1970 Firebird Exterior Details

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Exterior Colors
C - Polar White (10)
Trans Am Color
P - Palladium Silver (14) D - Bermuda Blue (25)
F -Lucerne Blue (26)
Trans Am Color
E - Atoll Blue (28)
L - Keylime Green (43) H - Palisade Green (45) Q - Verdoro Green (47)

W - Goldenrod Yellow (51)

S - Coronado Gold (53)
Z - Granada Gold (58) B - Palomino Copper (63) V - Carousel Red (65) J - Castillian Bronze (67) R - Cardinal Red (75)
SVT/C08 Cordova Top
The Firebird Cordova top for 1970 to 1975 covered the entire roof and wrapped around the rear window. Roof drip moldings (Option741/B80) was included as well as bright trim surrounding the vinyl.  The 1970 and 1971 Firebird vinyl tops was a flat (non-glossy) material where later years went to a glossy "wet" look. For year by year comparisons click here.
12A White
12B Black
12E Sandalwood
12G Dark Green
12H Dark Gold
Firebird Exterior Features
Bright Grille Moldings
Firebird Name on Front Fender
Firebird Emblem on Rear Decklid
Narrow Rocker Panel Moldings
Drivers Side Chrome Rear View Mirror  (434/D35 Dual Body Color Mirrors Optional)
Exposed Windshield Wipers    (432/C24) Concealed Wipers Optional
Esprit Exterior Features
Bright Grille Moldings
Firebird Name on Front Fender
Firebird Emblem on Front Bumper
Firebird Emblem on Rear Decklid (if 440 engine ordered 400 callout)
Esprit Nameplate of Roof Sail Panel
Rocker Panel Moldings (wider than the standard "spear shape")
Roof Drip and Scalp Moldings   (Option 740/B80 on all other models or with 431/Y80 Decor Trim Group)
Wheel Opening Moldings  (Option 431/Y80 with Decor Trim Group on all other models)
Hood Rear Edge Moldings  (Option 431/Y80 with Decor Trim Group on all other models)
Belt Reveal Moldings (Option 431/Y80 with Decor Trim Group on all other models)
Right and Left Hand Body Color Rear View Mirrors - Left Hand Remote Controlled
Concealed Windshield Wipers
Formula 400 Exterior Features
Black Textured Grille with Bright Reveal Moldings
Formula 400 Nameplate on Front Fender below Firebird Emblem
Firebird Emblem on Front Bumper
Firebird Emblem on Rear Decklid
Fiberglass Hood with Dual Hood Scoops
Narrow Rocker Panel Moldings
Right and Left Hand Body Color Rear View Mirrors - Left Hand Remote Controlled
Exposed Windshield Wipers    (432/C24) Concealed Wipers Optional)
8 Dual Chrome exhaust extensions
Trans Am Exterior Features
Black Textured Grille with Bright Reveal Moldings (PONTIAC emblem deleted)
TRANS AM Decals on Fenders
TRANS AM Decals on Rear Spoiler
Large Bird Decal on top of Nose Section
Shaker type Hood Scoop protruding through Special Trans Am hood.
No Rocker Panel Moldings
Right and Left Hand Body Color Rear View Mirrors - Left Hand Remote Controlled
Concealed Windshield Wipers  
Stripes over the Hood, Roof, Deck Lid, and Rear Spoiler - Blue or White
Functional Front Fender Air Extractors
8 Dual Chrome exhaust extensions
Rear Deck Lid Spoiler
Front Air Spoiler
Rear Wheel Opening Air Spoiler
1. Nose Panel: Emblems/Graphics
Nose Emblem for Esprit and Formula
Trans Am Nose Decals
2. Front Bumper Grilles
The 1970 and 1971 grilles have a square grid design. in 1972 the grilles would have a hexagonal design and 1973 would introduce a grille consisting of larger squares ofetn referred to as the egg-crate design.

A. The standard 1970 was this bright pattern with a PONTIAC emblem in the driver's side grille.

B. Formula's grille was blacked out like the Trans Am's but carried a PONTIAC emblem in the driver's side grille.

C. The Trans Am gille was also blacked out with no PONTIAC emblem.
3. Hood Scoop Decals

When the Formula 400 was ordered with the Trans Am's Ram Air III motor the hood scoops became functional and RAM AIR decals were added to the leading edge of the snorkels.  The RAM Air decals were available in White, Black, or Red.  These decals were carried over from 1969 Firebirds but were unique to the second generation cars as the style changed in 1971.  It is common to see these decals applied to Formula 400 models without the Ram Air III engine but these were not applied at the factory that way. 

