1972 Firebird Exterior Details

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Exterior Colors
C - Cameo White (11)
Trans Am Color
N - Revere Silver (14) D - Adriatic Blue (24)
F -Lucerne Blue (26)
Trans Am Color
K - Julep Green (36) L - Springfield Green (43) M - Wilderness Green (48) G - Brittany beige (50)

E - Quezal Gold (53)

H - Shadow Gold (55) Y - Monarch Yellow (56) J - Brasilia Gold (57)
S - Anaconda Gold (63) Z - Sundance Orange (65) R - Cardinal Red (75)  
For year to year comparisons click here.
SVT/C08 Cordova Top
The vinyl top for 1972 was still referred to as a a pebble grain texture but now featured a new "wet look" replacing the non-glossy, or flat look, of 1970 to 1972.    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.  For year to year comparisons click here.
1. White
2. Black
3. Pewter
5. Blue (available Feb 1, 1972)
6. Beige
7. Tan
8. Green (available Feb 1, 1972)
614/D98 Vinyl Stripes
Vinyl stripes were continued in 1972 mostly unchanged except that a hole appeared where the Firebird emblem attached on the fender where 1972 had the one-year only grille located there.  These stripes are extremely rare to see.
this is wrong. Stripe was blue
Firebird Exterior Features
Bright Grille Moldings
Firebird Name on Front Fender
Bird Emblem 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
2b 350 emblem in driver's grille when ordered with the optional 350 engine.
Esprit Exterior Features
Bright Grille Moldings
Firebird Name on Front Fender
Bird Emblem on Front Fender
Firebird Emblem on Rear Decklid
Esprit Nameplate of Roof Sail Panel
Rocker Panel Moldings (wider than the standard "spear shape")
Roof Drip and Scalp Moldings   (Option 481/B80 on all other models)
Wheel Opening Moldings  (Option 491/B96 on all other models)
Hood Rear Edge Moldings  (Option 484/B85 on all other models)
Belt Reveal Moldings (Option 484/B85 on all other models)
Right and Left Hand Body Color Rear View Mirrors - Left Hand Remote Controlled
Concealed Windshield Wipers (Option 432/C24 on Base and Formula)
2b,c 350 or 400 emblems inside driver's side grille opening corresponding to engine option.
Formula 400 Exterior Features
Bright Grille Moldings
Formula 400 Nameplate on Front Fender below Firebird Emblem
Bird 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)
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
Rear Deck Lid Spoiler
Front Air Spoiler
Rear Wheel Opening Air Spoiler
1. Nose Panel: Emblems/Graphics

Trans Am Nose Decals

For 1972 the die-cast emblem that graced the top of the nose on Formula and Esprit was eliminated.  The only nose adornment would be for the Trans Am which continued unchanged.

2. Front Bumper Grilles
In 1972 the square grid design for the front grilles were changed to an exotic hexagon design that matched the honeycomb wheel design.  This would be a 1 year only grille.  In 1973 the grille would be moved forward to accommodate new federal 5mph bumper standards.  The blacked out grille for Formula was dropped this one year only making the Formula and Base 6 cylinder grilles identical.

A. The standard 1972 was this bright pattern with a PONTIAC emblem in the driver's side grille. This would be found installed on Base Firebirds with tech 6 cylinder engine and all Formulas.

B. Base Firebirds received a 350 emblem in the grille when the 350 engine option was ordered.  This emblem would have been standard on Esprit since the 350 was the standard engine.

C. Esprit's ordered with the optional 400 engine would have received the 400 emblem in the driver's side grille. the photo to the left is poor quality because these emblems are rare, appearing only on Esprit's with the optional 400 engine.

E. The Trans Am grille was also blacked out with no PONTIAC emblem.


3. Hood Scoop Decals

When you ordered your Formula with the new 455 H.O. engine option (34U/LS5) you were required to order option 601/WU3, the Hood Air Inlet that made the hood scoops functional. Even though you will see RAM AIR decals added to most Formula models and may even see open hood scoops from the factory this option was extremely rare, offerred only on Formula 455's and an option at that.

Decals were changed for 1972 to a plainer font than 1970.  This style would be used again in 1972 and was available in black or white. The red RAM AIR decal was dropped for this year.

For the first time the Trans Am hood scoop was adorned with engine call-outs in either white (for white cars) or blue (for blue cars)  The engine call out read 455 H.O, corresponding to the engine installed.  Since the 455- H.O. was the only engine available only this decal adorned the hood scoop.
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 adornment 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 Recessed, 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 front valance panel was changed from the steel unit used previously to a new plastic panel with a small built in spoiler.  Most Firebirds and Trans Ams will not be seen with these today as they were prone to split and crack. The only service replacement offered by Pontiac was the steel unit sold with ana adapter for both the Firebird and Trans Am to make the metal piece attach correctly.  Because of this you are likely to see more of the steel units on 1972 and 1973 Firebirds than the original plastic units.

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 front 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.
8. Spoiler
In 1972 the Trans Ams rear spoiler became optional for the first time on Formula models.  The spoiler, one of the most popular options for the Firebird model, would become optional on the base Firebird in 1973.  It would not be until 1976 that you could order the spoiler for an Esprit.
9. Fender Emblems/Graphics
Firebird and Esprit
The Firebird Fender Script would remain unchanged from 1972 to 1981 but 1972 and 1973 added a new bird emblem leading the script just behind the front wheel wells. This new bird was used on all models except the Trans Am.  You may note that the nose bird no longer was used in 1972, this was the replacement but was seen on even base Firebirds unlike the nose emblem.

For 1972 the Formula script was changed ever so slightly from the 1972 variants.  Although similar the engine call out (350, 400, or 455) was set in the same font size as the Formula call out.  In 1970 to 1972 the numbers were larger.

This style would be used through 1975.  In 1976 decals would call out the Formula models.


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.

Note that the 1970 to 1972 decals were also die cut, each letter an individual decal. From 1973 to 1975 the decal was a 1 piece with clear surrounding the letters.

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 1972 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, unless the rear spoiler was ordered on the Formula. 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 to the slight curvature of the nose.  The part number shows that this bird was used from 1970 to 1974 but latter birds were identical until 1981.  The part number change was most likely just a conversion to a new numbering scheme.
TRANS AM Rear Spoiler Decals
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. Decor Molding Options

Exterior decor moldings remained unchanged from 1972 with different trim being offerred alacarte.  Click the link below for more detailed information regarding the decor moldings.

See Decor Molding Details for 1972

14. 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 side of these models was actually a smoother look with no exhaust tip at all.

15. Door Handle's 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 handle 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 1972 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 Cameo 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. 
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 1972 - 1972 because they were a brighter shade of white to match 1970's unique Polar White shade used on the TA Hood Scoop.  1972 and 1972 cars would be painted Cameo White, an off white, necessitating an off-white stripe to match the hood scoop. 
White Stripe/Black 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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