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Survivor ‘Bird: 1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula WS6

By Andrew Tanner

The Firebird name was associated with muscle and Molly Hatchet for almost all generations, and the nameplate carried on into 2002 at which point the Firebird was no more. While first, second, and fourth generation Firebirds are not uncommon to see, third generation Firebirds like this 1989 model seem harder to come by. In this condition with the options it has, this Pontiac is a rare bird indeed! Find it here on eBay in Michigan with 36,359 original miles and a whole lot of fun options. The asking price is $19,900, which may seem a bit optimistic, but considering the condition there is a distinct possibility that this car will hold its value and appreciate. 

This Pontiac is equipped with a 350 cubic inch Chevrolet V8, and Tuned Port Injection. While most models put out 230 horsepower, this car has had a few special factory options added to it that have surely increased the total power. From the ad, this car has “all the factory added available SLP options at the time. SLP Headers, SLP Exhaust, SLP Intake, SLP Performance Chip.” Purchased from the original owner who ordered it exactly as it is, it is unlikely that this information is inaccurate. After being pulled from wherever it was, this Firebird received new tires and brakes.

You can tell a lot about an owner based on the interior of their car. We all know someone with cans and fast food bags piled up in their car, and we all know someone who makes you kick the dust off your shoes before getting in. Although this car has been detailed, it is very clear that this interior was maintained. With such low miles, it would be hard to wear it out! The dash is intact, and the seats look like new. Hopefully the new owner keeps it this nice!

Though it has been raining survivors lately, this Firebird Formula is one of a kind. Aside from use in the TV show Knight Rider, third generation Firebirds don’t usually see as much love as they should. A neighbor of mine had one painted metallic purple when I was a kid, and I remember thinking how cool I always thought it was. Though the high price tag will scare away many buyers, hopefully it will attract the right clientele for this immaculate vehicle.

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Comments

  1. T Mel

    Great car. My guesstimate would be a little closer to $14,000-$18,000 depending how fast the seller wants it to go.

    2+
  2. Vincent

    Nice to see that engine. Same as was in my 1989 corvette convertible.

    However, saying that, the vette convertible likely weighs less, costs less, and … well… is a convertible.

    You can spend your money a lot of ways, but unless you have an emotional Pontiac affectation, there are better cheaper ways to go.

    4+
    • Ron

      Vettes are heavy. Especially convertibles. I’m betting this formula weighs in the 3450lb range.

      1+
  3. Christopher Muse

    No T-Tops? blasphemy

    4+
    • Dan

      T-tops stink…just sayin’….

      6+
    • Steve

      Everything is better with T-tops.

      8+
      • Bmac Bmac Member

        Until it rains!

        8+
      • Curtis

        Owned an 88 TA with t-tops for nearly 20 years and zero issues if it rained. Those hating on them maybe I was just lucky

        7+
  4. Dan

    3rd gens are getting hot…I have a 1990 IROC I bought new with the 350 engine and 52,000 miles, been offered $17,000 so who knows? Last year of the IROC, the biggest engine (245 horse) lowest production and no UGLY T-tops….they weaken the cars structure and well just plain ugly, break the lines of the car and roof……

    8+
    • Giediprime

      I hope you are right Dan as I have a 15k mile 1990 IROC 5.7 Liter going to Barrett Jackson in two weeks. It is about time the collector community start appreciating the 3rd generation Firemaros.

      5+
  5. CCFisher

    I would ask for documentation that the SLP equipment was factory installed.
    More likely that the SLP equipment was dealer installed before delivery and presented as factory installed.

    4+
    • RayT Member

      From what I recall — and I could be wrong, but did have some interaction with SLP back in the day — none of the SLP components were factory-installed. All came through SLP, but (most) cars with these modifications were ordered through dealers.

      0
      • CCFisher

        That was the process – ordered through a dealer, then routed to SLP for installation of components. However, I believe that arrangement started in limited numbers in 1991.

        1+
      • DG

        Yes, I had a 1991 Firebird brochure that mentioned you could order SLP parts from the parts counter of a Pontiac dealership. I don’t think those parts were factory installed.

        0
    • Ron

      Ad states dealer installed.

      1+
  6. Vin in NJ

    I bought Firebird Formula brand new in 1987 for a little over 14 grand. White, with a Carmine red interior, 305 H.O engine and no T tops. In ’87, they were hard to come by. The Formula 350 was available, but scarce.

    I thought SLP didn’t start breathing onto Firebirds until 1991, with the release of the Firehawk

    1+
  7. Superdessucke

    Despite its excellent condition I bet it doesn’t bid all that high. The Third-Gen F-bodies have yet to become cool!

    1+
  8. Ron

    I had an ‘89 GTA with this engine, rated at 275 HP. Loved that car, maroon with grey cloth interior, ran and handled great.

    2+
    • al8apex

      the 89 GTA 350 was 245 HP with the N-10 dual cat exhaust

      N-10 was a mid 1989 addition, many of the early 89 models didn’t have it

      the LB-9 305 TPI was 230 hp with the 5-speed and was a LOT more fun to drive

      ps: t-tops on these cars are for people that enjoyed disco music … 🙂 just sayin’

      1+
  9. Ron

    Just looked at the ad on eBay, it’s sold!

    0
  10. John

    Slp wasn’t factory installed until 1991 so these parts would have been added after the fact and not from the factory, I had the exact car and in 94 added their underdrive pulleys, exhaust, intake runners, and headers, also that car did have the factory option of dual catalytic converters, which mine did have, nice ride price too high though

    0
  11. MR.E.MARTIN

    I think all firebird s ,trans am, are great my mom owns a 96 ws6 T/A ITS A BEAST,but it does have a horrible issue the vats system is giving us issues ,that’s the only thing I did like😎

    0
  12. Tyler

    To me at least, one of the few things that is less desirable than a 3rd gen Camaro, is a 3rd gen Firebird…

    0
    • al8apex

      the Firebird Formula is the lightweight version of the Trans Am / GTA Camaro Z28 / IROC

      disco dudes & dudettes buy the IROC’s and Trans Am’s, the people that wanted / want a no frills performance car buy the Formula’s, this is one of the best years made too with the 89-92 larger “1LE” rear brakes.

      These were incredible handling cars with great performance as well

      0
  13. Joe broussard

    T-tops are cool, mine dont leak…if they did I would fix em ..no big deal ….and they are most certainly not for disco….maybe mullets n high top sneakers wit a denim jacket

    0
  14. al8apex

    this was an early, pre N-10 exhaust car

    0

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