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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/21 3:23 p.m.
feature_image

We have some F-body experts here, right? What year is this Firebird?

We gridded next to it this past weekend at yesterday's Martin Sports Car Club autocross—more cars should have the Teacher idle.

And just because:

 

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Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 3:26 p.m.

Big window, big scoops. I'm gonna go with 1975. Unless it's a later car with an early nose. 
 

Love those Formula hoods!

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/12/21 3:28 p.m.

Mutt?  Later rear with an early nose?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/12/21 3:29 p.m.

Seems like a '75 or later car with an earlier front clip swapped in due to the front bodywork not computing with the big back window.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/21 3:30 p.m.

And I'm embarrassed that I didn't notice the rear window at first. A friend mentioned it when I posted the photo to my FB. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/21 3:36 p.m.

And a related question: Camaros and Firebirds share the same line for E Street Prepared in the SCCA autocross rule book, meaning you can swap back and forth. So, why not mix noses and tails? 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
7/12/21 3:38 p.m.

"So, why not mix noses and tails?" - because explaining an Olds 403 in your Pontiac is hard enough, having to explain it in your Chevy seems like it would be worse (which actually makes it better).

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/12/21 3:39 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

And a related question: Camaros and Firebirds share the same line for E Street Prepared in the SCCA autocross rule book, meaning you can swap back and forth. So, why not mix noses and tails? 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

I like it.

But how easy is it really? Are the fenders similar enough to allow the other's bumper to fit? Or if you have to change fenders, would they match up with the doors, etc.? 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/21 3:42 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
David S. Wallens said:

And a related question: Camaros and Firebirds share the same line for E Street Prepared in the SCCA autocross rule book, meaning you can swap back and forth. So, why not mix noses and tails? 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

I like it.

But how easy is it really? Are the fenders similar enough to allow the other's bumper to fit? Or if you have to change fenders, would they match up with the doors, etc.? 

I was thinking that you'd swap front fenders along with the nose (because I'd want the T/A fender scoops). 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
7/12/21 3:46 p.m.

As people said, wrap-around rear window = 1975-81. Without seeing the tail pan, it's tough to tell. Looks to have the smaller 3-piece rear spoiler (1979-81 got larger ones), but these things are like Legos and interchange. Hood is aftermarket, since it has that weird bulge in the middle, but styled after a 1970-75 Formula hood. That's no help, either.

The rear bumper might be a clue. The 1975 has a bumper like the earlier cars, while the 1976-78 has a urethane bumper cover. This looks like one of those. 1979-81 has a different one that incorporates the license plate holder and has a different side profile than the 1976-78 cars. It could have been changed, but I'm guessing they "run what they brung" here.

So, without seeing anything else, my determination is that this definitely a 1976-78 Firebird. Maybe even a Formula.

wawazat
wawazat Dork
7/12/21 3:51 p.m.

Flat nose Firebirds with the 1970 redesign.  This nose is from '70-72 time period I believe.  

SEADave
SEADave Dork
7/12/21 4:00 p.m.

AFAIK, 2nd generation Camaros and Firebirds have different character lines down the side.  You can't swap front fenders between a Camaro and a Firebird unless you are going for a real junkyard look.  From what i have heard the doors wouldn't even close.   The only body part I know you can interchange is the decklid.    

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/21 4:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
feature_image

 

 

That is a weird hood with the bulge in the center (kind of like the power bulge dodge had).  There has been a lot of bodywork to that car. 

OldGray320i
OldGray320i Dork
7/12/21 4:07 p.m.

It's a 76 to 78 car with a 70-73 nose.  I thought for sure 77-78, but I'm fuzzy on the 76 rear bumper. 

70-73 had tiny chrome rears, 74-75 had what I think was a urethane rear, but in any case, different style rear.  I thought 76 had the same rear as the 74-5, but I'd have to  double check.  77-78 were definitely different than 79-81, as well.

Noses are 70-73, 74-76, 77-78, and 79-81.  

Edit: Formula hoods differ from early to late, and hoods are slightly different early to late as well.   

