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Survivor Twins: 1978 Firebird and 1977 Camaro LT

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It’s a red letter day on craigslist if you’re looking for a pair of automatic transmission-equipped, low-mileage and low-spec muscle cars. This 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula here on craigslist in Detroit has a mere 5,500 miles on the clock with no price listed, while this 1977 Chevy Camaro LT here on craigslist in Seattle has only two owners and just over 50,000 original miles. The price is listed for the Camaro at $16,995, whereas the Firebird seller is a bit more coy and encourages fair offers. 

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Personally, I dig the Camaro despite the strong asking price. It’s so rare to find one that isn’t a well-equipped Z/28 example yet has been treated as if it was a low-production variant of Chevy’s famous muscle car. This one was purchased by the long-time second owners with 13,000 miles on the clock in 1978 and has clearly been pampered by them ever since. While it may not be the most desirable example from a horsepower perspective, it does have power windows, air conditioning and cruise control.

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The Firebird Formula is said to still have the new car smell, and I’d believe it with such low miles. The seller is quite enthusiastic about it being equipped with the Hurst Hatch T-top roof, going so far as to include multiple photos of the original carrying bag for the roof panels. I guess they make the car more unique, but I’m more impressed by the perfect paint and color-matched alloy wheels. It may not be a Trans-Am or WS6-equipped, but where are you going to find another one with mileage this low?

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My guess is the seller of this Firebird is looking for similar money to the Camaro peddler. These two cars would make for a fantastic pair in the same garage, as they both share similar qualities of condition and equipment. While more information would be useful for the Firebird (especially given the annoying “make offer” listing), I’d be more curious to learn how both of these cars remained in such preserved condition. Well, I’ve told you which one I would choose – what about you?

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Comments

  1. Car Guy

    Extremely nice Formula. I wonder why it was just put away. Actually the Fisher roof panels are superior to the Hurst Hatches and were slightly larger too. I think the Fisher panels were introduced later in 78 as I recall. It looks to still have the original tires. I would not drive on them, but they could be used for shows.

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  2. scooter8

    i’ll take what’s behjnd the dealers glass!

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  3. JW454

    This generation of the “F” body never did anything for me no matter how nice. I’d pass on both. I also believe the seller of the Pontiac is assuming he’s sitting on a fully funded retirement gold mine.

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  4. Tom Member

    Hey Firebird seller, take some photography tips from the Camaro seller. Both past 1972 = almost total loss of interest. Good luck. Nice Camaro coming from a Firebird guy. Maybe the Firebird is just as nice? Who knows?? the photos suck. Pop the hood and lets see if your mileage is believeable. the orange accents on the Firebird, never good look in my opinion. Must have hired a Ford designer for the orange accents.

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  5. Rock On

    Would like to know what engine is in the Formula. Buddy had a 1977 Formula with a 400 cubic inch engine. Very fun car!

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    • KeI got to drive one back in the daynt Pearson

      that’s what I was wondering, Rock. Had a ’75 formula 400 and took out the cat, put good headers, a real dual exhaust system and had the carb rebuilt to suit, All in the 1st year, Probably the best car I ever owned and the fastest.

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      • Kent Pearson

        That’s exactly what i did with my 75l What colour was yours? Mine was arctic blue over white interior.

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  6. Dave

    Both cars look extremely nice, I’d go for the Formula Firebird over the Camaro though, the vinyl top and lack of rear spoiler on the Camaro ruins the sporty look of the car to me, these were designed as sporty cars and don’t look good as a luxury version.

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    • Dave

      I would like to add that while I don’t like a vinyl top on this generation of F body they don’t look bad at all on the 67-69 F body.

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  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I dated a girl who had a red 77 Camaro. Both were extremely forgettable, though fun in the moment…

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  8. Tom P.

    Ah memories. Had 1978 Camaro Z28 bought new. Loved that car! Would love have either of these if not both. Had a girlfriend who had a 77 Firebird Skybird. Loved both!

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  9. Alexander

    I’ve had both of these cars, new and used, in varying degrees of dress. I would take the Firebird over the Camaro in the looks department. But I would be very surprised if the Formula has its actual new car smell still lingering. After all, isn’t the new car smell in this era vehicle just the outgassing of plastics and adhesives from the manufacturing process?

    I had a 1971 Firebird with a factory vinyl roof and a column automatic without a console between the seats. I very odd ‘bird indeed — but the vinyl didn’t look too awful in the years before GM extended the rear glass down the sides to alleviate the blind spot of the sail panels. Ugly after that point.

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  10. MikeK

    “Make Offer” listings always annoy me, to the point that I usually don’t even consider making an offer at all. I will buy them, I will sell them, but I have no interest in doing both.

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    • George

      I agree,there are things put in ad that aggravate me. One that always grinds my choppers is: Nice 55 Chev Post, blue “in color.” Are people so dumb that merely saying “blue” doesn’t give sufficient information that the car is blue. Another is “Price $7675” What else could a $ with a # mean? Do seller’s list their utility bills,for cripes sake.. “High Hiway miles” Tell me what the mileage is. V

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  11. Cheap Bastard

    16 really for a 77

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    • Junior Johnston

      I have a 79 that I have laughed at $16k offers before, and will keep doing so. I’m the 2nd owner and it has 36k miles on it.

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  12. George

    I can’t help it, they both look like $3000.00 cars to me. Unless they have been handcrafted by journeymen car builders’ they are just 1960-70’s cars and many of those had poor fit and finish. New car prices are ridiculously priced also, but they appear to be more substantially built, and the motor, drive trains, upholstery electrical components state of the art.

    I do like the older cars. I have a Pink and White 1960 Coupe Deville, 1936 Ford 5 Window, and 1965 Falcon Future Convertible, and 1966 Falcon Ranchero. I have always like the big Cadillac.

    cecrir

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  13. Terry

    Firebird deleted.

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  14. Jubjub

    Dig the Camaro as it portrays how so many were and how few like it still exist. Always liked the looks of these middle of the road models too. Like corduroys back in the day…casual and hip but a little bit dressy.

    By the eighties, this Camaro should’ve been repainted (poorly) some god awful, “color of the week” sans vinyl top, had a cheesy hood scoop and spoiler tacked on, and would’ve been sitting on some cheap, knock off Centerline wheels.

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