Yellow Bird Limited Edition: 1980 Pontiac Firebird

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To help make the Firebird “pony car” more appealing to a wider range of buyers, Pontiac launched the “Color Series” in 1977. Between then and 1980, there would be three iterations based on color and trim – Sky Bird (blue), Red Bird, and Yellow Bird. They were not all sold at the same time and the Yellow Bird was only offered in 1980 on the Esprit model of the Firebird. This edition had the same owner until 2022 and is a survivor-quality daily driver rather than a show car. Does the Yellow Bird rustle any of your feathers?

The Sky Bird was a 1977-78 option, the Red Bird one during 1978-79, and the Yellow Bird in just 1980. To get the option you checked RPO W73 off on the order form. It’s estimated that perhaps 10 to 15% of Esprit sales were one of the three, while most Firebird buyers seem to be migrating to the Trans Am thanks to the success of the movie, Smokey and the Bandit. While the Yellow Bird wore a two-tone yellow paint job and a tan interior, the wheels were Pontiac’s new “snowflake” rollers that proved to be quite popular within the GM division, especially on the Firebird.

Standard equipment on the 1980 Esprit was the Buick 231 cubic V8, which can be found under the hood of the seller’s car. It also has an automatic transmission. The Pontiac is creeping up on the magic mileage figure of 100,000 and a few weekend outings would soon get you there. The seller believes the paint is “mostly” original with a few blemishes that you would expect for being 44 years old. This Pontiac comes with T-Tops, and we’re told the seals are good, so presumably you’ll find no leaks when you go through the car wash.

The interior appears tidy and comfortable. Open the trunk and you’ll come upon the original spare tire (let’s hope you don’t need to use it, though). For further inspection, you’d want to work your way over to New Baltimore, Michigan where the car is available here on eBay. Bidding has been brisk and up to $7,500 with no reserve. These Firebirds are a bit unusual and harder to find than Trans Ams from the same era. But they had one thing in common — a big emblem on the hood!

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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320

    The Buick 231is a V6, not a V8. Appears to bein nice condition, though.

    Like 4
  2. Mike

    These blue, red and yellow birds don’t have a “big emblem on the hood” similar to trans ams. They have a girlish looking bird by the side window. Pontiac was trying to expand their market by feminizing the firebird / trans am “macho” image.

    Like 6
  3. Michelle RandStaff

    First thing I did was look for the screaming chicken…. I don’t mind the Buick six but a Firebird must have that chicken or I won’t get off my roost.

    Just FYI, there was also a “Ladybird” in this era….

    Like 4
    • CCFisher

      @Michelle – All three color-themed Firebirds, Sky Bird, Red Bird, and Yellow Bird, are collectively called Lady Birds because all three were marketed to women. I don’t believe there was a distinct Lady Bird model, but if there was, I’d love to know more.

      Like 1
      • DN

        *Lady Bird Johnson

        Like 0
  4. Stan

    Such a clean profile, perfect stance and silhouette. Gorgeous car.

    Like 1
  5. cccruisers

    I knew the prettiest little blonde girl who drove one these back in the day. I’m sure her daddy had bought for her to drive. Wonder what ever happened to her? And the girl, too.

    Like 3
  6. Frank Schroeder

    A close friend of mine had one just like this, which was restored. He sold it to the Pontiac museum in Pontiac, Illinois just before he passed away. There was another one in the state of Washington and I know of one in Kansas. The person in Washington said there were only 5 of the Yellowbirds with T tops.

    Like 0
    • DN

      I wonder if the figure applies to factory T-Tops? This one appears to have aftermarket units installed

      Like 1
      • mrshred

        Definitely after market t-tops. Factory ones were larger and this mandated the space saver spare to allow room for them in the trunk.

        Like 0

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