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
7/12/21 4:10 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

Fenders interchangeable 70-81. Using the later fenders with 70-73 noses requires a small bracket to be welded to the front of the fender where the splash pan bolts on.   All of the 70-76 noses and hoods work together as long as you have all the correct brackets & supports.  All the 77-81 hoods and noses work together as long as you've got all the correct brackets etc.   Soooo, you can install a 70-76 nose on a 77-81 car as long as you use a 70-76 hood.

I've done some of these types of swaps for people. I don't really like them because my mind tells me sumting wong when I look at them having seen sooooo many 2nd gen birds because of my work. I've even swapped the whole front 1/2 including the sub frame, engine etc. between different years, but gotta know which are interchangeable. Sometimes it's much easier to swap everything at once by removing the 4 subframe bolts than transferring individual components. This occurs with people trying to build Bandit clones out of various years of the later 2nd gens.

Car in pic appears to be a '76 or later with 70-72 nose and a 70-76 Formula hood.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
7/12/21 4:23 p.m.

The reason I mentioned the bumper is 70-72 and not a '73 is because '73's used a different bumper and grill to meet impact regulations so the grills are inset more. White is '73 below and red is '70.

[URL=https://app.photobucket.com/u/NOTATA/p/7c90376c-6fd9-4ebb-852d-a6cb69bc4e75?login=true&overcount=true&overspace=false&overstorage=true&planId=plus500-annual][/URL]

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/12/21 5:34 p.m.

This does not lessen my desire to have a 2nd gen Firebird.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
7/12/21 7:01 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

This does not lessen my desire to have a 2nd gen Firebird.

This is irrational on every level. Like the square root of a negative number.

 

But I agree.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/21 8:28 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

If they weren't so bitching, this post would not have happened. 

Kujomania
Kujomania New Reader
7/13/21 3:37 p.m.

More of a GOAT fan (68-9) than Firebird/TA. Nevertheless, I'll go with "SD" SuperDork on this one, except I thought the Fed regulations came in at '74. IMO, '70+ T/A's were the best looking with the rear facing "scoop". Formula's looked weird, but would'a ironically given better "ram air" from the front facing scoops (if properly plumbed from the underside). BTW, a Honorable Mention to AnthonyGS for correctly defining an irrational number!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/13/21 9:09 p.m.
Kujomania said:

More of a GOAT fan (68-9) than Firebird/TA. Nevertheless, I'll go with "SD" SuperDork on this one, except I thought the Fed regulations came in at '74. 

A friend of mine bought a 1974 SD-455 brand new and still has it - I think the car only has around 25,000 miles on it today.  It's a very cool car, but if I had a choice I'd go for a 70 1/2 Ram Air IV Trans Am, in Lucerne Blue.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA SuperDork
7/13/21 10:52 p.m.
Kujomania said:

More of a GOAT fan (68-9) than Firebird/TA. Nevertheless, I'll go with "SD" SuperDork on this one, except I thought the Fed regulations came in at '74. IMO, '70+ T/A's were the best looking with the rear facing "scoop". Formula's looked weird, but would'a ironically given better "ram air" from the front facing scoops (if properly plumbed from the underside). BTW, a Honorable Mention to AnthonyGS for correctly defining an irrational number!

The Formula "ram air" hood was actually designed for the TA initially.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/13/21 11:04 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

If they weren't so bitching, this post would not have happened. 

David...Camaros are bitchin', the freaking song says so. Firebirds are cool as berkeley. Sheesh.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/14/21 7:12 a.m.
NOT A TA said:
Kujomania said:

More of a GOAT fan (68-9) than Firebird/TA. Nevertheless, I'll go with "SD" SuperDork on this one, except I thought the Fed regulations came in at '74. IMO, '70+ T/A's were the best looking with the rear facing "scoop". Formula's looked weird, but would'a ironically given better "ram air" from the front facing scoops (if properly plumbed from the underside). BTW, a Honorable Mention to AnthonyGS for correctly defining an irrational number!

The Formula "ram air" hood was actually designed for the TA initially.

A bit of trivia:  If you bought a 1973 or 1974 Formula with an SD-455 engine, it came with Trans Am shaker hood instead of the ram air hood.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
7/14/21 3:02 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

They sure did.




Probably my favorite 2nd Gens. As close to a factory sleeper as you were going to get out of a car that looks this good. Especially without the rear spoiler.

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