Pontiac Firebirds first came on the scene in 1967, and in the following years established themselves as one of the most popular muscle cars to come out of America, and were at the forefront of the market until production stopped in 2002.
I used to keep my beloved Pontiac in my famous asbestos riddled garage until I had Sydney asbestos removal guys tear it down last year, then I sadly decided to get rid of my black beauty as I really couldn’t store it.
The Pontiac Divison of General Motors bought out three variants of the Pontiac Firebird in 1982: the standard base model – which was aligned with fellow General Motors’ release, the Camaro Sport Coupe, the more luxurious Special Edition, and most famously the high performance Trans Am.
The Trans Am is memorable most notably for its role in the successful television series Knight Rider. Its role is that of a crime fighting machine named KITT, which in tandem with emerging star David Hasselhoff stars in a number of dramatic storylines where “direct action might provide the only feasible solution.”
The Trans Am is given a number of special features and abilities, including advanced technology, a near indestructible body, a voice (that of William Daniels), and artificial intelligence that allows it to control itself.
With its television success came a new and widespread fanbase. A cocktail of crime fighting, technology and style meant it appealed to a wide range of viewers.
Even before the show the 1982 Trans Am was a success, with an unexpectedly high 53,000 sales that year meaning that it accounted for 45% of all the Firebird’s produced, with young males being again being won over by the car’s stylish looks, as well as power. It also provided a cheaper alternative to market rivals like the Chevrolet Corvette.
The 1982 Trans Am had the choice of two different 305-cid V8 engines. The standard engine gave 145bhp, while an optional fuel injection Corvette engine could be fitted, giving 165bhp, making it the most powerful of the three 1982 Firebirds.
Tests on the 1982 Trans Am’s acceleration yielded differing results. At best, it was estimated that it could go from 0 to 60mph in 9.2 seconds, at worst in 10.8 seconds. While apparently relatively modest compared to muscle cars of a decade earlier, it was still quicker than most early 80s cars.
Three decades later the popularity of the 1982 Trans Am is still high thanks to its part in Knight Rider. In prime condition they are usually nowadays worth around $6,500, relatively cheap for a classic. Car insurance companies in most cases will not insure classic cars for their value, so it is important to get an agreed value when shopping for car insurance quotes.