Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 19, 2022
The fourth-generation Firebird went on sale for 1993. It was kind of pointy, but if you look at the rear 3/4 of the car, you could tell the genes were there for some muscle. That became more apparent when a mid-cycle refresh came in 1998. The car got a new hood with two big intakes/nostrils up front. It was bulky and looked like a muscle car.
So, of course, on top of the Firebird there was the Trans Am, which usually specified some kind of upgraded suspension, an appearance package, and a power bump. But what do you do when that’s not enough? You go to SLP Engineering and have them turn it into a Firehawk, naturally.
These were sold through Pontiac dealerships. This example is from the final year of Firebird production, making it a final-year example of the top dog… or top bird Firebird/Trans Am you could get. The 5.7-liter V8 was tweaked to put out 335 horsepower. It’s got all of the goodies too: T-tops, a limited-slip differential, a composite hood, a cat-back exhaust, and more. This car has just 57 miles, which will make it among the most expensive Firehawks out there. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | March 24-25, 2017
Photo – Mecum
Ford Mustangs have their famous aftermarket tuners, specifically, Saleen. General Motors never quite had the same thing (they did in the 60s, with Yenko and the like). But for more modern Camaros and Firebirds, you were pretty much left to either DIY or hope GM put out some factory monster. Most GM tuners were focused on Corvettes.
Enter Nebraska-based Knudsen Automotive (who also built a low-run neo-classic). They lent their hand to turning third generation Pontiac Firebirds into more exotic-looking sports cars. Between 1985 and 1991, they made 133 Tojans. Only three of those were “Knightmares.” Powered by Pontiac’s 5.7-liter V-8, this Knightmare also features the optional rear wing that looks like it was plucked directly off a Countach.
The point of the Tojan was, for some serious cash (about $55,000 in the late 80s), give you an American sports car that could keep pace with a Ferrari 308. This 41,000 mile car with cousin-to-KITT appearance is pretty rare. I saw a red Tojan at a car show once and it definitely got my attention. Click here to see more about this car and here for the rest of Mecum’s Kansas City lineup.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 14-22, 2017
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The third generation of the Pontiac Firebird went on sale in 1982 and stayed in production through 1992. The Trans Am model was sort of the Firebird-equivalent of the IROC-Z Camaro.
The Trans Am was the hot version of the Firebird, and in 1985 it used a 5.0-liter V-8 making 190 horsepower. This is no ordinary Trans Am, however, as it features a “Kammback” – a huge station wagon like hatch on the rear end that looks more like a pickup truck cap. This genuine General Motors factory concept car began as a well-equipped Trans Am (and possibly a factory test mule) before getting the prototype treatment.
It was also used as a pace car during the 1985 racing season for series including IMSA. GM kept it for 13 years until it was sold to Detroit-area car collector John McMullen. It was purchased from that collection in 2007 by John O’Quinn for $66,000. It’s not road legal because it has an experimental VIN number but it still has 36,000 miles and has been restored. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.