The 1978 Pontiac Firebird, Formula & Trans Am


White Trans Am (52581 bytes)

White Trans Am (41634 bytes)

White Trans Am (33705 bytes)

Interior (43549 bytes)

Engine (65166 bytes)
This awesome Trans Am is owned by Matt Ferrell. Matt sent this list of current features:

Engine: SB Chevy 350
  • New Gen. I Crate Motor GM Short block with forged pistons and new generation "pink" rods. UPC sticker still on side of block. Casting #10243880
  • GM 73cc Heavy Heads (.015"milled) 2.02 / 1.60 Stainless valves fresh three-angle grind. With screw in studs and push rod guide plates.
  • ARP Head bolts
  • Hydraulic cam .510 lift int. and exh. with 234o int and 244o exh duration at .050
  • Double Roller Timing Chain
  • Crane Gold Roller Rockers with posi locks
  • Chrome-moly push rods
  • Edelbrock Performer RPM intake
  • Duel feed Holley 3310 Fuel pressure gauge and filter built in-line
  • Holley high flow mechanical fuel pump
  • Taylor Vertex 8mm ignition wires with engine side loom
  • Headers with NEW dual exhaust that exits in stock location
  • Moroso non-baffled Aluminum Deep Valve Covers
  • Specter ignition wire loom (Runs along bottom of valve cover.)
  • New HEI
  • New starter

Transmission: TH350

  • Shift Kit
  • Adjustable Modulator Valve
  • 3500 stall converter
  • #6 steel braided flexible cooling lines with –6 AN Fittings
  • Aluminum transmission oil cooler

Rearend: GM 10bolt

  • Posi Carrier
  • 4.10:1 ring and pinion
  • New bearings and seals throughout


  • Body was stripped to bare metal
  • Etch Primered
  • Sealed and Painted using Sikkens paint (Very high quality German Paint)
  • Lower area on body has been painted with Rock Guard
  • Decals are GM Reproductions made by 3M. Hood decal is one piece.
  • All weather stripping is new from Soft Seal
  • All glass is intact
  • Door handles are not cracked or broken
  • Power windows function well
  • 15x8 Snowflake rims (Much more rare than the 15x7’s)
  • Shaker scoop is functional and NOT bonded to the hood
  • 275-60x15 BFG Drag Radial tires on rear 235-60x15 tires on front
  • New centercaps and lug nuts (Lug nuts cost about $3.00 ea for these rims).
  • New Pontiac nose emblem


  • The interior is fresh
  • Dash has no cracks
  • New carpet
  • New door panels
  • New headliner
  • New package tray
  • New door sill plates

Other Features:

  • Howe Aluminum Radiator (2 core with each row 1" wide as opposed to 4" wide rows)
  • Automatic electric fan with thermal switch
  • Jegs overflow tank
  • Power brake Vacuum canister
  • Relocated Solenoid to eliminate hot starts
  • 1000CCA Battery relocated to trunk
  • Battery cut-off switch located in rear.

Matt is a member of the Indy Firebird Club.
The club was formed in 1977 to promote the enjoyment of the Firebird and all of the models built upon it: Sprint, H.O., Trans Am, Esprit, Formula, S/E, GTA and Firehawk. The Indy Firebird Club welcomes and is open to all Firebird owners and enthusiasts.

E-mail: Matt Ferrell



Blue Formula (39445 bytes)

Blue Formula (42247 bytes)

Blue Formula (41085 bytes)

Interior (46366 bytes)

Engine (50805 bytes)
Glen Bomke owns this clean, original Formula. Glen writes:

