1991 Pontiac GTA Firebird 5.7L Gasoline V8 from Finland
Kick-ass looking, sounding and performing car
I bought this car from Germany, went there and drove it home, I think the previous owners must have skimped on replacing parts that wear out.
Bearings in the back passenger side wheel probably needs replacement, but it is not critical, will be replaced this week.
The car probably never had it's brake pads replaced either, but they work fine still, but it sounds as if they are worn down, audibly noticeable when the car is standing still and you are letting go of the brakes, will also be replaced this week.
The third brake light in the rear window does not work, the bulb seems to be whole though, might be a loose wire.
This GTA model has the code 'MAE' listed on it's RPO sheet, this means it's a European export model, this means it does not have standard side mirrors, but euro style mirrors, these are not very nice looking, but can be replaced with standard firebird mirrors.
The front turnsignals have also been replaced with ugly cubes, they are easily replaced as well.
The parking lights have changed position and are now found in the flip-top lights next to the half and high beams, this also means the headlight system is rewired, the buttons are also replaced, in order to turn on the parkling lights you have to open the flip-top lamps, this probably has to do with some stricter laws in europe.
The GTA taillights are also replaced with those of a standard Firebird model, this is not a huge deal as only true GTA fans would notice, but replacements can probably be found.
Those are the main changes in a European export model and they are not that difficult to change and the car still looks fine even with them, though some things are little irritants.
The car accelerates excellently, this is not a feature of much use during the winter though as the roads are too slippery in Finland.
It has had it's muffler replaced with a glass-pack (cherry bomb), this gives it a louder, raspier sound and more power, this is decidedly positive in my opinion.
The car has a wider turning area than my old Mazda though, it does not turn on a dime, this car was made for America, where everything is big, but it's never really a problem unless you live in say, Japan.
The car is very comfortable to drive, the GTA seats are highly adjustable and the interior is beautifully made in black leather, the exterior is black as well.
Overall, this is a car I doubt I shall get rid of, oh sure there will some modifications to remove the European features, but that is small fry, the car is all bad ass.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd March, 2004
3rd Mar 2004, 03:50
This is the original reviewer, the car is in the shop now for a check-up, the brakes where fine, it was the bearings in the drive shaft that needs replacing, they are about 30$ each here and I probably need to replace about 5 of them.
6th Apr 2004, 12:15
Thanks for keeping us up to date on this very important car you should send the president some pictures of it.
5th Jun 2005, 01:06
Thanks for the review!
Also, seeing as how you are in Europe, I am looking for a 1991 European Firebird catalog (not the same one as in the States) - I have been looking for a long time and have not found one. If you see one or know where I might get one, please let me know! I found an image of its front cover on the following site (scroll down to 1991 models a bit to see it):
Again, thanks for the review!