Parked in 1990: 1967 Pontiac Firebird

This 1967 Pontiac Firebird has been parked in a garage, forgotten and neglected, since 1990. During those 30-years it has managed to accumulate a fair coating of dust. There are also plenty of cobwebs to contend with. Below all of that, what you find is a classic pony car that could make a great restoration project. If that sounds like a tempting proposition, then you will find the Firebird located in Windsor, Colorado, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the asking price for this first-year Firebird at $12,000.

When I first looked at the Firebird, the feature that jumped out at me and rang some minor alarm bells was the fact that it is wearing snow tires. It made me wonder exactly what sort of weather and conditions the car had been contending with prior to it going into storage, and whether this included significant exposure to salt. However, when you look over the exterior of the vehicle, there is some substantial surface corrosion on the driver’s side rear quarter panel, but there is surprisingly little in the way of penetrating rust. There is a small amount in the bottoms of the quarter panels, along with some in the bottom corners of the doors and the lower front fenders. This all looks like it could be addressed with patches rather than full panel replacement. What can be seen of the rockers looks quite promising, and the sheer lack of significant rust on the car’s lower extremities gives some cause for optimism that the floors and frame might be okay. The Firebird must have been quite a sight when new, finished in Montego Cream with a Black vinyl top. A repaint is going to be on the agenda, while the top will require replacement. For me, the top is one area that has the potential to be hiding some issues. The vinyl is badly shredded and would have been a real moisture trap when the car was still in active service. We can’t see underneath the vinyl, but there is a possibility that it could hide some rust. Generally speaking, the Firebird looks promising, but just how good it is could only be confirmed by personal inspection.

Potential Firebird buyers in 1967 were spoiled for choice when it came to mechanical configurations, and while this one might not be the most potent, it’s still not bad. What we find is a numbers-matching 326ci V8, a 2-speed Powerglide transmission, and power steering. It isn’t guaranteed to get your pulse racing, but it does make for some pretty comfortable and effortless cruising. The thing that impresses me when looking into this engine bay is the sheer quantity of cobwebs. It’s a pretty healthy collection and given their natural strength, they could potentially be considered as structural. Just kidding! When you look below the dust and webs, what you can see is an engine that looks remarkably clean and free of the sort of oily deposits that can accumulate on mechanical components over time. There are no indications of any significant oil or coolant leaks, and while the Firebird doesn’t currently run, the engine does turn freely. Also, the owner has fitted a battery, and the entire electrical system works exactly as it should.

Opening the doors of the Firebird reveals an interior that appears to be completely original and unmolested. The driver’s seat needs a new cover, and I think that the carpet might be faded, but the rest of the trim looks promising. The passenger seat, rear seat, and the door trims present well, while the owner claims that the headliner is faultless. The dash and cap look to be free of any problems, while the console is not only a nice touch but appears to be nearly perfect. I tend to think that a new cover on the driver’s seat, a new carpet set, and some serious cleaning would return the interior to extremely nice condition. Given the fact that it’s pretty easy to find a carpet set for around $160, and a pair of front seat covers can be sourced for around $140, that could mean that the interior will sparkle for around $300 plus a bit of hard work.

If this ’67 Firebird is as solid as the description and photos would seem to indicate, then it would make a promising project car. However, from a financial perspective, it would need to be a project where the owner was both willing and able to undertake tasks such as the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly themselves. Once restored, it won’t be a car that is worth huge money, because it is pretty easy to find some nice examples in the market today for around $22,000. However, this could potentially be a car that provides its next owner with a ton of personal satisfaction once restored.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I’ve rescued my share of cars like this one, but now that I’m wiser, I wouldn’t touch it. Yes, it’s a first-year Firebird, I get it. But as I’ve said before, nearly any nice running/driving/cosmetically good classic car you can name (with a few exceptions of course) can be bought these days for around $15,000. This car starts at 12 grand plus shipping. The 67 Firebird doesn’t excite me enough to jump into that puddle of quicksand. I’d shop that 15K around and probably find a decent driving Firebird (or more interesting classic car) ready to enjoy.

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    • alphasud Member

      So true. A 326 with a 2 speed power glide ain’t that special. Now if it had the 400 with a 4-speed that would be a different story. Still could probably find a nice driver for less money than to make one from this state. Unless of course you want to go through the experience and drive what you built yourself.

      8
      • Tom Member

        Rex Kahrs and alphasud, both well said.

        I have had 2 69 Firebirds, along with several Camaros, and the recession bought my 67 Firebird 400 Convertible which is highly unfortunate as it was a super high option car (convertible with AC, power windows, hood tach, Safe T Track on and on, completely restored with 50K miles that I bought out of GA in 1985 when I was 19.

        Like Rex said, shop your money around, the market is changing folks!

        8
    • local_sheriff

      I still think there are plenty of 60s cars available below the 10K mark especially if one is patient, flexible as to a vehicle’s location and good at sniffing around. However unless one can settle for a 4door they will most certainly be in need of at least minor work. But that’s part of the hobby, right?

