This 1978 PONTIAC FIREBIRD TRANS AM RESTOMOD seems like a restored Trans Am Special Edition. However, closer inspection reveals a full restomod. Moreover, the massive twin-turbo V8 means this updated classic is a true supercar.

There are less than 700 miles on this full custom restoration, so everything looks fresh. A big investment in an extremely high gloss finish makes the black shine like chrome. In fact, the only thing rivaling the paint for shine is all the painted silver trim pieces. The trim around the body kit, the Trans Am lettering, and the iconic hood bird, all have a timeless look against the black.

And because the factory finished these in gold, the silver gives this custom instant distinction without betraying its history. The total restoration looks pristine and stock right down to the iconic snowflake-style wheels. Of course, true Pontiac fans might recognize they are larger than stock.

The hood locks, blacked-out rear, and crystal clear headlights are more indications of this upgraded and updated build. But because this coupe goes for subtle aggression, it allows this turn-key restomod to travel as an incognito classic.

Interior Upgrades

Open the door, and you see that they have again respected the T/As history while adding a ton of extra appeal. For example, the seats have far more modern bolstering for all-day comfort. They’re finished in gorgeous supple leather. The back features the Trans Am bird.

Because the machine-turned gauge panel is an icon, they also manufactured door panel inserts. Even the famous sports steering wheel is still in place. Plus, there are great comfort pieces, like power windows, an armrest center console, power steering, and cold-blowing R134a air conditioning.

The Kenwood touchscreen interface offers Bluetooth, a backup camera, and a JL Audio sound system. The B&M Quicksilver shifter and AutoMeter carbon fiber gauge kit show that the engine bay is exceptional, too.

Under The Hood

You’re going to love raising the hood wherever you go and show off the coupe’s dark heart. This is a massive Dart 540 cubic-inch V8 built by Steve Schmidt Customs. And while that would be plenty of performance for most of us, this has a Holley electronic fuel injection and engine management to optimize performance. And oh yes, we can all instantly recognize the two massive turbos w/intercooler put on top of this hearty motor.

Now you have the kind of power that will make Ferraris fear this Pontiac! Plus, this is built with the right supporting components, like a Billet Specialties serpentine pulley system, steel braided hoses, custom fabricated valve covers, twin 450 fuel pumps, and an Entropy custom radiator with dual electric fans. The 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission has been the choice for everything from Hummers to Aston Martins, so it knows how to handle the power.



The 1978 PONTIAC FIREBIRD TRANS AM RESTOMOD then sends the power to a Dana 60 rear end with Detroit Truetrac diff and 3.55 gears. Plus, there’s plenty of rubber to meet the road with the mini-tubbed rear. And the suspension has been upgraded for serious performance, too.

That means Heidt’s tubular control arms up front, Hotchkis subframe connectors, Heidts four-link rear, and adjustable coil-overs. And stopping is well in-hand with Wilwood drilled and slotted four-wheel disc brakes w/ABS and grippy Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

How much horsepower does a 1978 Trans Am have?

Pontiac’s offerings for the ’78 model included the standard 400-cid L78 engine that made just 180 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and the W72 400 that put out a more robust 220 hp and 340 lb-ft. An Oldsmobile 403 producing 185 hp was the only engine available in California.

What is the difference between a Firebird and a Trans Am?

The Trans Am often features lower body panels and a taller fin, along with body graphics that are not available on the regular Firebird. The Trans Am also features a stiffer suspension and is basically the top of the line model of the Firebird.

How do you tell if a Firebird is a formula?

If the fifth digit is an S, your car is JUST called a Firebird. It’s a Pontiac FirebirdIf you have a W, then it’s a Pontiac Trans Am or a Pontiac Formula. Trans am and the formula is just subdivisions of the Firebird.

Brook Walsh

For nearly 30 years, I've had a fascination with restomods. I've learned from real-world experience what restomod gear works and what doesn't. This is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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