1970 to 1973 certain events affected the production of the Trans am, the production
of the second generation Trans am was delayed by the united auto workers strike
which lasted for 67 days, resulting in the 1971 model Trans am flowing over into the
1972 year. The minor differences in the 1972 Trans am from the 1971 Trans am
were upholstery changes and a newly added honeycomb style grille. The engines
were modified to run on little or unleaded fuels. This required some changes to
the cylinder heads and resulted in lowering the Trans am compression ratios.
The engine output was now rated from SAE 20 gross horse power to SAE
net horsepower, these changes had little effect on the performance of the
previous Trans am engines, LS-5 455 HO now rated at 305 hp at 4,000 rpm
for 1972 with 415 lbs.-ft. torque @ 3,200, high performance car magazines
had tested a 1972 Trans am which recorded 0-100km/h acceleration in 7 seconds.
With a quarter mile performance of 14.01 seconds/103.22 mph. the 1972
Trans am was expected by Pontiac to sell 7,000 units in that year, but a strike that
lasted for 174days cost GM near 39,000 cars and 125,000,000 lost in profits.
Trans am was offered in a cameo white with Lucerne blue strips or vice versa blue with cameo white strips, it developed functional air extractors on the front fenders and the wheel openings. Down ward force was provided by front and rear air dams that are effective when the Trans am reached high speeds, a rear opening cold air intake would open on wide open throttle. Because of radial tuned suspension the Trans am was Americas best handling f body cars, the tuning approach was to make the springs firm but not stiff this helped provide a smooth but responsive performance ride, trans am tyres made use of the F60 x 15 on seven inch wheels. The front sway bar was a huge 1.25 inches with the rear a mere 0.875 inch. The Trans am also came out with power front disc brakes as a standard feature; this was a step in the right direction. The impressive 400ci Ram Air IV of 1969 to 1970 with iron cylinder heads with lage round exhaust ports, an aluminium intake manifold, special free flowing cast iron exhaust headers and a hydraulic valve train. Trans am cylinder heads were designed to flow copious amounts of air into the piston chamber, which transformed the compressed fuel air mixture into huge amounts of power, both on the 400ci and the 455 HO. The Trans am 455 HO came with either the close ratio four speed M22 or the M40 three speed turbo hydra matic automatic. A standard limited slip diff came with either of the transmission, with a 3.42: 1 ratio. Air condition cars received a 3.80:1 rear cogs. In 1972 there 31,204 firebird produced, the Trans am is equipped with tilt steering, console, correct bird floor mats, am radio and custom interior. The Trans am was equipped with honeycomb wheels, only 458 four speed trans am were made that year. reference from the only mag that matters PONTIAC enthusiast
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