Live Auctions

SOLD: 35k Mile 1974 Pontiac Formula SD-455

Sold For: $53,500

UPDATE 4/17/2020 – A few days ago, Reader Larry L made an offer on this 1974 Pontiac Formula SD 455. Well, after lots of messages, we helped them come to a price both parties could be happy with! Congratulations to Larry and Dave. Hopefully, Larry will keep us posted on this one.

FROM 10/31/2019 – This is the first of nine Pontiacs we will be to be auctioning off this week! These cars came out of a warehouse in Minnesota and there are multiple 455 Super Duties in the group. This particular one is very special because it is one of only 58 Formula Firebirds that were powered by the SD-455 in 1974. If that didn’t make it special enough, the seller claims that it has only covered 35k miles since new! This car is being auctioned exclusively here on Barn Finds so keep reading and be sure to place your bids below.

This was one tricked out Firebird! Check out the dealer invoice. The Formula package did without the flairs of the Trans Am so it had a little more of a sleeper vibe. The SD package did add the Trans Am shaker hood though so at least some people would know that you meant business. Ascot Silver is supposedly a rare color in the Firebird world. Lots of things to like here! Safe-T-Track was Pontiac’s name for their limited-slip rear end and it was a must with this kind of power. The power brakes are a good feature to see. No sense in going fast if you can’t stop! The 455 SD engine option was the most expensive one on that list though.

And for good reason! The 455 Super Duty was the top engine choice and it put out 290 horsepower. That may not sound like a lot, but the 390 foot-pounds of torque really made these cars move. 13-second quarter miles were not unheard of in these beasts and some claim that they may have had more power than claimed by the factory. These engines were built to stand up to some serious stoplight drags. They were reinforced in many important areas, hench the Super Duty name.

I love the three-spoke steering wheel! The interior is super clean and makes it easy to believe the odometer reading. Low mileage is good because the SD engine is more expensive to rebuild because some parts are hard to find. It has to be thrilling to slide behind that wheel and turn the key. Some claim that this was the last of the true muscle cars. There were many attempts to build powerful cars after this, but none were as brutal as the 455 Super Duty.

Every SD-455 equipped Pontiac built between ’74-’74 is special because they were basically racing cars for the road. They are exceptionally rare too with only 1,296 built. If you are in the market for a special muscle car, this should be Firebird should be on your shopping list. It’s not going to go cheap, but there aren’t many like this left out there. If you’re interested, be sure to look through the photo gallery here and leave your questions in the comments below.

  • Location: Lincoln, NE
  • Title: Clean
  • Mileage: 35,250

Auction your car here on Barn Finds!


  1. Bear

    Nice looking bird! :-)
    & with a 455 SD! Wow!

    I do prefer the milder look of these “non Trans Am” Firebirds.

    Doesn’t look like that is a true “shaker hood” to me.

    Has a few areas of RUST that will need to be addressed.
    The Zeibart rust treatment probably helped, but the buyer should inspect it thoroughly for rust.

    It will be interesting to see what it sells for.

    Like 11

      You’re right in fact thats not a shaker hood at all but added on later along with the B&M trans pan and Flowmasters. Rust is kinda scary on that rocker but its a cool car. Was this repainted?

      Like 4
    • Willy D

      The shine on the engine doesn’t match up with the fender wells, also looking at the fiber tube for air has a lot of fraying on the top. There is no sign of having heat being in the engine looks like fresh paint. This is a very interesting car, want to see how high the bidding goes.

  2. Will Fox

    Not sure what’s up with the fake “shaker” hood; Formulas NEVER came with the shaker; not even special-order. That’s a T/A “exclusive” as any Firebird buff will tell you. Same goes for the screaming chicken.

    Like 3
    • al8apex

      you clearly have zero knowledge of the SD Firebirds when you say that. ALL 73-74 SD Formula Firebirds had the shaker hood … research is your friend

      Like 29
      • Tom ballman

        The shaker looks like it’s molded into the hood. Shakers of this era, were separate from the hood and would move, or shake as the engine moved.

        Like 1
    • Josef Blough

      wrong! do your research!

      Like 1
    • v

      that firebird hood was probably replaced i believe to repair body damage since the radiator and core support are replacements and also heater core cover is new. it looks like all of the simple sd engine components oil fill, and timing switch are missing. ziebar should be ashamed of this car . ive never seen so much lower sheet metal rust . this car is hiding a lot of problems that no one wants to address .. this is for sure a discounted sd bird.

