Introduction

BASE FIREBIRD

FIREBIRD ESPRIT

FIREBIRD FORMULA

TRANS AM

I.D. NUMBERS

Pontiac introduced its new 17-symbol Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
It was located on the upper left surface of the instrument panel, visible through the windshield
PositionCharacterDescription
11US built
2GGeneral Motors product
32Pontiac Motor Division vehicle
4AManual seatbelts
5SFirebird
TEsprit
VFormula
WTrans Am
XTrans Am Turbo Special Edition
6 & 787Body style number: two-door plainback special coupe
8*Engine type where * is replaced by the following
  • A = 231-cid V6, 110-hp
  • S = 265-cid V8, 120-hp
  • W = 301-cid V8, 135-hp
  • T = 301-cid V8, 200-hp
  • H = 305-cid V8, 145-hp
9?A check digit that calculates the characters in the serial number and gives it a single digit code and can be used to verify that the serial number is legitimate
10BThe model year where B = 1981
11_Manufacturing plant code
12-17100001 and upProduction sequence serial number

IDENTIFICATION

Model NumberStyle NumberBody TypeSeatingFactory PriceShipping WeightProduction Total
2FS872-door Hardtop Base Firebird - V64$6901327520,541
both 6 & V8
2FS872-door Hardtop Base Firebird - V84$69513350
2FT872-door Hardtop Esprit - V64$7646331210,938
2FT872-door Hardtop Esprit - V84$76953472
2FV872-door Hardtop Formula - V64$785433975,927
2FV872-door Hardtop Formula - V84$79043472
2FW872-door Hardtop Trans Am4$8322341933,493
2FX872-door Hardtop Trans Am Turbo SE4$12,257 

ENGINE

VIN CodeA (Buick)SWE/CT (turbocharged)H (Calif.)
Cylinders90° V-690° V-890° V-890° V-890° V-890° V-8
ValvingOverhead valveOverhead valveOverhead valveOverhead valveOverhead valveOverhead valve
BlockCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-iron
HeadCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-ironCast-iron
Bore & Stroke3.80 x 3.40 in.3.75 x 3.00 in.4.00 x 3.00 in.4.00 x 3.00 in.4.00 x 3.00 in.3.74 x 3.48
Displacement231 cid (3.8 liters)265 cid (4.3 liters)301 cid (5.0 liters)301 cid (5.0 liters)301 cid (5.0 liters)305 cid (5.0 liters)
Compression ratio8.0 : 18.3 : 18.1 : 18.4 : 17.5 : 18.4 : 1
Brake H.P.110 @ 3800 rpm120 @ 4000135 @ 3600 rpm150 @ 4000 rpm200 @ 4000 rpm145 @ 3800 rpm
Torque (lb-ft)190 @ 1600 rpm205 @ 2000 rpm235 @ 1600 rpm245 @ 2000 rpm340 @ 2000 rpm240 @ 2400 rpm
Main bearingsFourFiveFiveFiveFiveFive
Valve liftersHydraulic
Carburetor2-barrel Rochester M2ME2-barrel Rochester E2ME4-barrel Rochester E4ME4-barrel Rochester E4ME4-barrel Rochester E4ME4-barrel Rochester E4ME

TRANSMISSION

Three-speed manual floor shift
Four-speed manual shift
Three-speed automatic

CHASSIS

FEATUREFirebirdEspritFormulaTrans Am
Wheelbase108.2 in.108.2 in.108.2 in.108.2 in.
Overall length196.1 in.196.1 in.196.1 in.196.1 in.
Height49.3 in.49.349.549.5
Width73.073.073.073.0
Front tread60.960.961.361.2
Rear tread60.060.060.460.3
TiresP205/75R15P205/75R15P225/70R15 SBRP225/70R15 SBR
SteeringRecirculating ball
Front suspensioncoil springs with lower trailing links and anti-sway bar
Rear suspensionsemi-elliptic leaf springs with anti-sway bar
BrakesFront disc, rear drumsFront disc, rear disc
IgnitionElectronic
Body constructionUnit with separate partial frame
Fuel tank21 gal

OPTIONS

265-cid two-barrel V-8 (Firebird)$50
E/C 301-cid four-barrel V-8 (Firebird)$215
Turbo 301-cid V-8 (Formula)$652
Turbo 301-cid V-8 (Trans Am)$437
305-cid four-barrel V-8 (Firebird/Formula)$75
305-cid four-barrel V-8 (Trans Am)$140 credit
Turbo-Hydramatic transmission$349
Limited slip differential$67
Power four-wheel disc brakes$158
Super cooling radiator$34 - $63
Heavy-duty alternator$51
Engine block heater$16
Heavy-duty battery$22
Trans Am Special Edition$735
Trans Am Special Edition with hatch roof$1430
Formula appearance package$200
Formula special performance package$350 - 546
Trans Am special performance package$350 - 546
Firebird custom trim$45 - 164
Air conditiong$560 - $625
Cruise control$132 - $135
Power seat$173
Power windows$140 - $211
Hatch roof$663 - $695

HISTORICAL NOTES

1981 Firebird Notes

1981 FIREBIRD PHOTOS

1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am
1981 Trans Am
1981 Firebird Trans Am

LITERATURE

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