Guys With Their Rides 14: Chris and his 1994 Pontiac Firebird Formula
Anyone who claims “Millennials aren’t into old cars” doesn’t understand that most enthusiasts younger than Baby Boomers cannot afford the high cost of collector cars built before 1980. Twenty-seven year old Chris with his 1994 Pontiac Firebird Formula is a prime example of young car enthusiast enjoying the hobby on a budget. A budget of $3,500 for an LT-1 powered, six-speed, rust-free example with leather and T-tops, to be exact.
While “Bandit era” late 70’s Formulas in decent shape can’t be had for under $20,000 anymore, a fourth generation F-Body (produced from 1993 through 2002) in excellent condition can easily be found for under $10K. And let’s be honest: an LT-1 powered early fourth generation Firebird has more power, a beefy six-speed manual transmission, superior handling, and overall better build quality than its older brother from the seventies.
Chris is the third caretaker of of this Formula he purchased four years ago with 94K miles on it. As Chris tells it, the original owner ordered this Formula with very specific and rare options. The most notable are the bolstered highly adjustable front bucket seats normally found in the Top-of-the-line Trans Am during the period in addition to a T-Top roof and six-speed manual transmission. Shortly after his purchase, Chris lowered the suspension with Doug Miller Racing (“DMR”) 700 pound springs. To get bigger and better brakes on the cheap, Chris swapped out the stock set up with machined Cadillac CTS-V spindles and calipers that clamp down on fifth-generation Camaro SS rotors.
We like that while Chris made some nice upgrades to the suspension and brakes, to date he’s left the engine, transmission, and rear end stock as he feels the added cost would not be all that usable on the street. The only recent performance upgrade is a later model Ram Air hood and cold air box that helps the LT-1 breath better.
With several other daily vehicles to choose from, Chris saves drives in his Formula for nice days. The paint might not be perfect, but you would be hard pressed to find this much performance for so little money in 2019. Thanks for sharing Chris!
Do you have a Fourth Generation Firebird or Trans Am story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!