With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Protect your 1988 Pontiac Firebird from the unexpected.
The 1988 Pontiac Firebird received subtle changes, but the biggest change was the departure of the carbureted 5.0-liter V-8 engine. A new 5.0-liter throttle body injected V-8 was introduced to replace it, making 170hp. All engines were now injected, and the engine bay received a new serpentine system. The range-topping 350 cid V-8 now made 225hp.
Trims for the ’88 Firebird included base, Trans Am, Formula and GTA. The Formula came standard with the WS6 package, including upgraded hood design and the Aero spoiler from the Trans Am. The GTA featured the 350 cid V-8 and various other upgrades.
The ’88 Firebird Formula got the 16x8-inch WS6 wheels, and the GTA received new 16-inch wheels. The Firebird Trans Am also received a own unique line of wheels, which were available in black, charcoal, red and white. Inside, the Firebird received a new steering wheel design and updated radio options.
In 1988, Pontiac offered the unusual GTA “notchback.” It replaced the large glass rear window with a smaller fiberglass trunk with a small glass panel. Some even called this the “Ferrari Back” due to its vague resemblance to the rear windows of the mid-engine Ferraris of the day like the 328. These Firebird notchbacks were not well promoted and were thus pretty obscure. The fiberglass would also easily blister, and many owners had to bring it in for service multiple times. The notchback would not return for 1989.
The Firebird Convertible continued to be offered, but was still a third-party build. It was constructed by ASC, and just 104 were built for 1989. Pontiac built 9,765 GTA models for the U.S. An extremely small number of them were the Notchbacks. Considering their rarity and blistering issues, a GTA Notchback in good condition is the top choice in terms of production ’88 Firebirds.