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mustang84

Formula Firebirds

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I guess I've never really known much about the Formula Firebird and how differentiated it was from a Trans Am. Someone in my hometown has a '92 Formula Firebird that I believe is supposed to be pretty rare.

Could someone give me a quick history lesson on what the focus was for a Formula Firebird vs. a Trans Am (performance, suspension, options, etc)? Maybe like how the IROC was geared toward power while the Z/28 was geared toward handling? I'm assuming they were situated below the Trans Am in price and performance, but what was it that made them so special and some like the '92 so collectible? I tried looking up some info but didn't really find much on them (and didn't have time to read the whole Wikipedia article). Thanks for the info!

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The Formula Firebirds are what the RS Camaro should have been. They had (or could have) all of the T/A performance bits without the extra weight of a T/A because they came without the ground effects and extra insulation/ sound deadening of the T/A. As you may have guessed, this made the Formula lighter than a T/A, and with the same drivetrain, faster.

There are lots of other little details, and yes I'm a huge fan of these rare cars (much,much more rare than a T/A). But I won't go into all of that right now and bore everyone else.

Formulas are awesome, and my favorite F-body recipe.

One more detail: All Firehawks were Formulas until '98. :AH-HA_wink:

OK, one more: The rarest factory 4th gen Firebirds were the WS6/Ram Air/1LE Formulas.

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in the LS1 formulas, was there any difference besides the the non-trans am nose/spoiler?

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in the LS1 formulas, was there any difference besides the the non-trans am nose/spoiler?

Rear fascia, front fascia. hatch (spoiler), lack of ground effects, less insulation,less standard equiptment (leather oprional etc.)...

... and best of all, a lower price. :AH-HA_wink:

For me that was a no-brainer.

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I always preferred the Formula over the Trans Am for its toned-down bodywork. It was a stealth machine.
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I always preferred the Formula over the Trans Am for its toned-down bodywork. It was a stealth machine.

:yes:

And one of the reasons that my Firehawk was a Formula.

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Oh man, that '72 is like a creamy shot to the eye. Hot!

And I like that '91, and the '92s. By comparison, I am not sure I like the '98's Ram Air treatment as much as the earlier cars.

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A lousy picture of the King of all Formulas, the '73 455SD (one of 43)

The SD-equipped Formulas got the T/A's shaker hood.

post-394-1196644570_thumb.jpg

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What I DIDN'T like was the 4th gen. Firebirds' tailgate without the T/A's

floating rear spoiler. It always looked kind of Hyundai-ish, too rounded

& "beveled" reminds me of the 1960 Buicks' tailfins which also look like

someone took the edge off of the 1959's.

The 3rd gen. Firebird's decklid did not look cheap & lame without the

spoiler... but take away taht cool Trans Am wing off of a '93 Firebird,

put on that base tailgate and it looks as fabulous as a row of plastic

"button delete" tabs in a base Hyundai Accent.

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The Formula Firebirds are what the RS Camaro should have been. They had (or could have) all of the T/A performance bits without the extra weight of a T/A because they came without the ground effects and extra insulation/ sound deadening of the T/A. As you may have guessed, this made the Formula lighter than a T/A, and with the same drivetrain, faster.

There are lots of other little details, and yes I'm a huge fan of these rare cars (much,much more rare than a T/A). But I won't go into all of that right now and bore everyone else.

Formulas are awesome, and my favorite F-body recipe.

One more detail: All Firehawks were Formulas until '98. :AH-HA_wink:

OK, one more: The rarest factory 4th gen Firebirds were the WS6/Ram Air/1LE Formulas.

Gotcha. It sounds like what Ford did with the LX notchback Mustangs...lots of people opted for them over the hatchbacks and GT's because you still could get the 5.0 as an option, but you don't have all the extra weight from the ground effects, so it makes for a better drag strip car.

I like that stripped down look too, especially with a shiny set of Cragars and some beefy tires. Were these cars limited production since they are so rare, or was it just an option that not many people chose (and therefore making them rare today)?

Also, what years were these produced?

Edited by mustang84
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The Formula began in 1970, but this '69 Ram Air Firebird 400 convertible is what I'd call a pre-Formula. The Firebird 400 departed as the Formula arrived.

post-394-1196645899_thumb.jpg

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Gotcha. It sounds like what Ford did with the LX notchback Mustangs...lots of people opted for them over the hatchbacks and GT's because you still could get the 5.0 as an option, but you don't have all the extra weight from the ground effects, so it makes for a better drag strip car.

I like that stripped down look too, especially with a shiny set of Cragars and some beefy tires. Were these cars limited production since they are so rare, or was it just an option that not many people chose (and therefore making them rare today)?

Also, what years were these produced?

Very similar recipe to the 5.0 Mustang LX, but a bit more upscale. Some of the cars were quasi-limited production, but mostly people more often opted for a base car or the T/A. Formulas are rare in all years. They began in 1970 and were available in all but a few years right up to 2002. I can't remember which years were skipped off the top of my head.

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One of my dream cars is a '70 Firebird, white with black lowback buckets, with a 400 4bbl and a 4 speed... no spoilers, just Rallye II rims (maybe even without trim rings) and sport mirrors.

I'm not even sure if such a car was available from the factory.

Edited by ocnblu
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What I DIDN'T like was the 4th gen. Firebirds' tailgate without the T/A's

floating rear spoiler. It always looked kind of Hyundai-ish, too rounded

& "beveled" reminds me of the 1960 Buicks' tailfins which also look like

someone took the edge off of the 1959's.

The 3rd gen. Firebird's decklid did not look cheap & lame without the

spoiler... but take away taht cool Trans Am wing off of a '93 Firebird,

put on that base tailgate and it looks as fabulous as a row of plastic

"button delete" tabs in a base Hyundai Accent.

Funny that you sat that. I hate the 4th gen T/A spoiler - I find it huge and gaudy, and it badly blocks rear visibilty. I much prefer the Formula/base car spoiler.

Even so, I've always wanted to do a totally smooth version with no spoiler at all. I think the bodystyle was begging for a look like that.

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YES, I've thought about that, too Camino. Both Camaro and Firebird 4th gen cars with smooth hatchlids. Integrating the spoiler was a mistake, imo.
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One of my dream cars is a '70 Firebird, white with black lowback buckets, with a 400 4bbl and a 4 speed... no spoilers, just Rallye II rims (maybe even without trim rings) and sport mirrors.

I'm not even sure if such a car was available from the factory.

Almost, the Formula 400 would be as close as you could get. You would get all of your wishes except that you'd have a rear spoiler and twin hood scoops. The Spoiler may have been optional, but don't quote me on that. The rest would be as easy as checking the right option boxes.

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Chevy's don't deserve it. Plain and simple. I am sorry Camaro fans, but Formula should only be Pontiac's, NOT for chevy. Period. It should be remained as Pontiac Only, Chevy's DON'T deserve any good stuff. I HATE Chevys.

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OOOOOKay. :blink:

I just can't leave this thread without posting this one:

Posted Image

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Smooth decklid would be much better than that blister.

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That Ram Air hood looks lower profile than the factory one. It looks good.

Oh Camino, I love the 2nd-gen Formula hood, so no problemo there. I just prefer the low, tapering deck of a spoilerless, early 2nd-gen car.

Edited by ocnblu
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*sigh*

Yeah, I love the Firehawk hood - so clean and purposeful. The WS6 hood is a cartoon by comparison.

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