Wild Color: 1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400

This 1970 Pontiac Firebird is an attractive, unmodified barn find that was only recently relieved from the care of the original owner. That owner kept the car on blocks for 30 years awaiting a rebuild that never began. The Firebird comes with a 400 V8 and automatic transmission but is non-running at the moment, and the description doesn’t indicate if it’s numbers-matching. Find the Firebird here on eBay with bidding approaching $6K and no reserve.

The seller is based in Florida and seems to have a knack for finding undisturbed barn finds in the Sunshine State. This Firebird looks excellent on its turbine-style wheels which fill out the fenders nicely. Chrome bumpered Camaros and Firebirds are always in style, and while this one isn’t the high-performance variety we all know and love, it’s still a looker and would make a great cruiser.

The interior looks surprisingly clean, with Firebird-branded floor mats and an automatic transmission poking out of the factory console. The carpets appear quite clean and the door panels don’t look like they’ve been cut up. The dash doesn’t seem to show any cracks, which helps back up the seller’s claims that the Firebird was stored indoors for three decades. The seats will need some work, but that’s not a big deal.

The seller’s approach is to let his photos do the talking, so he always uploads a ton of images of the vehicles he sells. This is a fine approach, as it allows buyers to ask specific questions about any glaring omissions or faults rather than the seller trying to guess what will strike a chord. If it had three pedals, I’d love it even more, but as a project car you can likely use again with minimal sorting, it’s still very appealing.

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Comments

  1. Chebby Member

    Hmmmm appears to be repainted in GM’s 1965-only color that was called Iris Mist on Pontiacs and Evening Orchid on Chevys. One of the best factory colors ever.

    17
    • Keith McCarthy

      Yes! I immediately noticed the non-original Evening Orchid paint color. Love that color!!!!!

      5
  2. bobhess Member

    Someone should tell the seller the front end is falling off…..

    16
    • Tom Member

      I assume there is a LOL in there some where? To the buyer, that entire front clip is unfortunately in worse shape (in my opinion) than meets the eye. Looks like a front end collision at the center/nose of the car and the driver left side pushed in more on the left CAUSING the right side of the enduro bumper to pull away on the right passenger side and subsequently buckle the LF fender. I hope I am wrong but it looks like the hood may have a minor bend (upward) in it from that impact. Those hoods are hard to come by. Lower front splash pan is out of whack too.

      That means there are some inner structural issues that will take a lot of time to straighten them out.

      On all most ALL years of Firebirds, especially the first & second gen’s, once the front end is hit it is REALLY hard to get them right. Much like a 73 and newer Corvette, if you don’t get that endure bumper right with NO pressure on it from not being aligned properly, the paint wants to stress endlessly. Don’t paint that nose until it goes on easily, without force and lines up as perfectly as they can (as they really weren’t that perfect from the factory). Just some friendly advice from experience.

      12
  3. Dan

    Though the color is great, I doubt it’s original. Those awful wheels are crying out to be replaced by honeycombs or Rallye IIs. Firebird Formulas, in my opinion, are rather underappreciated.

    7
    • Scott

      Just look at the near perfect 1970 on BAT that brought bids less than $26,000. Under appreciated is right. Too much car for that.

      2
  4. Bultaco

    The ‘70-‘73 Firebird was one of the most beautiful American cars ever designed in my opinion. The Formula was the best of all as it had the fiberglass Formula hood (originally intended for the Trans Am) and minimal other changes to the beautiful shape. This 400 should be at least 350hp (gross), so a good performer.

    4
  5. RickS

    If my trim tag decoding is even close it appears to not be an original Formula 400 and would have been bronze originally. Not bad shape, but not sure I’d spend the money for it.

  6. redwagon

    the vinyl roof and the wheels have to go.

    8
  7. Troy s

    This is the high performance version of the Firebird that I love. Always liked that dual scooped hood over the Tran Am reverse facing job. And no screamin chicken decal either. I like the wheels, the color is one of those you either like or don’t. Sure don’t see that color hardly ever. Dual snorkel air cleaner tells me it left the factory with a few ponies, if it is indeed the original air cleaner. Nice ride.

