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1979

Firebird Wheels
 
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The ins and outs of Pontiac wheels may be confusing and no clear documentation really exists for all the wheels that may have adorned the Firebird from 1970 to 1981.  This guide is compiled from many sources but the primary resource is the 1972 Pontiac Firebird parts manual. Although these manuals can be unclear at times by listing parts that may fit as a replacement or subsitution the wheel info seems to be the most complete.  It is the only resource to list codes. If you see a discreancy then please contact me.
Steel Wheels  
Standard Hubcap
  Hubcap and Trim Ring
       

All Firebirds except Trans Am and those ordered with Rally II wheel would be outfitted with Pontiac's base wheel over which would be a hubcap or trim rings. 

When the Base Firebird was ordered with the base 6 cylinder engine the wheel was 14"X6" and was stamped AM near the valve stem.  All other models with V-8's, including the base Esprit and Formula, had 14"X7" wheels stamped with CL. Image shown is actually a later wheel but 1970's were similar.

 
The Base Hubcap was standard with Firebird, Formula, and Esprit (esprit also had the trim ring to the right as standard).  Note that when the base hubcap was ordered the wheel was painted in body color.
 

Code 471 - UPC P06

In addition to the base hubcap Esprit models came standard with the Trim Ring, a bright metal ring that attached to the outer rim of the wheel held on with serrated teeth.  The Trim Ring was optional on all other models (471/PO6) when ordered with Base Hubcaps or Rally II wheels.

         
Custom Wheel Covers   Wire Wheel Covers   Rally II 14x7
         

Code 472-UPC P02

New for 1971 was the Custom Wheel Cover featuring a brushed stainless steel center hub surrounded by simulated cooling fins. Available on the Base Firebird, Esprit, and Formula. The Deluxe Wheel cover was 14".

 

Code 473-UPC N95

Wire Wheel Covers were offered throughout the second generation Firebird's 12 year run. In some years the Wire Wheel Cover was not a factory option but they were always offered as a dealer added accessory.  In 1971 the Wire Wheel Cover was a factory option.  The center cap called out PMD.  This version was offered from 1967 to 1972.
 

Code 474-Code N98

The optional Rally II wheel for Firebird, Esprit, and Formula (except with F60x15 Raised White Letter tires TNL/PM7 or the new Y96 Formula Handling package) was this 14"x7".  The correct wheel would be stamped with a JS code near the valve stem.  Shown in this instance is the 7 inch Rally II wheel with the optional trim ring and a red center cap. Note that when Rally II wheels were ordered the Space Saver Spare was included in the trunk.

         
Rally II 15x7   Honeycomb 14x7   Honeycomb 15x7
         

Code 474-Code N98

The 15 x 7 Rally II wheel with code JW stamped near the valve stem were carried over from the 1970 model year.  As in 1970 the 15 inch Rally II was standard on the Trans Am.  According to all literature found the Formula could not be bought with 15 inch Rally II's this year.  Both the F60x15 Raised White Letter tires (option TNL/PM7) and the brand new Y96 Formula Handling package came with the new 15 inch Honeycomb wheels.

The 15x7 Rally II could be ordered with Trim Rings in 1971. Note that when Rally II wheels were ordered the Space Saver Spare was included in the trunk.

 

Code 478-UPC P05

The big news for 1971 was the introduction of the Honeycomb wheel.  The 14x7 wheel was available on Firebird, Esprit and Formula along with many other Pontiacs for 1971. For the Firebirds however the chrome trim ring was not standard (see the trim ring installed on the 15" version to the right).  It is extremely rare to see a honeycomb wheel without the trim ring however.

Note that the center cap used in 1971 was unique.  The pentagon shaped medallion for 1971 was plain chrome. On 1972 to 1976 versions there would be a red pontiac crest in the center of the medallion. Note that when Honeycomb wheels were ordered the Space Saver Spare was included in the trunk.

 

Code 478-UPC P05

The 15x7 Honeycomb Wheel was originally intended to be standard on Trans Am but became optional due to forecasted supply shortages.  The 15 inch Honeycomb wheel also became an option on Formula when you ordered either F60x15 Raised White Letter tires (option TNL/PM7) or the Y96 Formula Handling package.  As with the 14 inch wheel trim rings (shown in the illustration above were optional.

Note that when Honeycomb wheels were ordered the Space Saver Spare was included in the trunk.

     
1971 Rally II Wheel Center Caps   Space Saver Spare   A Note About Spare Tires
       
Spare tire usage was changed in 1971.  In 1970 when you ordered Rally II wheels you received a fifth Rally II wheel in the trunk with the spare tire.  For 1971 the Space Saver Spare (Code 704-UPC N65) was included with the Rally II wheels.  The space saver spare was also included with Honeycomb wheels.  This means that since Trans Am came standard with Rally II wheels that the Space Saver spare was also standard on Trans Am.
The red center cap would be used until the end of 1972.  In 1973 the center cap for Rally II wheels would be a plain steel ornament with the Pontiac arrow head crest embossed into its center. 
   
Space Saver Spare Tire (Code 704-UPC N65) was a popular option on Firebird because trunk space was always at a premium on second generation Firebirds.  The space saver spare added almost 3 cubic feet of additional trunk space. The handy pressure can bolted to the inside of the wheel was used to inflate the spare when it was needed.