True Survivor: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula

The Super Duty Trans Ams of the early 1970s tend to overshadow their Firebird Formula siblings, and rightfully so. But there’s something about the simplicity of those Formulas that makes them unique in their own right. This 1973 Firebird Formula, found here on Craigslist and submitted by reader Pat L, is claimed to be a true survivor and is worth taking a look at.

This Firebird is claimed to be a numbers matching, garage kept survivor. From the pictures, it does look to have been kept in at least driver quality condition. Unfortunately, there are no underhood pictures of the factory air conditioning car. Not a lot of detail is given, but the seller states that the 350 with automatic transmission car runs and drives great.

If the paint is truly all original, it appears to be in okay condition. It’d be nice to see some pictures of the lower rockers and what the car looks like underneath. Personally, I think the Sunlight Yellow color is great and if it needs to be resprayed, that should be the color of choice.

It’s interesting that the claimed one-owner Pontiac doesn’t have the mileage listed. There’s also no mention of the missing section of the front lower valance. It’s hard to tell exactly, but there also appears to be damage underneath the left headlight. There is no claim that this car is perfect but it would be nice to know a few more details and get a closer look. The big question is where this car should be valued. Listed at $11,500, what would be a good cash offer?

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  1. ccrvtt

    A good cash offer? I don’t know, but I think I see a lot going on along the bottom edges of the doors and extending fore and aft. Missing the front valance, the damage under the headlight, no engine pictures – there’s a lot missing from the story.

    Needs a careful and thorough inspection and a max offer closer to $7,500 imo.

    Like the color, though.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I suggest that there’s a lot more unseen rust in this Formula 350 – caveat emptor.

  2. Ken Niedo

    I am with others, I believe there are some issues with this car. But would buy and take my chances if I could get the seller to respond . Will see what happens

    • Miguel Member

      Ken, If you get ahold of the owner, please ask why a one owner car has a fairly new plate on it.

      • Ken Niedo

        Many questions to be asked , but always wanted an early formula . Thanks for the heads up on tag , missed that

  3. Rock On

    Let us know how you make out Ken.

  4. Sparkster

    dYou’d think for $11,500 it would have the front valance ? ? ? Engine pictures ? Good eye noticing the license plate. I sold my 1969 Cutlass with the original black plate.

    • belinda

      @Sparkster & Miguel: I noticed the updated plate as well. For some reason it seems that is making some folks get up dated plates. I had it happen to me a few time over the years. I went to re-reg a JDM Toyopet that I had stored. Went to a local field office with last reg, title(a “real” pink slip), and my D/L all in my name and at the same address. The clerk had some sort of lame reason I can not recall. I had to pay the fee for updated plates. To me it was not about the $$ or the lack of a reasonable reason why. Nope, I “lost” my “golden state/sunset” plates. The other time I was getting title and reg for a truck bought at a lien sale. The dmv did the same dang thing. Part of me thinks it is a money maker for the .gov. If you think about where the plates are made..and how much they cost per unit…..

      • Miguel Member

        belinda, what you had was two employees that didn’t know what they were talking about.

        You should always ask for the supervisor to verify something you don’t think is right.

      • belinda

        @Miguel: I pick my battles wisely, don’t argue with cops and judges. Time vs money, some folks just are not worth the effort. The line clerk was probably told to do this by the office manger cause the manger miss read the memo from HQ. Other times I had clerks tell me; “Oh you forgot form #XX, maybe you dropped over by the water fountain, why don’t you go look, and I’ll possess your other 2 vehicles while you look for it, make sure the old owner as signed it(wink).

  5. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Always thought the 400’s did they were.n’t get their due….good looking car it was in the day.

  6. OhU8one2

    This car needs snowflake wheels,change steering wheel to Trans Am style. And when the motor is toast, 400 ci is the only way to go. Poncho Power!Nice car though even with the issues. You hardly see Formula’s anymore.

    • T Mel

      Snowflake wheels on a car that was made years before they came out? I don’t know, I think it would look better with the honeycombs or rallye IIs.

  7. Mountainwoodie

    With the rust I’m thinking this car was brought to California as well as the plates being from around the 2000’s. We’re up to the 8 series of white plates now.

    4 speed would be nicer.

  8. Barry L Klotz

    I’d buy it in a heartbeat for about 7500. Love the 72 Birds better. I had one, wish I had it Mine put out around 600 horses. Sure do miss it.

  9. Don Julio

    If it is a true Formula, besides the hood scoops, wouldn’t it have the smaller vented louvers on the lower front fenders, close to where the Firebird emblem is? That was the other cool trim piece along with the hood.

    • T Mel

      Those vents were cool. I think they were only used in 70/71 though.

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