1973 Pontiac Trans Am

1973 PONTIAC TRANS AM SQUEAKS BY ONE MORE YEAR
By 1973, not only was horsepower sinking fast, but ever-stricter crash-safety laws were forcing manufacturers to adopt some gawdawful-ugly designs to comply. Clever engineering and extra bracing got both the Camaro and the Firebird/Trans Am to pass the new 1973 frontal impact standards without completely redesigning the front end, as was required on the Corvette. But they only forestalled it one more year, as the 1974 Firebird and Trans Am would grow a very ungainly ‘shovel nose’ in order to cover the newly-required 5 mph telescoping front bumper system. That makes 1973 the last year of the original, elegantly beautiful design of the early 2nd-gen cars. And the look changed very little from the 1972 model year, with only minor trim and detail changes.

Newer model cars have much stricter safety ratings than those required in the 70's. A vehicle with a high safety rating would be recommended by any Columbus OVI lawyer in addition to other safe driving practices.
1973 PONTIAC TRANS AM ABOUT TO CHANGE
This would be the final year of this look for the 2nd-gen Pontiac Firebird and its sister-car, the Chevy Camaro. Due to ever stricter crash-safety laws, both cars were forced to abandon their elegant front ends in favor of a new, and most would agree, less-attractive, 5 MPH front bumper system. The Camaro's bumper showed, but Pontiac, true to form, molded theirs into a one-piece plastic nose cone. It was certainly more attractive than the Camaro's, but not nearly as pretty as this car. The 1970 to 1973 Pontiac Trans Ams are regarded by many, myself included, as THE most attractive and desirable Trans Ams of all time.

1973 Pontiac Trans Am INTERIORS


1973 Pontiac Trans Am ENGINES

1973 PONTIAC TRANS AM GETS THE SUPER DUTY 455
For the first time since 1970, 2 engine options were offered on the Trans Am. Both were 455s, a standard version, and a Super Duty 455 or SD-455, which had a strengthened block, 4-bolt mains, forged rods and pistons, and high flow heads. But with the mild cams and low compression (7.9:1) required to meet tightening emissions regs, it still only made 290hp. It begs one to ask why they needed all that block-strengthening. Even the hood scoops were non-functional. All that being said, they were still good for a high-14 second run through the quarter at around 98mph. The lesser version of the 455 was rated at 250hp. The 400 V8 option was dropped. Base Firebirds came standard with the 250ci 6-cylinder, with a 350 V8 as an option. As was par for the course in 1973, all were suffering the withering effects of smog-dogging.

BELOW: You can see the diagonal bracing on the front corners of the engine bay, running from above the wheelhouse to the front radiator support. This was part of the engineering magic that got the '73 through the latest round of frontal-impact crash tests without changing the whole front end and thus the look of the car. However, stricter rules forced these changes the following year.

1973 Pontiac Trans Am WINDOW STICKER


1973 Pontiac Trans Am PRODUCTION NUMBERS

MODEL                                

1973 Pontiac Trans Am 455

1973 Pontiac Trans Am SD455

Total '73 Trans Am production

w/MANUAL

1,420

72

w/AUTOMATIC

3,130

180

    TOTAL   

4,550

            252

4,802


1973 Pontiac Trans Am SPECIFICATIONS

Wheelbase

Length

Width

Height

Track, front

Track, rear

Weight

ENGINE OPTIONS

455ci V8 w/1X4bbl

455ci V8 w/1X4bbl SD455

PERFORMANCE

250hp 455 V8

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


 250 hp / 370 lb/ft net

  310 hp / 390 lb/ft net


Zero-to-60mph = NA












1/4-mile = 13.5 sec @ 104.3 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 FIRBIRD & TRANS AM BOOKS

TRANS AM & FIREBIRD RESTORATION 1970-1981


PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1967-2000


PONTIAC FIREBIRD V8 1970-1981, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


HOW TO REBUILD PONTIAC V8s


PONTIAC FIREBIRD 1982-1992, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


THE FABULOUS FIREBIRD


DEFINITIVE FIREBIRD & TRANS AM GUIDE 1967-1969


STANDARD CATALOG OF FIREBIRD 1967-2002


PONTIAC FIREBIRD


FIREBIRD/CAMARO 1993-2002, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL


PONTIAC FIREBIRD ANTHOLOGY 1967-2002


ORIGINAL FIREBIRD & TRANS AM RESTORERS GUIDE 1967-2002


FIREBIRD 1967-1981, CHILTON’S REPAIR MANUAL


PONTIAC FIREBIRD: TOP AMERICAN CARS OF ALL TIME, Kindle


PONTIAC FIREBIRD ADS: 1967-2002


ILLUSTRATED FIREBIRD BUYERS GUIDE


FIREBIRD! AMERICA’S PREMIER PERFORMANCE CAR


FIREBIRD & TRANS AM 1970-1981, CLYMER’S REPAIR MANUAL


FIREBIRD & TRANS AM 1969-1999 PHOTO ALBUM


FIREBIRD 1982-1992, HAYNES REPAIR MANUAL





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Last updated 12/29/16

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