|Photo Credit: blaaargh.org|
If you ask the purists they will tell you that the golden age of Muscle Car of the Week ended in 1971. In a way they are right. That was before emissions regulations, when seemingly everything that came off the line pinged dyno runs up to max numbers. In the following years chassis and horsepower got small and smaller. However, a few engineers sought to keep the muscle in America’s auto output. Instead of one or two engine options sports cars often had four or five, starting as low as 100bhp and in the case of Pontiac’s 1974 Firebird Trans AM SD455 up to a golden era-esque 290 bhp.
The Firebird line almost died in 1972. But, company believers fought for it and the bird continued to emblazon hoods. For all of its juice the SD455 engine was capable of a whole lot more. Compromises were made to compression, jetting, camshaft, and vacuum advance in order to meet emissions regulations.
The 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM SD455 might not have the stuff of a Shelby Mustang or a fully tooled up Charger, but for its year it was a true vintage. And its not a bad muscle car restoration project either. Current market value is around $75,000.