4-Speed Convertible! 1968 Pontiac Firebird

I got a momentary laugh when I read the listing for this 1968 Pontiac Firebird. It reads, “The car is used and will need restoration” Not the restoration part, that’s true of most of what we find on eBay, the used part – sure it’s 53 years old, how could it not be used? There are just so many other, descriptive things that could have been offered up, but little is claimed in the listing. No worries, we’ll figure it out. This Pontiac is located in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and is available, here on eBay for a starting bid of $15,000. Thanks to my colleague Russell G. for this tip!

I gravitate towards these first-gen Firebirds because they are not Camaros. Yes, the first-gen Camaro is my favorite, but sometimes it seems like there are more in existence now than there were in the ’60s. And this example gets extra green stamps because it’s a convertible and has a four-speed manual transmission!

First up is the restoration comment, yeah, this one could use some help. The body doesn’t appear to be rusty so much as it is dented with most of the focus on the driver’s side fender. But there’s more as there are small dents scattered all about, a misaligned front bumper and/or hood, a dented rear bumper, dented roll-pan, things of that nature. No, it’s not terrible at all, typical stuff really and if the tin worm has been held at bay, so much the better. The convertible top is still in place but it looks like it has suffered the same fate as Dennis David Spade’s GTX top in Tommy Boy.

The interior is rough. There is no carpet which is a good thing, better to spy the condition of the floors, which look OK. There is a mish-mash of green going on and the green vinyl seats are in better condition than one might expect for a convertible. Possibly they have been recovered and missed the mark of matching the remaining green components like the door cards? And, speaking of door cards, they have become dodgy, the dash pad is split in multiple places, the shifter boot is missing, the steering wheel, which looks like it got pinched from something else, is missing its center, and the glove box door looks like it got blown off. All of that said, the entire environment could be a lot worse – there is definitely a workable base here.

Under the hood is a 350 CI, V8 engine, probably a 265 HP version, identified by virtue of its two-barrel carburetor. The alternator is making a run for it and the belt is partially off, all testament to non-running status though mum’s the word on that front. As mentioned, the engine is connected to a four-speed manual transmission, something that I know I really miss, having owned many cars so equipped in the past. And that four-speed gearbox lashed up to what could be best described as a moderately powerful engine, will still make for some spirited motivation.

Yes, as the seller suggests, “This is a car worth restoring” and it appears to be completely doable – as usual, it comes down to a matter of cost. This Firebird is located in Pennsylvania and was built at Lordstown, OH, so there’s a good chance that it has spent a lot of its years in what is some of the worst geography for incubating rust. That said, the underside checks out pretty well – the seller claims that there is “not a lot of rot” so I guess a close inspection is warranted or that restoration cost could get unreasonable in a very unreasonably short period of time. Nevertheless, any first-gen Firebird is worthy of restoration consideration, don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. Rustytech Member

    I like the early Fire Birds, and I know that the price goes up when the top goes down but asking price here is nuts. Pay $15k for the car, another $30k to restore it to get a $35k car. I don’t see the upside.

    Like 11
    • BeCarSmart Member

      I will see your $30K and raise it to $80K for again, a car worth $35K….IF you make it a 400 clone.

      30K won’t resto this mess. I am a BIG 1st get Firebird guy. IF it is not a 400, value is VERY low in today’s market.

      Even the 400’s don’t, and never have (although they should) bring Camaro money.

  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Sure, this Firebird is restorable. Any car is if you have the means and significant funds. The opening bid is ridiculous as this car needs absolutely everything restored and/or replaced. It is appealing because it’s a convertible and a 4 speed but the appeal ends there. The 350 motor is a decent mill but nothing special and it only has manual brakes. Considering that you can buy a pretty good driver for about $16,000 (Hagerty: #3 good condition) or one in #2 excellent condition (Hagerty) for $27,000, why would you even consider buying this mess for $15k? $5,000 to $6,000 and this sad ‘Bird is well paid for and even then, to bring it back to decent driver status, you’ll probably have more into it than it’s worth. A buyer interested in a first gen Firebird should give this one a hard pass at the price being asked.

    Like 18
  3. Chris

    The steering wheel is Buick Skylark, circa 1969.

