Parked in 2008: 1968 Pontiac Firebird

The owner of this 1968 Firebird was using the car as his daily driver until 2008. He parked the car due to an electrical fault, and it appears that he hasn’t used it since. Rather than watch it sit there doing nothing, he has decided to part with the car. Located in Bentonville, Arkansas, it is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $6,400, and with the reserve now having been met, the Firebird is set to head to a new home.

The owner says that almost everything on the Firebird is original, right down to the Alpine Blue paint. That’s looking quite tired now, as is the black vinyl top. He does admit that the Firebird does have some rust, but from the description, it doesn’t have any actual holes in the steel anywhere. With that in mind, it sounds like this is a Firebird where the next owner isn’t going to be faced with the prospect of wholesale rust repairs. It may even be possible to just clean what’s there, and not have to break out the welder at all.

The owner also claims that the engine is original and that it’s the 400ci V8. This is backed by an automatic transmission, while the car also features power steering and power brakes. The owner says that the engine ran well before the electrical fault intervened, and I gather by this that it doesn’t run at present. The electrical fault was apparently due to the ignition switch shorting out, resulting in the car needing a new wiring harness. Given the fact that I can see nothing that looks like new wiring anywhere in the car, I would assume that this has never been done.

The interior of the Firebird is complete, and it does have its good points. The center console looks good, as does the dash pad. The owner admits to cutting the dash to fit an aftermarket stereo (which isn’t there anymore) and doing the same to the door trims for speakers. Apart from those items, the seats will need new covers, and new carpet would also help. I also noticed that the Firebird has been fitted with air conditioning, but the lack of a belt on the compressor would indicate that this might need some attention before it produces any cold air. If the car could be made to run again, there isn’t any reason why the interior couldn’t be used as it is until time and money permitted a restoration.

If the owner’s claims are true, then this Firebird is a solid car that would make a great project. Wiring harnesses are not a particularly expensive item, so it may not take much to get the car up and running again. If that does turn out to be the case, then a classic Firebird with a 400ci V8 under the hood would not be a bad thing to own.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Looks like a good starter project for someone with the time and patience to learn wiring.

    BTW, Adam- in the first couple paragraphs you referenced this as a Camaro..I’ll bet what happened though is that Siri thought she knew better than you and just changed it after you typed it!

    6
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      First couple SENTENCES not paragraphs..see what I’m saying about Siri? 😳

      2
  2. CapNemo CapNemo Member

    Camaro? Door trims? Why am I not surprised?

    7
  3. Poncho

    There may be more to it than just a little rust…The tell tale bubbles under the vinyl top tell us that the top has to be removed and the sheet metal corrected before continuing with vinyl top replacement. We have seen roofs with daylight shining through them already and then you may be looking at an entire roof skin replacement. As for the ‘Camaro’ mistake…Shame, Shame, Shame.

    11
  4. Scotty

    Per the VIN he’s giving, this car didn’t leave the factory with a 400. It should have a V6…

    2
    • Ron

      If it was a six cylinder it would have been a straight six, V6’s were not an option in ‘68…

      15
      • Fuelish.Pursuits

        The rare ohc sixxer — I have seen only two runners in the wild!

        And the Camaro misnomer, wow.

        2
  5. Tom Member

    I have a vast knowledge of 1st gen Firebirds. I wish there were under body photos on this one. Wondering if it has the Safety Track Differential? Great news is it is a 400 car.

    Lots of options including AC (and the parts under the hood are there too!! very cool) PS, PB, Deluxe interior (way too bad someone cut bad holes in them !!!) Exterior trim package option with SS wheel opening moldings and Rocker Trim.

    If it were a 4 speed and I had under body photos I would be bidding on it. Unfortunately it is one of these cars that is a great car, should be restored no doubt BUT it will take more to get this car right, by a lot, than it will be worth when done. Poncho is on the money with his comments. Under that vinyl roof is going to be, well, not good.

    7
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      “SS wheel opening moldings?” Are we still thinking this is a Camaro? You probably mean stainless steel…

      1
  6. Angrymike

    If the ignition switch problem on this is anything like my 68 Catalina, you better fix the whole harness. My Catalina would continue to turn over even after you turned the key back . The only way to stop it was to pull the negative on the battery. I sold it and warned the new owner, but he never pulled the batt cable and it burned the car to a crisp.

    3
  7. Dave

    Just to ask, what is that second bracket looming over the alternator?

    1
    • NotSure

      That is a one-year-only Pontiac Alternator Guardian Brackett. They were actually first used on the 1898-1901 Studebakers.
      Studebaker phased them out after it was discovered that having the regular alternator with the Guardian Bracket in place gave their engines an extra 123 hp. The extra horsepower was deemed excessive for that periods disc brake systems. (Some information courtesy of NotSure’s wild imagination and general lack of mechanical knowledge ….) I could be wrong and if I am, please accept my apologies.

