Highly Optioned: 1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula

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This 1979 Pontiac Firebird was built in December 1978 and the Van Nuys California GM Plant. The car is for sale here on eBay with 2 days remaining in the auction. The car is still wearing its original California blue plates and is said to have had two owners since new. The car is located in Venture, California. Pontiac offered several models of the Firebird including the Esprit, Formula and Trans Am. This is the Formula model which could be equipped with the same performance features as the Trans Am but in a less flashy package.

The base engine in the Formula was the 301 cubic inch V8 engine. It could be equipped with either a 3 speed automatic or 4 speed manual transmission. The next step up was the Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine which is what this car has. The K code 403 cid engine was only available with an automatic transmission and was rated from the factory at 185 horsepower. This engine met the stricter California emissions requirements and was installed in quite a few 1979 Formulas and Trans Ams. A buyer could order the optional W72 400 cubic inch Pontiac engine which produced 220 horsepower and only came with a 4 speed manual transmission and the WS6 performance suspension in 1979. Only 367 400 cubic inch V8 W72 Formulas were produced in 1979.

This car is highly optioned and the interior is immaculate. Some of the options include power windows, tilt steering, automatic transmission, air conditioning, cruise control and a camel deluxe interior. The deluxe interior optioned included hobnail cloth covered seats and different door panels. If original to the car, this Formula was not ordered with the WS6 Performance Handling Package because it would have 15×8 instead of 15×7 snowflake wheels.

The seller shows that the car comes with an extensive history. The undercarriage of the car looks immaculate with no signs of rust. The rear tips of the exhaust has been changed but the car still has its catalytic converter. I thought the W50 paint package was standard in 1979.  If so, should the lower portion of the car be brown instead of gold? This looks like a clean, unmolested car that would be great to jump in and drive.

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  1. Todd Zuercher

    I think that’s Ventura, CA, not Venture, CA?

    Like 3
  2. Terrry

    In the early days of pony cars, they were very powerful and very thirsty. By 1979, what remained were only very thirsty. The fire-breathing Olds 403 could barely get out of its own way once it was done breathing through all the smog garbage. Still, this is a nice example of that year’s Firebird, much better looking than the Trans Am.

    Like 0
  3. Steve R

    If it’s as nice as the pictures suggest this car was well bought.

    Steve R

    Like 1


    Like 1
  5. S

    Wow. This is a nice car. Especially the interior and those seats! Hard to find one this nice.

    Like 2
  6. Guardstang

    I think thats dryer vent hose being used for the air intake.

    Like 1
  7. Tom C


    Like 1

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