Car Review, Figures and Specs for the Pontiac Firebird 455 4.7 L V8 - [1971]

1970 - 1981 2nd Generation Pontiac Firebird

2nd Generation Pontiac Firebird - Smoking!

The second generation Pontiac Firebird was made globally recognisable after the Smokey and The Bandit films starring Burt Reynolds. The Firebirds that graced Smokey and the Bandit and Smokey and the Bandit II were the 1977 and 1979 Trans Am special editions. These were one of the later, face-lifted (twin headlight) editions of the 2nd generation Firebirds.


Engines aplenty.

As you would expect from a 1970’s muscle car, the Firebird was powered by the customary V8. However, over its lifetime the Firebird has been powered by a confusing number of V8 and in-line 6 variations. Including the 250 cu in inline 6 through to V8’s: 301, 305, 350, 400, 455 and a 301 turbo V8. To add to the confusion these small and big block units were made by Chevrolet, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Further permutations to performance figures were added along the way as the engines were subjected to ever more restrictive efficiency and emissions controls. Crash safety developments forced upon the ‘Bird’ didn’t help either, adding extra lard in the form of structural strengthening and safer bumpers.

True muscle car performance.

The 455 cu in 7.5l big block was the star of the 2nd Generation Firebird engine range. Labelled as the 455-HO and also the SD-455 depending upon various internal tweaks, this unit put out a torque rating of around 500 ft/lbs and 290 hp. However, the horsepower ratings of this era were rated higher or lower in output for advertising, political, or insurance purposes.

Look cool and outrun the cops.

The Bird is one of the original 70’s muscle cars we know and love. Big engines, big torque and a huge bonnet to fit the infamous Firebird symbol onto. The 2nd generation Firebird’s masculinity, shared with the equally legendary Camaro, epitomise what we all love about American cars. A perfect choice for Mr Reynolds to look cool in, and more than enough V8 muscle to outrun the cops, perfect!


Positive  Classic V8 Muscle. Smokey and the Bandit Style. An engine choice for everyone unless you want a diesel or economy.

Negatives  A minefield of engines and styling versions.

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