29 September 2014

Generation Gap: Firebirds

In this episode of Generation Gap, the guys compare Firebirds, old vs. new. Davin brought a classic 1968 Pontiac Firebird equipped with a 350-CID V-8 boasting 320 hp. Matt, on the other hand, had a bit of a trick up his sleeve, bringing a Lingenfelter Performance Engineering Chevrolet Camaro modified to the nines to look and perform like a modern Firebird. Its 455 CID and 655 hp are some impressive numbers, but how will it be on the road?

Voting for this episode of “Generation Gap” has ended.

69 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Kyle Madison WI September 30, 2014 at 13:06
    I think that the design of the concept car was way off, just because the design is based on the second generation trans am and not the first, which makes the 5th gen camaro a bad choice as a starting platform. the 5th gen is based on the first gen camaro.
  • 2
    Daniel California CA September 30, 2014 at 16:21
    I think they are both very visually stunning cars, both capture the heritage of Pontiac to the T and both have their pitfalls and possibilities. The classic just has so much more. You just can't compare a classic to a modern car. You take the Lingenfelter and put it back to stock and its a run of the mill Chevy, you take the classic, and its always a Pontiac. Classic gets my vote.
  • 3
    Philip lau Queens NY September 30, 2014 at 16:24
    Pontiac is what it is ,chevy Camaro wants to be Pontiac ..beefup the firebird I'll run circles a round the camero
  • 4
    Rochester Rochester, NY September 30, 2014 at 17:57
    IMO, if you're trying to measure passion, you're going to find more actual automotive passion in people who modify their car than people who collect museum pieces.
  • 5
    Carson not telling September 30, 2014 at 19:55
    I think the concept 2010 is much much better! No offense classic guys.
  • 6
    Craig morgan city La. September 30, 2014 at 20:23
    I agree, They should also have change to a TBI and then the shaker would work. The car is trying to hard to look the part and not being the car. I would like to have it but if i have both of them the 68 would get a lot more use and that is why it is the winner.
  • 7
    Ricardo Lisbon Portugal September 30, 2014 at 20:32
    I dont like the custum pontiac, because u look to the car and you get that is a camaro that is a one of a kind.The front became ugly,maybe on other platform became better
  • 8
    Wayne Ky September 30, 2014 at 21:28
    An ho350 car- classic but really? Shoulda brought a 70 ram air iv or a 71-72 455ho car to go head to head- it would have been a more accurate comparison of old vs new. This fight was a little too different in the cars- slightly off a base model car vs one of the hottest versions of new.... It woulda been like comparing a mid 70s mustang 2 to a new Shelby.
  • 9
    David James Seattle WA. U.S.A. October 1, 2014 at 01:42
    ^Kyle, I agree, they've got their nostalgia mixed up.
  • 10
    BRYAN PITTSFIELD MASSACHUSETTS October 1, 2014 at 16:53
    The concept car is so far off base to do a FIREBIRD comparo, it's revolting to a true PONTIAC lover and owner such as myself. Such a shame that the PMD isn't alive and well today to kick this Camaro on steroids to the way side!!! I'd proudly own the '68 anyday!!!
  • 11
    John Co October 1, 2014 at 16:55
    I like them both, would argue collectability- I can afford to get the classic, but have no chance at the higher dollar Lingenfelter
  • 12
    Brian Pam United States October 1, 2014 at 17:09
    As much as I love the '68 Firebird (and I really LOVE the '68!), when I think of side-by-side Firebird comparisons I'd start with the '78 Firebird Trans-Am (from Smokey and the Bandit). Put the '78 with hood scoop, T-top, and Screaming Chicken on the hood onto the modern, modified Camaro platform and you'd have a magical combination, in my humble opinion. I think GM really missed the boat on this opportunity when they shut down Pontiac...
  • 13
    JIM CHEYENNE, WY October 1, 2014 at 17:11
    I don't know why they compared the 68 Firebird with the new Trans Am, instead they should have compared the 1969 Trans Am convertible with the Ram Air IV and a 4 speed (1 of 4 made). I'm sure the scores would have come out differently.
