No Reserve Project: 1975 Pontiac Firebird Esprit

Sadly for some people, deteriorating health can mean that they have to part with their beloved project car before it has been completed. In the case of this 1975 Pontiac Firebird Esprit, this has actually happened before work commenced on the car. However, in what appears to be an admirably selfless act, the car has apparently been donated to charity to be sold as a fundraiser. The Firebird is located in South Pasadena, California, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. A single bid on the Firebird has taken it to a mere $1,500 in what is a No Reserve auction.

While the Cameo White paint on the Firebird is looking pretty tired, there are some encouraging signs with the vehicle. There is some surface corrosion present in a few spots, while there is some minor rust appearing on the trunk lid, and from around the rear window. However, if you look at the lower body extremities, including areas such as the lower rear quarter panels, lower fenders, and the rockers, all appear to be in good condition. The panels all line up very nicely, which seems to reinforce the seller’s claim that the Esprit is straight. The Pontiac rolls on a set of American Racing wheels, but a set of original Rally wheels will be included in the sale.

There are no photos of the engine or interior, but we do know that under the hood is a 350ci V8. It isn’t clear what transmission is bolted to the back of this, but looking through the rear window, it looks like I might be able to glimpse a shifter for an automatic. The good news is that this is a numbers-matching car, but the bad news is that it doesn’t run. The engine apparently blew a head gasket and the seller suggests that a full rebuild might be on the cards to get it back up and running. Apparently the Pontiac ran and drove smoothly before this failure, which makes this a real shame. With no photos of the interior, we do know that it is trimmed in White. We can see evidence through the windows that the upholstery has paid the price for exposure to UV rays, and it sounds like a complete interior retrim might be on the agenda. All of the parts are available to revive the interior, but kits for the Firebird aren’t as cheap as they are for most classics from around this era. The most affordable that I could locate priced at around $1,050, and while it included seat covers, door trims, a headliner, a carpet set, and a rear parcel tray, it didn’t include rear trims, kick panels, and armrests. If the dash pad is cracked and beyond restoration, a replacement is going to cost around an additional $600. However, if it is cracked and isn’t too bad, and if you happen to be pretty skilled with your hands, then a product like Polyvance might help to return the pad to decent condition once again. It isn’t clear what optional equipment has been fitted to the Esprit, but the seller states that it does have air conditioning.

For me, this 1975 Pontiac Firebird Esprit is an interesting proposition. Alright, I admit that it is not as glamorous or as desirable as a Trans Am, but it does appear to be a solid car with minimal rust issues. It will need some work to return it to active duty, but it does appear as though a competent person could achieve all that they would need to in a home workshop. However, what makes it really interesting to me is the fact that not only has there only been a single bid on the car at the time of writing but that only 19 people are currently watching the listing. That means that there is a very real chance that someone could secure a project vehicle at a bargain-basement price. That has to be an attractive proposition.

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  1. Calipag

    Seller with 1 transaction! Be VERY careful!!

  2. Tony Primo

    Thankfully it comes with the Pontiac Rally wheels, so that those chrome wheels can be returned to the truck that they came off of.

  3. Steve R

    Hard pass.

    It’s a non-running mid-70’s Firebird for sale in California. It needs interior, engine work and paint along with an indeterminate amount of rust repair. Close inspection of the pictures provided shows significant signs of rust not typical of cars that have spent their life in Southern California, the white license plate is from the late-80’s at its earliest. The ad also reads like the seller isn’t the registered owned, which can usher in unexpected issues and expenses when dealing with the DMV. Someone living in most parts of California that has an open mind and a willingness to put in some effort will find better cars for not much more than the current high bid.

    Steve R

  4. John Oliveri

    Needs a lotta work for a base esprit, the upside is it really isn’t very rusty, and they do handle like they’re riding on rails, friend of mine had a blue 75 w a white interior back then, nice car, put that car thru a lotta Rockford moves, the show was on when we were cruising w it in 76/77

  5. Bry593

    Pontiac 350s don’t blow head gaskets unless driven to over heated seizure.

  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $2325.

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