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Post Info TOPIC: 1973 SD Trans Am
BJ


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1973 SD Trans Am


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4tV426_Ih8



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Poncho Master!

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Used to cruise in my buddy's white 74 SD car, same red interior, blue hood bird and stripe kit, pretty !! Sold new at Kipp Scott's Red Deer, Ab.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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My cousin on Vancouver Island has the identical car except it's either black or navy, can't remember. Also a 4 speed car and he purchased it brand new just out of Edmonton. Think it was under 4 gs then.

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Jerel


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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


Poncho Master!

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When you get right down to it, Pontiac had a lot of balls to build & certify this engine at a time of waning interest (due to insurance & emissions regs). GM & everyone else was having a tough time getting various engines to meet the emissions standards for '73 & the engineers were in crisis mode. Chevy dropped the planned 400 small block based Z28-tuned engine that was to replace the 402 in the Camaro for '73.

Pontiac did a run of SD455 parts in order to build a bunch of '73s, but due to employee pilfering they didn't have enough parts left to build in the numbers planned. That led to the cancelling of the SD-455 in the GTO / Grand Am since parts were not available in the quantities required. It is worth noting that the parts were cast & produced in numbers greater than production suggested, but left the factory in lunch buckets. The parts are out there somewhere.

The fuel crisis hit in October '73, affecting the newly-released '74 models. The EPA was putting the screws to GM, forcing them to downgrade the cam for '74 SD-455 (290 vs. 310 net), forcing Ford to drop the Ram Air from the CJ-351 after they snuck the non-compliant early '72 351 H.O. through under the guise of Ram Air on a regular 351 (that is why no CJ-351 came with Ram Air in '73; an EPA-imposed slap on the wrist). Nickey Chevrolet was hit with a cease-and-desist order on engine swaps (as was Randal AMC with their hopped-up 401 Gremlins & Jeep CJ5s).

In true Pontiac fashion, they thumbed their nose at GM Corporate and simply got it done. In my opinion, The Trans Am & Formula SD-455 was one of the best overall packages out there ever, made even more ironic because of the timeframe they were introduced.


In 1974 Buick release the 455 Stage 1 for use in the Century Gran Sport, Riviera Gran Sport, plus the Le Sabre & Buick Estate wagon. During the fuel crisis, an 8 to 10 mpg engine was as sell-able as soggy cardboard and they were dropped during the run without any complaints or notice.

They were dark times for performance and yet nobody was in the mood to care. The planned 1974 Oldsmobile 455 W30 was stillborn. Corvette lost the 454 for 1975, the Century's top engine was a 350 for '75, the FoMoCo 351s were all 2-barrels for '75, after '74 AMC dropped anything larger than 360 except for some Jeep Wagoneers & Cherokees. Chargers mirrored the new Cordoba & the 400 was tops, the Challenger & Barracuda were dropped by the spring of '74 due to slow sales and the production capacity was used to expand the Dart & Valiant offerings with Special Editions, Broughams, Hang Ten etc. No more Hornet 360s & the Javelin / AMX was history. 4-speed Chevelles & Lemans were dropped, sixes were given props and axle ratios dropped into the realm of 2.41 or even lower (of dubious value when the U.S. limit was dropped to 55 mph in 1974).

 



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67 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe, Oshawa-built stocker 250 Powerglide 40,000 mile

Also in garage waiting: stroker 296 cid inline six & built TH350

Cameron Milne, Toronto.


I am a walking encyclopedia with numerous pages missing.



Poncho Master!

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Interesting (but depressing) summary of the demise of muscle cars - thanks! I remember a lot of people pulling big blocks and installing small blocks or swapping from 4 bbl to 2 bbl carbs, and dual quads disappeared to the drag-race-only parts bins.
I took a '73 or '74 455SD TA for a test drive in about 1979. Wish I would have bought it. I think they wanted $3000. That and the 60,000 mile, one owner 442 W30 (for $2000). Oh, the ones that got away. They probably ended up in better homes than I could have afforded to give them anyway.

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Addicted!

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Back in 1975-76 when the used car salesman let you try the car by yourself, my brother came to my job with a blue/white stripes '73 T/A 455/4 speed, we went to the industrial park to test it.

He did his best, then it was my turn.......I advice him to buy the T/A and come back after the job so we really test it.

He came later with a '72 Mach I, 351/4 speed....the Trans Am was too much for him!!!

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