With the oil shortages the focus was now more on fuel economy and clean air than horsepower. The emmissions era had begun and all Firebird models were installed with power robbing catalytic converters and lower compression engines. Esprit's power trains were now identical to the base Firebird with the standard L22 6 cylinder engine with the only option being the L30 350 2bbl. Formula did not share the base/Esprit 350 this year getting a 4 bbl 350 as standard equipment. The Trans Am 400 was optional in the Formula line. The Formula 455 model was dropped and the Trans Am initially was offerred with only a 400. Due to public demand the 455 was brought back mid-year and was offerred only with a 4 speed manula transmission. Called the 455 HO this engine was taken from the full size car line with low compression (7.6:1) and making only 200hp at a low 3600rpm.
while horsepower and torque were on the decline Firebird production was gaining exponentilly hitting another all time high with sales of 84,063, almost double 1973 sales. Much of the sales increase came from Trans Am with sales of 27,274, more than twice the sales of 1974 and the first time that Trans Am would outsell Formula! Trans Am color choices were expanded to 4 this year with Sterling Silver joining the palate with new charcal/red decals. This color proved very popular. Cameo White, Buccaneer Red, continued and Admiralty Blue became Stellar Blue. The future would see continued popularity and diversity of Trans Am.
Identifying a '75 is easy. Look for the black rubber bumper strips (same as '74) with a larger wrap-around rear window. The '76 is differentiated by its smooth "bumperless" valance. This year was the only of the second generation, second revision style that had turn signals in the grilles and horizontal slats versus the vertical of '74 and the honeycomb design of '76. The holes in the lower valance that carried the turn signals in the '74 had block off plates installed. Gone for good was the Ram Air option that made the Formula hood scoops function (Trans Am hoods were blocked since 1973) and the dual snorkel hood would be discontinued after this year.