1996 Pontiac Firebird trans am 5.7 lt1 from North America
Almost a Corvette
Headlight motor housing cracked. The headlight would freeze in the up position, requiring it to be manually lowered. My dad fixed it by wrapping it with wire to close the crack. It was jerry rigged, but it worked.
Stitching on leather seat on drivers side was coming lose.
Transmission had a fluid leak.
I always wanted a Trans am. Wanted a Trans am back in high school. I always liked the performance and style of the cars. They always seemed a bit more upscale than a Camaro. I drove a 1989 Trans am back in 1995 and liked that car. I couldn't afford a new new car in those days, but I saw the Camaros and Trans Ams, both on the dealers lots, and always hoped that some day I would own one.
Now ten years later I had the money to buy a nice, clean used Trans am.
The nicest one I found I bought. It was painted dark green metallic with tan leather. Only had 65000 miles and it seemed really nice. the power and performance of the lt1 5.7 engine is awesome.
I never owned a small block chevy V8 that had that type of performance.
The automatic transmission was a good match for the car. Nice smooth shifts under light power and a neck snapper under hard throttle.
The handling is very good. Despite the cars weight, it can corner very good. The Trans am was the best handling car I have ever owned or drove. The 1989 Trans Am I drove years ago could really corner, but, the 1996 Trans am was even better.
The 4 wheel disc brakes hauled it to a stop decently, but, I always thought they could have been better.
The interior was really cool with a fighter jet style layout. I loved how the dashboard gauges were backlit with red lighting. The controls were simple to use. The factory stereo seemed nice enough for me.
I love the way the car looks. The styling is very aggressive and timeless. It doesn't have any silly "look at me" pretensions. The Trans am has a spoiler on the back, however it looks like it belongs there, and only enhances the "fighter jet on wheels" look.
The little things I forgot about. The air conditioning worked very well.
The Trans Am also had fog lights. I didn't find them to be really helpful for extra lighting. I do think they added another point to the cars cool factor.
The things about the car I didn't like.
I saved the problems with the car for last. There weren't many things about the Trans Am I didn't like, but there were a few.
The ride could be too firm for some people. I didn't mind this personly. I know that performance cars need to ride a bit firm for good handling.
The outward visibility. The car is very low to the ground. So it can be a little hard to see that's going on in traffic. The rear sail panels are wide and might cause blind spots, the worst when backing out of a parking space.
This car can be a bit difficult to get in and out of.
Due to its low to the ground. I pity anyone who has to ride in the backseat. There isn't much room back there.
This car was a dream come true for me. I loved every minute of driving it. I'll never forget cruising around, getting approving looks from girls and jealous stare from guys, blasting the stereo, doing a little street racing, just having good times behind the wheel. The types of things Trans am were made for. Fun driving and hauling butt, not hauling groceries.
I would recommend this car only to people who can enjoy its strong points and accept its flaws.
I'll never forget the gleam of the just waxed hood reflecting the glow the the street lights, stereo blasting some classic rock, the exhaust pipes rumbling with strong v8 power. Taking me home after a night of street racing, bar hopping and skirt chasing good times, very good times.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th June, 2006