• 1970 Pontiac Trans AM
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  • 1970 Pontiac Trans Am - High Performance Pontiac Magazine

Trans Am & Firebird Restoration: 1970-1/2 - 1981 (Restoration How-to)


An all new 1970 Pontiac Trans Am represented a new generation. The 2nd generation Firebird/Trans Am had new styling with a front bumper and recessed grille that was molded out of Endura rubber and painted the same color as the car to giving it a bumperless appearance. Single headlights, split side markers, flush door handles and enlarged wheel openings also highlighted the changes for the new generation. The suspension was also revised and a rear stabilizer bar was added. The 1970 Trans Am was was now available in Polar White or Lucent Blue, with contrasting stripes and featured a modest bird decal at the tip of the nose, and the words "Trans Am" across the rear spoiler and was fitted with air dams across the bottom of the front and in front of the wheels. A large decklip lip and small spoilers in front of the rear wheels completed the package. These aero pieces were claimed to generate 50 pounds of downforce on the front and rear of the car at highway speeds. Trans Ams also received a rear facing shaker hood scope to feed the standard Ram Air II engine.

The overall styling of the 1970 Trans Am was so ahead of its time when compared to its competition with its low stance, very long hood, and short decklid that it lasted twelve model years. Nobody back in 1970 would have predicted its longevity, after-all the first generation (1967-1969) Firebird's basic body style only lasted for three years. Of course part of the success of the body style was that Pontiac gave the Trans Am attractive front and rear design updates every few years. For 1970, the front-end looked fantastic with a big twin grille design which was surrounded by a headlamp on each side - a two headlamp design (the 1967-1969 Firebird had four headlamps). Unlike the 1969 Trans Am which had chrome trim around these two grilles (and a small Endura piece), most of the front was surrounded by a large flexible Endura piece which was body colored. The look was innovative and put the Trans Am way ahead of its competition - all of which had chrome or painted steel bumpers as part of the front-end design. The rear design was also modern and had distinctive twin rear taillights that were very close to the rear taillight design of the mid-1960s Pontiac Banshee show car. The Trans Am had a long thin chrome bumper which spanned the entire rear and wrapped around the edge of the rear quarter panels. The Trans Am would not lose the rear chrome bumper until the 1974 model year.

The Trans Am didn't hit the market place until February 24, 1970 due to production delays however with a production total of 3,196 it was almost five times the production total of the 1969. And for each successive year during the 1970s (except for 1971 and 1972), Trans Am sales would continue to increase. The 1979 Trans Am production total of 116,535 would be the best single year of Trans Am production. Most muscle cars were pushed into extinction or saw dismal sales during the 1970s. Not the Trans Am, the 1970s would be all about the Trans Am - it was the undeniable king of American performance cars and it had the sales to prove it.


1970 Trans Am Pictures, Images & Photos | Photobucket

The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am's road manners received much attention. The padded Formula steering wheel directed quick 12.1:1 variable-ratio . Stiffer and heavy-duty front and rear sway bars teamed with Polyglas F60X15 tires on Kelsey Hayes Rally II wheels. Standard 10.9-inch power front and 9.5-inch rear drums did the stopping.