Exotic Engine: 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint OHC 6 – Sold?

by | Jun 2023 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

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July 28, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Former General Motors Executive turned entrepreneur John Z. Delorean was famous for many reasons. The Pontiac GTO and the stainless steel Gullwing-Door sports car bearing his name are most famous. Lesser known is that after becoming Pontiac Division Chief in 1965 at the age of only 40, DeLorean gave the green light to develop an inline-six engine equipped with overhead cam technology. In lieu of a traditional chain, Pontiac engineers collaborated with the U.S Rubber Company to develop a tough yet flexible fiberglass reinforced neoprene and nylon cam drive belt capable of letting the engine rev to 6,500 RPM.

Known as the OHC Sprint Six, Pontiac offered the innovative engine in its Firebird and Tempest models.  This Verdoro Green 1968 Pontiac Firebird Coupe for sale, first spotted in June 2023 on Craigslist near Memphis, Tennessee, appears to feature the more desirable four-barrel carburetor version. If we are correct, then this Firebird’s straight six produces 215 horespower at 5,200 rpm and 240 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm. Additionally, that likely means this entry-level Firebird may also feature heavy-duty suspension and tires, and standard a Safe-T-Track (positraction) rear axle equipped with 3.55:1 gears.  Unfortunately, the seller does not provide details about the motor version, so you’ll need to review this 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint’s documentation to confirm.

Regardless of which Sprint Six engine this 1968 Firebird for sale features, we love that someone elected to restore the car back to its original entry-level spec rather than butcher the car with a V8-powered swap.  The world has plenty of V8-powered Firebirds, so seeing an OHC 6-powered example carry on is refreshing.

Last offered for $30,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for first-generation Pontiac Firebirds of all body styles and powertrains produced between 1967 and 1969.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Firebird Sprint featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $21,600 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $33,200 before making adjustments for the powertrain and other options.

The 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint OHC6 was a special variant of the popular Firebird muscle car produced by General Motors under the Pontiac brand. It was introduced as a mid-year option for the Firebird model in 1968 and aimed to offer a more economical and efficient alternative to the powerful V8 engines typically found in muscle cars of that era.

The Firebird Sprint OHC6 was powered by a unique engine known as the “Sprint” engine. It featured a 250-cubic-inch (4.1-liter) inline-six-cylinder engine with an OverHead Camshaft (OHC) configuration. This engine was a departure from the traditional American muscle car engine design, which usually featured large-displacement V8 engines. The Sprint engine, on the other hand, emphasized efficiency and a balance between performance and fuel economy.

The OHC6 engine in the Firebird Sprint produced 215 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque, which was quite impressive for a six-cylinder engine at the time. It featured a cast-iron block, a seven-main-bearing crankshaft, and a lightweight aluminum cylinder head. The OHC design allowed for better airflow and improved combustion efficiency, contributing to the engine’s power output.

The Pontiac Sprint Six engine, also known as the OHC6 engine, was an innovative powerplant introduced by Pontiac in the 1960s. It was developed as a performance-oriented inline-six-cylinder engine, aiming to offer a balance between power and fuel efficiency.

The Sprint Six engine was initially introduced in 1966 and underwent further refinements in subsequent years. It featured an OverHead Camshaft (OHC) design, which was relatively uncommon for American engines at the time. The OHC configuration allowed for better valve control, improved combustion efficiency, and higher RPM capabilities compared to traditional overhead valve (OHV) engines.

The engine had a displacement of 250 cubic inches, which is equivalent to 4.1 liters. It featured a cast-iron block with a seven-main-bearing crankshaft for enhanced durability and smooth operation. The cylinder head was made of lightweight aluminum, which helped reduce the overall weight of the engine.

The Pontiac Sprint Six engine utilized a single overhead camshaft, driven by a timing chain, to actuate the valves. This design allowed for precise valve timing, resulting in improved power delivery and higher RPM potential. The engine had overhead valves (two per cylinder) and a hemispherical combustion chamber design, which promoted efficient airflow and combustion.

In terms of performance, the Sprint Six engine was quite impressive for a six-cylinder engine of its time. In its most potent form, the engine produced 215 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque. These figures were comparable to some V8 engines of the era, showcasing the power potential of the OHC design.

The Sprint Six engine was offered with a variety of transmission options, including a three-speed manual, four-speed manual, and three-speed automatic. This allowed buyers to tailor the driving experience to their preferences, whether they desired more involvement with a manual transmission or the convenience of an automatic.

The Firebird Sprint OHC6 was available with a few transmission options. The standard transmission was a three-speed manual, but buyers could opt for a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic transmission as well. The transmission choices allowed drivers to tailor the performance and driving experience according to their preferences.

Visually, the Firebird Sprint OHC6 had a similar appearance to other Firebird models of the era. It featured a sleek and aggressive design with a long hood, a short rear deck, and muscular proportions. The exterior styling cues included a split grille design, concealed headlights, and the iconic Firebird emblem adorning the front grille and rear end.

Inside the cabin, the Firebird Sprint OHC6 offered a driver-focused cockpit with a combination of sportiness and comfort. It featured bucket seats, a center console, and a three-spoke steering wheel. Optional extras included air conditioning, power windows, and a variety of audio systems.

While the Firebird Sprint OHC6 was not as powerful as its V8 counterparts, it offered a unique driving experience with a balance of performance and fuel efficiency. It was well-received by buyers looking for a more affordable and economical muscle car option. The 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint OHC6 holds a special place in automotive history as a unique and innovative variant of the iconic Firebird lineup.

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

With both limited pictures and a one-sentence description, you’ll have to interview the seller to get more details about their 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint OHC 6 for sale.  From the limited pictures, it appears this Firebird is a nice example of what a budget-minded buyer would have selected in 1968.

If you are serious about buying this Firebird Sprint, you can start the conversation by following the seller’s contact instructions in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their OHC 6 Powered Pontiac featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“Very rare restored show car. Runs and drives well. Not sure of the actual mileage.”

Show or go: What would you do with this 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!


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