by: C. Michael Knight
The screaming chicken got its name from the bird that is on the hood of the Trans Ams. Each color of car had a special black bird with flames that matched: Cameo White cars had a bird with blue flames, Brewster Green had green flames and the Buccaneer Red cars had a red/orange flames.
The weird thing about the "screaming chicken" is that it's not a chicken at all, but rather it's a "firebird!" It does look like it's screaming (you would be too if you were going up in flames) though.
The Famous Trans Am Shaker Scoop
The "shaker scoop" was the name given to the 'reverse bug catcher' that stuck out of the middle of the hood. The reason it is a "shaker" scoop is because it shakes with the engine. Every time you goose the engine, she rocks left to right like it's going to tear the engine mounts right off.
If you had a real Super Duty engine, the shaker scoop had the SD-455 emblems.
In some of the early birds, the shaker scoop was a functional air intake source. It was vacuum operated with a solenoid that would open the rear flap under hard acceleration to allow more air in. 73 marked the first year the solenoid was removed and the flap was screwed on. Let's face, it just looked cool but didn't add any real performance.
What Color Is Your Bird?
If you wanted a 73 TA, you could have it in any color as long as it was Cameo White, Brewster Green or Buccaneer Red. For me, green was a bit dull and the red had too much orange in it.
The Cameo White car, Blue Firebird on the hood and Black interior was by far the best color combination for 1973.
This article was posted on August 08, 2005