Car Port Find: 1969 Pontiac Firebird

A long time ago, one of my favorite Sizzler toy race car was a 1969 Pontiac Trans Am. I’ve never forgotten how cool that looked to me, and thus 1969 Firebird projects (because I know I’ll never afford a real ’69 Trans Am) always appeal to me. This one is listed for sale here on eBay, and while I think their buy it now price is a bit steep (you may disagree, be sure to tell us in the comments), they are accepting lower offers. The car is located in Bethany, Oklahoma.

As you can see from this shot, there’s a healthy dose of surface corrosion. Despite that fact, the attractive lines that are largely shared with the 1969 Camaro are still there. Personally, I prefer the Firebird detailing. Which do you like better? By the way, you are going to have to figure out a way into that trunk–there’s no key and it’s locked. On the bright side, the seller also tells us that the floor has been replaced already (presumably due to rust issues).

I’m not sure how to best proceed. I’m sure there are issues (or were issues, perhaps they have been repaired?) with the quarter panels. I guess I’d be stripping this one to bare metal on the outside, but I’m always leery of media blasting as it’s pretty easy to warp panels if it’s not done well. Given the amount rust, I don’t think it’s a good idea just to leave it alone.

Whoops! No engine! Actually, that’s not true, as a “numbers matching” 1969 400 cubic inch V8 and transmission (presumably automatic as there’s no visible clutch pedal) is included that has been pulled to prevent theft. I’ve got to wonder about theves that would pull the engine and transmission but leave the car? Or maybe it’s just to make the whole car less desirable as a theft risk?

Here is that engine. I would like to see ports and intake covered a lot better than that, especially if the bed of this pickup is outside like it looks. Do you think this project is worth taking on? If so, how would you begin? And what about the similar car backed up to this one?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond

    Any numbers matching ’69 Firebird that is not a rust bucket with a 400 engine has a good bit of value. However, I finished one project (’66 Pontiac GTO running a BB 396/325 HP engine) back in the early 80s that someone else started and swore never again.

    3+

  2. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    I can imagine lots of debate about the value of this one, Jamie. The ’69 Firebird is on my Top 10 list, though I’m equally unlikely to own one. This was the first year Pontiac took ownership of the body panels and made them noticeably different from its sister the Camaro, and the last year of the First Generation, so it’s pretty much a one-year car. I love the look of these charging around road tracks in the hey-day of Trans Am. If I found one that was significantly separated from its original equipment, I’d love to make it into a Trans Am tribute car, except maybe with a modern 5 or 6 sp.

    4+

  3. JW

    I had my 65 GTO in our local dealership for clutch work and there was a white with orange stripes 69 Trans Am sitting in the service bay this was in 1970. OH how I drooled to own that car but financially it was impossible at the time. This one should be restored if you have the means and can do most of the work yourself otherwise forget it as you will be under water I think.

    1+

  4. stp

    I thought the firebird 400 always had a ram air hood, even if ordered without ram air. I don’t see the scoops. Anyone?

    1+

    • Andy

      Yep, serious doubt as to whether this is a real 400 car, I’m thinking not. It doesn’t have the 400 emblem on the right corner of the trunk, doesn’t have the arrow crest on the front bumper, and doesn’t have the correct hood. Easy enough to figure out for sure by checking the two letter engine code stamped into the front of the block, but indications are that this is not a true 400 car.

      3+

  5. J.R.

    Got to love reading the description and comparing it to the pictures. Ad states “New Floors” and I see Pop Riveted in sheet tin on the drivers side. Love to see the Pontiac Historic Services -documentation on this car and compare to what is advertised.

    1+

  6. Bill

    You are right. All 400 came with hood scoops even if they were non-functioning. Either this one has had the hood replace with a 350 Hood or it’s not an original 400. Another Mark of a true 400 is a arrowhead-shaped rubber piece on the grill, which this one does not have. If we had a little better shot of the engine bay we could see that between the grill and the radiator all four hundreds had a plate with an X stamping on both sides, but we can’t see whether it’s there or not. Firebirds without that extra sheet metal we’re not Firebird 400s. From the interior seat color it probably has the green exterior as well. This car needs lots and lots of work and the Buy It Now price seems high to me. And it is definitely an automatic. Only one big pedal. these are beautiful cars when restored. I like them so much more than a Camaro. I had one as a teenager and had the best time in the world cruising it and racing it.

    3+

  7. Andy

    Having said that, though I like the Camaro, I much prefer the first generation Firebirds. Just a better looking car, and so much torque in those Pontiac 400s. Could pull the foundation out from under your house. 🙂

    2+

  8. Paul

    I like the Camaro’s much better in the first generation cars 1967-1969 however in the second generation 1970-1981 I like the firebirds much better

    0

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