    • Dg

      SD Formulas had shaker hood

      Like 5
  3. Ben Swestka

    Nothing fake about the shaker hood – all SD 455 Firebirds received the shaker hood, regardless if it was a T/A or a Formula.

    Great example of a nice, original SD. And a great color, to boot! Love the yellow Ziebart plugs! A must have in the rust belt ;)

    Like 16
    • Bikefixr\

      The scoop on this looks bonded on top of the hood..that is NOT factory.

      Like 2
  4. GMoparman

    SD455 Formulas all had the shaker.

    Like 19
    • JoeNYWF64

      The shaker is bolted &/or bonded & blended into the hood – usually done when a different carb/manifold is fitted.
      This formula deserves the correct sd hood & shaker setup & the bird should not be on the hood.
      Not sure what year the t/a steerin wheel became avail on the formula.
      A repro sd exhaust system should be fitted too – on such a rare car!!

      Like 4
      • Jim

        My ’71 Formula had a factory T/A steering wheel.

        Like 1
      • SteVen

        I believe that is actually called the “Formula” steering wheel, and that it was apparently optional on the Formula, but standard on the T/A.

        Like 6
      • JoeNYWF64

        POWER steering & i believe POWER brakes were not std on the Formula(were on the t/a) & i believe you could not order the formula wheel on a formula if the car did not have PS – one needed the larger in diameter std wheel for leverage to turn the beast. lol
        No doubt a stripper formula sd455 w/o p/s & w/o p/b would be the fastest american car in ’73 & ’74.

        Like 1
  5. Ted

    Not getting the total engine respray and then leave the rest of the engine bay to look that scabby…hmmm…………

    As a life long Poncho fan I’m liking this. Put an M22 in it and drive it.

    Like 4
  6. Superdessucke

    The Shaker is original to an SD 455 Formula. The big question is whether the “Screaming Chicken” hood decal is original. I’ve never seen a Formula with one and it’s not referenced on the build sheet. Just the D98 stripe package, which was the side stripe. The Screaming Chicken was code WW7 so would not appear it is original to this vehicle.

    Like 6

    Look close, that is not a shaker.

    Like 1
  8. Jim

    It would be nice to see a picture or two that clearly shows the floor where the rear of the leaf spring mounts and inner quarter panel in the area behind the rear tires, since these are two of the first areas to rust on these, the former often resulting in a leaf spring in the trunk!

  9. v

    why do they publish the build sheet with the key codes clearly visible. gone tonite with a new set of keys…

    Like 1
  10. v

    this looks like a mild flood car . the lower sheet metal all the way around is about to throw up. it has a new radiator and new radiator core support and new fender reinforcing bars. also the heater core cover is new and id say the only time they are changed is an accident. also body damage lower left rear quarter. the bumper does not line up correctly. the drivers rocker had some extra rescue rust work. the steering linkage area shows water damage and also the oil pan was painted 2 different colors. this car is going to need extensive rust repair and this is likely why its being sold. my uneducated guess. if you remove the inside door rear quarter vents and have a look inside i suspect that will give the complete story as to what is causing this rust situation. quite likely will need a body change within its lifetime. i see a bunch of yellow body plugs possibly for rust inhibitor and this may be what caused lower body rust by way of blocking sheet metal weep holes. if its not water damage i suspect the weep holes were blocked by way of rust coatings. either way it will probably become quite serious and will require severe rust work to reopen water drainage holes. also oil fill sd components are missing.the only thing to save this car is super duty status…

    Like 3
    • IkeyHeyman

      Dang, I’m bringing you with me next time I go car shopping. I’m buying dinner.

      Like 3
    • al8apex

      yellow body plugs = Ziebart rust proofing “wax” when the car was new, it was a rust belt car and the dealers sold the snot out of this service.

      Flood? lol, that is a stretch. “uneducated guess”, exactly …

      rust belt car in the condition you would expect if it was used year round for the beginning of its life.

      what was modified was the shaker scoop, probably a late 70’s, early 80’s “thing”

      real deal car with mods done over the years, it would have to be personally inspected 1st, not a “cheap” car

      Like 2
  11. Shane

    She def saw a minnesota winter or more but not bad. Nowadays the salt and chemicals here would have eaten it alive.

