1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible Project

As a project car, this 1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible may not need a lot of work before it is ready to be used once again. It has undergone a prior restoration, but there are a few rust issues that may still need to be addressed. It is located in Utica, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has worked its way to $8,300 at the time of writing, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

It isn’t clear when the previous restoration was completed, but on the surface, the Firebird doesn’t actually look that bad. There is a pretty sizeable dent in the passenger side door, but the rest of the exterior looks pretty fair. The black top also looks like it is in reasonable condition except for one small tear, while the external trim and chrome also look to be in decent condition. There is no significant external rust visible, with the rockers and lower quarters, in particular, appearing to be quite clean. It isn’t clear how the floors look, but the owner is willing to supply pictures of these to any prospective buyers. The rust that he does identify is in the radiator support, but it isn’t clear just how extensive this is. Given the fact that he mentions replacement suggests that it might be pretty extensive.

The black interior trim is decent and presentable, but it just lacks in a few detail areas. The covers on the seats aren’t torn, but they are exhibiting a bit of stretching. I would probably have a bit of a look at the rear seat because it does appear as though the foam might be beginning to collapse. In fact, that might also account for the slightly stretched appearance of the front seats. The factory radio has been removed and replaced with an aftermarket stereo, and the quality of this installation is not great, to be diplomatic. A new dash pad is included, but really, what the interior needs is someone with an eye for detail to really make it shine. It’s little things like the silver Dynamat being visible above the top edge of the carpet, the fit of the shift indicator into the console, tidying up wiring that is hanging down below the dash. Attending to these sorts of items takes time, costs nothing, and makes a huge difference to presentation.

The owner seems unclear about the size of the engine fitted to the Firebird, but if it is of 1968 vintage, then the YC code indicates that it is the 290hp version of the 400ci V8. This is backed by a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, and while the Firebird scores power steering, there is no assistance for the brakes. The engine wears an aftermarket carburetor and intake, but there are some components in the trunk which the owner believes might be the original carb and intake. It appears that the Pontiac may have been out of service for a while, and the owner says that while it runs, drives, and can be driven onto a trailer, buyers should not expect to be driving it home. One worry is a noise from the engine, The owner is unsure of what this is, and says that he hasn’t been able to isolate it. He said that it could be a bottom end noise, but it could also be something as simple as a loose bolt for the torque converter. Anyway, it’s something that I would be investigating pretty carefully before I drove the car any distance.

I guess that with this 1968 Firebird Convertible, there are a few unknowns. However, that is always going to be the case with any second-hand car, regardless of its age. The fact that the owner is pretty candid about these problems, and is also willing to supply additional photos, is actually quite confidence-inspiring. It probably also explains why not only has the bidding been solid up until this point, but why there are currently 123 people who are watching the listing.

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Comments

  1. TimM

    If this car had a 4 speed in it I’d be hard pressed not to bid on it!! Looks pretty straight and a new door from auto metal direct would get here probably before the car!! The top doesn’t have any rips but it would be nice to see it down!! The lighter green isn’t bad either!!
    Just has a more classy look the it’s cousin Carmaro!!! In my opinion!!

    Like 10
  2. LARRY

    I always loved the marker lights on the rear quarters

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      Aren’t the rear side marker lights too far FORWARD, or did that depend on the 1968 qtr panel vendor supplier(if holes were already cut out), or even which of the 2 factories built the car(if THEY cut out the holes)?
      Many times 1 or both side views of the rear bumper on these cars seem crooked. Maybe Pontiac should have stuck with the camaro rear bumper. They used almost everything else – including the front fenders!(on the ’67-8). lol
      I’m guessing these are repro camaro qtrs & the
      body shop punched out the holes for the rear side markers.

      • cmarv

        Camaro quarters , no gills .

        Like 3
  3. Redwagon

    Odd interior. Door cards are deluxe, seat covers are standard. My guess is the door cards have been replaced after someone put speakers in the originals. Check door condition beneath door cards. Should also check rust in frame behind rear tires and in trunk, esp w converter top.

    Like 1
  4. Steve

    The 6 gills on each rear quarter appear to have been filled in.

    Like 3
    • Mark S.

      Or the quarter panels were not the right ones , for the year if they were replaced.

      Like 2
    • Redwagon

      Great catch. Cant believe I missed that one.

      Like 1
      • cmarv

        Camaro quarters were installed . They made them before Firebird replacements were available . Most won’t notice .

        Like 1
  5. Dave

    I don’t know about you guys, but didn’t you scream “Nooo!” when they trashed that first-gen Firebird in “Matrix Revolutions”?

  6. Pontiac guy

    Seven comments and no one mentioning the engine noise? I’m currently in the process of a complete rebuild of a 69 Pontiac 400 that we thought had a noise that wasn’t a big deal. Thought it was loose torque converter bolts, then maybe a cracked flex plate. It was a spun bearing. It’s nice the guy is honest, but that’s a little bigger deal than the small rip in the roof or the dent in the door.

    Like 1
  7. cmarv

    Two barrel intake in trunk ……………

  8. PairsNPaint

    1st gen ‘Birds always my favorite – love the schnoz! But I want a coupe.

  9. Bob McK Member

    This will be really wonderful restored.

  10. Spanky

    Looks like flipper chop, rear fender, ride height, rust.

  11. Marty Parker

    This car came from the factory with a 350 CI engine. Only the “Firebird 400” option would have the 400 engine.

  12. Steve

    Lots of oddities here. Those rear marker lights are wrong all day, and the lack of gills mean serious work was done.

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