Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
Finally! After weeks of featuring snobby, hifalutin European cars on Found Around The District, I get to highlight a piece of American iron. And this one is especially badass and especially American: a late second-generation Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Hell yeah, Carter-era muscle car.
It was impossible to miss this beautiful black beast on a recent walk in a neighborhood near Eastern Market. It's not uncommon to see older Firebirds of various vintages in any major city, but this one was in especially good shape. I wouldn't say that it's been restored or anything like that, but it looks like someone takes care of it. Very clean inside and out.
When you think "1970s American car," is there a better example than the Firebird? The second-gen model was around for a ridiculously long time, from 1970 to 1981, and Pontiac did a good job of keeping its looks current through that decade with a series of aesthetic updates.
And this one has a ton of great styling cues. There's the classic long hood and four square headlamps indicating it's from 1977 to 1981, the Trans Am stickers EVERYWHERE, the hood scoop, the rear spoiler, the horizontal bar taillights... the word "aggressive" doesn't even begin to cover it. It's black instead of white and missing the "screaming chicken" decal, so I'm assuming this one doesn't belong to Joe Biden, even if it is in D.C.
The Trans-Am had a whole host of V8 engines throughout its run. I have no idea what's under the hood of this one. It's a later model so I'd guess it's a 400 ci or 301 ci V8 depending on the year.
In 1980 Pontiac dropped their big-displacement engines due to increased emissions regulations, so the 'Bird's motors shrank in size. One of you F-Body guys or gals could probably tell me what engine this one carries.
Any good second-gen Trans Am stories you'd like to share?