      Shopping around in the 13-18K range will put you in a completely different world of quality. But then again, if you’re looking to personalize your ride it would almost be a shame to start out with a too good, unmolested example

      2
    • Mountainwoodie

      Yup. 12 grand for an almost garden variety Firebird needing everything………wait…I see the caboose on the train leaving the station…..faaar off in the distance……..wait…wait.come back,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Judging by where the T handle automatic shifter has landed in the photo, this car is either immobile, or was dragged in low gear to take the photos. I can’t recall the pattern for shifting but my guess it is in low and low is where it shall stay until the next owner frees it from the “clutches” of the Powerglide gnomes. Pretty boring color combo, my family owned a couple 67s and the 326 was a capable motor. I’d bring a magnet for inspection and make an offer below the asking price.

    2
  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Still……not too many un-touched or un-modified first gen Firebird’s and it looks all there with the deluxe interior…..high on the by-in at the price he’s asking though.

    2
  4. CCFisher

    Wouldn’t it be a Super Turbine 300 rather than a Powerglide?

    3
    • Mood O

      Correct CC
      Powerglide only went behind the “Chevy” 6 cyl in Pontiacs until the OHC came out in ‘66, it got the Super turbine 300 then also…
      A Powerglide gasket/filter will NOT! work in an ST 300

      • Bob C.

        When they discontinued the OHC 6 after 1969, they began using Chevy sixes. You could get a Powerglide from that point until 1973. I had a 1972 6 cylinder Lemans with one.

  5. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I don’t know. It’s been answered here before, what gearboxes were thrown in the early Firebirds. I just noticed the brace in the engine bay on the left side has been freed from its locator on the slam panel. Wonder if that side has to be loosened to replace a radiator or radiator hose?

    • Steve R

      The battery, which isn’t present sits under that brace. For the asking price one would think the seller include a battery. As for authors suggestion that only $300 will be needed for the interior, that doesn’t include a refurbished steering wheel or a new dash pad.

      He’s asking at least double what the car is worth. It might have good bones, but that can’t be determined from the pictures in the ad. It will need rust repair, interior work and an unknown amount of mechanical refurbishment. As mentioned above, nice turn key examples can be found in the $20,000 range, this car doesn’t make financial sense at or near its current asking price.

      Steve R

      7
      • Tom Member

        Agree. The dash boards in these had a nasty habit of rotting out along the bottom edge at recess of the base.

        Seat covers FOR SURE but you will also need to rebuild all of the foam so $160 is the wrong budget there.

        Sorry, as much as I am a HUGE 67-68 Firebird fan this one is going to take too much money to be worth about 1/4 of what you invest into it.

        Unless it is really solid underneath and the what is under that vinyl is not TOO terrible (probably is !!) this car restored will only bring MORE money IF you make it a 400 Clone OR Resto-mod it. Still going to be more into it than worth by 50% minimum even doing that.

        3
      • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

        Look closer, the photo taken from the driver’s side of the engine shows a battery. Also, if you study the pictures long enough you can tell someone over the years shrouded part of the car in a tarp and it looks like it was duct taped under the rear bumper. Would explain the deterioration of the vinyl roof and the white streaks on the rear window. Big mistake, those danged blue tarps!

  6. TimM

    I agree with everyone’s post and the thing that really scares me about this car is what’s under that pealing vinyl top!! The external rust is pretty bad but what’s under that top could be much worse!!!

    8
  7. John Oliveri

    Me think me wanna see what lies beneath that tattered Vinyl roof

    2
    • Bellingham Fred

      Me thinks rust, rust holes, rust flakes, more rust, and that’s just a conservative estimate.

      6
  8. bikefixr

    I bought a similar to better condition ’68, same color, HO350 4sp car for $8,000 just 6 years ago. It ran well and did not need this much work because it was garage-kept. Sorry, cut this by 60%.

    3
  9. Wayne

    Yes, correct Pontiacs never came with a power glide. Some of the internal parts were the same. But a much heavier duty transmission. ( also used by Buick and Oldsmobile) Shifters regularly would stick in a gear as 1967s-1970s did not have enough ground cables ( or they came loose) and when cranking the car the starter/engine would then ground through the shifter cable and seize up. I sold many over the parts counter. The vinyl top on this car scares me as I believe the wrinkles are mostly caused/started by rust.
    I love old ‘Birds. But not this one.

    1
  10. Paul

    I never understood why….first generation Camaro’s that are less rare and much more available even with less factory options ALWAYS bring more money then firebirds
    The same with early Mustang’s & Cougar’s?

  11. John Oliveri

    I’m in the same minority as you, I love loaded birds, and loaded Cougars, but Americans sing baseball hot dogs apple pie and Chevrolet, I guess it’s mind set even of wealthy people, my dream car is a 69 GTO Convertible, w factory a/c and power windows factory 8 track, but a 69 Chevelle w nothing in it is worth more

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