Atlantis 1/32 1971 Pontiac Firebird

KIT #: M2009
PRICE: $21.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2021 release


The 1971 model year had a few minor changes to the Firebird. Fenders across all models now featured a one-year-only exhaust vent seen on the lower half of the fenders. The interior options also changed to the newer style collared bucket seats in the deluxe interior, and the previous year's seats with the headrest were no longer available. The rear seat console was introduced as an option, and Honeycomb wheels became available for all Firebirds.

1971 saw changes to the way the engines were rated from the factory. GM mandated that engines no longer use SAE Gross horsepower ratings and use the SAE Net power ratings to help alleviate the rising cost of insurance for performance vehicles. The compression ratio was also lowered for some of the models, de-tuning the power rating for some of the engines as part of new requirements for low-leaded fuels, however, the engine options remained mostly unchanged from 1970. As the limit for the compression ratio was lowered, this allowed for larger displacement engines to become available. The 455 was now available for the Firebird in two configurations. The 455 engine was available in the L75 325 hp (242 kW) version and the LS5 335 hp (250 kW) HO version. Both the 455 and 455 HO were available as engine options for the Firebird Formula, but the Trans Am received the 455 HO as standard equipment.


Atlantis purchased all the Revell/Monogram tooling that Revell Germany did not want when RoG purchased Revell USA. It included all the box scale kits of the 50s and 60s as well as the older scale kits. It included a fairly large catalog of 1/32 car kits that Monogram produced in the 1970s and 80s. This particular kit was originally released in 1982 and was later re-issued as a 'street burner' a few years later. This re-issue is from last year (2021).

The kit includes an engine of which most of it consists of six parts. This fits atop the lower section of the engine/transmission that is molded onto the chassis. Onto this chassis is attached the exhaust, front and rear suspension. Tires seem a bit narrow for a Trans-Am and into them fit the caps that attach them to the plastic axle stubs and the chrome wheels. On the real deal the wheels are aluminum so you may want to strip and repaint them.

Into the body shell, one attaches the radiator and window assembly. The interior is a tub type with the rear seat molded in place. One then attaches the dash with steering wheel, gear shifter, and two front seats. This then fits into the body shell. The chassis assembly attaches to that.

The rest of the body is built up including the front section, rear pieces, and tail lights. These latter pieces are chrome so the red parts have to be painted. The ram induction piece sits atop the engine and the radiator hose is glued in place. Finally, the side mirrors and hood are attached.

Instructions are 21 construction steps with generic painting information provided on the way. The car is supposed to be painted white with blue decal stripes. One will need to paint the ram induction piece to match the decals. Decals are nicely printed though not particularly crisp.   


To me, this is the best looking Trans Am of the lot. I bought this kit to use the body for a slot car. I'm glad Atlantis released this as I didn't want to pay collector prices for the Monogram boxing. It is a nice looking kit and would be perfect for those who aren't blessed with a lot of shelf space.  


July 2022

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