I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to test drive a first generation Pontiac Firebird from the late 60s, thanks to a very good friend of mine. It’s a convertible which makes things more interesting in terms of sound and the feel. I myself prefer coupés, but I really, really enjoyed this car. It is quite heavy for its size though around two tonnes, but who cares when you have 400hp to play around with.
I don’t have many pictures though since I did not think of doing a review, so it will be a sneak peak instead. I have included a short video clip, mostly for the wonderful engine noise from the V8 muscle.
This particular one has a 4-speed manual, and first gear is outright dangerous if you are not used to the power. The second gear goes all the way up to about 70 miles so the torque here is ridiculous. The engine don’t have a high max rpm, but what it does have is lots torque from nearly 0 rpm.
So to the question? Is the car fast? It feels quite fast, but the engine noise and wind in your hair tricks you in to believing you are in a rocket. This car was fast in its time, but a modern car with a decent engine probably would beat this car any day. However you will not do burnouts and donuts like with a muscle car.
So to the question, would I own one? Yeah sure would be the initial answer, but then comes all the maintenance (since nothing works in these cars) and not to speak of the fuel consumption, that might not be so important though since this will be a weekend car in 99% of the cases. However I don’t know how fun it would be to spend 10 hours in the garage for every hour of cruising, it’s like owning a private jet fighter in terms of maintenance. One thing is sure though, if you love these cars because of the looks and the sound of American muscle then go for it! I think I will stick to Mercedes a little longer, at least they work most of the time.
P.S. owning a muscle car would be super cool though!