Original Paint Survivor: 1969 Pontiac Firebird

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I’m not alone in believing that about the only thing better than a meticulously restored classic is one that has survived for decades in unmolested form and still presents well. Such is the story of this 1969 Pontiac Firebird. It isn’t perfect, but that is a significant part of its attraction. It has retained its original paint for fifty-four years, which still shines, leaving the new owner to choose between preservation or restoration. The Firebird is listed here on Craigslist in Jackson, Wisconsin. The seller set their price at $28,495, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this splendid survivor.

The First Generation Firebird proved a minor hit for Pontiac as it sought to gain a foothold in the pony car segment. However, sales had tapered nearly 20% by the time our car rolled off the line in the extended 1969 production run. The seller is the car’s second owner, retaining a significant collection of documentation tracing the Firebird’s history. This includes the original Window Sticker confirming its Blue paint is a Special Order. They refer to it as Windward Blue in the listing text, which seems odd since that shade appears on the official Firebird Paint Chart for that year. I struggle to understand how it could be on the Chart but also a Special Order. Maybe I’m missing something and would be happy to be corrected. They recently had it wet sanded and polished, with the paint responding positively to the treatment. It isn’t perfect, but its shine and color consistency are both impressive. The seller admits there is a small spot of filler in the passenger side front fender but no evidence of other repairs. The panels are straight, and the underside shots confirm it is rust-free. The trim and Soft Ray tinted glass are in good order, with the Firebird rolling on its original Rally II wheels.

Powering this Firebird is the 2-barrel version of the company’s 350ci V8. The original owner added a three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission and power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes. The 350 generated 265hp in 1969, propelling the Pontiac through the ¼-mile in 16.1 seconds. However, this car might be able to better that figure. The seller recently treated the V8 to a comprehensive rebuild, adding an Edelbrock intake and carburetor. For those concerned about authenticity, they retained the original components. They are amongst boxes of parts included in the sale. The transmission also received a rebuild, while the car features new brakes, brake lines, a new starter, a new battery, a new dual exhaust, new suspension bushes, and a host of other parts. It is in excellent mechanical health and is ready to hit the road with its new owner behind the wheel.

The Pontiac’s interior needs love, but the seller started the process of returning it to its former glory. They installed new carpet, sandblasting, and painting the seat frames before installing new foam. The covers are sitting in place, but sourcing replacements and a new headliner would be a wise strategy. The rest of the interior presents well, and the only visible aftermarket addition is a gauge cluster under the dash. It isn’t loaded with optional extras, although the remote driver’s mirror, deluxe seatbelts, and factory AM radio with the optional rear speaker are intact.

I admit I would struggle to decide what to do if I found this 1969 Firebird in my garage. Its restoration would appear straightforward, meaning returning it to showroom condition would not be complicated or expensive. However, that oft-used expression “they’re only original once” keeps rolling around in my head. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this question, because either approach would leave the new owner with a car commanding respect from any passing enthusiast. Reading your feedback and gauging which path most of you would choose will be fascinating.

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  1. Jack M.

    It sure looks like the one Russ Dixon featured on January 29th.

    Like 1
  2. Maggy

    Awesome car in a sharp color.I usually don’t like vinyl tops but this color combo goes together nicely .I’d definitely leave the paint and fix up the interior. Price is fair.glwts.

    Like 2
  3. A.G.

    The nineteenth picture in the ad is curious. There’s what looks to be aluminum tape over the trunk’s two body plugs. The rest of the trunk pan looks pretty good except for all the crud near the latching fixture and tail panel.

    There are enough details which make me think the car was previously refurbished in the 80s or 90s. Things such as vinyl top and interior trim replacement aren’t done casually. The car may have been repainted at that time.

    AFA the special order paint, certain combinations of the paint and top colors were special order for the 1969 Camaro. It may have been the same for PMD.

    Like 0
    • Claudio

      The crud and dirt are always there !
      I have seen it in many cars that i bought and many others that i didn’t.
      I guess it’s the air and road dirt that flies in and stays at that spot

      Like 1
  4. Arfeeto

    I was nineteen and quite giddy to drive the Firebird that my parents bought, new, in ’69. Every kid should have the opportunity to experience such euphoria. Goodness knows, the window for carefree frivolity closes too early in life.

    Like 4
  5. gary chamberlain

    If this is the SECOND owner with provenance, why wasn’t mileage mentioned?

    Like 2
  6. Dave

    Believe it was special order in 1968.

    Like 0
  7. Oldschool Muscle

    Looks like one I had in the 80’s mine was a tad greener.
    I put a 67 ram air lll motor in it with some extra ponies i added. Miss that car!!!

    Like 1

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