed transmission with a posi rear end. I have a saganah 4 speed with a chevy 454 that I am about to drop in it. I have lowered the front end 2 inches. This is my first Firebird and I will never get rid of it. I have restored it myself and am currently finishing the interior. The whole interior has been redone, from the floor up to the headliner. I have all new seats, new door panels, carpet, inner rear quarter panels, sail panels headliner trim. The rims are 15" Cragars. 15x7 in the front and 15x8 1/2 in the back. I have driven this car everyday for 2 1/2 years, and just recently bought a new truck so I wouldn't have to drive it everyday. I love these cars and don't think that I could ever get rid of it. I have restored this Firebird from nothing and have done most if not all of the work myself. The website is awesome and I will continue to go in it as much as I can to catch up on all the new stuff."
price for a base model Firebird was $3,335. The engine options for the base model were an
in-line six cylinder or a 350c.i. V8. Surprisingly 7,603 Firebirds were sold with the six
cylinder which was rated exactly at 100hp. The V8, sporting a 7.6:1 compression ration
came with a 2-barrel carburetor and single exhaust. This was good for 155hp and attracted
Photo courtesy of Mark Allbaugh.
choices changed for the Trans Am in 74' but stayed at three. Bucaneer Red (seen here),
Cameo White (seen above), and Admiralty Blue which replaced Brewster Green from the
previous year. Heres the paint code for each one:
Bucaneer Red 75
Cameo White 11
Admiralty Blue 29
This information can be found on the data plate located on the firewall on the driver's side.
Photo courtesy of Mark Allbaugh.
There were four engines available for the Formula. At the low end was a 350c.i. mill rated
at 170hp. Next up was the 400 block which rated at 190hp. The last two engine options were
the 455 and the SD455. To help these powerplants make their power a number of other
performance options were offered for the Formula including dual exhausts and a heavy duty
suspension. Wider than standard tires could also be had.
Photo courtesy of Mark Allbaugh.
Bob Morgan owns this fantastic Formula 350. It has been completely restored to its
original appearance including new paint, a new vinyl top, a new interior and all new trim.
The drive train is completely original as well down to the 2bbl carb and 3-speed automatic
tranny. Bob did opt for some improvements adding a new custom exhaust with an H-pipe, a
limited slip differential and a 40w four speaker stereo system that features a deck
outfitted with a cassette player and a stock looking faceplate. For improved handling the
suspension has been upgraded with new gas shocks, new front springs, and urethane bushings
were added to the rear leaf springs and front and rear sway bars.
Continuing with the spirit of modification and aspiring to make this car operate the way Pontiac should have Bob has taken on the task of making the Ram Air hood functional. The scoops were opened up by a local body man and the twin rubber boots and retainers have been mounted. The only thing left is to either find a rare and often expensive air cleaner setup or, if he can obtain the mechanical drawings, manufacture his own.
Incredibly Bob is the original owner of this car which sports an unbelievable 176,000 miles. You'd never guess would ya...
Bob also owns a 1997 Trans Am convertible that can be seen at '97 Firebirds Lot#2 and a 1999 Firehawk that can be seen at Road Racing Firebirds Lot#1.
|| This beautiful SD455 Trans Am is owned
by James Amos. James writes:
"This is an all original 1974 Trans-Am with the Super Duty 455 option (LS2). It's an Admiralty blue with medium blue custom interior. This original owner car came equipped with the M21 close ratio 4speed trans, radial tuned suspension, rally II wheels, AM/FM Stereo w/8 track player, tinted glass, rear defroster and hood decal options. Though it has only 35k on the odometer, and I do trailer it long distances, I give it a good workout on the drag strip and road courses... as well as stop light to stop light. It turns pretty consistent times in the 13.40's...slicks and loosened exhaust pipes brings it around the 13 flat mark with one 12.99 to it's credit (I keep that time slip framed and hanging in the garage because the bowtie guys never want to believe me!!)."
James hosts his own website called Pontiac Trans Am Super Duty Muscle