There are MANY reasons to love classic cars. Most people drive them because they look good and sound cool. A lot of folks enjoy them because of the memories they’ve made in them. And some savvy collectors buy them based on numbers alone. Well, every once in a while a car like this awesome 1971 Firebird comes along and presents a pivotal opportunity to bundle all of those attractive traits into one exceptionally cool package. It’s a Pontiac, so it automatically looks good and sounds cool. Since it’s some of the most storied American muscle ever built, I’m willing to bet everyone has at least one great memory of the car. And, as a documented, numbers-matching classic that’s equipped with factory air conditioning and an exceedingly rare cassette player, it definitely has impressive numbers. If you’re looking for a no excuses, restoration-fresh muscle car to anchor your high end collection, this picturesque Pontiac is your next #1!
Since we’re already talking numbers, here’s a breakdown of the car’s VIN, cowl tag and Pontiac Historic Services sourced invoice:
* 2: Pontiac
* 2: Firebird
* 6: Formula
* 87: Sport coupe
* 1: 1971 model year
* N: Assembled at GM’s Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility
* 1: 8-cylinder engine
* 29617: Production sequence number
* 71 --- 1971 model year
* 22387 --- 2: Pontiac, 2: Firebird, 3: Firebird, 87: 2-door coupe
* NOR --- Assembled at GM’s Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility
* 732379 --- Fisher body unit number
* 209 --- Standard Black vinyl interior
* 75 --- Cardinal Red paint
* B --- Black vinyl top
* 05B --- Assembled during the second week of May, 1971
* W66 --- Formula
* A --- Unknown
* Cordova top ($89.52)
* 4-speed, close ratio transmission ($237.60)
* Stereo ($239.08)
* Console ($58.98)
* Trim rings ($26.33)
* Power brakes ($47.39)
* Power windows ($115.85)
* Rally gauges that include both a clock and a tachometer ($94.79)
* 455 cubic inch High Output V8 that’s equipped with one 4-barrel carburetor ($236.97)
* F70x14 white letter tires ($41.07)
* Tape cassette player ($133.76)
* Recessed wipers ($18.96)
* Variable ratio power steering ($115.85)
* Tinted Soft Ray glass ($37.92)
* Air conditioning ($407.59)
TOTAL INVOICE PRICE: $4,349.33
MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $5,456.66
DATE SHIPPED: May 11th, 1971
Assembled in Norwood, restored by Muscle Car Alley and featured in the April 2013 edition of High Performance Pontiac, this concours-level F2 is a spectacular national award winner. The car’s rounded body was fairly straight when its restoration began and, given its distinct lack of rust, displays excellent gaps and rock-solid fit. That body’s super smooth finish is a product of extensive media-blasting and hours of block-sanding. And once PPG epoxy, two coats of DuPont primer, DuPont sealer and four coats of DuPont Cardinal Red were topped with glossy DuPont ChromaClear, intermittent wet-sanding and a little 3M polish brought this ‘bird to life. Today, with a high quality restoration that left no bolt unturned, and a unique visual sizzle that’s as classy as it is aggressive, this top notch Formula is a highly desirable example of a major milestone in Pontiac history!
The early 70s was a defining period for Pontiac’s fabled Firebird. Sales were slow and new ‘low speed’ crash mandates required that the car either be completely redesigned or jump on the bandwagon of hideous and hastily done nose jobs that were creeping into every automaker’s showroom. GM adamantly refused to spend money on a redesign because of low sales. So Pontiac assembled a talented engineering staff which managed to blend both functionality and style into the profile you see here. At the front of that profile, a straight and glossy Endura bumper hangs a 2-piece, “PONTIAC” branded grille between clear halogen headlights, chrome-trimmed parking lamps and a small ‘screaming chicken’ header emblem. At the top of that grille, an attractive Formula hood rides in front of pristine greenhouse glass that’s bordered by straight stainless frames and a correct Cordova roof. At the sides of that hood, body-matched sport mirrors reflect small fender louvers, subtle “FORMULA 455” emblems, traditional chrome door handles and pristine, stainless rocker spears. And at the back of the car, a centered “PONTIAC” script hangs between a second ‘screaming chicken emblem, chrome-trimmed tail lights, a flashy chrome bumper and spotless stainless exhaust tips.
