1970 Pontiac Trans Am

1970 PONTIAC TRANS AM - A NEW GENERATION

After 3 dynamite years of the 1st-generation, Pontiac released the all new 2nd-generation Firebird in 1970. A totally new design, with European-inspired flowing lines and an aerodynamic shape, was longer, lower and heavier than the previous design. There were no rear quarter windows, just a big sail of a C-pillar. And there was not going to be a convertible version...period. But the new Firebird and Trans Am were gorgeous and would sell well over a long and storied 12-year lifespan that ended with the 1981 model year. Few modern cars have lasted that long.

SEEING MY FIRST 1970 PONTIAC TRANS AM

Body cladding and copious flairs and spoilers, like the Trans Am, were new to the American market at that time, but were already well-established in Europe, especially in motorsports. Many Americans were introduced to the idea, myself included, with their first glimpse of a Trans Am. I can still remember the moment I first time I laid eyes on my first 1970 Pontiac Trans Am, white with blue stripes, just like the one pictured here. I was a sophomore in high school in 1970, the car pulled up into the parking lot and a crowd instantly gathered. What a car! I'd never seen anything like it. The stripes, the bulging, gyrating hood scoop, the fender flairs, the spoilers. I wasn't sure at first what they all did, but the look was breathtaking. It had to be the most visually stunning production car at the time. It certainly was for me.

PONTIAC INFLUENCED BY EUROPE

Another example was the use of the name "GTO", which stands for "Gran Turismo Obliogoto" or "Grand Touring Homologated", which was a Ferrari model name at the time, and actually meant something. The Ferrari GTO actually was a Grand Touring car and was Homologated for the street, meaning that a very limited nuber of production street cars had to be built to qualify it for a certain class of racing. In the case of the big, mid-sized Pontiac GTO, the name really had no bearing in reality. As a big, square, mid-sized American car, it wasn't a Grand Touring car, and of course, Pontiac produced them by the thousands, as quickly as they could be sold. So the use of the "GTO" name on a Pontiac paid homage to European racing and sports cars.

PONTIAC GOES METRIC

Pontiac was one of the first, if not THE first major American brands to quote metric displacement on their engines (ie: in liters, rather than cubic inches). Arguably, it was probably more of a marketing ploy than anything else, at first. It's no secret that Pontiac chiefs Jim Wanger and John D. DeLorean were enamored with European cars and racing, and yearned to make Pontiac "more European". Quoting metric displacement was a bold move for an American brand back in the late 60s and early 70s, when most Americans didn't know anything about the metric system. It did give their cars a bit of flair that set them apart.

1970 PONTIAC TRANS AM ENGINE OPTIONS

The standard engine for the ’70 Trans Am was the 400ci (6.6L) V8 with Ram Air III with 335hp. Or you could option up to the 400 Ram Air IV with 345hp. Paradoxically, the same exact engines produced more power when installed in the 1970 GTO, 366hp and 370hp respectively. As it turned out, the way the throttle linkage was set up on the Firebirds, it would hit up against the firewall before allowing the secondaries to fully open. A simple adjustment (most just bent the thing) brought the Firebird’s performance up on par with the GTO’s. There was technically also a 400 Ram Air V option, but no car was built with it from the factory, nor were any kits sold to dealers to install. It was possible to assemble all the bits through the parts catalog, however.


1970 Pontiac Trans Am SPECIFICATIONS

Production

    w/L74 Ram Air III

    w/LS1 SD Ram Air IV

Wheelbase

Length

Width

Height

Track, front

Track, rear

Weight

V8 ENGINE OPTIONS

400ci V8 w/1X4bbl

400ci V8 w/1X4bbl

ENGINE SPECS

Engine type

Displacement

Bore & Stroke

Compression ratio

Fuel system

PERFORMANCE

345hp 400 V8

 all 1970 Pontiac Trans Ams 3,196

w/Manual Trans 1,769

w/Manual Trans 59

108.0 in / 2743 mm

191.6 in / 4867 mm

73.1 in / 1870 mm

50.2 in / 1276 mm

61.3 in / 1556 mm

60.5 in / 1537 mm

3,197 lbs / 1450 kg


 Ram Air III  345 hp @ 5000 rpm

 Ram Air IV  370 hp @ 5500 rpm


OHV 90-degree V8

400 ci

4.1212" X 3.750"

10.5:1

Single Rochester 4bbl


Zero-to-60mph = 5.7 sec


w/Auto Trans 1,339

w/Auto Trans 29









430 lb/ft @ 3400 rpm

445 lb/ft @ 3900 rpm


cast iron block & heads






1/4-mile = 14.1 sec @ 103.2 mph


OTHER FIREBIRD & TRANS AM PAGES:
..........PONTIAC
....................Firebird/TransAm
..............................1967
..............................1968
..............................1969
..............................1970
..............................1970 Trans Am
..............................1971
..............................1971 Trans Am
..............................1973
..............................1973 Trans Am
..............................1974
..............................1976
..............................1976 Trans Am
..............................1977 Trans Am
..............................1978 Trans Am
..............................1979
..............................1987 Trans Am GTA
..............................1989
..............................1999 Trans Am

Check out these FIREBIRD / TRANS AM BOOKS


HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL: PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1982-1992



HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL: PONTIAC FIREBIRD V8 1970-1981



STANDARD CATALOG OF PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1967-2002



CHILTONS REPAIR MANUAL: PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1982-1994



PONTIAC FIREBIRD RESTORATION GUIDE 1967-1969



PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1967-2000



FIREBIRD: PURE EXCITEMENT FROM PONTIAC



CLYMER’S RDPAIR MANUAL: FIREBIRD & TRANS AM 1970-1981



HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL: CAMARO/FIREBIRD 1993-1997



PONTIAC TRANS AM: 1969-1999 PHOTO ALBUM



TRANS AM & FIREBIRD RESTORATION, 1970-1981



PONTIAC FIREBIRD V8, 1970-1981



ORIGINAL FIREBIRD & TRANS AM RESTORATION GUIDE, 1967-2002



1980 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1969 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1969 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY BODY REPAIR MANUAL



1970 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1971 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1972 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1973 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1974 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1975 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



1976 FIREBIRD & TRANS AM FACTORY ASSEMBLY MANUAL



ILLUSTRATED FIREBIRD BUYERS GUIDE



FIREBIRD TRANS AM



FIREBIRD & TRANS AM PERFORMANCE PORTFOLIO, 1993-2000



1970-1981 PONTIAC TRANS AM RESTORATION GUIDE






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Last updated 12/30/16
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