    1
  8. Bakyrdhero Member

    Am I the only one liking the turbine rims?

    8
    • Troy s

      They look just fine on this Formula, rims are a preference. These sure we’re popular years ago.

      2
    • Paul

      No….I like the wheels also

      1
  9. Jeff Bucklin

    I love them on anything as a 70’s fan!

    1
  10. Rosco

    This is not a factory 1970 Firebird color. I also don’t think the nose is repairable, but pretty sure fiberglass reproductions are available. VIN tag a little rusty so should really check the rest of the car for more rust problems. Second on the cool turbine wheels, just need new caps.

    2
    • JoeNYWF64

      Even harder than lining up that stock nose is having to fabricate/figure out how to mount the the 2 types of primitive fiberglass noses, & headlites, grills, & turn signals onto them …
      http://www.usbody.com/images/FBB-5.gif
      &
      http://www.vfnfiberglass.com/7073firebirdnose.jpg
      Life would be lot easier if pontiac made this “loop” bumper back then in steel & body painted it. Not sure though how a 2nd gen would look tho with an all chrome front bumper.
      Of COURSE the endura nose & i believe even its bumper mounts are not reproduced.

  11. JOHN

    The writer must need glasses… the dash has a several good sized cracks and other damage A dash restoration by a reputable company is a substantial cash outlay.

  12. scottymac

    Always loved the chrome bumper Firebirds. Never liked the Formula hoods, though. The scoops always made me think of a 90 year old woman’s bazoombas hanging below her waist.

    2
    • JOHN

      90 year old woman’s … too funny! I liked the hoods just because all you seemed to notice were the T/A hoods. I had a 73 T/A, I love the 70-73 body style, the “small bumpers” and the small back window. 74’s got the new federal mandated bumpers, but kept the small window, by 75 it was replaced with the wrap around sytle, As far as far forward hood scoops, the Oldsmobile W-25 hood I think is one of the best executed designs ever. A lot of people refer to them as the W-30 hood, because they were standard equipment with the W-30 option, but they were available on as an option on the base 442 also. The Cutlass W-31 also came equipped with the W-25 hood.

  13. Johnmloghry Member

    It’s a nice color, haven’t seen many cars of any years in that color. Great information about the front end. I’m partial to the 67-69 model body styles, but this one is quite nice also. I do like the wheels, but I’m not quite sure why. I think it might be because they give it fanned out appearance, but I wonder how much extra wind drag they might cause.
    God bless America

  14. jerry z

    The car was originally with paint code 67, Castillian Bronze according to the trim tag.

  15. MDW1966

    Wheels are 1978-1979 Z28 aluminum turbine style

  16. Clinton

    This is clearly a respray. Not real great either. The door latches are painted and so is the edge of the door panel. This was hit pretty good in the nose too. Pushed the fender over and bent it in the middle. These photos probably look 20 times better than what you will be buying.

  17. v

    i would say its got potential. lucky its the easier found nose, not the 73. the nose probably got damaged cause it recieved a push to get it rolling and to stop the car required 2 pumps of the pedal , if they even worked then and it was driven into the trailer to stop it. nose is toast do not plan on using it. rear bumper was slightly hit or pushed by the license plate. both rear 1/4’s are full of MACCO MUD front of wheels and back of wheels and the rear window always needs attention. as for the fender easily duplicated on ebay, with good quality factory used replacement. a plus is the 12 bolt in the back. interior, finish while cruising it. this is a true driver car. fill the cylinders with trans fluid for a couple days to free up the engine. put fresh oil in her before firing. minor expense . these engines are great for storing but be sure theres anti freeze in her cause she will crack with the slightest bit of heat. throw $20,000. at the car in the right places and she will show nice… A GOOD START FOR A FIREBIRD LOVER.

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