5-Speed V8: 1986 Pontiac Firebird S/E

This 1986 Pontiac Firebird is not the most uncommon car, but it does appear to be a nicely optioned example that has been consistently maintained up until recently. It’s also a desirable manual transmission example with driver-quality paint, and wears old-school California “sunset” license plates. The seller notes lots of recently-installed new parts and some minor cosmetic blemishes for $3,900. Find it here on craigslist near Sacramento. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Miguel for the find. Mileage is impressively high, clocking in at 214K! This is a car that’s been loved, near as I can tell, and I someday wish to own a vehicle in California just so I can run those wonderfully vintage license plates. The nose of this Firebird is tired and in need of a repaint, but things look much better up and down the sides. The seller notes some isolated dings and dents in the passenger door, which is to be expected for a daily driver with this kind of mileage.

The rear of the Pontiac is in better condition, which could mean it was repainted at one point in time. The seller notes some great features of the Pontiac include the V8/5-speed combo, locking rear end, T-Tops, functional A/C, and a current and valid smog certificate. Some of the recent maintenance he’s addressed includes the following replacement parts: radiator, heater core, water pump, alternator, power steering pump, fuel pump, starter, thermostat & radiator cap. Also, all belts and hoses.

Some minor issues include non-functional cruise control, a dead wiper motor, power steering / oil pan gasket leaks, and the need for a new parking brake. For $3,900, there’s a lot of car here with likely cheap maintenance costs now that the seller has addressed so many issues. While these haven’t really moved price-wise in many years, could that start to change as enthusiasts realize how hard it is to find a manual transmission and V8 combo that isn’t a Mustang?


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  1. TimS

    I love these cars and the color combo. If I could drive a stick, I’d have to paint that front end then drive the heck out of this one.

    Like 1
    • Billy007

      Someone needs to start a stick shift driving school for the kiddies out there. I tried (in vain) to teach our three kids to do so, but they never really liked it, oh well.

      Like 3
  2. nycbjr Member

    First functional AC then non functional AC lol

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Whoops! Meant to say cruise control. Fixed.

  3. Brendon

    It appears that someone also added a Trans Am hood and taillights.

    • Rx7turboII

      Nope…that was stock.

      • Vin_in_NJ

        Agreed – The Trans Am hood had 2 additional vents mounted at the edge of the hood near the cowl. Taillights were similar on the Firebird & Trans Am from 82-86. In 87, the Firebird got its own distinctive taillights that it shared with the Formula

    • steve

      It’s the correct hood, the Trans Am hoods had louvers close to the windshield and fenders. The V8 Firebirds had the front louvers only and the V6 ‘birds had none. The taillights have definitely been changed to the Trans Am style, the Firebirds and Formulas were different.

  4. John maddox

    That what i drive in high school in Kansas 1991 ford ranger xlt

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