1985 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 5.0
I thoroughly enjoy this car, and plan to keep it for years to come
When I purchased the car, I had to have it smogged. I had to take it to a shop to sort out the carburetor and get it to pass. I've replaced the oxygen sensor. The exhaust was original and had holes in it, so that was repaired. The heater didn't work because the heater core was cracked. I replaced that myself. The tires were 14 years old and needed to be replaced right away.
This car had sat for ten years in a garage, and was in pretty good shape cosmetically. Most of what needed fixing has been due to old age. Because these cars get cooling air from under the nose piece, they have a tendency to overheat if the air deflector is missing. This was the case on my car. Once the deflector was replaced, the engine temp has been rock steady.
This car is completely original with no modifications to the body or the engine and trans. It has been easy to get parts for, and is not really any more expensive than other hobby cars. Once the carburetor was fixed and the O2 sensor replaced, the engine has run just fine.
The car handles well for its age. Once the tires were replaced, the ride was very comfortable. The steering is very responsive, and body roll is minimal.
The overdrive trans in this car is nowhere near as smooth as newer cars. It shifts into overdrive between 35 and 40 mph, which can be annoying in city traffic. Out on the freeway, the car settles in at 2200 RPM at 70 mph, which is just loafing along for the 305 V8.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd December, 2012
21st Jun 2016, 17:36
The car has been in my possession now for over four years. I drive it at least weekly to my job. The commute is a 46 mile round trip, and I routinely get 21 MPG from the 5.0 V8. The windows can be completely down and there is no wind noise or blowing through the cabin. I had owned a '96 GMC pickup, and definitely couldn't drive with the windows down on the freeway!
The car is a very comfortable freeway cruiser and I am pleasantly surprised at the fuel economy from a V8 of mid-eighties vintage. I know that it could easily get 25 MPG if I were to take it on a long trip.
New muscle cars aren't getting much better mileage, but they do get up to speed much faster. I don't see many third gen Firebirds on the road these days, and I'm OK with that. I see far more Camaros that are of the same age. I feel very good knowing I'm keeping a piece of Pontiac history on the road.