Classics The most valuable Firebirds from every generation
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Almost everyone has an opinion about Pontiac Firebirds. Ours, for the record, is that they’re pretty great. Spanning 35 years, four generations, and myriad high-performance variations—not to mention three Smokey and the Bandit movies, Knight Rider, and countless other cultural touchstones—the Firebird transcends typical collecting considerations and cuts to the core reason most of us like old cars—they’re fun. Although most were relatively affordable when new and remain so today, a select few have appreciated into exotic-car territory. We looked at each generation, and here are the most expensive cars from each series.
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First Generation (1967–1969):
#2 (Excellent) condition average value: $1,000,000
1969 is when it all started, with Pontiac introducing the famous Trans Am to the Firebird lineup. Aside from the famous Cameo White body with Tyrol Blue stripes, the Trans Am included plenty of other upgrades. This included a standard Ram Air III 400-cubic-inch engine, with the optional Ram Air IV, heavy-duty suspension and quicker ratio steering. Trans Ams are very uncommon to start with.
Only 697 total cars were produced, so any car in excellent condition brings six figures. Convertibles are a completely different story, though, with only eight being produced. While all are equipped with the less powerful Ram Air III engine, a pristine T/A Convertible is easily a seven-figure car. Being even rarer than a, these cars come up for sale just about as infrequently.
Tested: 2022 Honda Civic Grows Up
The 11th-generation Honda Civic breaks free from its predecessor's design but keeps the good stuff. When we say the new car has all of the things that we loved about the last one, we mean that (almost) literally. Although the 2022 Civic is entering its 11th generation, the machinery is largely carried over from the 2021 model. Base versions are still powered by a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but the optional turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (tested here) gains 6 horsepower and 15 more pound-feet of torque compared to the last Civic, for a total of 180 hp and 177 pound-feet.
Second Generation (1970–1981):
#2 (Excellent) condition average value: $172,000
Although the second-gen Firebird achieved pop-culture fame in its later years—think T-Tops and screaming chicken—serious collectors prefer the high horsepower, tightly wound thoroughbreds of the early ’70s. It should thus come as no surprise that a the most expensive of this era would be an early Trans Am. For the first few years of Trans Am production, numbers were the lowest and the most sought after engine options were offered—one of the rarest the Ram Air IV. Pontiac offered this engine (distinguished by round-port, high-compression cylinder heads) in the Trans Am for only two years, producing only 88 of the cars. The Ram Air IV T/A is closely followed in value by the 455 Super Duty equipped cars in 1973.
Third Generation (1982–1992):
#2 (Excellent) condition average value: $61,000
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Beach volleyball Olympic champion and sports teacher Jonas Reckermann is worried about young talents in view of the ongoing Corona pandemic. © Oliver Weiken / DPA is worried about young talents in view of the ongoing Corona Pandemic: Jonas Reckermann. "In any case, there is a risk that a whole sport generation is impaired - especially as not every school such framework conditions has as with us," said the 42-year-old in an interview of the portal «T-Online» (Tuesday).
GM discontinued production of Pontiac V-8 engines in 1981, forcing the third-gen Firebird to find other ways to distinguish itself from its Chevrolet twin, the.
The Firebird of this era that managed to do that well is the Firehawk, built by Street Legal Performance (SLP). While SLP was technically an outside tuning company, you could walk into your Pontiac dealer and order yourself a Firehawk using option code B4U. This got you a fire breathing Firebird making 350-hp out of it’s 350-Chevy engine and a number of additional braking and handling upgrades. With 25 cars produced in total, these represent the top end in terms of both performance and value, for F-Bodies. The very best of these cars can flirt with the $100,000 mark. Given how rarely they come up for sale, we wouldn’t be surprised to see these continue to climb.
Fourth Generation (1993–2002):
#2 (Excellent) condition average value: $59,600
The final series of Firebird launched in 1993, lasting nine years with a final send off in 2002. Traditionally, the verywill bring the most money, but this is not the case with fourth-gen Firebirds. It takes a truly special car to make that happen and the 1997 SLP Firehawk equipped with the LT4 engine is it.
The Firebird would see a major facelift and a complete engine change in 1998 to the LS platform; however for 1997, SLP had a few tricks hidden up its sleeve. It sourced a number of LT4 engines used in the Corvette program, most notably in the Grand Sport. SLP would install the LT4 in just 29 cars Firehawks (and 100 Camaros). Like the third-gen Firehawk, these cars rarely come up for sale and are highly coveted by Pontiac enthusiasts.
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Tested: 2022 Honda Civic vs. the Compact-Sedan Competition .
Honda's 11th-generation Civic takes on sedan rivals from Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and VW. © Marc Urbano - Car and Driver 2021 Mazda 3 Premium The Mazda 3 similarly offers multiple powertrains, including a price-leader 2.0-liter with 155 horsepower and a 250-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter, but we went with the mainstay of the lineup: a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four with 186 horsepower. The 3 also offers all-wheel drive—unusual for this segment—and while that feature will surely sell in the Snowbelt, it's not what we would have preferred here.