      6
    • Joe Defelice

      Both brackets are for the alternator. Must have used a short bolt and couldn’t fit both of them. The attached one bolts to the thermostat housing, and the flat one (not connected) bolts to the water pump.

      3
    • Rustytech

      That bracket over the alternator may have been for an AIR pump.

  8. john willis

    And this is why I do not have siri and never will….

    2
  9. bobhess Member

    Don’t know where the Firebirds were built but my brother was working his way through college at the Pontiac factory in Atlanta in the late ’60s. The first 6 months passed before someone noticed he was putting the alternator brackets on upside down. Apparently alternator brackets weren’t GM’s biggest triumph of design.

    3
    • JOHN

      I have no idea of how an alternator bracket could be mounted upside down… I have been around many, many Pontiacs. Most if not all lower mounts were cast aluminum, and could not be mounted upside down, and the upper bracket, with the long adjustment slot is curved to fit around the alternator. There is no way this could be done. Maybe in the late 60’s someone was doing too much weed or something else?

      3
  10. TimM

    Nice car low reserve!! She will be sold!! I just don’t understand why someone takes a picture of the hole in the dash where the radio was instead of underneath the car!!

    2
    • Steve R

      Because it takes more effort to take undercarriage pictures. It’s the same reason they didn’t pick up the trash on the floor or wash it.

      Steve R

      7
  11. Wayne

    Blue painter vacuum booster?
    Also rear body panel and bumper damage. It is still a good candidate for a serious refurb. Even with the top repairs required. And Joe Defelice is correct about the alternator brackets. I put a lot of miles on convertible editions of these. 400 with 400 hydro is just too much fun.
    I still have a soft spot in my head for 60s and early 70s Ponchos.

    1
  12. Troy s

    Wonder if the new owner gets to keep the change and other things on the console. Trash on the driver’s side floor looks staged, believe me, the interior doesn’t need any extra help looking weathered.
    Nice wheels, good color, decent 400, fix it up into a driver and tell everybody you just bought the 1 of 1 Pontiac Camaro…with change to spare!

    2
  13. Wayne

    The front tensioning bracket pivots off the water pump/timing cover. It is flat and cut/stamped in a curve. The pivot portion would normally attach at the bottom. However, I have seen them mounted with the slot at the bottom and the pivot at the top. (Must have been one that bobhess’ brother built!) If I remember correctly the pivot end had a slight bend to it so that the angle was better. But the bolts were long enough to tighten them up and flex the bracket. As I said, I have seen this before on a Pontiac V8. Dumb, but possible.

    2
  14. Johnmloghry Member

    I owned a 69 Firebird 400 with turbo 400 trans. It was equipped with A/C, p/s, p/b. Electric windows. Bright yellow with black vinyl top. American Racing torque thrust wheels. 160 on the speedo, but I topped it out at 147mph. Electrical problems can be a headache but they’re not impossible. I encountered all manner of electrical problems when I worked at Orem auto electric. Would repair any electrical problem except radio. Those gremlins are for someone who specializes in that particular field.
    God bless America

    2
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Fanciest one my family owned was a 69 loaded but with a 350. Deep brown metallic, deluxe interior, air, ps, power disc brakes, power windows, rally II wheels, no vinyl top. Turned out the fanciest one in the family was the most problematic. Always remember those windows not only would slow down and lock up, but had no rigid support in the fully raised position and would catch a good cross breeze! Great memories though of first generation Firebirds.

      1
  15. Rick Rothermel

    Can you say, ‘PROOFREAD’?

    1
  16. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I didn’t think Siri could make corrections to the make and model of a car…but then again I’m technology-challenged and proofread everything. This looks to be an honest car, good price, with air, good color, vinyl top, blah blah blah. Unfortunately any deep rust in the roof and undercarriage could easily swallow any savings you make buying it low. This is the sort of car I would scoop up in high school and just drive as is until I could afford to work on the major things. Also, who ever said V6 for 1968 needs to remember the Overhead Cam 6 was the only six banger available.

    2
    • JOHN

      And speaking of the OHC 6, I had a high school friend with a 67 Le Mans OHC Sprint convert, 4 speed. White body, blue interior and a black top. The Sprints had a Quadrajet 4 barrel, hotter cam, and if I remember correctly a split exhaust manifold also. It was a beautiful car, and ran pretty good. I would love to have that car today. I also had a 69 Firebird 400 convert, but never had anything unusual in the electrical system…

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