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Big Daddy! 1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 HO/Ram Air III

Fans of the 1969 Pontiac Firebird often note that GM tooled up unique body panels for this final year of its first-generation pony car, making it (cosmetically) a one-year only model. It still shared its underpinnings with the 67-’68 Firebird and Camaro, but Pontiac put its design stamp on the 1969 model, distancing it visually from the Chevrolet. This particular Pontiac Firebird 400 HO with Ram-Air in Livonia, Michigan gives up little to most Trans Am-packaged Firebirds from the same year.  Interestingly, while the all-new 1970 Firebird got a fresh design on the front end, this ’69 Firebird nose theme found a home on the 1970 Pontiac’s LeMans and GTO (some details from streetmusclemag.com.) Listed here on eBay, this tidy specimen has enticed bidding beyond $13,000 with the reserve not met.

Pontiac’s 1969 Sales Brochure called the 400-equipped Firebird the “Big Daddy” of Firebirds, going on to say “You sure wouldn’t name a machine like that “mom.”” Authentic ’60s sexism aside, this Firebird has plenty to offer Mom or Dad:  a nice compliment of wood grain and shiny bits (including the $5.27 optional pedal trim), automatic, Rally gauges and clock, tilt wheel, dual horns, power antennae, power disc brakes, air-conditioning, and more.

The listing includes a picture of a build sheet indicating the 335 HP “400 HO” engine and option 611 (Ram Air inlet). The motor is said to run well but the condition is “as is” after a lengthy storage. The massive aftermarket-looking aluminum air-conditioning compressor bracket is factory correct for this car. Only the 345 HP Ram Air IV stood above this engine in a 1969 Firebird or Trans Am. (details courtesy of musclecarfilms.com). Personally I wish the original buyer had saved the $227.04 for the automatic transmission and gone with the standard four-speed instead. Other than that there’s not much to complain about on this well-equipped Firebird. Where do you think bidding will end on this ’69 Big Daddy ‘bird?

Comments

  1. Gunner

    Beautiful Poncho! Love the Ram Air on these and 1969 is my favorite ‘Bird! A T/A would only top it (or a RA4). The front of these are so pronounced and really make a statement. Great find!

  2. elrod

    This one will go for some serious coin. Restore and rule. One of Pontiac’s finest hours.. Pontiac was really different in those days.

  3. Steve R

    I like it. Good pictures, to the point ad, I hope the seller gets a good price.

    Steve R

  4. KevinR

    In the mid-’70s, the nurse who worked for my father had a car just like this one. She was a petite woman of about 30 at the time. So much for “big daddy…”

    I’ve always liked the ’69 Firebirds; you just don’t see them everywhere like Camaros. Will be interested in seeing where this auction goes.

  5. Johnny Joseph

    This ‘Bird, Jim Wangers famous 68 Black Bird is probably one of the only Firebirds that I would rather have. That one or the Scott Tiemann 68 which runs in the 9’s (on bias ply tires!) still to this day. Watch him do it on YouTube. That said, I love a Palladium Silver 69 Poncho no matter what model it is: Firebird, Grand Prix, GTO, or any other. This baby I’m going to guess will pull $30-$40k.

  6. Nrg8

    An example of all the right boxes ticked off. Should sell itself

  7. JW

    Pontiacs were so much better than Chevrolets too bad GM had to mutilate them to save Chevrolet. I love this car and yes it should pull in the mid 30’s.

  8. Rustytech Member

    I liked the 1st generation Firebirds better than the Camaro from day one. This is a great looking car that anyone should be proud to own. I look for this to hit the mid to high $20k range.

  9. Steven Dunne

    1968 Firebird 400
    Power steering, power top,power disc brakes,power windows,air conditioning, hood tach
    Simply called the red rocket, I love this car more than life itself

  10. Alex

    I find it amazing that everytime an automatic is shown it’s the exact same comment of “I wish it was stick” or “it be better if it was stick”. Heck you hear it at shows all the time and the car might be a $100K car (aww too bad it’s not stick).

