Both of these cars are collectibles now!
Back in 1999, the LS1 powertrain production was in full swing, and people had yet to discover the swapping craze that would take over the gearhead scene years later. During this time, there was a lot more purity among older cars, love it or hate it. One interesting find during this time is a retro review video from MotorWeek between a 1969 Pontiac Trans Am, and 1999 Anniversary Trans Am - an interesting comparison for the times before LS engines were plucked out of one and put in the other!
Looking back on these comparison videos two decades gives us insight into a different time - a time when we didn’t realize the 1999 Trans Am 30th-Anniversary Edition was the last Anniversary Edition Trans Am produced. At the time, there were rumors of the discontinuation of the f-body, but most people were still invested in the ‘it will never happen’ mindset. Of course, we all know now that not only would the Firebird/Trans Am moniker get the axe, but the entire Pontiac umbrella would be closed for some time now.
Those depressing feelings aside, this look back to 1999 shows us a new Trans Am and how it stacks up to the original. The car being used to represent the OG era of the Trans Am is a 1969, sporting the white paint with blue stripe package. As MotorWeek points out, this was made before the time of crush zones and modern aerodynamics.
Under the hood of the classic muscle car is a carbureted 400 cubic-inch V8 engine that was rated at 355-horsepower. The 1999 variant is powered by a fuel-injected 346 cubic-inch LS1, rated at 320-horsepower.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t so much the speed tests when the 1969 faltered, but more so when it came to agility and stopping power, when the 1999 showed up its big brother. Where the old school T/A picks up points is overall style, especially when it comes to the car’s interior, and this f-body enthusiast definitely agrees.
Check out these cars from the eyes of 1999: