Checkout The Seats! 1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible

While it is a mostly original survivor, this 1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible does come with one feature that sets it apart from its peers. Whether this custom touch appeals to potential buyers is open to debate. However, if the next owner isn’t taken by it, then reversing the change would be an easy and relatively inexpensive undertaking. The Firebird is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is listed for sale here on eBay. It seems that this is a classic that ticks the right boxes with a few people because 26 bids have pushed the price along to $11,200. However, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Solar Red Firebird is said to wear all of its original paint. It is looking quite tired, and a cosmetic restoration would seem to be on the cards. The panels sport a few dings and marks, but the Pontiac does seem to be generally straight. One massive positive with this car is its complete lack of rust issues. The owner supplies a decent set of photos in his listing. The underside of the floor has a light dusting of surface corrosion, but there is no penetrating rust to be found anywhere. The lower body extremities appear to be clean, and there’s no doubt that a life spent in the dry Nevada climate has aided this car’s cause. The Black convertible top seems to be in good condition, although the owner is quick to point out that this isn’t a power top. The trim and chrome appear to be acceptable for a tidy driver-quality classic, as does the glass. The most glaring issue is the mismatched wheels, but addressing this will be an easy task for the next owner to tackle.

Now we get to the aspect of this Pontiac that sets it apart from your average Firebird Convertible. At some point during the 1980s, the original owner chose to treat the vehicle to a new interior. Not satisfied with an “off the shelf” package, it now features custom leather upholstery. This is Saddle leather, with contrasting embossed Dark Tan inserts. There is no doubt that some people are going to love this treatment, while others aren’t going to be that thrilled by it. One thing is for sure, and that is that it is an interior that is sure to spark some interesting conversations. Some aspects of the trim are starting to look a bit on the tired side.

The seat covers are also slightly stretched, so it is going to require some attention, one way or another. A good upholsterer could potentially breathe new life into it, while new seat foam would also help. If the next owner isn’t thrilled by the interior, then a trim kit might be on the cards. For an outlay of $1,800, this is an interior that could easily be returned to stock appearance. Beyond that, the rest of the interior is relatively tidy. The radio is missing out of the dash, but the dash and pad appear to be free from significant flaws. The console also seems to be in good condition, as does the wheel. A few loose wires are peeking out from under the dash, but fixing this should be the work of a few minutes.

The Firebird is a numbers-matching car and features a 350ci V8, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. Looking at the engine reveals evidence to suggest that it has been treated to a “rattle-can rebuild.” There is overspray visible on the fuel filter, hoses, and hose clamps, while little care has been taken with some of the surface preparation. However, that doesn’t necessarily equate to bad news. The owner says that the 350 starts right up and that the car runs and drives “awesome.” He says that the 350 idles nicely and that the 4-speed shifts smoothly. This is a classic that would seem to be ready to be driven and enjoyed.

Leaving aside the custom interior trim, this 1968 Firebird Convertible has a lot going for it. The fact that it is a numbers-matching car that features a V8 and a 4-speed is a good starting point. When you add the fact that it features all of its original steel and is rust-free, you can see why bidding has been so strong. Restoring the interior to its original appearance, if desired, would not be a difficult or expensive proposition. Fully restored, this is a classic that has the potential to be worth an easy $30,000, although that figure could go a lot higher if the work is completed to a high standard. If you bought this Firebird, would you leave the interior as is? Alternatively, would a trim kit be top of your shopping list?

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Comments

  1. RGSmith1 Member

    Leather in a convertible? In the desert? Just thinking about it makes my skin shrink away to avoid contact! Ouch!

    Like 5
    • jokacz

      Back in the day you couldn’t buy a Cadillac convertible without a leather interior.

      Like 9
      • nlpnt

        Cloth seats in convertibles are rare before the ’80s revival, this Firebird would almost certainly have come from the factory with vinyl seats. Probably due to a lack of confidence in the top sealing.

        Like 6
    • Ronald Stephens

      Can’t be as bad as vynil that doesn’t breathe at all.

      Like 1
  2. Dusty Rider

    I wish I could make out what the logo in the middle of the back seat says. I’d spring for the trim kit, but props to the guy, back in the day it looked sharp I’ll bet. The corners on the seat backs look a little crude to me, but I’ll bet that it wasn’t cheap to do.
    I’d drive it as is and save for the interior kit!

    Like 7
    • RobB

      Those looks like the Phoenix bird that they put on the Trans Am hood.

      Like 1
    • Dwayne Robbins

      wallaby studios

      Like 1
    • Don P

      Looks like WAllABY STUDIOS
      Or maybe what looks like two small case L’s is an N WANABY?

      Like 1
  3. Bmac777 Member

    If your going to do that to the seats at least use the Aztek style firebird that was in the design of the first gen.

    Like 5
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Agreed Bmac777. The style of fire bird that graced many a totem and inspired all badging up through the screaming chickens of the Bandit Pontiacs. These Phoenix seat covers miss the point entirely, but I applaud the execution.

      Like 3
  4. Dave

    The new owner can add a matching leather convertible top. This really is a nice car.

    Like 5
  5. 370zpp

    I would repaint the car to better match the interior.