    Like 7
  4. JoeNYWF64

    Again, should i be surprised that this car is green? Worst steering wheel EVER seen on a ’60s classic car on this website. Amazing the ’67-8 bird uses even the camaro’s fenders & still manges to look so different up front! I bet no one has ever figured out how to stop water from getting in the trunks of these cars. Are those snow tires mounted on the front of the car?!
    Maintenance of the wiper blades is not consistent with that of the air filter.
    lol

    Like 3
  5. George Mattar

    Another dreamer. Hazelton PA is salt city. The Idiots who run Penndot do only one thing, dump salt for a dusting of snow. This place looks like a body shop. I would rather take a chance on the white 73 Buick in the background.

    Like 1
  6. Bill Member

    Pretty sure it’s David Spade, not Dennis.

    Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Right you are! Fixed.

      JO

      Like 1
  7. Mark

    The opening bid is just nuts. I just finished an 87 Mustang and spent 25,000 in parts alone. Maybe 2000 to 3000 considering the condition its in. Then your going to spend at least 10,000 just to get a good daily driver out of it. Parts for these aren’t as plentiful as the are for the Fox Body Mustangs so there the price goes up even more

    Like 3
  8. Neil

    Hazleton, not Hazelton sir.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Man, I can’t get anything right on this one. Fixed.

      Thx,

      JO

      Like 2
      • 370zpp

        Jim, The day mine ceases to stink, I will call you out on a couple of typos in an otherwise good write-up.

        Like 2
    • Mvivori

      My father was born and raised in Hazleton. Many memories of visiting aunts and uncles though most of the men died young, as my grandfather did from black lung. Never a great city but with I-81 and then the Illegals it was finished. My surviving relatives moved out years ago. I don’t need anything from Hazleton. Cars included.

  9. Rex Kahrs Member

    Used car? More like abused car.

    Like 6
    • Bellingham Fred

      Rex,
      You beat me too it. I think he was typing abused and was autocorrected to used. If the autocorrect could see the pics it might have looked for a stronger word.

      Like 1
      • Bellingham Fred

        speaking of typos I meant to it not too it. Sorry.

        Like 1
  10. b-rad jeepster

    As far as the green goes they never really matched all the different surfaces the seats were one shade the door panels were a different shade

    Like 1
  11. Desert Rat

    Jim I have to agree with your comment about Camaros vs Firebirds I have owned my 69 Camaro for over 15 years and I is my favorite muscle car but I’ve stared at it so much I’m tired of it and forget about getting any love at a car show everyone has just see too many of them. Which is some what unfair because of all the work I put into it I deserve the first place trophy every time…(at least in my mind)

    Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      Trade for a ’69 bird & make a t/a out of it? Don’t even need to change the interior or motor if a 400.
      I seen only 1 of those EVER on the road & maybe 1 at a car show – i don’t remember.

      Like 1
  12. GTO MAN 455

    what a shame they let this car go like this, deep pockets to bring it back, you can get a turn key bird for 35.000

    Like 2
  13. Chevychase71 Member

    Dusty and unmolested…just like my “bid now” button.

    Like 6
  14. Timothy Youngberg

    Much cooler than a Camaro. And I like it but asking price is too steep.

  15. Pete Phillips

    Jim,
    Nice write-up. Love the “gets extra green stamps” comment! This baby boomer knows exactly what you are talking about!

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I remember going into the S&H Green Stamps store when I was about 5. It must have been exciting for the memory of it to stick.

      Like 1
  16. Rex Kahrs Member

    Pete, my Dad was a sales manager for Top Value Stamps, so yes, I remember!

    • Mountainwoodie

      s&h………..:)

  17. John

    The bird has seen better days. It’s a cinch that you will spend 10 to 15 thousand getting the body alone, ready for paint. The floor boards are blatantly rotten. That suggests that the rockers are pooched the inner wheel Houses could be gone. That’s just the beginning. Parts are rare if it’s original vintage but there is plenty of reproduction parts ! They are not so cheap! At the end of the day it’s another person with a desirable collector car. That thinks it’s worth as much to others as it is to them. That’s fine but in reality the car is only worth what you can get. This is a thousand dollar car. That’s it.

  18. Little_Cars David Bassett Member

    Seat upholstery definitely not factory, stripes going the length of the seat instead of rectangular inserts. But kudos to whomever redid them in such a close green shade to the original. Now…how/why did the 68-69 Buick steering wheel end up in this car? A whole new steering column? They were ugly on the Buicks (I’ve had three) and certainly not at home on a performance Firebird. Beats a padded Gates custom wheel in metal flake green!

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