Pandemic Plaything: 1988 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 Project – SOLD!

by | May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

June 6, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 3, 2021 Update – The owner of the repair shop that used this Firebird Formula to keep his staff busy during COVID last year just lowered the asking price on this Firebird Formula by $500 to $5,500.

Suppose you won a car repair shop. Now suppose a global pandemic hits and the Federal Government gives you a forgivable loan to pay your employees while business is down. Now, with this newfound cash, what do you do to keep your employees engaged until the business improves? Buy an interesting project car for your team to tinker with! That’s exactly what the owner of a garage in Carteret, New Jersey did in 2020 and now that business has returned to normal, this 1988 Pontiac Firebird was once up for grabs in May 2021 on Craigslist for $5,500, which is down from the original ask of $6,000. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the shop owner has their Pontiac Project priced $200 less than this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $6,200 before factoring in a fifteen percent discount for this car being equipped with the less desirable four-speed automatic.

With fresh paint and most of the major systems thoroughly sorted, this appears to be an excellent opportunity to buy what represents the beginning of a serious performance return in the late 1980s. Bonus points for the fact this is the sleeper version of the Firebird the moment you remove the door stickers.  The only thing we would consider doing is swapping out the four-speed automatic with a plug-and-play Tremec five-speed manual kit.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale is a 1988 Firebird Formula 5.7 WS6 with only 61K original miles. The car was purchased a year ago as a project for my repair facility to give us something to do during the slow covid times. It was torn down and 90% completely back together. Its been in my shop and the shop has gotten very busy and we just dont have the time to finish the project as we go into our busy season and is taking up valuable space. Below I will list what has been replaced and what work is left to do. Please feel free to come by to see the vehicle. First $6000 takes it as is or best offer.


New paint basecoat/ clearcoat Maui Blue $1500 (we prepped it ourselves)
New formula decals
New spoiler from hawks
New carpet
New headliner
New fuel pump
New fuel filter
New distributor, plus, wires
New Flo-Pro Muffler V42583
New Thermostat
Bosch III Injectors
New hatch motor
New brakes
New front and rear sway bar end links
New idler arm
New serp belt
New control arm bushings
New headlight motors
AC retrofitted to 134A
New bluetooth radio
New mass air flow

Still needs to be done:

The front wheels rub the fenders when turning, looks like the K member needs to be adjusted.
There is a mass air flow code in the system and it is a hard start unless you unplug the mass air flow sensor. But it runs fantastic.
Need a set of tires
Needs a front right marker light
Needs a shifter handle (although i got to have the original one here somewhere)
The oil pan has a dent but it is not causing any issues
The hood and right fender have some imperfections you can notice up close or at the right angles.

Overall its clear the car sat for a while when we got it. Its come a long long LONG way. We just dont have the time to complete it and need the space back to conduct regular business.

Also have a ton or progress pictures documenting the teardown and rebuild.

Stock or modify: what would you do with this Firebird Formula?  Comment below and let us know!


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