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Authentic Find: 1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400

Pontiac introduced the second generation Firebird in 1970 and it was unlike anything seen in the past. The body style was so popular that it lasted 12 years until 1981. Pontiac offered the Firebird, in several configurations including a base model, Esprit, Formula and Trans Am. This example is a 1970 Formula 400 located in Buckhead, Georgia. The Pontiac Formula was offered with either a 350 cubic inch V8 or 400 cubic inch V8. The seller provides a picture of the VIN showing the “687” code proving that it left the factory as a Formula. This example is a project car that is listed here on eBay with three days remaining in the auction. It is currently bid to $9,800.

The interior looks stock. The front seats are covered in a cheap fabric to cover the vinyl. The 1970 Firebird came with one year only seats. In 1971, Pontiac offered a full bucket seat with no headrest. This car has the standard steering wheel which I have always found odd that the Formula didn’t come with the 3 spoke “Formula” wheel that was standard in the Trans Am. The automatic transmission is operated by a console mounted shifter. The seller states that the car will need a complete restoration including the replacement of the floor pans, trunk pans and interior.

The base engine 1970 Formula was a 255 horsepower 350 cubic inch V8 engine that was also the standard engine in the Esprit. A buyer could order the optional L78 400 cubic inch V8 that was equipped with a 4 barrel carburetor and was rated at 330 hp. The top performance engine was the L74 Ram Air III 400. This was a high compression V8 rated at 345 hp and was also the base engine in the Trans Am. This Formula does start and run but is not roadworthy.

This car was originally Atoll Blue which was one of the most beautiful hues of blue to grace this body style. This Formula was spent its entire life in Georgia and the prior owner had it since 1973. The restoration will require a lot of work including the replacement of the front and rear valance. The hood vents by the windshield have been damaged. The body panels have rust in the lower sections but the frame is said to be solid. The car was formerly a no sale on Craigslist for $15,000.


  1. KC John Member

    I’ve always been a fan of that formula hood

    Like 19
  2. RoughDiamond

    I second what “KC John” said.

    Like 9
  3. 1st Gear

    Description of this thing is more of a sales pitch then info needed. No question as to why it was a no sale at $15g. Rust bucket. Too bad, 2ed gen ‘Birds are what do it for me.

    Like 6
  4. Jim

    One too many zeros IMO 😛

    Like 2
  5. JoeNYWF64

    A rear spoiler would be the 1st option i would ck off on the option order form & i would never even consider a vinyl roof on these beautiful cars. & i sure would sooner order tach & extra gages before i got chrome wheel well molding & window drip rails.
    Luckily, most mods can be made here with minimal fuss.
    Worse thing on these is that front bumper(very heavy) brackets are still not being reproduced – ridiculous. Lets hope they are in good shape here.
    That steering wheel looks better than what came in the z28 back then.

    Like 1
  6. W72WW3

    Will history repeat itself with another no sale?? Inquiring minds will want to know!!

    Like 0
  7. Jeff

    I ended up purchasing this sweet project, and will be restoring it with my family.

    Like 1

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