     "For two years I have been looking for a Firebird or a Camaro to play with, fix, drive, spend time with. I have owned and done the same with 69 firebird, OHC 6, 69 Camaro, 72 Formula, 74 Formula, 82 Trans Am. Then all my car projects went away, like all good things do at certain times. I have been looking through eBay for MONTHS, looking for nothing newer than 1978. Sent inquiring emails, looked at lots of pictures, conclusion, too much money, not good enough shape, wrong car, just all those things a discriminating person with time has going for them.
FOUND, in Kentucky, in a garage, PERFECTION. 1978 Firebird Formula, 305, 2 barrel, Turbo 350 trans, everything perfect, just like the day it left the CA factory. 122000 miles, motor and drive train, have never had a bolt cracked on them. All of these things worked the minute I turned South to drive this car 864 miles to Florida, 15 minutes after I saw it in person. I took a Greyhound bus to Cincinnati to see this car. 864 miles, 22.4 MPG, cruise control set at 78

Air Conditioned
Factory AM/FM 8track with CB Radio, everything works
Original cigar lighter, works
CB Antennae is electric
Cruise Control
Original Space Saver spare in trunk
All original documentation in glove compartment
Anyway, what a pretty car, 22 years old and looks 2



Derry Upshaw owns this Mayan Red 1978 Trans Am. Derry writes:

Original Owner: D. Upshaw, Westminster (Denver), CO.

"I purchased my 78 TA new in September 1978 from Steve Johnson Pontiac in Colorado Springs, CO. As I recall, I placed $200 down pending financing and a co-signer. I was 20 years old at the time. I originally sought a Mayan Red car with a black interior. A must have was the W72 package with 4spd and as few other options as possible (i.e. no AC, no power windows or locks, no defrost, no radio etc). The car that I found had a two toned white/carmine interior but all other aspects satisfied my criteria. The car was eventually purchased for $6914.00 which was the sticker price. The dealer told me that there was no room to bargain as the Trans Am's were hot items. It wasn't until I rediscovered my TA in the Summer of 2003 that I realized that the car was also equipped with the WS6 package.

In 1970 I had an uncle who purchased a brand new '70 GTO 4sdp, RAIV, no AC. It was because of this that I became interested in Pontiacs. My uncle's GTO was red with a black interior and had very few comfort options. At the time I was 13 years old, and being impressionable about such things as most 13 year old boys are, I later attempted to mimic my uncle's tastes when I was old enough to purchase cars of my own. It was my understanding that he sold his GTO several years later for $700.

My TA, which is a virtual survivor (but not quite), has died only one time during the 69,500 miles I have owned it. The problem happened to be a distributor condenser wire which had worn itself in two. Luckily, I was only about 100 yards from home. The car has never actually left me stranded. About one year ago, I drove the car 200 miles around trip from Denver to Colorado Springs. The car hadn't been driven that far all in one sitting since about 1984. The next day I noticed that two rubber hoses right around the fuel pump had sprung leaks. Those were replaced. About one week later, another rubber gas line sprung a leak just below the rocker panel behind the left wheel well. Funny how they all went bad within a week of each other after 26 years. They were all original hoses. I've been told that with generally well maintained, 20 plus year old cars, it's the little things that are likely to strand you on the roadside, not major failures.

Over the years, a number of items on the car have been replaced such as the radiator, alternator, water pump, tires, shocks, belts and hoses. A few cosmetic items which were stolen from the car early in its life were replaced only recently. The center console and dash bezel have also been replaced with used period originals (not repos) purchased on ebay. The drive train remains all numbers matching and is untouched except for spark plug, fluid and filter changes. The car starts, runs and shifts exceptionally well and produces no smoke upon start-up or after warming no matter the time of year or whether the car has been sitting for weeks. Other than the items mentioned, the car is all original including the paint and interior. For that reason, I label it a "Virtual Survivor".

Thanks Firebird Gallery for having such a fun sight.
D. Upshaw



Gold Y88 Trans Am An up close and in your face look at a Trans Am. Ever wonder what the front looks like on a '78 up close? Here ya go....

Photo courtesy of Mark Allbaugh.



