Preserved Patina: 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible – $24,500

by | Nov 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

The trouble with most first-generation Pontiac Firebirds is how many “restored” examples have years of subpar repairs hidden under shiny paint jobs. This 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible currently listed here on Craigslist in Herald, California (Orange County) is a refreshing change as it appears to be a nicely patina’d example with all of its acquired flaws readily visible.

A well-optioned example featuring factory A/C and fold-down rear seat, the seller currently has their Firebird 400 convertible listed at $24,500 currently. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Firebird 400 priced $1,100 above this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $23,400.  Interestingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask lands just below this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $25,600;

The first generation Firebird had characteristic Coke bottle styling shared with its cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro. Announcing a Pontiac styling trend, the Firebird’s bumpers were integrated into the design of the front end, giving it a more streamlined look than the Camaro. The Firebird’s rear “slit” taillights were inspired by the 1966–1967 Pontiac GTO. Both a two-door hardtop and a convertible were offered through the 1969 model year. Originally, the car was a “consolation prize” for Pontiac, which had desired to produce a two-seat sports car based on its original Banshee concept car. However, GM feared this would cut into Chevrolet Corvette sales, and gave Pontiac a piece of the “pony car” market through sharing the F-body platform with Chevrolet.

The 1967 base model Firebird came equipped with the Pontiac 230 cu in (3.8 L) SOHC inline-six. Based on the architecture of the standard Chevrolet 230 cu in (3.8 L) inline-six, it was fitted with a one-barrel carburetor and rated at 165 hp (123 kW).[1] The “Sprint” model six came with a four-barrel carburetor, developing 215 hp (160 kW).[6] Most buyers opted for one of three V8s: the 326 cu in (5.3 L) with a two-barrel carburetor producing 250 hp (186 kW); the four-barrel “HO” (high output) 326, producing 285 hp (213 kW); or the 325 hp (242 kW) 400 cu in (6.6 L) from the GTO. All 1967–1968 400 CI engines had throttle restrictors that blocked the carburetors’ secondaries from fully opening.[1] A “Ram Air” option was also available, providing functional hood scoops, higher flow heads with stronger valve springs, and a hotter camshaft. Power for the Ram Air package was the same as the conventional 400 HO, but peaked at 5,200 rpm.

The 230 cu in (3.8 L) engines were subsequently enlarged for 1968 to 250 cubic inches(4.1 liters), the base version developing an increased 175 hp (130 kW) using a one-barrel carburetor, and the high-output Sprint version the same 215 hp with a four-barrel carburetor. Also for the 1968 model, the 326 cu in (5.3 L) engine was replaced by the Pontiac 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8, which actually displaced 354 cu in (5.8 L), and produced 265 hp (198 kW) with a two-barrel carburetor. An HO version of the 350 cu in (5.7 L) with a revised cam was also offered starting in that year, which developed 320 hp (239 kW). Power output of the other engines was increased marginally.[1]

There was an additional Ram Air IV option for the 400 cu in (6.6 L) V8 engines during 1969, complementing the Ram Air 400(now often colloquially but incorrectly called the “Ram Air III,” a name never used by Pontiac). The Ram Air IV was rated at 345 hp (350 PS; 257 kW) at 5000 rpm and 430 lb⋅ft (583 N⋅m) of torque at 3400 rpm;[7] and 335 hp (340 PS; 250 kW) respectively. The 350 cu in (5.7 L) HO engine was revised again with a different cam and cylinder heads resulting in 325 hp (242 kW). During 1969 a special 303 cu in (5.0 L) engine was designed for SCCA road racing applications that was not available in production cars.[8]

The styling difference from the 1967 to the 1968 model was the addition of federally-mandated side marker lights: for the front of the car, the turn signals were made larger and extended to wrap around the front edges of the car, and on the rear, the Pontiac (V-shaped) Arrowhead logo was added to each side. The front door vent-windows were replaced with a single pane of glass and Astro Ventilation, a fresh-air-inlet system. The 1969 model received a major facelift with a new front-end design but unlike the GTO, it did not have the Endura bumper. The instrument panel and steering wheel were revised. The ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to the steering column with the introduction of GM’s new locking ignition switch/steering wheel.[1]

The MaccaIsntDead YouTube Channel features this 1968 vintage Pontiac Firebird commercial:

Based upon the pictures provided, this 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible appears to be a nicely optioned driver quality car with a rarely seen exterior color. We hope the next caretaker elects to restore rather than modify the car.  If you are serious about buying this classic Firebird, you can start the conversation by calling Tony (209) 610-0209.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw his 1968 Pontaic Firebird 400 convertible featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible 400cid/400trans, power top, fold-down rear seat, air condition car, runs and drives. The car was stored for 8 years. New gas tank and sending unit. Car is all stock and all there.

 

$24,500 – Call Tony 209-610-0 two 0 nine – phone calls are best. If add is still up, yes the car is for sale.

Brand new 60 spoke wire wheels and redline tires! Rare ANSA dual exhaust.
New convertible boot to match the interior. Many more options.”

Restore or drive as-is: what would you do with this 1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible?  Comment below and let us know!

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