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400/4-Speed! 1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula

In the early seventies, insurance premiums and a shift from performance-oriented to economical cars were taking their toll on the muscle car market.  I guess nobody got the word out to Pontiac, as in 1974 the Firebird Formula and Trans-Am offered engines of 400, 455, and even a Super Duty SD-455 cubic-inch powerplant.  The second-generation Firebird also had a long production run, lasting all the way from 1970 through 1981, with a body style that has stood the test of time and is still sought after today.  If you’ve been in the market for a great-looking mid-seventies Firebird that’s ready to hit the road, this 1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula may be a good car for you to check out.  It is located in Addison, Illinois, and can be found here on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $44,900.

It seems hard to believe that this Firebird began its life with white paint, a white Cordova top, and a black interior.  The seller says that this car has undergone a meticulous restoration and now wears Lucerne Blue paint, but still retains all of its original body panels.  The body is said to be extremely straight with excellent fit and finish throughout.  The trim and glass are also in excellent shape, and the factory-ordered Rally II wheels are still on the car.

The 400 cubic-inch V8 is said to be numbers-matching, as is the 4-Speed T10 transmission.  There’s no word on whether or not either has had a rebuild, but the mileage is listed at 89,000 and the seller says that the car runs, drives, and sounds amazing.  He goes on to say that it’s one of the best running and driving cars he has owned and even provides a link to a 17-minute video showing a walkaround and the Firebird being driven.

Things inside are looking really good, and again, it’s hard to picture that the interior was originally black.  The front and rear seats are said to be firm and look like new, as does the dash pad and headliner.  The door panels are described as mint, and the clock and gauges are all functional.  The air conditioning is working, however, the blower motor is not, nor are the backup lights.

The car is said to be completely rust-free with no patches and looks to have been Ziebarted, according to the tabs in the door jambs.  It still has all of its original floors, subframe, and inner rockers in place plus the original trunk pan.  The seller says upfront that he is nice and easy to deal with, and there’s also an option to make an offer, so if you want to plead your case there’s an opportunity to do so.  What are your thoughts on this 1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula?


  1. Mikefromthehammer

    Speaking as a Mustang guy, I would think I had died and gone to heaven if this bird were in my nest (garage).

    Like 10
  2. Mike D

    That is a very pretty and rare car.

    Like 8
  3. douglas hunt

    not a fan of the all blue interior but dang i luv these formula hoods and being a 4speed is just icing on the cake, or pie alamode ….

    Like 13
  4. David

    This model is really getting close to the top of the heap. I’d love it more in British green and tan interior.

    Like 4
  5. Gary

    Ha, ha. 45k and it needs restored to it’s original configuration? Pass.

    Like 5
  6. gbvette62

    I happen to be a fan of 74 Firebirds, mainly because I bought a 400 4 speed Trans Am new in 74.

    While white and a black interior is probably my least favorite color combo for any car, it’s a shame that such a rare car has been treated to a color change, and to a non factory color. Pontiac offered 3 different blues in 74 on Firebirds, but Lucerne wasn’t one of them. 4 speeds were rare even in TA’s. Most Formula’s I remember were 350 automatics, you almost never saw 400’s in them, especially not with a 4 speed. Making this car even more interesting is as 74’s go, it’s pretty much loaded. Functional Ram Air hood, visor mirror, lamp group, TA steering wheel, gauges, console, rear defogger, Custom Interior, even the very rare rear seat console, just about everything except power windows. And from looking at the invoice included in the ad, NO factory installed radio! I can see leaving the vinyl top off, but the complete color changes seems to be a bad decision to me.

    Like 6
  7. Dan

    She’s a beautiful car! Color change or not.

    Like 4
  8. S

    This is a gorgeous car. I love the Lucerne blue paint & matching interior. “No one got the word out to Pontiac in 1974 on the economy car craze” – more like Pontiac was bucking the trend! This is why the Firebird and its relatives, and the Camaro and its relatives kept selling well throughout the 70s – because they were the last ones still around! All the other brands walked away from performance cars – notably the Mustang switching over to the Mustang II. I give Pontiac a lot of credit for figuring out how to get the Super Duty 455 to pass emissions standards (or get around them maybe?) for 1973 and 1974. This car doesn’t have that engine, but it’s still awesome. Formulas are less prevalent than T/As or Firebirds since fewer were produced – but I’d take one any day. I wish I could afford the asking price!

    Like 3
  9. Steve H

    I also ordered 1974 Formula 400 ( my first car ) It had every option available except the SD 455 ( the dealer said it could take over six months before it would come in and I didn’t want to wait !!! ) It had power windows, power door locks AM/FM Stereo with separate 8-track tape and factory type cruise control, wood steering wheel trim insert from a Grand Prix. When I sold the car nine years later, it still looked like a new car. The guy I sold it to let his 16 year-old daughter drive it . . she ran a red light . . “T” boned in the passenger door and it was GONE.

    Like 3
  10. joenywf64

    Odd 1 could order factory functional ram air on the ’73-74 formula, but not if it had the SD-455 motor, nor on any ’73-74 t/a – tho it was ez to remove the shaker hood scoop blockoff plate on those.

    Like 0
    • Steve H

      Another reason I didn’t wait for the Super Duty . . all of the SD Formulas came through with the trans am type hood scoop, which I didn’t like.

      Like 3
  11. PRA4SNW

    I love everything about this car, except the price.

    Like 5
  12. TestesRex

    That blue interior is awful, but otherwise this car is awesome!

    Like 0
  13. Mike Brown

    I LOVE this car! The second generation has always been my favorite for F-bodies and 1974 has always been my favorite year. The last year for the small back window and first year for the bigger bumpers. I know that many people prefer the small bumpers and, especially the split bumpers on the RS Camaros but I’m not one of them. The blue on blue also just does something for me. If I was looking for one, I’d probably be willing to pay at least close to the asking price but I already have a 74 Z28. I left the gaudy stripes off of my car when I restored it but, there are those that like them too so who am I to judge?

    Like 0
  14. trav66

    Very nice, all the right stuff! Why not replace the blower motor ($25) and properly store the jack and spare? Still seems like a fair asking price for having been professionally restored. I suspect that’s a Super T-10 with all the detail that was given to the build.

    Like 0

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