Spotter's Guide Hood Bird Guide Color Guide

1970 Firebirds

On February 26, 1970 the all new Firebird mades its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. Due to the delay in its introduction many dealers sold 1969 Firebirds
1970 Firebird Esprit
as 1970 models causing many to refer to this model as the 1970 1/2. This model is the true 1970 Firebird and the '69s that were sold as '70s each had VIN numbers identifying them as '69s. The new Firebird was sleek, clean, and unlike any other car before it or since. To simplify the model lineup Pontiac reduced the available model selection from five to four organized into more discernable functions: the base Firebird was the least expensive entry level model; the Esprit was optioned with additional luxury appointments; the Formula 400 for performance-minded buyers offering muscle car performance at a great price; and the Trans Am for the serious driver, complete with all the high performance options. 

The base Firebird was the bargain 'bird equipped with a Chevrolet-built 6 cylinder engine. The 350 was available as an upgrade. The Esprit was more luxury oriented with the upgraded custom interior as standard equipment along with bright moldings around the hood, doors and wheel lips. The Esprit also had a wider chrome molding on the rocker panel that was strictly unique to this model. The standard engine for Esprit was the 2bbl 350. The 400 2bbl as an option. Next up was Formula 400 with unique dual snorkel hood scoops and a standard 400 4bbl with the venerable Ram Air III 400 as an option. Last, but certainly not least was Trans Am with front and rear spoilers, a shaker scoop protruding through the hood, wheel flares, and racing stripes. Trans Am was only available in white with blue stripes or blue with white stripes from 1970 to 1972.
1970 Firebird Formula 400
The Ram Air III 400 was standard in Trans Am while the Ram Air IV 400, designed for racing primarily, was available throgh the back door using a special order form. With this being the case the Ram Air IV is extremely rare and very desirable.

It can be difficult to tell a 1970 Firebird from its 1971 and 1972 variants looking at one from the outside. The most distinctive characteristic of a '70 is the front seats with a unique low back design with separated head rests. 1971 and 1972 models had a one piece back with no headrests. The 1970 and 1971 models shared the front grille design with a fine square grate inset into the nose where the 1972 model displayed an elongated honeycomb grille design. To tell a 1970 Firebird from the 1971 look for the vent on the lower fender that is only found on '71s. Trans Ams did not have this fender vent and since both variants came in blue and white with opposite stripes look for the hood scoop. A correct 1970 hood scoop has no decals where the 1971 and 1972 would call out 455-HO.

1970 Trans Am

1970 Production Numbers

Firebird (Base) 18,874
Esprit 18,961
Formula 7,708
Trans Am 3,196
Total 48,739

1970 Base Firebird Production

Engine Manual Automatic Total
6 Cylinder - - 3,134
8 Cylinder - - 15,740
Total 2,899 15,975 18,874

1970 Esprit Production

Transmission
Manual Automatic Total
All Engines 2,104 16,857 18,961

1970 Formula Production

Transmission
Manual Automatic Total
All Engines 2,777 4,931 7,708

1970 Trans Am Production

Transmission
Engine Option Manual Automatic Total
L74 400cid Ram Air III 1,769 1,339 3,108
LS1 400cid Ram Air IV 59 29 88
Total 2,828 1,368 3,196

1970 Firebird Optional Equipment

OptionTotalPercent
V-8 Engine45,60593.6*
6 Cylinder Engine3,1346.4*
Transmission-Automatic39,13180.3*
Transmission-4Speed6,0089.0*
Transmission-3 Speed3,600***10.7*
Power Brakes29,146**59.8*
Front Wheel Disc Brakes30,706**63.0*
Limited Slip Differential8,188**16.8*
Power Steering44,89192.1*
Power Windows2,2844.7*
Air Conditioning22,37845.9*
Adjustable Steering Column2,5615.3*
Vinyl Roof11,721

What else was happening in 1970

Apollo 13 aborts moon landing
Beatles announce breakup
Nixon, President of the United States
Kent State Riots
First commercial flight of the 747
Best Picture: Patton
Marcus Welby M.D. #1 TV show
Examples shown on this page consist of scanned images or reproduction artwork that can not be faithfully reproduced on a computer screen. Illustrations are for example only. Consult with your vendors offerring reproduction parts for their historical accuracy.