Road Trip Outtake: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Southbound and Down


As I hinted recently, I have quite the road trip story to recount, but alas, I’m not going to do it all in one post! My adventure started at 3:30am (Central USA time) when I rousted myself out of bed and Eeyore and I hit the road after my morning ablutions. The time stamp on the photo indicates I shot this pristine 1973 Trans Am at about 10:15am, which would have put me on I-55 headed South out of Peoria, Illinois.


Destination: my father’s home in Central Georgia, normally a sixteen hour drive from our home in the Middle West. I was in it for the long haul, just as Pontiac was with the Firebird, which was really the only ‘muscle/pony’ car to survive the mid-1970s and still live up to the name. The Camaro Z28 would bow out for several years after 1974, and the Mustang, well, let’s just leave well enough alone.

While only 4,772 Trans Ams were produced in 1973, sales shot up over the next couple years, with more than 10,000 sold in 1974 and 27,274 in 1975. 1973 was an especially significant year for the Trans Am, as it saw the introduction of the Super Duty 455 (7.46l) engine with 290 net hp and 395 ft. lb. of torque (!), as well as Regular Production Option (RPO) WW7—the “Screaming Chicken” hood decal.

And Paul, please note that I’m being properly passed on the left here. Finally, if you’ll look past the Trans Am for a moment, you may notice what appear to be storm clouds building on the horizon…