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The fourth-gen Pontiac Firebird pins the Badass Meter

Growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I remember the fourth-generation Trans Am being the very definition of badass. Pontiac ran a series of commercials in that era showing Trans Ams prowling dark city streets in search of prey. Those commercials worked. As an impressionable teen, I wanted a WS6 Trans Am more than anything in the world. Fast forward to 2019 and a fourth-gen Firebird is still up there in the Pontiac fantasy garage. Although that WS6 I yearned for is now an SLP Firehawk.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/06/14/fourth-gen-pontiac-firebird-stunning-looks-stellar-performance

Great Article!! It’s good to read someone paying tribute to the LT4 Firehawk, not many people know that car existed.

You mentioned the 35th Anniversary being a throwback to the original Trans Am, as much as I agree it’s one of the best looking 4th Gens built, I must point out it was a 30th Anniversary not 35th. Technically there was never a 35th anniversary. Pontiac celebrated the original 1969 Trans Am with their anniversary models (10th=1979, 15th=1984, 20th=1989, 25th=1994, 30th=1999). So with the Firebird line being dropped after the 2002 model year there wasn’t another chance to celebrate the Trans Am, making the 30th Anniversary Trans Am the last true anniversary model.

The yellow/black 2002 Collector’s Edition Trans Am often gets mistaken for a 35th anniversary, but that would be incorrect too. That special edition was simply a way to pay homage to the entire history of the Pontiac Firebird before the model was discontinued.

Again great article, keep them coming!!

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Good catch! That was a typo on my part. It should be fixed now.

Few corrections here…

  1. 4th gen Firehawks began in 1993, your pictured example at the end of the article even says it’s a 93.
  2. The performance exhaust wasn’t optional until 94, and became standard in 96 (had to order as an option in 94-95). Base Firehawk was 300 hp and with exhaust 315 hp (275 stock LT1).
  3. SLP blueprinted every LT4 they received from GM (this is not a rumor, it is a documented fact per SLP, and was done at SLPs Canadian facility). This was due to the fact that emissions certification was expensive and time consuming, so they were forced to use the stock LT1 fuel injection system and programming, which resulted in lower hp than in the Corvette, so they did anything they could to help get the power they were looking for.

My One-Owner 1999 Firebird Drop Top. Only 1245 made.

If I were to purchase another F-Body, it would be a 2000-2 WS6 Black or Silver 6Speed Convertible. My wife would certainly leave me, but hey, more space in the garage and driveway… hmmm

Really,
A last ditch, heartless effort to revive a brand.
Had one. Slapped on plastic and pretty good brakes. That’s what I remember.

I LOVE my 2000 Firebird! It is 1 of 2200 with red with an RPO code of Y87…basically Trans-am lite. I believe it is called the GTA package (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m mistaken, lol). My little six string sting is a fun car to drive, she’s quick, not necessarily fast…but quick. Quick off the line and has good speed build-up until about 80mph then starts to taper off as you’d expect from a six cylinder. The nice thing about her is that you can have all kinds of fun from 0 mph up to posted speed limits with the 373 rear end gears and still get 20 mpg around town with the air cond full blast. The coolest part is the looks and thumbs up you get from people out and about.Great article…but don’t forget the Y87 is a pretty special built car too.

You might also want to mention another rare car made by SLP called the Comp T/A. It was produced between '95-'97 with only 164 total units produced. It was known as a Firehawk in a tuxedo. The car was built to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the BF Goodrich Comp T/A tire.Car%20Picture

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