Classic Performance Features

photo of a red classic mustang

These muscles cars show off a classic performance. We’re talking about the 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429. The late seventies brought with it strict emissions, rising insurance costs and gas prices. This caused car makers to drastically lower their horsepower.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

However the Pontiac Trans Am didn’t change. It definitely had classic performance. They accomplished new photo of a classic trans ampopularity beginning with its major role in the classic movie Smokey and the Bandit. Pontiac created more excitement for the ’78 Trans Am providing increased horsepower. It went from 200 to top level at 220. A unique handling package know as the WS6 included wide eight inch wheels, new tires, sport-tuned suspension, and finally quicker steering. This classic provided handling and speed above the Chevy Corvette.


In 1976, Pontiac created the T-top roof option for the Trans Am. This was the closest consumers could get to a convertible. The roof sections, originally manufactured by Hurst, would lift out. Therefore they became known as the Hurst Hatch. However there was the problem of leaking. So Pontiac made the decision to create their own T-tops. The manufacturing process occurred within GM’s Fisher body division. The option’s launching happened halfway through 1978. The difference between the two makers is noticeable. The glass panels by Fisher are larger than the Hurst panels.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

During the late sixties and early seventies car manufacturers took the stock-car racing business seriously. Nascar was in its prime at this point. These cars had engines and body styles meant for racing. They just needed to sell 500 of these vehicles allowing them to have a place in Nascar.

photo of a mustang logoThis version of the Mustang, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, didn’t compete in Nascar. However this classic provided some serious power and classic performance. The engine, designed for racing, included a 375-hp 429-cubic-inch V-8 with the ability to rev up to 6,000 rpm. Of course, knowing this information, it didn’t have good street performance. Other big block Mustangs were much faster on the street. Ford hired Kar Kraft, in Brighton, Michigan to find solutions. This company relocated shock towers, widened the front end track, moved the battery to the trunk, and finally fitted it with a smaller brake booster. Because this classic Mustang is so rare auction value is well above $200,000.


Between 1969 and 1970 the car maker installed three distinctly different engines in the Boss 429. The first engine, “S-Code” installed in the early vehicles and completed with racing parts. However due to an incorrect assembly process warranty issues surfaced. Next they used “T-Code” which used lighter duty car parts. Finally the last version, called the A-Code, included a new valvetrain and smog equipment.

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