General Motors raised the heat in Detroit's pony car wars when Pontiac unveiled the Firebird Trans Am at the Chicago Auto Show on March 8, 1969.
The high-performance car, which came standard with a 400-cubic-inch Ram Air III HO engine with 335 hp, was meant to take on Chevrolet's Camaro Z/28 and the Ford Mustang Boss 302.
The Firebird was introduced in 1967, just months after the Camaro, in response to the spectacular success of the Mustang.
Fewer than 700 Trans Ams, including a few convertibles, were manufactured the first year.
The Trans Am rode on the Firebird's 108.1-inch wheelbase with a unit-body chassis that used a front subframe with independent coil-sprung suspension and rear leaf springs.