A common misconception is that 1970 Trans Ams came with hood scoop decals from the factory where in fact they came blank.  You will commonly see RAM AIR or RAM AIR IV decals added to these scoops.
4. Esprit Sail Panel Emblem

Esprit Sail Panel Emblem

The Esprit Emblem graced the Firebird Esprit sail panel from 1970 to 1975 in the form shown at right.  All other Firebirds had no adorment on the sail until 1976 when the bird emblem debuted there.  From 1976 on the Esprit emblem would move to the fender below the Firebird script.

Rear Valance Emblems
5. WindShield Wipers
From 1970 to 1975 the standard wipers on Base Firebird and Formula was exposed while the Esprit and Trans Am received Recesse, or hidden, windshield wipers.  This changed in 1976 where Esprit came standard with exposed wipers and Formula had recessed wipers as standard equipment. By checking option box 432/C24 any Firebird owner would could have Recessed Wipers.
Exposed Wipers (Standard on Firebird and Formula)
Concealed Wipers Option 432/C24.  Optional on Base Firebird and Formula, standard on Esprit and Trans Am.
6. Front Valance
The correct front valance panel for 1970 and 1971 was the steel unit shown below.  1972 and 1973 Firebirds got a plastic front valance that differs substantially, most noatably in the air intake holes.   The lamps installed in the valance for 1970 to 1972 clear lenses.
7. Trans Am Fender Air Extractor
The Trans Am came standard with fender air extractors on each fender to let warm engine air out of the engine compartment and reduce lift on the frojnt end at speed.  From 1970 to 1974 it is correct for the inner screen to be painted black.  From 1975 the grates were body color.
9. Fender Emblems/Graphics
Firebird and Esprit
The Firebird emblem graced the front fenders of all models except Trans Am and was a unique design that only appeared in 1970.  Also unique for 1970 350 or 400 emblems appeared below Firebird on the fender when the 350 or 400 cid engines were ordered.
Formula 400
FORMULA 400 emblem appeared below Firebird emblem this year. Although part numbers for the FORMULA 400 emblem differed from that used in 1971 they appeared identical.
Trans Am
Decals used in place of emblems, either white on blue cars or vice versa.   These decals were identical from 1970 to 1972.  These decals used the same script as 1973 to 1977 but the fender decals were much smaller.
10.  Rear Valance Panel Emblems
PONTIAC lettering graced the rear valance on 1970 to 1973 Firebirds between the tail lights. Although 1970 letters carried a different part number the letters are indistinguishable with 1971 to 1973 Firebirds
11. Rear Decklid/Spoiler
Deck Lid Bird Emblem
Firebird, Esprit, and Formula's trunk lids were adorned with a small bird emblem on the rear trunk lid just above the valance. This bird is similar to the bird used on the nose but as you can that there are sharper ridges between the feathers and this emblem lays flat where the nose emblem conforms with the crease on the nose.  The part number shows that this bird was used from 1970 to 1974 but latter birds appeared identical until 1981.  The part number change was most likely just a conversion to a new numbering scheme.
  Deck Lid 400 Emblem (RARE)  

The image to the right is from the Pontiac Parts manual and is the only illustration available for the existence of a 400 emblem that was supposed to be installed on 400 equipped cars.  Section 12.182 of a 1972 version of the Pontiac Parts Manual shows part number 9808505 with a description of 1970/ALL-400.  Even on the inetrnet shots of the fender 400 emblems are rare and photographic eveidence of the decklid 400 emblem has not yet been found, even on the many Formula 400 images available.

It is possible that this emblem was planned and never produced or dropped early in production.

TRANS AM Rear Spoiler Decals
The rear spoiler was only available on Trans Am in 1970.  Decals across the spoiler proclaimed Trans Am with white letters on blue cars and blue letters on white cars. Decals across the spoiler proclaimed Trans Am with white letters on blue cars and blue letters on white cars.  Decals for 1970 to 1972 were all smaller than in 1973 to 1977 but the same lettering script was used..
12. Exterior Rear View Mirrors
The base Firebird came with a chrome driver's side rear view mirror as shown on the bottom left.  Second Generation Esprit, Formula, and Trans Am would always come with dual "bullet" style rear view mirrors (one on each side of the car) with the driver's side being adjusted with a small lever on the door panel.  Option 434/D35: Dual Body Color Mirrors made the dual bullet style mirrors available on the base Firebird as well. Because of being standard on Esprit, Formula, and Trans Am throughout the Second Gen run and being available on Base Firebirds the chrome rear view mirror is extremely rare to see these days.
13. Headlight Bezels
  Headlight bezels differred in 1970 having very narrow slots used to access the adjustment screws.  Due to mechanic complaints that the screws were difficult to access Pontiac changed the slots making them wider from 1971 to 1973.  The difference is almost imperceptible but can be seen in the illustrations below.  
14. Decor Molding Options

