1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Although the engine was more powerful in previous years,
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

A sloping Endura front end, highlighted by a slim bumper line and modification of Pontiac's traditional divided grille (inserts recessed into twin rectangular frames), led off the 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am facelift.

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The result: a more imposing demeanor for Pontiac's hot coupe, enhanced by the airscoop-shaped gravel pan near ground level. Because the bumper structure angled back into the hood, it also helped reduce air drag.

New headlamp bezels were squared-off at the fender tips, and parking lights lost their chromed grids. Taillamps got a new look, courtesy of horizontal louvers in a urethane cap. Even with federally mandated bumpers, most observers felt Firebirds looked as good as ever.

Trans Ams now wore dual air scoops below the front bumper's face, but kept their rear-facing hood scoop. Even though engines were being detuned each season, such devices as a shaker hood scoop -- plus a Firebird emblem that covered virtually the entire Trans Am hood -- retained at least the appearance of potency.

The 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was given a more aerodynamic front end.
The 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was given a more aerodynamic front end.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

In keeping with the changing times, Trans Ams suffered a rollback to a standard 400-cid V-8, yielding 225 horsepower. The Super Duty 455 was optional at $578, and went into 943 Trans Ams (plus 57 Formulas) in this, its final year. Just 212 Trans Ams held the SD-455 engine and a four-speed gearbox; the others ran with Turbo Hydra-Matic.

Trans Am was well on its way to becoming a legend, as production more than doubled-despite the fact that prices started at a rather hefty $4446. Now that the Camaro Z28 and Boss Mustang were gone, Trans Ams almost had the field to themselves.

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