A 1970 Firebird 400.

V8. For only $116 extra over the base Firebird, the straight six was given a Rochester four-barrel carburetor, higher-lift cam, 10.5:1 compression ratio, split exhaust manifold, and freer-flowing air cleaner, plus 215 hp (160 kW), 50 hp (37 kW) more than standard. As part of the package, the three-speed shifter was floor-mounted, and the suspension was firmed up. By American standards, this was a relatively small-engined high-revving performance car. Both the Sprint and base Firebird could be had in open-top forms, as a $237 option. Despite that seductive advertisement, convertibles were only ever a minority of Firebird sales: fewer than 16,000 were sold in that first year, or about one- fifth of the total. If the Sprint seemed too frenetic, and for many traditionalists it probably did, the more laid-back 326-cu in (5.34- liter) V8 was a better choice. Slightly more powerful than the Sprint at 250 hp (186.5 kW), but with far more torque as it provided 330 lb ft (447.5 Nm) at 2,800 rpm, this was the most relaxed of the new Firebirds. Pontiac underlined the point by equipping it with a non-sporting three-speed column shifter, and billing the buyer for $21 less than the Sprint owner. A three-speed transmission was not synonymous with boulevard cruising: even the top-performance Firebird 400 stuck with a three-speed. For an extra $47, Firebird 326 owners could make that a floor shift, while a center console and bucket seats were also on the options list. As ever, the interior design of mass-market muscle cars Pontiac Firebird 13

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