Review of Pontiac 1978 Firebird -and- 1978 Trans-Am
- a 1978 Pontiac Firebird -and-
- a 1978 Pontiac Trans-Am
The two cars were very different.
Difference was in driving them.
The 1978 Trans-Am drove like a race car.
The 1978 Firebird drove like an old lady's Buick.
The Firebird was a Firebird Esprit with rare two-tone blue/white paint.
Had a weak Chevrolet 305 (5.0L) V8, either was made weak or became weak.
Interior was blue, had false-wood trim, standard mundane Pontiac steering wheel, basic gages.
The Trans-Am was a black/gold Bandit edition.
Had WS-6 option: performance suspension, stronger sway-bars,
faster steering, a Pontiac 400 (6.6L) at 220HP with slightly hotter cylinder heads and camshaft.
Its original Pontiac 400 was replaced by a Pontiac 455 (7.5L),
Offenhauser intake manifold, exhaust headers, glass-pack mufflers,
intake scoop was made functional.
Full-throttle on Trans-Am would shake its intake scoop,
rock its front up,
fish-tail its rear as engine torque was shifted from one spinning rear wheel to the other.
Trans-Am turned very quickly, without leaning,
G-force caused shoulders of its human occupants to slam against its doors.
Passengers would cringe seeing a RR sign.
Its super-stiff springs permitted the shattering of spines driving over train-tracks.
The Firebird was frustratingly slow.
It had some handling characteristics of Trans/Am,
but it also had some of an old lady's Buick.
Firebird had a comfortable bouncy ride,
but it could turn without floundering like a Buick or hippo.
Turning Firebird too sharp could cause a front wheel to dive,
whereas Trans/Am's wheels would stay more level.
Firebird was a compromise between a comfy vs sporty car.