There has never been as formidable of a muscle car as the Pontiac Firebird has been, from being featured in Smokey and the Bandit to being loved by an entire generation. The Pontiac Firebird was sadly phased out of production in 2002, and today the Pontiac brand is no longer in business. The brand went out of business after General Motors public bankruptcy in the late 2000s. Before the brand was phased out, there was one legendary model in particular that was produced, and that was the 1999 Pontiac Firebird Firehawk.
This rare model was produced by Pontiac and designed exclusively by SLP, who also handled the design for the Camaro SS of the same generation. From the stance of the vehicle to the beautiful limited edition yellow paint job, the Firehawk is a rare beauty. When you first take a seat in the Firehawk you are a plush black leather interior, complete with Firehawk stitched leather seating, short throw Hurst shift knob, and Firehawk emblems throughout the interior.
The Firehawk came in tow distinct paint jobs, one is yellow with black Firehawk decals, and one is black with gold Firehawk decals and gold exhaust tips. This model of the Firebird also comes with a pair of Firestone Firehawk tires as well, to match with the namesake. The LS1 engine has replaced the long outdated LT1 engine from the previous generation model. The Ram Air intake really increases the power of the model, and the 1999 Firebird is still competitive with current muscle cars.
The thing that differentiates the Firebird from a lot of muscle cars is also the T-Top option, these removable panels allow drivers to experience an open air feeling, without the drawbacks of a true convertible model. The power of the Firehawk feels amazing, the aluminum block LS1 motor has stellar take off time, and a huge amount of low end torque to carry the car with it. The Firebird and Camaro from 98-on were always some of the heaviest and widest sports cars available, but they handle amazingly better then they look.
I road tested this Firehawk in the hills and windy roads of Lake Tahoe, California. This vehicle hugs the road like it was built for touring, and there is so much power that the car still has plenty of power left in 5-th gear. The sound of the engine is the distinct rumble of the Corvette, and when you open the hood the engine is identical to that which is found in a corvette, minus the SLP products.
Basically the Firehawk is the Firebird to have, and if you have ever been interested in this classic Pontiac muscle car it would be worth your while to find a Firehawk. This car is very rare, and some can still be found at dealerships with minimal miles on them. You can expect to pay upwards of 10k for one in decent condition, and even with higher mileage this model still holds it’s value very well for a sixteen year old vehicle. But for the Pontiac Enthusiast this Firebird model is a must have.