Robert Slomienski Jr. owns this Solar Gold '78 Trans Am. Robert writes:

     "Here is my 1978 Trans AM, W72, 4 speed with 85,000 miles. It's obviously not a Special Edition, but the second owner put the snowflakes on it. She originally had Rally IIs. So far the changes she has are a 3.73 rear, headers, true dual exhausts (no cats), RPM performer intake, 389 Tri Power heads, MSD 6AL, A/C removed, K&N filter, and bigger tires all around - 245 in front, 275 out back. The factory options are: a/c, power windows/locks, 220hp W72, 4 speed with Hurst shifter (of course), deluxe interior, deluxe exterior w/bodyside moldings
and 3.42 posi rear. Sadly, she wasn't a WS6 car, but future upgrades will include the quick ratio steering box, and Edelbrock aluminum heads. All the modifications were down by the original owner. The second owner just did the exhaust. So far, I've finished the bodywork, including a rear patch panel and removing some cancer on the other quarters, plus a new carpet and headliner. The seat covers are there only to preserve the nearly new camel brown velour seats. In the background, you can see some of my 2002 Ram Air Trans Am....she'll be up on this site once I take more updated pics."

Robert also owns a nice black 2002 WS6 M6 Trans Am that can be seen at '02 Firebirds Lot#2.



Red Trans Am (47783 bytes)

Interior (40329 bytes)

Engine (55175 bytes)
Sheldon Stephens owns this bright red Trans Am. Sheldon writes:

     "I am the third owner on this car. It is also the third f-body I have owned. My first being a '77 formula 400-4spd. (I am still kicking myself for giving that one up!), the second a 78' firebird that I had some mods to include a 350 chevy, 4 spd., and 4:11 posi. This T/A was locally purchased in Palm, PA & has been garaged since new. Showing 156,000 mi. on the odometer goes to show it was also driven! Still having all the original sheet metal & one repaint (in the correct color). The interior is all original also, except for the headliner & stereo. A mechanic friend of mine of does the inspections says it even looks like it has the original U-joints!, & they are still good!! I have PA classic plates on it & drive as much as possible when the weather is nice (trying to keep the original metal solid). I attend local cruise nights & Pontiac events. Also occasionally run it down the 1/4. Piece by piece I am updating it & rebuilding it, starting with the suspension."
    Options & stats :
        W-72 package
               220 hp 400ci. (6.6L)
               Full dual exhaust
               3:23 posi
        Two tone interior (white & black)
        Myan red exterior (with hood bird option)

                Sheldon Stephens
                from Allentown, PA



Black Trans Am (107449 bytes)

Black Trans Am (84869 bytes)

Black Trans Am (89143 bytes)
This awesome black Trans Am is owned by Cam Ens. Cam writes:

    "Hi. Here are a few pictures of my 78 Trans Am. It's got 30,000 original miles on it, and I bought it from the original owner 6 months ago. I found the build sheet under the passengers seat to verify the options it has. It's pretty straight forward, and unfortunately does not have the handling package. Other than that, it has A/C, power windows, 8-track, automatic, deluxe interior, etc. It's in original condition and is a blast to drive!! Thanks for the very nice and informative web page."




Black Trans Am (47,709 bytes)

Black Trans Am (46,081 bytes)

Black Trans Am (38,996 bytes)

Black Trans Am (43,932 bytes)

Black Trans Am (44,520 bytes)

Black Trans Am (45,981 bytes)
Think this is an SE Trans Am? What's an SE Trans Am? Its the Special Edition (Code Y82 or Y84) Trans Am offered from Pontiac in 1978. The SE featured a special black and gold paint scheme. To see some real SEs skip over to the '78 SE TA Lots.
While this car has several of the correct styling cues it is not a Special Edition Trans Am. Most notable is the lack of T-Tops. EVERY SE Trans Am in 1978 came with T-Tops. In 1977 you could have ordered either the hardtop or the T-Top car but in '78 they all had Tops. Other identifiers are the silver instrument bezel that should be tinted gold and the black spokes on the steering wheel that should have been tinted gold. This is still a very nicely restored Trans Am.

