25 Firebird Facts Every Enthusiast Should Know


The king of Pontiac didn’t want a Firebird. Not at first, anyway.

No, John DeLorean, who had recently given the world the GTO, thought Pontiac should follow up with a right and proper sports car, a two-seater called the Banshee. The brass at GM said no, repeatedly, no doubt because they wanted to protect the Corvette.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/03/22/25-firebird-facts-enthusiast-should-know

Lets talk about the Formula years? I had 2 of these growing up. I think they are the Best of the Birds.


This article states that the first year the Pontiac came out with 15 inch wheels was 1970 but I could swear the 15 inch wheels on my 69 Firebird are original.


No mention of a 'bird I owned in the mid-70’s. The 1968 Firebird Sprint - 6-cylinder OHC with factory Hurst shifter.


Sorry, but the first 17” wheels appeared in 92 on the limited edition Firehawk. They were 17x9 and made by Ronal. Firehawks continued using 17” in 93 till the end in 02.

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No mention of the 1968 Firebird Sprint - 6 cylinder - low production numbers - hard to find. My matching-numbers, fully restored Sprint gets lots of looks and awards. Guys can’t believe that I’ve owned it for 45 years and it still has the in-line 6. With the stock 4 barrel, Hurst shifter and OHC, it will throw your head back. Fun to drive.

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Never made one over 400 HP? Yeah, right… True that Pontiac never publicly RATED one over 400 HP, but if you believe that neither the Ram Air IV nor the '73 455 SD didn’t actually peak at over 400, then I have some nice Arizona beach-front property I’d like to talk to you about.


I’ve got a 75 Formula 400 in my garage. Any info on them?


I have a 74 Formula 455 SD Ramair with W66 suspension package. My grandfather special ordered the car, gave it to my dad when he turned 25, and my dad gave it to me when I turned 21, I plan to give it to my son when he is responsible enough to have it.
Year One has told me that it is the only Formula 455 Firebird they have heard of having the Ramair option code on top of the 455sd engine.

PHS says it is 1of1 also.

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As already noted, not a word about the OHC 6? My ‘67 was the lowly 1 bbl with a three on the tree, but the car was red/red. One of the few cars I regret selling.


Is it on Lake Havasu? I think I’d like it there.


First Radial Tires? WRONG! I ordered a F-bird convertible with Goodrich radial tires and disc brakes. But, because of that combination wasn’t able to order Rally II wheels. Had plain steel wheels with baby hubcaps. It was a 1968 Firebird!


No pictures of the 1968 or 68 convertible. I think it is one of the sexiest ever.

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Very cool. I won mine shooting pool back in my misspent youth. :wink: Very fun car. I won’t bother wishing I still had it because it would only be part of a long list. Also won an original Balabushka that I would definitely love to have back (see The Color of Money). Sold it to a guy that busted it in the parking when he still could not beat me with it :frowning:


Hi. I bought brand new a 1987 Firebird Formula 350, dark blue with air conditioning, 4 wheel disc brakes and automatic transmission. I later had SLP Engineering parts installed; Tri Y stainless steel headers, high performance computer chip, 7 1/2 quart Hamburgh oil pan with crank wiper and windage tray and under drive pulley for the serpentine belt. That car would roll up to 150 MPH so easily. My nephew has the car now and has restored it to original with the SLP parts.


Over 400 gross? Probably. SAE net? Probably not. Rear wheel? Definitely not.


My first car, in 1973, was a 1967 sprint, which was the overhead cam 6 with 4 bbl (230 cu in, 230 HP), saginaw 4 speed with stock linkage (later converted to Hurst). Later, I traded a 67 mustang in on a 73 Esprit (350/4 speed). Next was a 70 Trans AM with RA3, then a 72 Trans AM with HO 455 and last a 77 Formula 350. The 70 and 72 T/A’s were a blast to drive with the 70 being the best all around. The 72 was a beast, and with the M22, not something I really wanted to commute in every day. Will always have a soft spot for the Sprint’s though. One thing unique on the 72 HO 455 is it had the coil in the cap, like the later HEI’s, but smaller. Of course the coolest thing on the T/A’s is seeing the flap open on the scoop.


I bought mine in 1983 after it had been parked in 1973. It only took me 33 years to finish. Numbers matching, original interior, 326 automatic with 57K original miles. I drove my first one in 1971 (a 1968) and fell in love with it. I’ve always preferred DeLorean’s 1st gen styling over the Camaro.


OK I’m confused! I thought/believed my 69 had a 350/375HP in it. I know it was dam fast as I personally turned 155 in it & had to back off as my front end was floating. I know it was that fast as I was busted by the OR State Police another time clocked at over 150! All I know is, it was the best car I ever had, I I’ve had a bunch of them, including Camaro’s, & Vettes.


I’d like to see the PHS on your SD Formula. Ram air was not available on them from the factory. It may have been dealer installed, but the reason they came with the shaker scoop was that they couldn’t pass emissions with the twin scoop hood. thank you. Brian.

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