  • 14
    shawn mpls mn October 1, 2014 at 18:20
    The 350 h/0 was not as bad as the 400 ram air II so why didnt they round up the 400 ram air II that pull 10s in the quarter if fully built in pure stock form and pit it in the Quarter mile against that Frankenstien of a car 1/2 new but old camaro and too big to look good as a sports car. I like them both --BUT- AGAIN- the old ones are what ignights our soul the new ones are what fuels the want to be hobbiest.
  • 15
    paul danyew Denver Co. October 1, 2014 at 18:23
    Why are you trying to compare a first generation firebird to a 2nd generation imitation Pontiac, The more fair comparison would be a 1970 Trans am to the ligenfelter camaro. At least it would be the same looking. While take a new camaro and try to make something it is not , you disrespect both car lines
  • 16
    Dylan Virginia October 1, 2014 at 06:33
    Both cars are very cool, but I have to go with the Lingenfelter.. now if the 1969 had the drivetrain of the new one, I would have to pick the 1969.
  • 17
    Steve W. Florida October 1, 2014 at 18:38
    I've seen one of these late model facelifted Camaro's at a local C and C and it just doesn't look right, not classic looking at all, the nose looks terrible, the interior is bland. It is obvious that it is a Camaro with a clown face (and butt). No matter how hard it tries, it is not a Pontiac.
  • 18
    sal scacco west babylon ny October 1, 2014 at 19:22
    you just can't believe how it was to drive a muscle car in the time when muscle cars were true muscle cars
  • 19
    Donny Machiasport ME October 1, 2014 at 19:53
    I had a 68 Firebird with the 400 hood and there is no doubt in my mind it has more classical lines. The concept car is very nice and I wouldn't mind having one, but it doesn't seem real because it wasn't a production car.
  • 20
    John Spencerport, New York October 1, 2014 at 20:28
    The two aren't comparable, the one is factory, the other custom. The new custom is double the horsepower. I still have to give the old one the win. The new is cool , but it has Computers YUCK.
  • 21
    chauncey johnstone connecticut October 1, 2014 at 21:07
    I bought a Firebird 400 new in 1967. It was a convertible with a four speed. I thought that was an excellent design and still is. The Lingenfelter looks "Tough" in comparison to the 67/68, but so do a lot of other modern cars. The 67 had vent windows, the 68 did not. Rally wheels on the 67/68 looked great. I used my 400 as a daily driver, but did run it in solo events at Palm Beach Raceway. It really ran well, not a lot to throw around, red line tires.While you can pump up the new cars to look, and run faster, there are guys like me. and gals, who think the older cars had a lot of class, and in their day were great, and easy to repair. They still are.
  • 22
    Joe NC October 1, 2014 at 21:31
    The concept car was ok,but I'm a true original muscle car fan.
  • 23
    Robin North Carolina October 1, 2014 at 21:33
    I've got a 1967 Firebird and I wouldn't trade it for a new one!
  • 24
    Tyson New York October 1, 2014 at 21:40
    I agree with Kyle concept car way off I'm going with old school 68.
  • 25
    Charles Tobey Dayton NV. October 1, 2014 at 23:37
    The lingenfelter fake does not hold a candle to the nostalgic appeal of the real firebird. The fact is that the average car buff can not afford the phony or would even want one. Give the average car guy the 68 ten to one .Thanks Tobey
  • 26
    robert ohio October 1, 2014 at 12:46
    its the car that started it for pontiac well one of the classic pontiacs but one cud argue that ud have to own both the passion in the classic give u the love for the new without a begining there is no future car ton more passion for the classic firebird it defines future firebirds
  • 27
    John Stites United States October 2, 2014 at 13:15
    Bad comparison to begin with. Should have compared it to a new Camaro ....and the new TA really is just a Camaro in camo.
  • 28
    scott kay colo spgs October 2, 2014 at 13:17
    Hands down old school rocks new school----- junk
  • 29
    Ed St Augustine, FL October 2, 2014 at 13:21
    Why not do a 68 Camaro against a 2014 Camaro? These comparisons between a classic car and a one-off specialty car are not applicable to the generation gap, not many of us will ever own a one-off specialty car.
