READER AD: 1989 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350

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Reader Keith E has decided it’s time to part ways with his Firebird Formula 350. It’s in fantastic shape and has seen just 38k miles since new. This car is ready to enjoy, with a well maintained L98 350 V8 and a few upgrade parts. There are a few minor cosmetic issues, but overall, it appears to be a very nice car that could be a blast to own! If you’d love to own this Firebird, you can find it here on craigslist in Long Grove, Iowa. So be sure to give it a closer look and make Keith an offer!

What Makes It Special? This is a beautifully maintained 3rd Gen Firebird. In its day, it was the go-to muscle car since it was lighter and faster than its stablemate, the Trans Am. This car has the L98 iron-headed Corvette engine with a few mods that primarily contribute to a great exhaust sound experience. Additionally, this is a factory T-Top car that allows you to listen to the Flowmaster exhaust.

Body Condition: The body and paint are in excellent condition. The car has never seen winter and is completely rust free. There’s a little paint peeling on the rear bumper cover but there is no damage to the car whatsoever. Please see the picture of the underside of the car as proof – both the floor pan as well as the rear axle. The interior is stock and in terrific condition. I removed the factory cassette player AM/FM Stereo Radio and installed a period-correct AM/FM CD Player. There is NO rust on the car.

Mechanical Condition: The car is in excellent mechanical condition. It does not come with a “to do” list for the next owner. Just enjoy. As mentioned above, this is an L98 car. The original 700R4 trans was replaced by me due to the filter pan retaining bolts breaking off. I chose to install a brand new Bow Tie Overdrives 700R4 that includes Corvette servos and a 2,200 rpm stall converter. The 9-bolt rear end has been changed from the original 3.23:1 final ration to 3.70:1. This makes the ‘leap’ from direct drive to overdrive much more pleasant. The car has Edelbrock ceramic shorty exhaust headers and a 3″ Flowmaster exhaust system. A 3″ high flow cat is in place so that it will pass emissions if required in your state. Brakes are 4-wheel discs.

It sounds like Keith has done a ton of work to make this a very nice car to drive. The upgrades not only improve performance but make it a more comfortable car to drive in modern traffic. It sounds like he’s kept many of the original parts though so that the car can be returned to original if desired. Personally, I’d leave it alone and enjoy it as is. They are all pretty much the same type of upgrades I’d want to make to it if I was going to daily drive it anyways. So, what are your thoughts on this Firebird? Would you daily drive it or put the minimum of miles on the odometer?

  • Asking Price: $11,500
  • Location: Long Grove, Iowa
  • Mileage: 38,541
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 1G2FS2189KL206900

Do you have a low mileage classic that needs to go? Please consider listing it for sale here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Capriest

    This brings back some memories. The gentleman I procured my devils lettuce from in HIGH school had this exact car sans the t-tops. As far as 3rd gen f-bodys go this was the one to get if you were all about performance. You don’t see close to as many of these as Trans Ams,GTA’s,Z28’s and IROC’s. Easily my favorite 3rd gen aside from the 89 TTA, but that was a one year only oddball. I prefer the more understated look with the lack of ground effects, and these had the best wheels of any firebird model period. The GTA mesh’s were awesome too, but those look good on anything.

    The mods on this aren’t anything I wouldn’t do. I would consider them a plus as it’s nothing that can’t be reversed with basic hand tools. For the miles and condition the price is right. I’ve seen misfire injection cars with similar miles for more, and they can’t hold a candle to this performance or reliability wise. I’m a fox body guy, but if I was in the market for a 3rd gen this would be exactly what I was looking for. Or the same car with a 305 tpi 5speed.

    Like 8
  2. NotSure

    Keith! Are you sure that you’re ready to part with this car? Would be a hard decision for me to make as it probably was for you.
    Really beautiful Pontiac and I really like what you’ve done with it! Alas, I’m without the cash…

    Like 4
  3. Jack M.

    How many bolts did you snap off of the transmission? Surely there was someone in town with the tools and the knowledge to repair them.

    Like 1
    • BMW4RunninTundra

      Sometimes “thing break” for a reason. If the outcome, from some broken bolts, is a positive one then maybe it is a look at the “big picture” kind of situation. I have “broken bolts” happen from time to time. Usually, there is a deeper meaning within the “repair”.

      Like 0
  4. Superdessucke

    Wow. Brings back memories for me too. I had an 1987 Formula 350. White with the factory grey bottom/orange accent stripe, and red interior. Sharp car.

    Paid $2,900 for it back in 1997. Had some rust on the bottom but other than that was very solid. To this day, one of my favorites.

    It got me around Chicago for a little while during that city’s music and cultural heyday. Very exciting. The L98 was deliciously torquey. The car would slide all over the place in snow and ice though, and the door locks would freeze sometimes, and you’d have to climb in through the back hatch.

    I blew the motor at the drag strip when it had about 99,999 on it, I kid you not. I sold it to some kid for a thousand bucks and bought a 1998 Civic EX, my first new car.

    Great memories. If this didn’t have those god-awful t-tops I’d be giving this serious consideration.

    Like 2
    • Capriest

      One of the fireman at my neighborhoods fire station has a red formula 350 non t-top with the described gray/orange lower paint. Haven’t seen it yet this year, but it has been parked there for at least the last 5 years in good weather. I always liked that look a little more than the solid color on these. Now I know it’s likely an 87.

      Like 0
  5. Bakyrdhero

    Without the ground effects these look like a prize fighter who trims down 15 pounds before a big fight. I agree on the rims also, nicest firebird rims of them all, bested only by the black GTA rims IMO. Really a nice car.

    Like 2

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