Poncho Pony Car: 1969 Pontiac Firebird


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About an hour west of St. Louis is the historic small town of Hermann, Missouri. That’s where this 1969 Pontiac Firebird is located, and is offered for sale here on craigslist for $2,900. If you prefer your F-body project in the Poncho persuasion, this might be the car for you. This one is a little closer to a middle ground, it’s not a rock solid survivor, but it’s not a total basket case either.


It needs a total restoration, but unusual for generation-1 Firebirds in this price range, this one runs and drives, and appears complete. The seller says it needs floors and a trunk floor. Rust and some dents are visible on the quarter panels, but as rough as it looks, there’s still something here to start with. Considering the money they bring when finished, this one is probably a worthy project for the price.


It’s listed as having a 350 engine and three speed automatic transmission. The seller doesn’t say, but for this car, I’m hoping the engine is a Pontiac, and not a small block Chevy. If the plan were to restore-and-drive, an exhaust system would be needed, along with plenty of other things I’m sure.


I think the aftermarket support for these is not quite to the same level as for the first-gen Camaros, but is still respectable enough to solve most problems one would be likely to encounter.


The original color combination looks odd to me. It appears to be dark brown with a white vinyl top, and black interior. I would do some research and find out if it came this way, but would probably consider changing it anyway, even if only to get rid of the vinyl top. But the first thing to go would be the Chevy rally wheels. Those are merely my ideas for it. What are yours?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. 64 bonneville

    I think the first generation Firebirds are a better looking car than the 67-69 Camaros’. Much of the sheet metal interchanges (i.e. floor pans, trunk pan, etc.) so even if you were going concours restoration, no one would know that the stampings were (gasp!) Camaro. Having friends and customers in both the Camaro clubs and Firebird/Pontiac clubs, it seems to me that the Pontiac guys are not nearly as anal retentive as far as restoration or modifications to their cars. Hey, if you are driving it on the street, then you are not going to do a concours restoration on it. If you object is a trailer queen, then stick with OEM or NOS for your build. Otherwise build it an drive it, enjoying every mile you put on it.

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    • ydnar

      I totally agree ’64. I also believe it is well worth the asking price. Some Chevy guy is already drooling over those wheels as well, it would be an easy trade. I think Year One showcases a Firebird, and not a Camaro. Parts should not be a problem, unless you have a limited budget.

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      • TomMember

        “a limited budget” now that’s funny right there! The understatement of the new year !!!! This piece will call for an “unlimited budget” because it WILL BE a money pit you will NEVER get out of. This car in NOT the car to buy with an open-ended and ultimately unlimited budget. IF IT WERE one of the 897 Trans Am’s built in 69 it would be worth it……but it’s not. Period.

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  2. Dave

    I like Chevy Rally wheels but they do look terrible on this car,
    This could be a nice car with enough time and money.

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  3. JW

    As a Poncho fan I love the first generation Firebirds. They seem more classy than a Camaro just like the Cougars over the Mustangs of that time. A friend ( Mopar Guy ) just picked this one up for his wife to drive to our cruises.

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  4. dj

    Shame the console is screwed up with the wrong shifter. But as momma says, you can’t fix stupid.

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  5. piper62j

    Oh Yeahhh!!! If you really think the floors and trunk are not rotted out, guess again.. Just looking at the worms on the exterior turns me off..

    Good find for the hard core restorer though.. Not bad at all…

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  6. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    From the ” Show Me” State …. as in ” show me SOME solid metal to weld TO….

    Missouri is one of the worst for rust ! …and I came from 45 years in Masachusetts.

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    • TomMember

      Amen to that. sorry guys. being a rust expert and having restored a number of these 67-69 Firebirds 2900 bucks is the is nothing compared to what it will take to make this a decent driver….short of 6 figures for concours which this car is not a candidate in my opinion…….as Dave way up above said…”with enough time and money” more like a WHOLE LOTTA TIME AND A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY and the investment will FAR EXCEED the value. If it were an original 400 car, maybe even a convertible… maybe…maybe. Shame on the person or persons who let this car get so abused. this car has had the SH__ beat out of it and is not a rusted piece of garbage… and I hate to say that. Do yourself a HUGE favor, spend the money on a better car to start with. You have no idea how terrible of a project this is unless it is your first one. I guarantee you the shock towers are rotted out of the trunk along with the rest of the floors. my first full resto was a 69 Firebird, similar to this from Illinois back in 1984 (car is only 15 years old) AND IT WAS A RUST BUCKET 30 YEARS AGO. How much worse can it be 30 years later.(now a 45 year old car)…answer… A LOT!!!! UGGGH !!! This car is not even a good parts car outside of the wheels !!

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  7. MartyAuthor

    The obvious concept behind starting with a car like this is the previously mentioned “limited budget”. Buying a better car to start with is of course, usually an easier and less expensive option in the long run, but multiple companies sell patch panels in quantity for a reason.

    This car wouldn’t be easy or cheap to restore, but it still may be do-able. Sweeping, declarative statements about what it needs or doesn’t need are not always accurate. The only real way to know is to inspect it carefully, in person.

    The seller says this one needs floors, and that is a big, time-consuming job. And that’s where the limited budget comes in. Most amateur restorers wouldn’t be capable of putting floors and braces in this car over a weekend. It takes long enough that there is adequate time to regenerate cash for the next phase of the project, such as the trunk floors and braces!

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    • TomMember

      I think you mostly said what I said. My problem, with the vast experience I have, is a comment like “the obvious concept behind starting with a car like this …..is limited budget” and that is where THE MASSIVE MISTAKE someone makes that they DONT SEE COMING. Thinking they can buy a car like this and make something out of it with “a limited budget”. They are going to dump their initial investment in this, EXHAUST their “limited budget” and be completely screwed.

      You said it right, as I did, buying a better car to start…..easier and less expensive in the long run….not to mention a bunch of other benefits. Refinishing, if you are doing it yourself, is way cheaper than buying everything new and that is what a “better car” gives you. You can actually restore IT and not patch the SH__ out of it.

      You are right in that sweeping, declarative statements …are not always accurate. HOWEVER, if you HAVE the experience I have, you have SEEN these pictures, and KNOW certain problems to exist in restorations……it is no longer a much stronger PROBABLILITY than your suggestion of a POSSIBLITY.

      Sorry, but I see this site as a place to give people advice and help keep them from the wolves. To learn from the knowledge of others.

      Dave from OSR understands what this car is. These are bad photos and YOU CAN see the rust issues under that vinyl top just waiting to kick your ass.

      Hey Marty, I want all of them to live but sometimes you just have to call it for what it is. This one sucks because I love GEN I Firebirds but one or many idiots over time beat this poor bird to death and the car is just NOT worth 20% of the money it will take to make it right…..even if you could do all the work yourself, the parts and materials ALONE will exceed the #1 value of this car IF IT WERE an unmolested original with 5K miles on it. IS your time NOT worth something? Take on this car and at the end, IF you get your parts and materials back and 0 for your time, I would be surprised.

      Like I said before, 400, 400 Convertible, put the money into it MAYBE.

      Like 0

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