    • v

      another reason we need plastic cars…

  12. Steve P

    I bought a ’76 TA new, think it was the last year of the round single head lights, which I like better than the rectangle of later models

    Like 3
  13. Steve P

    Cant remember for sure, but the shaker on my ’76 TA I think stayed on the carb when the hood was opened, but I may be wrong, that was when I was young and dumb, now Im old and dumb!

    Like 2
    • v

      dumb that may be a stretch. you got to experience life the way you wanted to. shaker stayed on carb. but they all rusted and wrecked the same way huh.

  14. doug carrington

    Is the overall condition of the car listed anywhere? Seems like in an auction you would mention condition of paint interior etc. As well as condition of mechanics or damage repair missing un-original parts?

  15. Steve P

    Dang I wish I still owned that bird, silver exterior, black interior, crow on the hood

    Like 1
    • v

      she sounds like she was a realy nice car. good color combination.

  16. Jimbo

    Car found in Minnesota, shipped to Nebraska, and has Illinois tags. This car really gets around and it hasn’t even been sold yet.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      The cars are different too. The one in the EBay auction has a real shaker where the picture above is grafted onto the hood.

      • SteVen

        Same car. If you look at the 10th eBay pic, you’ll see it is the same pic as the interior pic in the BF post(showing the steering wheel and dash and the molded in shaker shown through the windshield). The paperwork shown is identical as well. As the hood is shown both ways in the eBay listing, I assume it was changed at some point and some pics are before and some after. No explanation is given however.

        Like 2
  17. RTS

    Too much work has been done to call this a survivor. I also would be careful as there is a lot more rust issues to be discovered by the new owner..

    Like 1
  18. v

    an excellent price for a rare no AC SD… GOOD LUCK WITH HER AND PUT SOME MILES ON HER WHILE THERES NO ONE DRIVING ON THE ROADS. BE SAFE AND KEEP IT UNDER 160 MPH. sorry for all caps , i have SD running through my brain. take her to 36,000 miles . you be glad you did.

  19. Comet

    Two different cars being sold with the same story and the same VIN. The ebay car is not the above car. Sketchy. Run!

    • SteVen

      No, same car. Both the above car above(see also see the linked Flickr photo gallery) and the eBay listing show the car with both hood configurations. In under hod pics both ways there is identical wear and paint flaking, showing that it is the same car. Apparently the shaker hood is a newer replacement hood.

      Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Okay, it’s the same car, but why wouldn’t the seller, if they are a reputable place, pull the EBay ad?
        It feels like “bait and switch” – you inquire about this car, or make an offer on it, and they come back with “oh, we don’t have that one anymore, but we do have plenty of others you may be interested in”.
        It literally takes less than 30 seconds to take an EBay ad down.

      • v

        advertising space cost money. ive seen car dealers do it all the time. you have a popular item for sale and it gets purchased. you then leave the ad up in hope of more inquiries about the sold item. well while the potential new buyer is there hes or shes looking at your other items. then you return potential customers call . a second opportunity to look at your other stuff. you got to get the customer in the door before they go to someone elses stuff. these days its about profits. i list stuff on ebay all the time doing the same sales tactic. it works. you either got to sell by volume or sell high priced collectibles. some places do both… MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY

    • v

      it could be buyers personal preference as far as hood option goes. the build sheet should spec this out. maybe the buyer got both hoods from seller. only ones that will ever reallly know is the buyer and the seller. we are just the audience of the info available. buyer and seller thank you for permitting us a look see.. 1 of 53 we were fortunate to even be able to see at all. and thank you for BARNFINDS for gathering the info you were able to gather. be safe

    • v

      same car. if you look at barnfinds write up you will notice theres a timespan of almost 6 to 8 months . its not uncommon for a rare car to take 1 to 2 years to sell. not everyone has 53,000 dollars laying around. and dont forget all the dreamers that looked at the car that could not or would not come up with even 52,000 dollars. 1 of 53 just is not given away. if it were your ride do you think you could sell in a week. im sure they got 25,000 dollar offers all day long…

    • v

      that would mean barn finds ebay restore a muscle car flickr would be in kahootz . to many reputable buisnesses for that to slip by. you must be having an SD moment. or brain fog… i have those moments to when i come across such rarity…

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