    I’d take this car auto or stick.

    • Solosolo Ken Tilly Member

      Alex, I have to agree with you. I’m bored stiff with all of the remarks re stick or slush box. WTH, you are only going to drive the thing, not race it or drag it, so enough already. I have had over 200 cars, many of which were automatics, and the only cars that cost me large cash to repair the drive train were the stick shifts. Had to fit more clutches, pressure plates and release bearings than you can shake a stick at.

      • Solosolo Ken Tilly Member

        I have the same problem with the “Shame, it’s a 4 door” people as well.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Even if you’re dragging it, an auto would be preferred by most.

  11. Tom Member

    It is a shame that someone removed the single factory traction bar from the drive wheel which makes it a Safe-T-Track rear end. I am pretty sure this car came with mono leaf rear springs which often sag and are replaced by multi-leaf springs. Good luck finding that factory traction bar. UGH !! .

    I’ve had a couple 69s and a 67 400 convertible….I had the exhaust redone on the 67 with the Safe T Track differential and the shop took the traction bar off for clearance of my new exhaust and THREW IT AWAY !!!! I said you better get to dumpster diving and thank GOD they found it. Crazy. Pretty rare option – Pontiacs alternative to a POSI.

    Great options on this car. always blows me away that with this many options they still don’t get all of the options. This one missing the power window option and the fold down rear seat. Not sure if this had the remote driver door mirror? It has the Arrowhead on the front bumper which was for the “Sport Options Group” which I believe were a lot of little vanity items like the grab handle over the glove box, some trim items, the deluxe interior & the high back bucket seats with the head rests. Cool stuff! I wonder if this has the ultra rare visor vanity mirrors?

    My 67 400 Convertible had every factory option except for Tilt wheel, fold down rear seat and the front disc brake option = which was somewhat understandable in 67 as there were still some skeptics out there.

    Sad to say the recession bought it cheap at about 40K. Had to go, couldn’t eat it, couldn’t live in it with a family of 5 !! :(

  12. Torroun Davis

    666 I marked that day on my calendar 01/01/1986. I’m kinda superstitious so on 06/06/1986 I’m headed home from work in my 69 Formula 400 I had purchased for 4000 dollars three weeks earlier.I lived In Las Vegas at the time traffic was very heavy the truck next to me for some unknown reason ran into my passenger side and drove me into the divider needless to say car was a total loss.I redeemed myself in 2001 a purchased a 2001 WS6 Trans Am

  13. Troy S.

    One heck of a nice ride! Pontiac new the importance of image when it came to selling cars like this clear through the “bandit” trans am years.

  14. Rolf Poncho 455

    Nice car like them a lot and then the 2nd gen birds even better

  15. Tom Justice

    Was a hood tach available for this model? That would be sweet if it had one. I agree with the comments about having and automatic or having four doors. If you like an auto or you like four doors then good for you because you can get the car cheaper and love it just as much as anyone else loves their stick or two door.

    • Jack

      This car does have a hood tach. It is the black thing on the hood in front of the driver.

  16. Jürgen

    Hi. Great car!!
    If someone knows a almost Complete Firebird 68 v8 350 or 400 for resto in Phoenix pls let me know.
    10 K

  17. Michael

    Hello and thank you for the comments on my 1969 Ram Air Firebird. I may be listing it for sale again after the holidays. Just found this page with my car featured and thought it was very cool & I am thankful for having it shown. It is a car that really needs to be restored.

    • Bill Rosen

      I am in the market for a ’69 Firebird 400. Yours for sale?

      Bill

    • Dan Martens

      If your serious about selling, let me know ASAP. I had one the same color combo years ago. Would love to restore this one and keep it.

      Sincerely,

      Dan

  18. Bob

    Hi
    Did you ever sell your 69 ram air bird
    If you did was it sold to someone in Philadelphia. Thank you for info
    Curious if its same car. Sold in Reno Nevada

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