The Turbo 4.9 engine had been much maligned in the past and had some issues
when new due to the engine running hot. The Turbo Pontiac did not have an
intercooler. Performnce is very good and magazines said they behaved very
much like a 350 rather than a Turbo. The engineers designed it to feel more
like a big block to suit the image of the big block Trans Am when big blocks
could no longer be produced. For years Turbo Firebirds were looked upon as
inferior and only the big blocks, even the Olds 403, were more desirable.
With that being said I love the Turbo's. When they came out with the "Turbo
Trans Am" spoiler lettering ("Turbo Formula" on the Formula) my heart raced
like I had seen an exotic car. Because they are real Pontiac engines they
have more respect than the 403's now. Many Pontiac guys hate non-Pontiac
engines. Prices are climbing and they are being sought after since the 400
W72 cars are hard to find and expensive.
A Turbo Formula is certainly more rare than the Trans Am but that does not
make it more desirable price wise, so don't pay the TA price for it. I like
the rarity myself and you will be in a relatively uncluttered class at
shows, competing maybe with older Formula's. Fit and finish is typical of
cars built in that era, no where near the quality of today. But a Formula
will turns heads better than any Maxima can hope to.
I think a Turbo Formula is a good buy right now. If you like it you should
go for it.
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