    Like 2
  6. mark evans

    Having owned many convertibles. What the hell would anyone who is not a masicist want with leather in a convertible. Burn your ass off. Even in Canada. Forget save the manuals. Save the Cloth. Far more comfortable in any car.

    Like 1
  7. CCFisher

    I would never want cloth seats in a convertible. In 1991, I bought a Mustang GT convertible, followed a couple cars later by a 1995 Trans Am convertible. Both had white leather interiors, which I cleaned weekly. If the car spent any time with the top down, the wash cloth would be surprisingly dirty. Cloth seats would just suck up all that dirt.

    Like 7
  8. grant

    Since when do we capitalize adjectives? It’s “saddle leather.”

  9. Claudio

    I live in canada, montreal burd actually,i have had multiple convertibles in my car life
    Leather, vinyl and cloth
    The weather has changed in the last 2 decades and we get hot, hotter summers and ionly use my topless cars in the summer

    Vinyl is plain horrible

    Leather follows closely

    And cloth is way better

    Leather looks classy but must be covered to prevent third degree burns

    Vinyl looks vintage as it usually is in an old car but must also be covered to prevent third degree burns

    And

    The cloth interior looks good and you will not need to go to the hospital if you sit on it on a melting hot afternoon but i agree that it does suck up a lot of dirt
    I use my air gun to push out the dirt and vacuum at the same time
    A yearly shampoo really helps

    As for this car , it brings back memories as i had one for 20 years , but no interest in having another one and this interior is outright FUGLY

    Like 6
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    The car looks to have much potential, including the interior. If you don’t like leather, there are always seat covers which is what I did. I have a slate covered interior which sucks up a lot of heat, making getting into the car on a hot sunny day a thrill. The covers protect the leather and make it bearable when getting into the car on those hot days.
    IIRC they were around $200, which was a reasonable price over recovering the seats, which was the other option.

    Like 3
  11. TimM

    Looks like a solid car but I don’t like the interior in the car!! Just my personal preference!!

    Like 2
  12. Ronald Stephens

    Leather will breathe much better than vynil seats; its also unwise to drive a convertible with the top down here in Phoenix, AZ during the summer. I’d bid on that car in a heartbeat if I could afford it.

    Like 2
  13. Desert Rat

    I really like the car overall but, the covers, I’m sure they cost a lot to have done and the work looks first rate still I think whenever someone looked inside I would want to give a disclaimer and tell them It wasn’t my idea. That would get old.

    Like 3
  14. E.L. Puko

    First gen owners would hate that interior. Wrong bird.

    • Tom Nemec Member

      Amen. I am a big 1st Gen Firebird guy.

      What is the saying ……” A fool and his money are soon parted”…..$17,900 current bid….at that price you are already underwater on this car when restored to the tune of 70% of your investment.

      Going for it: 1st Gen, Convertible, manual trans. No seemingly structural rust.

      NOT going for it: Not a 400 born car. $80K in restoration plus the buy-in puts you at $100K for a car you can go BUY TODAY DONE for about $30K….+/-$5K. Unless that terrible interior is worth about $75K this is a BAD investment.

      Sorry to say but the market is no longer, and will NOT BE, what it has been.

      • Seabecker

        I suppose that restoration number Tom cites could be close if an owner opted to pay a professional restorer to do all of the labor. But where’s the fun and satisfaction in that? Parts these days are plentiful and priced reasonably. I don’t think someone should be scared off because to restore by a professional is cost prohibitive. Do most of the work yourself, and pay for only what you can’t do. BTW, I have a 69 convertible I am currently restoring. So much fun!

        Like 2
  15. JOHN Member

    This appears to be a solid Firebird. The interior, while apparently well done at the time, has to go. The rear glass window isn’t original, this was a Mustang type with the silicone “hinge” to fold the glass to make it fit in the well. It just looks odd to me. The advantage is it is glass, but the silicone hinge wears out. To me, it needs the plastic rear window. They hold up well with additional care. This car still has the convertible only brace under the floor, and the cocktail shakers appear to be in place. Both of those items were frequently “deleted” by young owners as they believe it added weight to the car and it would perform better without them… wrong. I had a 69 400 convertible that was missing the floor brace, and it was one of the more solid convertibles I have ever had, and I’ve had a bunch. I later added subframe connectors to the car, they had to be notched to fit additional convertible specific braces towards the rear of the floor pan, but they were welded in place rather than bolted. It resulted in a very, very solid car. It is up to $17,900, reserve not met…

    Like 1
  16. Seabecker

    Which subframe connecters did you go with? I have a 69 convertible.

    Like 1
    • JOHN Member

      I built that car in the late 80’s. I am thinking Moroso, but they were for a coupe and designed as a bolt in.
      The convert’s have another additional stiffening brace in the floor area under the rear seat/quarter window area. The subframe connectors are basically rectangular tube, so I cut out a notch to clear the brace. I gusseted it and welded the connectors in place after locating them with the bolts. I am considering buying a low mile 93 Fox body 5.0 convert from a friend, first thing I would do if I buy it would be to install subframe connectors. But back to the Firebird, it was the tightest, most rattle free convertible I ever had, and I have had a bunch. I ended up selling it to a friend to help buy a ’67 GTO convert. Hope this helps!

      Like 3

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