1986 Pontiac Firebird
8-cyl. 305cid/150hp 4bbl
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With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The 1986 Pontiac Firebird was the first of its namesake to feature the center high-mounted stoplight (CHMSL), visually setting apart the ’86 from previous models. Other visual updates for the year included revised tail lamps and new striping along the lower portion of the coupe.
The Pontiac Firebird continued to be offered as a base Coupe, an SE, and a Trans Am. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was dropped for 1986, ad as such the V-6 became the standard engine across the lineup. This change was also implemented on the Firebird’s Chevrolet Camaro sibling. Meanwhile, three V-8 engines were available depending on trim and package selected.
The SE and Trans Am were available with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine. The Trans Am was exclusively available with a fuel-injected V-8 that made 190hp when new. The “Tuned Port Injected” 350 cid V-8 was also available and rated at 210 horsepower.
The Trans Am with the range-topping L69 High Output V-8 was a rare model, as only 26 were built due to vapor lock issues. This engine was only available with the 5-speed manual, while the other V-8s could be had with the manual or automatic transmission.
Things to look for include the rubber-vinyl wrap that was now standard on the rear wings of Firebirds, which tends to age quickly. Models that have not been properly stored can even show signs of cracking.
Coming in 1987 was the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, and the drop-top job would be done by American Sunroof Company (ASC), who converted standard coupes. As part of a design exercise, ASC built just three 1986 Firebird convertibles, making them incredibly rare and collectible.