Price Drop: 1979 Pontiac Firebird Formula

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We reviewed this Code 50 Solar Gold 1979 Pontiac Formula in March. The car did not sell so Rocco let us know that it has been relisted here on Craigslist and the price was dropped from $25,900 to $23,900. Out of the 211,000 Firebirds produced in 1979, 24,850 were the Formula model. This one is located near Spokane, Washington in Chatttaroy, Washington. It was also listed last summer at the higher price. With an odometer reading of 64,000 miles, this car looks to be in great condition.

This 1979 Formula is powered by the L37 301 cubic inch V8 engine, delivering 150 horsepower with a 4-barrel carburetor and paired with a Borg Warner T-10 4-speed transmission. According to the seller, only 1,530 Formulas were manufactured with this specific engine, transmission, and T-Top configuration. However, this distinction may not be a significant point of pride given that the 301 cubic inch V8 engine was the least powerful V8 option for the Formula in 1979. In contrast, a much larger number of Formulas (7,736) were outfitted with the optional Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine, generating 185 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque in 1979. This more potent engine was exclusively available with the Turbo 350 automatic transmission.

The rarest and most powerful engine variant in the 1979 Formula lineup was the W72 Pontiac 400 cubic inch V8 engine, boasting an impressive 220 horsepower. This engine configuration was exclusively paired with a 4-speed transmission, WS6 suspension, and a 3.23 rear end. Only 367 Formulas were manufactured in 1979 with this high-performance W72 engine setup. The same pictures are used in this ad as the prior one in March. The car is equipped with the deluxe hobnail cloth interior but does not have air conditioning or power windows. T-Tops and tilt steering are the too most obvious options.

The car rides on 15×8 snowflake wheels and, if original as the owner states, the car is equipped with the WS6 special performance handling package which came with 4 wheel disc brakes. If it was late in the production year, the car could has the WS7 handling package which had all the suspension performance upgrades but Pontiac ran out of rear disc brakes so the car has drum brakes in the rear. I think this car should sell for around $18,000 to $19,000.

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  1. Nelson C

    Beautiful Formula that would provide miles of enjoyment. I’ll say again that the reason this car is here is that the owner wanted a stylish car and had no intention of beating it at every stoplight. Hope it goes to a good home.

    Like 7
  2. Tim

    Maybe the crazy high prices on some cars are starting to come down?!? That would be nice.

    Like 4
  3. John Zeglin

    I would suspect that 4 speed with the base engine has to make it a rare bird but there would be a reason few were sold.

    My Dad bought my Mom a used 79 Formula in 81 or 82 with a few thousand miles on it for a summer car. Nice car and I drove it a fair amount but with the small motor it was a performance car only in looks and handling.

    This car is interesting and it would be fun to know more about how the paint is and how clean the car is. Some of those NW cars can be real clean. I don’t think the price is way out of line and as you state high teens could be a good value.

    Like 8
  4. Robert Atkinson, Jr.

    “Hello. This is Jim Rockford. Leave your name and number, and I’ll get back to you. Beep.”

    “Hello, Mr. Rockford, this is Jim at Ocean Pontiac. Your new Firebird fell off of the trailer as we were unloading it. You still want it? Click.” Cue theme music and opening credits here.

    Like 0

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