What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Wiley E. Coyote
 
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What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

Was it called a panther or?
Many yrs ago saw a white one at Pomona swap meet....was shocked to see one in person saw it in the great camaro book as a kid
Owner drove it everywhere..it was rough but never knew it came to production always wondered about it


Anyone have info on it?
Know its a camaro board but same car in my book and love oddball stuff. he wouldnt sell it to me no matter what I offered lol.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 06:42 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

I have the book but can't put my hands on it right now. I don't recall the car you speak of. Got a link to a reference photo?

Jeff
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 06:54 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

That thing is butt ugly in a good kind of way. https://bangshift.com/general-news/s...rd-found-ebay/

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 09:27 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

Side view it looks like a Javelin..

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 01:02 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

The Pontiac FireBird Trans Am edition with the WS6 option used the "Wonder Bar" which was a brace to strengthen the attachment of the steering gear box to the front sub frame by adding a cross-member. This single add on made the FireBird out perform the Camaro in road racing. It improved steering response by preventing the frame from deflecting. This was designed by Herb Adams a Pontiac Chassis Engineer that developed the Firebird for Trans Am racing.

https://www.chevyhardcore.com/featur...heverra-racer/

He left Pontiac in 1973 to start VSE a mail order suspension upgrade company. He also wrote the book Chassis engineering which is a written for the racer rather than another engineer (no math).

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 02:42 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

Man that car is fugly.....

Don

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 03:12 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

People didn't like the whale tale rear spoiler but it loaded the rear axle with nearly a thousand pounds of down force at 200 mph.Herb got the idea from Porsche engineers who had it on the 911. He tried it and it worked. Same for the nose that had air ducts built in for the front brakes as well as the radiator; but it was used mostly as an air dam to redirect the air out from under the car. The modifications were functional not cosmetic. He covered these mods in his book on chassis building.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew69 View Post
That thing is butt ugly in a good kind of way. https://bangshift.com/general-news/s...rd-found-ebay/
Thats it, Ca car too same condition. Hmm.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 11:03 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

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Originally Posted by cv67 View Post
Thats it, Ca car too same condition. Hmm.
My error! Never saw the cosmetic changes made to the Firebird. Maybe he had Ford Pantera envy?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 19, 12:04 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

I want to hear more about the "wonder bar" steering box brace for the first gen Camaro. My Google-fu isn't picking this up.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 19, 03:01 PM
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Re: What 1st gen Firebird had the flying butress

It was a Pontiac only thing and only on the Firebird equivalent of the Z/28 option on a Camaro. If you see rear disc brakes on a Firebird then it had a wonder bar. They were used on first, second, and third gen Fire-turkeys.

It was invented by Herb Adams after driving the TransAm in competition. He noted that the steering wasn't driving the car into corners the way he expected. Examined the car in the lab by loading the chassis and saw the front sub frame bending as cornering forces increased. Simple fix reinforce the frame with another bolt in cross-member up front to transfer some of the load to the opposite side of the car.

I have no idea why Chevrolet engineers never copied the idea for their Camaro or Nova SS cars. Not like Pontiac would sue Chevrolet over doing so. I used to have a photo of the brace/cross-member: but I lost 4,583 pics (according to Photobucket when they tried to get me to buy a subscription limited to 2,000 pics) so I can't show you now. I found it on line originally so it must still be there some where.

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