1969 was the first time Firebird received a restyling. Along with the new appearance, 1969 Pontiac Firebird received a new package called Trans Am. As a natural muscle car, it was equipped with powerful V8, however, I6 engine was kept for an entry-level model, for buyers who need to simply show off. There were also some noticeable changes, but in the next 1970 debuted a whole new model.
1969 Pontiac Firebird design
Unlike the second generation car which was almost a full-scale copy of Camaro, the first generation Firebirds have the unique front end. 1969 facelift was not an exception – it has nothing in common with the same year sibling, however, looking in profile it was easy to confuse.
So, 1969 Firebird received a new front end, with integrated front bumpers. Unlike the previous models, the front looks wider due to headlights moved closer to fenders. The radiator grille increased in size heavily, making the car look more aggressive.
Just like before, Firebird was available as coupe or convertible.
1969 Pontiac Firebird interior changes
Aside from the exterior, interior changes list is a very short. Due to new safety regulations, the ignition switch was moved to the steering column. New design steering wheel and dashboard were introduced – and that is all.
1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Trans Am package for the Firebird was firstly appeared in 1969, and become a very important feature of the brand. Trans Am features retuned suspension, new performance tires. As for styling, it features new hood with air vents, new fenders, side skirts and compact rear spoiler. Honestly, it doesn’t add anything special, but Firebird Trans Am becomes not only an affordable muscle but also a high-performance, proper handling sportscar. Despite the sporty and aggressive look, the engine was kept in stock condition.
1969 Pontiac Firebird specs
A major upgrade of the car hasn’t touched the specifications of Firebird. The engine range has kept the same set of power plants mainly consist of V8. Compared to 1967 Firebird, the newer car gets more options.
First of all, the standard 250 cubic inch I6 produces 175 HP, got the power increase in 1968. It was still weak for a muscle car, but enough for an ordinary cruiser. Sprint modification of the same engine produces 215 HP, which was closer to entry-level V8s in another muscle cars. The power increase was achieved due to 4-barrel carburetor installation, instead of the single barrel.
V8 engine set was presented by 350 and 400 cubic inch units. Each of them was available in standard and high output (HO) versions. Standard V8 350 with 2-bbl carb produced 265 HP, while HO output was 325 HP. 400 cubic inch engine output was 330 and 335HP respectively – such a power difference was achieved only with engine retune, without carburetor change.
The was Firebird Ram Air available, equipped with 400 CID V8 engine with forced air induction, it was able to produce 345 HP and 430 ft-lb of torque.
1969 Firebirds were available with wide range of gearboxes – 3 and 4-speed manuals, 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic, and heavy-duty 3 speed manual for 355 and HO models. The Firebird Ram Air exclusively had 4-speed heavy-duty manual transmission.
1969 Pontiac Firebird performance
According to Hot Rod magazine, the most powerful Firebird in Ram Air modification accelerates to sixty in 5.6 seconds. This result is impressive even today! The quarter mile time is 14.1 sec at 100.8 miles per hour.
1969 Pontiac Firebird collectibility and price
Total 87,708 coupes and convertibles were made, excluding Trans Am cars, which produced only 689 coupes and just 8 convertibles. You could only imagine the price for Trans Am convertible since none is on sale, for now, it will be sold on auction only. The average price for standard Firebirds ’69 is around $36,000. Trans Am coupe prices are closer to $100,000 mark.