October 02, 2015 @ 01:10 AM

Legends and Legacies: Movie Icon Edition - Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

This car needs no further introduction but: “I’m Knight Industries Two Thousand but you can call me KITT.”


(Image Source: barrett-jackson.com)

This car needs no further introduction but: “I’m Knight Industries Two Thousand but you can call me KITT.” 
 
We’ve reached the end of our Movie Icon’s edition with none other than the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am! Back in 1967, Pontiac had decided that they wanted in on the two-seater Pony car market, although parent company GM had not been very supportive of this decision, fearing for Chevrolet’s Corvette brand, they eventually gave the green light for Pontiac to create the Firebird.
 
The Pontiac Firebird shares the same F-body platform with its Chevrolet Camaro cousin and fellow pony car the Ford Mustang. But while the Camaro and the Mustang had went for “the aggressive” the Firebird had kept things more “friendly” with its characteristic Coke bottle styling and unique integrated front-end bumpers. Rear end looks were drawn from its sister the GTO and only a coupe was offered at launch but a hard-top and a convertible were added in 1969.

(Image source: autogaleria.hu)

Pontiac sold the car with engines that vary from an output of 215bhp to 285bhp along with a 6.6-litre engine donated from the GTO that produces 325bhp. A string of options were also available for the car and none was more coveted than the Trans Am Performance and Appearance Package. 

The Trans Am package with upgraded handling, suspension and horsepower with additions like hoods, spoilers, fog lights and wheels. The package was named after the Trans Am Racing series and GM had to pay a $5 per car sold to the SCCA. These Firebird Trans Am were a force to be reckoned with, not only did they make a name for themselves they also made it to numerous big and small screens.

(Image source: cargurus.com)

Unfortunately for Pontiac, the Firebird Trans Ams were not allowed to enter the Trans Am series racing as even their smallest engine exceeded the SCCA’s  requires to be five-litre and below limit. Then again, even if Pontiac had wanted to jump into the racing fray their “parents” would have prevented it thanks to GM’s ban on any form of involvement with racing.

As we’ve mentioned the Firebird Trans Am made it to numerous big and small screens like its screen debut in the 1977 film Smokey in the Bandit. The Trans Am recurred its role in both the sequel and triquel in between starring in Rocky II and Hooper along with the 1984 movie Alphabet City. Of course, we can’t forget the biggest breakout role for the Firebird Trans Am as KITT in our favourite classic TV Series from the 80s, Knight Rider.

(Image source: cookusart.com)

So left to right, left to right, with a red light and a greeting to offer, come on over to XLR8’s Movie Icons’ tent and witness for yourself and relive it as well, the awesomeness of our childhood hero KITT!

Jerrica Leong 
 

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