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Time Travel With Jay Leno's Garage and Learn About the 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Time Travel With Jay Leno’s Garage and Learn About the 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Jay Leno jumps into the 1979 Pontiac Trans Am for a trip down the underpowered muscle car memory lane

When it comes to pony cars from the muscle car era, no vehicle from GM is more iconic than the Chevrolet Camaro. Introduced in 1966 as a rival for the popular Ford Mustang, the Camaro was joined in 1967 by the Firebird, Pontiac’s take on GM’s pony. Even though it had a solid following, it wasn’t as popular as the Camaro.

But that changed in 1977 when a Trans Am version of the Firebird was featured in the "Smokey and the Bandit" film. Sales nearly doubled and surpassed 100,000 units a year in 1979, enabling the Firebird to outsell the Camaro for the very first time. Although it wasn’t as powerful as its predecessor from the 1960s, the late 1970s Trans Am is a pretty cool car. Cool enough to make a stop by Jay Leno’s garage.

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Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno's Garage

Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno’s Garage

Vin Diesel and cars is a combo that’s not reserved just for the Fast & Furious franchise

The Pontiac GTO was the brainchild of John DeLorean - yup, that DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee. Its name was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, which on the Ferrari, meant Gran Turismo Omologato (homologated grand tourer, meaning it could be raced in the GT class). The Pontiac GTO didn’t have the same status, but you might remember how a heavily modded GTO with enough firepower to wipe out a small state made an appearance in xXx, as Xander Cage’s (Vin Diesel) weapon of choice.

The same car was given the honor of being in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, where it was brought by Thom Sherwood, a living GTO encyclopaedia and owner of two GTOs used in 2002’s xXx movie. Stick around for the juiciest details you’ll ever get about the so-called Flame Car.

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