  • 30
    Mark Scottsdale October 2, 2014 at 13:27
    The Ligenfelter is amazing. The style and attention to detail are at least as good as a production car. That a private firm can produce a car this thoroughly thought through and cohesive is, to me, so much more impressive than what hundreds of designers, planners and engineers at GM were able to do.
  • 31
    Steve Central Florida October 2, 2014 at 02:03
    If you are breaking open the piggy bank, what gets you the bang for your buck? Owning a 69 firebird myself I may be slightly bias attitude.
  • 32
    Dale Ploung Corona October 2, 2014 at 14:21
    I have owned my 1968 Green Firebird 400 Convertible for 46 years, and still love the thing. Love it..... can I be buried in it?
  • 33
    TURK IDAHO FALLS,ID October 2, 2014 at 16:51
    My wife owns a 68 firebird convertable. Looks great, drives even better and runs like a dream. Have to love it...Wish we had more time to go cruzin'. I really miss Saturday nights.....
  • 34
    jim fraulo woodmont,ct. October 2, 2014 at 17:21
    I would have much had comparison to 1969 firebird,they are both great cars
  • 35
    Rusty West Palm Beach October 2, 2014 at 07:14
    68 hands down - Classic looks, classic sound always win no matter what. Maybe you should have compared it to the same generation & model it was copied from. Also, the quick view of the aft end was not enough. Again, the 68's aft is more stylish. Next time compare TAs to TAs. The 68 will always get my vote.
  • 36
    BOB Elburn, Illinois October 2, 2014 at 07:52
    As an original owner of a 74 TA with 51K miles I found it hard to choose but I went modern this time only because of hopefully worry free driving. In keeping the older ones going with original equipment I think twice on weather and distance to be driven. The newer I wouldn't.
  • 37
    George Savannah, Ga October 2, 2014 at 09:02
    I have 2 t/a's. The old one is passion, The new one is Money! PS: your 350 '68 is NOT a t/a. Try a '69.
  • 38
    Dave Sacramento, CA. October 2, 2014 at 21:43
    I love that Lingefelter T\A! I drive a Z06 with a "stock" LS7, and I can imagine how that LSX vairant feels. ;)
  • 39
    Michael Noblesville, IN. October 2, 2014 at 09:48
    Love the classic '68 the best, totally awesome on every aspect!! New one was great, wish that GM didn't kill Pontiac, very bad decision, would loved to have seen those on the road today!!!!
  • 40
    Lewis Idabel, Ok October 2, 2014 at 09:51
    Yes, the "NEWER" Firebird is great but I'm a baby boomer and like old cars. The '68' is cool and is a Pontiac where the newer firebird is a Camaro. I like original myself and I bet most of the old guys do too. Well maybe a "little " up grading. I'm an old guy too.
  • 41
    Fred Albuquerque, NM October 2, 2014 at 11:34
    I,m sorry but you can't put wheels, body panels and stripes on a Camaro and call it a Pontiac. In 68 Pontiac was it's own brand it had it's own motors and development teams.
  • 42
    Bruce Milford, MI October 2, 2014 at 12:24
    If the average cost of the 1968 Firebird is only $17,817 (I expect the Trans Am would be much higher), then I think it would be hard to argue that the classic is not the better value. Many more smiles per dollar. The Lingenfelter car is very impressive, but how big is that market if you ever want to sell?
  • 43
    Dave milw, WI October 2, 2014 at 12:29
    Without the 1968 there would be no modern copy but I am subjective I have a 68 ;-€)
  • 44
    Dan Denver, Colorado October 2, 2014 at 12:33
    Like comparing Apples and Oranges. They're both nice but I'll vote for my Candy Apple Green 68 bird any day.
  • 45
    Rodster oklahoma October 2, 2014 at 00:42
    If comparison were equal, there should have been a 70 TA present. Now the gap would have been closed. Fewer numbers, RAIV power, and since the LTA was based on early 2nd gen appearance, where did the 1st gen come from?
  • 46
    John L Denver, CO October 2, 2014 at 12:54
    I addition to a '68 GTO ragtop, I own a numbers-matching show quality '68 Firebird 400 convertible (Alpine Blue/black top). So I'm biased. A 400 Firebird would have been a better choice for the comparison, but it's still an "apple to oranges" one.
