1977 Trans Am
Bird for Her
The Firebird has always been the Camaro's less glorified sister, except for the years made famous by the '70s movie Smokey and the Bandit. This black and gold Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was something everyone recognized. Katherine King of Albany, New York, claims love at first sight when she spotted the car for sale almost five years ago.
Most of the Trans Am model Firebirds received the 400-inch engine we're familiar with, but some special California-born and high-altitude models received a 403-inch motor. This motor was a step down from the 455, but had slightly higher compression than the 400, giving it 320 lb-ft of torque. This was a special motor used in Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and some Trans Ams. Production stopped in 1979 because of some overheating issues, and they reverted to the standard line of engines.
The powerplant, while bearable for the era, was not up to today's standards. As a quick fix, Katherine had a Comp camshaft installed to give it a little more lump at idle, and more high-rpm power. She also replaced the factory intake manifold with an Edelbrock Performer aluminum piece. The exhaust had been modified before she got hold of the car, so that was one less thing to do.
She wants to bring it to the dragstrip, but feels the car isn't ready. She says: "I'm waiting until next year when the engine is rebuilt to take it to the dragstrip and have everybody eat my dust!" We're thinking it may take a full engine replacement to make this T/A really give the other cars a run for their money.
Mothers Picture Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.
Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a photograph or, if you're a modern guy, e-mail us a digital image. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi, and the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!
By The Numbers
1977 Trans AM
Katherine King * Albany, NY
Performance: 185 horsepower, 320 lb-ft of torque
|Type: ||403-inch small-block Oldsmobile |
|Camshaft: ||Comp; .490-inch lift, |
| ||230 degrees duration |
| ||at .050-inch lift |
|Induction: ||Edelbrock Performer |
| ||aluminum intake, factory carb |
|Ignition: ||factory |
|Exhaust: ||Flowmaster mufflers, |
| ||custom dual-tip exit |
|Transmission/shifter: ||three-speed automatic |
|Driveshaft: ||factory |
|Rear axle: ||GM 10-bolt with 3.08 gear |
|Wheels: ||factory Snowflake wheels |
|Tires: ||Hercules N/P 4000 |