During the third year of Firebird production, Pontiac had a few changes to roll out. In 1969, the Firebird got a little longer of a nose, the rear quarters got a little fatter, and it changed a little bit. That’s not really what 1969 is known for when it comes to the Firebird something more magical happened. It was the 697 Trans Ams that were produced that made it the year that changed the course of automotive history.
Of the very first year Trans Ams made, most were coupes. Only 8 convertibles were made — amazingly, they’re all accounted for today. While it’s not as rare as the ‘verts, a 4-speed manual only showed up in a little more than half of the first Trans Ams. There were plenty of 1-of-1 combinations; most had to do with interior colors.
Up to this point, Pontiac didn’t have many ‘flashy’ cars on the market, and the Trans Am was a bold addition to the lineup. All 1969 Trans Am models came in Cameo White with blue stripes that went over the roof and wrapped down the decklid. They also had decklid spoilers, and fender mounted heat extractors that made it a more sporty-looking car than previous models.
Under the hood, a 400 cubic-inch Ram Air III V8 backed up the sportiness of the Trans Am. The engine made 345 horses at 5,000 RPMs, and 430 ft.-lb. of torque at only 3,400 RPMs. The deep breathing V8 made it a really fun Pontiac to drive, especially with it being lighter than the GTO at the time.
The Trans Am was made to be a driver friendly car. From the comfortable interior, to the dash, it’s a car that makes the driver want to drive it. This particular car was owned by the same person for over three decades. You can tell it was well-loved by the condition, making it a perfect representation of the introduction of the Trans Am.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!