  • 47
    Joe Richmond, VA October 3, 2014 at 19:55
    The point for me is that I miss Pontiac. I voted for the Classic, as almost always, but darn it! The might-have-been for the Lingenfelter TA sway me heavily; it does not compare to the GTO smack-down where a classic Goat took on a rebadged Holden. The Lingenfelter TA is very respectful of what Pontiac could have done. The Holden, though a kickass car, was never really at GTO. If I lose on this one, I will cede gracefully.
  • 48
    Joe Richmond, VA October 3, 2014 at 20:02
    FWIW, the 350 HO does indeed rock. I have one in our '70 El Camino. Not a Poncho, I know. But from 0-60 it is every bit as fast as our Mini Copper S: 6.2 seconds. Not bad for a senior citizen :)
  • 49
    Mr person North America October 3, 2014 at 21:29
    The 1968 looks a lot better than the 2010 Lingenfelter Trans Am. It would be nice if there was a new Firebird, but I just think the the new trans am wasn't a fully completed idea. The exterior looked okay, but I think that they could have done better on it.
  • 50
    GJ United States October 3, 2014 at 00:36
    One of six against one of 100,000? Really? Modern technology vs late 60's technology? Really? I have a 68 Firebird in my garage...it's amazing. I've never seen a "new" 2nd Gen Firebird except in magazines and this video. Realistic? No. Every time I drive my Firebird people look, gape and point. Put a Butler 455 in the 68, Detroit Speed and Engineering suspension front and rear, Wilwood brake system, 9" rear running 4.10's with a 6 speed and let's dance. That so called "Firebird" is still a Camaro with a Camaro engine and Pontiac was still killed off by GM and Source Interlink Media (RIP High Performance Pontiac).
  • 51
    Kevin Clearwater, Fla October 4, 2014 at 11:26
    Being an avid Pontiac collector for 30 years, I'm inclined to stick with old school. Too bad they didn't compare a 1971-2 455HO Lucerne Blue TA against the Lingenfelter, then see which one got the looks! One thing they forgot to mention was the price of the new car. I think it would have changed the playing field. I HAVE heard that new car's exhaust note, and it IS a sound to behold so kudos to JL for incorprating that magnificent sound.....butttttt, there's nothing more symphonic than the sound of a Pontiac V-8! All rise for the Judge!
  • 52
    Bill Ma October 4, 2014 at 11:42
    Come on............ it's a camaro!!
  • 53
    George Pentesco Canada October 5, 2014 at 18:00
    I have a 1970 GTO Convertible loaded to the teeth and would give it up for one of these TA's.
  • 54
    Greg Andover, MN October 5, 2014 at 22:26
    The 2010 is one of the best combination of old look / new car I have seen. The 1968 holds up pretty well - considering it is not modified, nor the most powerful model offered back then. Yes, one could assemble an old Firebird that would be on more equal terms with the newer one. And that would be very interesting to see. Also interesting would be the final price tags, and measured performance - braking, skid pad, and quarter mile. I love old muscle cars and pony cars, but also appreciate the improvements made over the years. Both are great cars in their own ways. I would take the 2010, but reserve the right to change my mind after I drive it and the a 1968 with 'upgrades' to engine, tires, suspension, etc.
  • 55
    Billy Harmony, NC October 6, 2014 at 22:13
    I think it's funny that everyone keeps calling the 2010 a Camaro in disguise when that is exactly what the Pontiacs have ALWAYS been. Different tail lights and a new nose don't make the car dramatically different, neither does the engine. I love the Ligenfelter because it follows the Pontiac tradition of building on the existing Chevrolet base. It is a fitting homage to the brand and legend of Pontiac. I wish there were more of them to go around.
  • 56
    chris martinez ca October 7, 2014 at 12:44
    LS7 converted 5th gen. How much is that 100k. I don't even make that in a year. I'll take the old one and it will get just as many looks as the 100k lingenfelter.
