Califormula Dreamin’ – 1972 Firebird Formula 350

The ’72 Firebird Formula offered a balance of visual and performance upgrades without the flash and expense of the Trans-Am. This 1972 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 in Montebello, California appears to have survived with minimal modification by humans and Mother Nature. Listed here on eBay, this solid-looking example could be yours for the Buy It Now price of $10,000.

While the listing offers few (actually zero) pictures of the whole car, this picture of the underside supports the claim that this Pontiac inhabited California for most or all of its life. A re-spray in the original brown “about 10 years ago” freshened the car’s exterior. Shots like this are why people buy cars sight-unseen and have them shipped long distances. It’s hard to over-estimate the time and headaches saved when starting with a nearly rust-free vehicle.

The once-snappy black-and-white interior features an aftermarket stereo but retains its original cigarette lighter and “A-track player,” a quote suggesting the seller may be too young to remember when the coolest cars had 8-Track players, the latest in audio technology.

Along with the paint, the non-original parts including the air cleaner housing, intake manifold, valve covers, and carburetor will keep you from entering “Survivor Class,” but who cares? A running, driving classic with great styling and minimal rust for $10,000 (of less)? An entry-level hobby buyer could do far worse. How would you finish this pseudo-survivor?

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  1. Too Late

    Where’s Jim Rockford ?, Dang I miss that show and his Firebirds as well as his great driving. From time to time I pass a white Firebird like this one here in central California. It just sits in the driveway waiting and and waiting . . . . .and and and waiting for me to knock on their door with an offer.

    • Steve

      Actually, closer to the firebird Ponch drove on CHiPs.

  2. John m leyshon

    Rockford Files was an event growing up. High tech answering machine to start the show ! (Oh no, Angel Martin) . Music by Mike Post.

    As for the brown Firebird. Too funny it was a base model featured for all those years (I-6, 301 ?) Along comes Smokey & The bandit. I’ll take the 70-76 single headlamp cars.

    • Alexander

      Me want! My father was a big fan when the show was new. Now I’m watching them late at night when I can’t sleep. I’m certain there are online sites devoted Jim Rockford’s Firebirds. Somewhere it is written that they were higher trim level (Esprit) with their badging taken off. A few moments onscreen with the actor getting in and out of the car pretty much cinches it for me. Deluxe interior shown and I believe higher level instrumentation and powertrain.

    • Rick Rothermel

      RF ‘birds were usually decontented Formula 400s built to order at the Van Nuys GM plant in the last week of each model year. Jim never had a current-year Firebird.

      • Clint

        They switched the hoods and badged them as Esprits. The higher performance engines and suspensions were needed for the stunts, but “Jim” would not have been able to afford the flashier Trans Am or Formula. 1978 car was used until the end of the series because Garner hated the 1979 redesign.

  3. J Paul Member

    I’m a huge fan of early 2nd-gen Camaros and Firebirds, and I’m digging this despite the unfortunate color. Since there IS rust to be dealt with—it’s there if you look at the other pics, in the usual F Body locations—I would be tempted to attempt a color change and a few subtle mods. Since it’s not a T/A or a Formula 400, I wouldn’t feel too guilty about losing originality. The 8-track stays, though!

    It’s interesting that for a supposedly sporty model like the Formula, a tach was still optional.

  4. Jimmy

    Love it, Brown color and all, for 10K it would be a nice addition to the family but I have three vehicles now, while not collector status the plates / insurance / maintenance adds up quickly.

  5. Doug Turner

    1. Since when do people upgrade the cigarette lighter, making an original one a selling point?

    2. Is the misspellings and poor grammar in these eBay ads legit, or on purpose to draw more attention?

  6. Wolfram

    correct me if i’am wrong but Rockford had a silver Camaro, or not?

    • Williegee

      You can Google it to get plenty of information and not have to wait for an answer.

    • Rick Rothermel

      A silver Camaro on Rockford?! Blasphemy! Metallic tan Firebirds every one. Crosstown PI rival Joe Manic had a silver Challenger in season 7 and a blue Camaro LT in the 8th. He chased a dirt bike up a hill climb slope with that one..Fun stuff.

  7. Steve R

    The pictures seem to been strategically chosen to hide issues. Picture #8 clearly shows that the body side molding on the drivers door is missing. There is something fishy going on, maybe that’s why it hasn’t sold the three previous times the car has been listed on eBay over the last 30 days.

    Steve R

    • dgrass

      I am with you Steve R. 16 pictures and no profile shots from either side? Fishy indeed.

  8. Redwagon

    Two words: Brewster green.

  9. Little Cars

    Price has been reduced. Someone will either get a bargain, or a whole lotta headaches from the goofy seller.

  10. Troy s

    I have to admit it, I like the Formula better than the Trans Am, at least the older ones. I don’t know if they were ever functional but I like the hood scoops on these better than the reverse facing one on the TA and just never liked the screaming chicken graphics anyways. Nice potential here.

    • Steve R

      Ram Air and 455 HO engines, possibly others, came with functional scoops. The air cleaner had sealed to openings at the back of the scoops. They were very efficient.


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