This TA came with the 6.6L 400 and 4-speed. It also came with power windows, power steering, A/C, deluxe interior and the much coveted 15x8 snowflake rims. Since the TA came with a factory 4-speed its either a 1 of 4,112 if this is a W72 equipped TA or 1 of 6,777 if equipped with the L78 400.



Red Trans Am (193,679 bytes)

Red Trans Am (155,696 bytes)

Red Trans Am (138,645 bytes)

Red Trans Am (106,614 bytes)
This all-original low-mileage survivor is owned by David Havenda. David writes:

     "Hi. I would like to put my '78 Trans-Am on your site if you will. Its original from paint to the motor it only has 18,560 true miles!!  It was bought in St. Petersburg FL. I'm the  second owner. He showed it from '78 to '83 then put in the garage. Only driven 2 or 3 times a month since. I paid an arm and a leg for it, but you just can't find them like this anymore."

Thank you. David Havenda  



Platinum Trans Am (31786 bytes)

Engine (31062 bytes)
This silver bullet is owned by Mark Perry. Mark writes:

     "My compliments on a great web site! I would be honored if my T/A could grace it. Let me give you the low down on my firebird. Going back a few years, I first fell in love with second-gen Birds when I was 10 in 1980 and my next door neighbor had a Platinum '78 T/A. The car was beautiful, with airbrushed decals just like the factory only slightly larger; a Harley customizer did up. That car also had a healthy Crane Cam and headers with shift kit and the 2.41 rear axle, she was a speed demon! I was hooked, and my first car was a Platinum 78 T/A Canadian car ( speedo in kilos ) all stock. I loved that car, but sold it to attend college. I sold it to my uncle and last I heard it was in Florida. I went on to own a Starlight Black/Buckskin velour 78 T/A, several Z28's, an '88 GTA Notchback, and an '88 GTA factory 5-speed / 305 TPI that I dropped a TPI 350 into. I even bought a Cameo White 77 T/A and painted it silver because I missed that first car so much. Then 5 years ago I found my dream car for sale in Massachusetts. It was a Platinum 78 T/A 4-speed with 40K original female owner miles. Much to my dismay, when I called I found she had just sold the car days earlier! Then in the fall of '99 I found the same car for sale from a guy who bought it from a friend. Slowly the story unraveled. I found out the car was owned by a lady named Jean for 18 years. It was driven rarely and even sat for 4 years straight. She sold it to a guy who owned it for 2-3 years and was getting married. He in turn sold it to his good friend with the promise he would not sell it. Well, he decided to sell and ended up dis-invited to his friends wedding! After I acquired the car I called Jean ( still had the original ad with phone number from 5 years earlier by luck! ) and found out her husband had purchased it for her birthday present in 1978 from Clark Motors in Worchester MA. She had it repainted once about 7 years ago Platinum code 19 and that is the paint it wears today. It did not have the hood bird after it was painted, so all original decals were put back. It also has a larger 4-core radiator, added power antenna and new rear springs. The original clutch was replaced last year because "it chattered ". It was ordered for performance, stripped down with only the W-72 H/O T/A-6.6, Radio, Defroster, Hood Bird and upgraded tires. As per the W-72 package, she also has a B/W super T-10 and 3.42 Saf-T-Trac rear end. The car has been P.H.S. documented as an original car. The odometer now reads 57k miles. I have detailed the engine to original specs, with the exception of a customized functional shaker with lower breathers removed and polished aluminum added. The original uncut shaker is in a box. It also sports a set of Crager S/S rims, 15x10 rear with Goodyear Eagle 265/50VR15, and 15x8 front with 245/50VR15. The original rally II's are stored. The car has collected 2 second place showings this summer out of 5 shows. She's my baby and is NOT FOR SALE. Ha! Ha!"

Mark P.



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