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RPO Codes, PHS, and the Build Sheet for Firebirds

*RPO Option Codes There are many questions that are asked regarding option codes for Firebirds. Those questions that are most often asked are: How do I know if I have a Special Edition Trans Am? Can I find out if my car has the W72 motor from the cars VIN number? How do I know if my car actually came from the factory with the WS6 suspension package as my car has 8 inch wheels?

The answer to those questions and the only way to decipher them is from the cars build sheet or obtaining the cars PHS Automotive Services, Inc. (hereafter, PHS) documents. Options are those a car could have obtain directly from the factory. They are usually called Regular Production Option or RPO codes for short. Such options include RPO code W72 which was a higher output engine, RPO code WS6 which was a special suspension package that included quick ratio steering, larger sway bars, and 8 inch rims, as well as RPO codes Y82, Y84, and Y88’s which were Special Edition packages during the late 70’s for Pontiac Firebird models.

All the RPO codes can only be verified by the cars build sheet or by contacting PHS to verify the Vehicle Identification Number (hereafter VIN) as to what options were purchased and placed on a Firebird from the factory. Although the VIN number is able to verify the year and model of the car, in most cases, the RPO coded option packages that the cars were produced with from the factory remains solely the responsibility of the build sheet or PHS documents to decipher. Therefore, if you are uncertain regarding the options of your car and require documentation one of the ways to do this is by purchasing the cars PHS documents.

The Build Sheet Each Firebird, when it was produced at the factory had a factory build sheet. They are an 8 ˝ by 11 inch piece of paper that lists everything the car came with from the factory including interior colors, rear end gearing, engine codes, RPO coded options, and so much more. The details contained in the build sheet indicate everything that was put into the car from the factory. There are a few places that are considered “normal” to where the builders of these vehicles would put them while the cars were traveling down the assembly line. One of the most common is behind the upper portion of the rear seat of the Firebird. The second most common place (as many found there were two build sheets in a Firebird) was above the gas tank. Other known places include in the wire meshing under the front seat or passenger seat as well as under the carpeting inside the vehicle. However, the importance of the build sheet, as it indicates everything the car was build with from the factory, far exceeds the PHS documents. Therefore, the build sheet is a better source, as long as the VIN number matches the build sheet, for obtaining the detailed history of what came on the car came from the factory on a Firebird.

PHS DOCUMENTS PHS Automotive Services, Inc. at PHS Online 
is a service that, for a fee, will take a VIN number from a Firebird and provide the information regarding the cars invoiced options packages that were included on the vehicle in question from the factory. PHS has the database from GM that contains these option packages firebirds that were produced. They provide a copy of the factory invoice or billing history, a letter decoding the options (when necessary), a copy of the dealer order form for that year, and a picture of the Firebird for that year (if available). They also provide other information for that year and model Pontiac. PHS is a great service to decipher any Firebirds RPO coded options in which a car came with from the factory. As many know a lot can happen to a vehicle over it’s years of service but this is not the only way to decipher what RPO coded options the car had from the factory. A build sheet for the car is more detailed than the PHS and includes the RPO code options, as well as other incidentals, about the car and when it was produced from the factory.

AllGenTransAms would like to thank Michael Tyler AGTA Member HAMMER for submitting the previous enclosed information to us!

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