There were two different vehicles that used the Pontiac Sunbird nameplate. One appeared in the mid-1970s and was dropped at the end of that decade. Another was manufactured from the 1980s and sold through the 1990s. But aside from their name, and their compact sizes, these two vehicles shares nothing more in common. They were two distinct vehicles, with the one introduced later being more popular than the one introduced earlier.
The first of the two Pontiac Sunbirds was introduced in 1976. It was Pontiac's version of the rear-wheel drive GM H-body platform, which was introduced one year earlier before the Pontiac Sunbird was introduced. But while the rest of the H-bodies were available in hatchback, coupe and wagon versions, the Pontiac Sunbird was offered only in coupe body style. And while the other H-bodies were introduced with a V8 engine option, the Pontiac Sunbird came only with choices of inline-4 and V6 engines. The Pontiac Sunbird, along with its H-body twins, was dropped after the 1980 model year and was replaced by the J-body cars. For the Pontiac Sunbird, the replacement was the Pontiac J2000.
The second of the Pontiac Sunbirds, which was introduced in 1983, was Pontiac's version of the second generation of the GM J-body platform. It was similar to the Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza, Buick Skyhawk and Cadillac Cimarron. It was a compact, front-wheel drive car available in coupe, sedan and convertible body styles. Early models of the car came only equipped with a variation of I4 engines. It had its first V6 only in 1991, which was fitted only on its top most trim level. The Pontiac Sunbird was sold through the 1994 model year, after which it was replaced by, or renamed as, the Pontiac Sunfire.
Among the two, the J-body Pontiac Sunbird was the more popular, probably because of its style. It was considered as the smallest American-built car, and probably the most successful among the J-body cars. It was probably the longest running J-body, although now being sold under the Pontiac Sunfire name, and outlasted the Chevrolet Cavalier that lasted only until the 2004 model year.
Although with the same name, the two Pontiac Sunbirds definitely needs two distinct sets of auto parts. Here at Parts Train, we offer Pontiac Sunbird parts both for the H-body model and the J-body model. We also assure you that each and every Pontiac Sunbird part we have on our website are of top most quality and performance.