  • 57
    Joe Liverpool, NY October 9, 2014 at 14:57
    I have owned a '68 Firebird 350 HO convertible for many years and other Pontiacs. This car is so much fun to drive with the 4 speed tranny. I attend alot of cruise nights and there are alot of Camaros, old and new but very few Firebirds. The Fbirds always get alot of attention.
  • 58
    Ron Cov Ky October 12, 2014 at 22:03
    I bought a 70 1/2 TA ( the white one) new and it got plenty of attention. Almost arrested twice for mistaken identity. Autocrossed it for 6 or 7 years. I really want the Lingenfelter.
  • 59
    John B. Kingsport,TN October 16, 2014 at 23:13
    I love the 2010 LTA but all it is,a Camaro with Pontiac front end and interior. But, the biggest point of this,is it is a remake of the 1968 version. So I have to give it to the 68,because that is what they were trying to go for,because without the 68 there would have not been a 2010 redo. Because there would not have been any cheat notes to make it.
  • 60
    dave m. bristol, ct. October 31, 2014 at 20:09
    the 2010 LTA resembles the 1970 TA but why didnt you match it to a 1970 TA 455? concept cars are not production cars, they dont mass produce them, its a prototype of what the automotive industry would have to work with that the general public would like to see them put into full production, thats all, but as in the 1969 firebird vs the LTA, i'd go with the 68, nothing spells sex on wheels like a 60's musclecar, i like to feel the vibration up my spine, the bumps on the road, the roar of an engine at idle. the new one, too quiet, rides like a caddy, pop the hood and its a mess of polution controls and expensive computer gadgets, on the 68, you pop the hood you can see the ground, and transmission. at a recent texas mile a stock 68 400 did a 186.545mph run, ill bet the new one couldnt top that! i buy 1960's muscle over any morph today!
  • 61
    Scott Thurman Texas January 31, 2015 at 23:15
    If I could have either one, which means I could pay a mechanic to service either one it would be the 2010 no question. Horsepower and handling OH YEAH A!!!!!!!
  • 62
    harlan reedsburg wi. February 20, 2015 at 18:44
    i have all 3 of the first gen. the 68 being matching # convertible with 4 speed.so go figure which one i would pick.
  • 63
    Michael Washington Boro, Pa June 6, 2015 at 20:37
    The only car in the world to me is the Firebird. I have had so many and I have still an 89 and 02 Trans Am. Both of the birds on the show are awesome but my vote goes to the 2010 LTA!
  • 64
    mrbadbowtie Carson,N.D. December 2, 2015 at 19:21
    I definitely would take a 60's car over a new electrical nightmare any day but I think Lingenfelter knows what the hell he is doing by building something that GM never should have stopped making! Ya they could have got the vehicles paired up a little closer, a350 against a 455 ya right and a run of the mill firebird against a 1 of 6 concept car whatever, but I think no matter what the new one beat it with looks, power and desirability!
  • 65
    Chris Illinois January 20, 2016 at 10:58
    The 1968 Fire bird over all is better. Its made better it runs better and has/will last longer then the new one.
  • 66
    Damon Irving, Texas February 24, 2016 at 00:57
    As much as O love the new, the put you back in the seat fast, the old is rare in that condition.......I vote the old.
  • 67
    Jonathan United States February 19, 2017 at 23:39
    Classic cars are better because theyou look good and sound great
  • 68
    The Man of Steel United States March 7, 2017 at 19:08
    I might choose the late model concept but there is too much blue real estate plastered vertically on the front of the car. I think it needs the vents raised up closer to the split grille and set back in more to resemble the early 70s birds more. If that look was a little more authentic I would choose the new easily. I still choose the new but it's close.
  • 69
    Joe Cross Greensboro,NC March 30, 2017 at 21:11
    I have to give the vote hands down to the 68" Firebird all the way around while the new one is a exceptional concept car it is in the end , still that a concept car. and while comparing it against Shelby's Mustang's, just doesn't apply here. Because Shelby started with a Mustang and turned out the exceptional Shelby Mustang GT350/500 . This concert TransAm is in the end a Camaro made to look like a second Generation 70 1/2 thur 73 Trans Am. And A+ for execution in what GM should have put out through Pontiac. GM should never have closed out Pontiac and it's other divisions.

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