Pick Your Poison – 1979 Camaro Berlinetta vs 1981 Firebird Trans Am

Here we go, with somewhat of a twofer again for a change. It feels good to roll out two over-30-year-old V8 machines here; cars that are strongly related, fought for the same buyers and embody the infamous, Murilee-coined Malaise Era badassness perfectly. One of them is super tidy, the other looks that it’s been ridden hard, resprayed and put away wet. It’s a photo-opportunity fight for the ‘79 Camaro and the ’81 Trans Am.

Pick one, either one.

The Camaro Berlinetta was the cleaner one of the blue two. It took its space and a bit more on the parking lot, on wide tires on wide American Racing wheels, on the same spot that the Corvette sat the previous week.

This shot shows well how much the plastic nose extended the original second-generation Camaro front. That really is quite a conk.

Stingers up front, BF Goodrichs at the back. Either the car is a good original or a good restoration, as it is really clean and looks to be free of paint imperfections of any kind.

I do claim sky blue suits the Camaro best. I wouldn’t have it in any other colour as eagerly. It’s also refreshingly clean of anything tacked-on.

Moving on to the other F-Body:

We also move away from the green grass and summery leaves with these Pontiac photos, as it was photographed on grim concrete and tarmac on a market parking lot. Not much of green here to add vibrance to the pics.

Of these two, the Trans Am was a lot rougher. There’s not much on it that really fits; panel gaps ride and bulge. Plastic parts also look like they’ve taken a beating.

Still, those wheels do look damn good.

While I do like the emotionlessly cool quad-sealed-beam headlight front, it’s not a match for the nostril-heavy early-’70s Trans Am front. The Camaro made a better transition with the corresponding nose job.

Despite this car being registered as a 1981 Trans Am and that the plate info says it’s a 5.7-litre, Pontiac discontinued the larger engines by 1980. This would mean the car would either be actually made earlier than 1981, or then it has had a 5.7 swapped in.

Wait! That’s not all. This one is a Targa Top!

So, which one of the two blue ones is the one for you? Which one would you accept to be your awfully welded project car on the back yard with no tires on?


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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