Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
This is no ordinary Pontiac Firebird Trans Am... this is a 10th Anniversary Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.
Of course, it's a bit of a misnomer to describe any Screaming Chicken as 'ordinary', they're all pretty special - but this edition is more special than most. 7,500 Anniversary cars were built in 1979 as a celebration of a decade of the model, but the example you see here is one of just 1,817 special versions of the special edition, if that makes sense; a small quantity of custom-build 400ci (6.6-litre) engines were held over from 1978 in order to make these Firebirds extra fancy. This, then, is pretty much the last of the big-displacement muscle cars - a car so brutal and forthright, it was selected as an Indy 500 Pace Car for '79. It was also the first Trans Am to feature disc brakes all round and leather seats, and to retail for over $10,000. Anniversary editions would later appear in 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 and, weirdly, 2002 (the model went out of production that year, so it kinda makes sense), but the '79 is arguably the most revered. The end of a ballsy era.
Spotted at the Goodwood Breakfast Club - more pics here.