For 1970 and on a number or decor trim options were offered that, for the most part, included bright metal moldings around the hood, side windows, rocker panels, and wheel lips.  Most, but not all of these were standard on the Esprit and optional on all other models. 

Although the trim itself remained relatively unchanged from 1970 to 1981 the ways each was offered to the public varied. 

An explanation of Decor molding offerings may be found on its own page.  Click here to view 1970 Decor Molding offerings.

8. Formula and Trans Am Exhaust Tip

The Formula and Trans Am received dual chrome plated exhaust tips as standard equipment to compliment the dual exhaust.  This particular exhaust arrangement would last through the 1975 model year.  In 1976 these were replaced with the chrome splitters that became very popular in the late 1970's.

The standard Base Firebird and Esprit had a similar exhaust pipe although in plain steel and only protruding from the driver's side.  The passenger sie of these models was actaully a smoother look with no exhaust tip at all.

15. Custom Door Handle Inserts

Door handles for 1970 to 1977 were actually larger than the 1978 to 1981 door handles.  The door handle at top right is correct for 1970 to 1977.  Not how the hanle itself is much larger than the indent.  The later door handle below right barely overhangs the depression.

When you ordered option 731/W54 to get the Custom Trim group, an interior option that included upgraded seats and door panels along with a few interior appointments, the only exterior visual clue was the addition of a door handle insert that matched the body color.  The standard door handle was chrome.

1970 was unique in that the parts manual includes a part number for each color insert: Bright Blue, Medium Blue, Dark Blue, Bronze, Bright Gold, Dark Gold, Green Gold, Green, Medium Green, Orange, Light Saddle, Red, Silver, White, and Yellow.  For 1971 and after replacement decals were no longer offered in separate colors.  Instead only white was offered with a note saying paint to match.  I guess maintaining colors for every possible color as years went on would have been an arduous task.

Since the insert came with the custom interior the decals were standard on Esprit and not available on the Base Firebird.  It was optional on Formula and Trans Am so if you see the custom interior these decals were correct.

16.Trans Am Hood/Roof/Trunk/Spoiler Stripes
From 1970 to 1972 Trans Ams came standard with a single stripe running the entire length of the car.  These stripes were either Blue on Polar White cars or White on Lucerne Blue cars.   The nose of each was adorned with a small bird decal matching the stripes.  Trans Am stripes for 1970 to 1972 rant over the hood, roof, and rear deck lid and onto the upper surface of the rear spoiler.  A small bird decal adorned the nose of the car.  An interesting note is that some 1970 Trans Ams were delivered without the nose bird decal.  A Pontiac Dealer Information Bulletin number 70-I-54 stated that the decal on cars manufactured in the Norwood plant were blistering and falling off. The bulletin announced that Trans Ams would be delivered without the bird until the issue had been corrected. After a solution was found the bulletin states that all Trans Ams would receive the bird under warranty. 
White Stripes for Lucerne Blue Trans Ams
The white stripes had a hard black outline while the blue stripes had a fade in effect. The white stripes for 1970 had different part numbers for 1970 than 1971 - 1972 because they were a brighter shade of white to match 1970's unique Polar White shade used on the TA Hood Scoop.  1971 and 1972 cars would be painted Cameo White, an off white, necessitating an off-white stripe to match the hood scoop.  Another interesting anomoly is that white stripes had two different part numbers for 1970, one decsribed as white with gray borders and the other gray with black borders.  It is unknown if two different stripes for 1970 were actually used on blue cars.  Read the Interesting Facts page for more info. 
White Stripe/Black Border White Stripe/Gray Border
Blue Stripes for White Trans Ams
The blue stripe for white cars featured a gray outline rather than the stark black used on white stripes.  It may have been that the original white stripes were originally designed to match but later became the more course black instead.  The blue stripe was continued unchanged from 1970 to 1972.
Blue Stripe/Gray Border
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