Hoist the car’s bright red hood and you’ll find an original, 455 cubic inch High Output V8 which hides a correct 485428 casting number and February (B) 23rd (23) of 1971 (1) casting date behind a correct, 4-speed-specific “WC” suffix stamp and authentic 129615 partial VIN. Back in the early 70s, government-mandated emissions standards ensured the muscle car era was coming to an abrupt end. And many of the models that virtually owned the streets not even five years earlier were, unfortunately, in their final days of production. Luckily, the gearheads at Pontiac kept the faith and continued to offer multiple performance options which still created the kind of torque-rich power that buyers had come to crave. Displacing roughly 7.5 liters, this Pontiac’s buff mill was one of the largest and most powerful engines you could buy in 1971; and by utilizing a nodular crank, cast connecting rods and original 197 heads, it continues to churn out a solid 335 horsepower and 480 lb./ft. of stump-pulling torque! At the top of the motor, a correct 7041267 Quadrajet pulls wind through a freshly-decaled, dual-snorkel air cleaner. Below that carburetor, clean Pontiac Turquoise coats the entire block from its original 483674 intake to its stamped steel oil pan. At the back of the block, an original Delco points distributor shoots fire through high quality Packard TV R Suppression Wires. At the sides of that distributor, original exhaust manifolds funnel spent gases into authentic Gardner pipes. All ancillary components, from the Frigidaire AC compressor and Delco Moraine brake booster to the fresh GM belts and reproduction GM hoses, are 100% factory correct. And the car’s clean engine bay is covered in a nice coat of GM Satin Black, with expected decals and markings exactly where they should be.
At the bottom of this slick, second generation Firebird, Cardinal Red floorpans reflect hours of meticulous restoration while a virtually spotless suspension tells the story of little, if any road time. Behind the monster motor, an original Muncie 4-speed displays a familiar 3925661 casting number and correct partial VIN in front of a Muncie (P) M22 ( C ) assembled on January (A) 21st (21) of 1971 (1) assembly stamp. That stalwart gearbox spins a correct 10-bolt rear end around original 3.42 gears that do a great job on both the back roads and interstate. Below that stellar powertrain, a rebuilt suspension hangs correct spiral shocks, NOS bushings and standard issue power front disc and rear drum brakes around correct power steering and factory sway bars. And at the center of the car, a power boosting, true-dual exhaust system utilizes a traditional transverse muffler to bark out a deep, vintage roar. All this road ready hardware rolls on original Pontiac Rally II wheels which spin correct F70-14 Firestone Wide Oval Super Sports s around pristine “PMD” branded center caps. And everything under this classic is restored, tagged and painted just as it would’ve left the factory.
In terms of interior décor, there’s no disputing the simplistic beauty of this Pontiac’s design. The car’s rebuilt high-back seats are supple, firm, and look every bit as nice as factory-fresh fodder. Between those seats, a molded black console anchors a chrome Hurst shifter and small power window switches in front of a new-for-1971 cassette player. Below that console, like-new carpet, which is carefully protected by Firebird-branded mats, displays no fading or unraveling. At the sides of that carpet, one-piece door panels hang pristine chrome handles between bright Firebird emblems and full armrests. At the top of those panels, a stain-free headliner stretches tight from front to back. In front of the driver, a silver-trimmed steering wheel spins around a wood grain instrument panel, optional rally gauges and a correct Delco stereo. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk hangs a fresh decklid decal above a full-size spare tire and correct jack assembly.
The sale of this rockin’ red Poncho includes two copies of the Pontiac Historic Services invoice outlined above.
If your definition of classic Detroit muscle involves the terms “highly accurate”, “beautifully presented”, and “meticulously crafted”, it’s your lucky day! This investment grade Formula is a fast, rare and extremely impressive example of America’s coolest pony car. Don’t miss your chance to take home a world class Pontiac!