Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions for First Generation Firebirds that have been asked and answered on FGF. Special thanks needs to be given to all the FGF members who took the time to respond to other member's questions.
Miscellaneous - Values and Buying Tips
Q: Value of 1967 Coupe
I was wondering if there was anyway that anyone would know how to find out the value of a certain car. I have a 1967 Firebird. The car has a 326 H.O. Powerglide Tranny. Red w/ Black vinyl roof. Air, Power Steering and brakes, custom interior which is almost flawless, console, about 100,xxx original miles and pretty nice condition. Fresh paint also. This is also a California car. Absolutely NO RUST!!! Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!
A: About $7950 is a good estimate. Higher dollars go to the 400 cars and convertibles (roughly: +$1000 f/Conv., +$1000 larger “basic” engine, etc…). Also remember it’s worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it. Ram Airs, Sprints, and H.O.s are getting top dollars and are sought after by collectors.
Est. value on 06-2000
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm
Q: Value of 1968 Convertible
What is the value of my 1968 Firebird 400 Convertible?
A: Depending on your market, you should be able to ask $9500 if your car is in GOOD shape. Remember to add or subtract value for special options (roughly: -$1000 f/Coupe, -$1000 smaller “basic” engine, etc…). First Generation Firebird values have been increasing by 10% a year. You have to also remember the value for your car is relative to what people are willing to pay. Ram Airs, Sprints, and H.O.s are getting top dollars and are sought after by collectors.
Est. value on 06-2000
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Q: Value of 1969 Coupe
What is a 1969 Firebird with the 250 engine and a four speed manual transmission that needs to be fully restored worth, and what is the same car that is fully restored worth?
A: All numbers approximate and differ with regions and potential buyers.
Needs restored – $3000 (assuming body is intact) Fully restored – $7500 (more for a convertible and special options)
Again these are estimates and it boils down to what someone is willing to pay and how bad they want it. Add more to the value for special options (roughly: +$1000 f/Conv., +$1000 larger “basic” engine, etc…). Ram Airs, Sprints, and H.O.s are getting top dollars and are sought after by collectors. Trans Ams are near impossible to put a price on!
Est. value on 06-2000
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm
Q: Value for a 1968 Firebird 400 H.O.
Is $17,000 USD good value for a 400HO (L74) (code 348), #s matching & includes build sheet , is a solid # 2 car — Fully restored with NOS Quarters and front fenders, all original floors, frame rails and Mint undercarriage, 55,000 Original Miles, and Painted the Turquois irid.?
What is this car worth to you? It has basic options & includes disc brakes, rallys, rear spoiler , 400 hood and tach, ps, p ant, No air or Pw.. He wants $17500 for it. Is this too high?
A: I would have to agree that 17K is defintely high for any non ram air coupe (even a high 2 coupe like you described).
Unfortunately out of all the low production high performance first gen birds the 1968 400ho and 1969 400 ho and 400 RA III cars fetch only minimal premiums above the std 400 models from what ive seen. the reason for this im guessing is that when you look at what the 400ho ‘added’ over the std 400 you see that it wasnt all that much , particularly for the auto cars. the 400 ho in 1968 (there was no RA III firebird in 68), recieved longbranch exh manifolds and the perf upgrade ‘068’ cam (4spd only) and carb (4speed only). as you can see the 400 ho auto cars werent much different than their std 400 brethren while the 4speed 400ho counterparts did give you a little more bang for your ho buck.
the ram air cars in 67-8-9 are a different story. these cars all came with functional induction, much more radical cams, high flow heads, ‘bulletproof’ 3.90 posi rears and their own specific carbs. of course back in teh day you really PAID for this option (~25% over sticker) and those 3.90s made normal driving , well lets say it wasnt your avg grocery getter. these cars today are worth thier weight in gold and are very difficult to come by esp with their original matching numbers drivetrains in tact (ie they were factory RACE cars its no wonder!). anyhow in my biased mind anyway ‘real ram air’ birds incl 1967 ra I, 1968 RA I, II and 1969 RA IV cars. one could make an argument for 1969 400 RA III cars that actually came with functional induction (<100 made). however these cars, didnt get anything in the gearing dept (ie no 3.90) or special heads..again thats my biased opinion though… ;> u gotta take it for what its worth!!
PS the other relativly big hop up in pricing is conv vs coupe…the convert pricing has really blossomed in the last 3 yrs…
anyway here are my price range estimates for all the 400 cars 67-8. im assuming solid driver, complete high 3 low 2 (nice solid driver cond).
1967 400 coupe auto $6500 400 coupe 4speed $8000 400 coupe ram air1 auto $15500 ? 400 coupe ram air1 4spd $17500 ? 400 conv auto $11000 400 conv 4speed $13500 400 conv ram air1 auto $40000-60000 ?? (they made only 2 cars!) 400 conv ram air1 4spd $40000-60000 ?? (they made only 6 cars!) 1968 400 coupe auto $6500 400 coupe 4speed $8000 400 coupe ho auto $8500 (rick for high 2 car maybe add30% = 11-11.5k) 400 coupe ho 4speed $11000 400 coupe ram air1 auto $14000 * ? 400 coupe ram air1 4spd $17500 ? 400 coupe ram air2 auto $35000-50000 ?? very very few ever hit the market 400 coupe ram air2 4spd $40000-60000 ?? very very few ever hit the market 400 conv auto $11000 400 conv 4speed $13500 400 conv ho auto $13500 400 conv ho 4speed $17000 400 conv ram air1 auto $30000-35000 * ?? very few ever hit the market 400 conv ram air1 4spd $40000-60000 ?? very few ever hit the market 400 conv ram air2 auto $50000-75000 ?? very very few ever hit the market 400 conv ram air2 4spd $55000-85000 ?? very very few ever hit the market
NOTE: * downgraded cam (068) for all 1968 RA1 auto cars lowers my $$ somewhat
? is a good guesswork estimate…could be *considerably higher* depending on the options, cond, absolutel originality, current market, deep pockets of the buyer etc…like anything rare its supply and demand plus the whimsy/’gotta have it factor’ of the buyer….
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm
Q: Sprint Identification for 1968
Looking at 1968 6 cyl. firebird, 4 barrel, single exhaust. Supposed to be all original. Is this right or is it supposed to be dual exhaust? What do I need to check next?
A: IF its a Sprint It would have single exhaust but have a dual outlet exhaust manifold. A “Y”-pipe would join the two outlets into one header pipe. There are several Sprint only identifying features/parts, all of which a 1 bbl could be upgraded to. If the engine code is ZD and the VIN matches the engine VIN# then its a correct block for a Sprint.
Heres a list of some of the other features of a Sprint 1968:
larger crankshaft harmonic balancer
4 bbl Q-jet #7028261 (M/T) 1968
Chrome lid 4 bbl air cleaner
4 bbl intake manifold
Special dual outlet exhaust manifold
4bbl only cylinder head with dual valve springs,smaller combustion chamber for higher compression ratio
Larger lift and longer duration camshaft
distributor is recurved for more advance
Sprint badges on the rocker panel mouldings
3.55 rear end ratio
Rod bearings were also the heavy duty ones but thats not apparent without engine disassembly
So as you can see all of the parts except the engine block could be added to a base 1bbl car. If you are really serious about this get the history on this car from PHS. They can fax it to you if you are in a hurry.
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm
Q: Car Search and Appraisal
I am ready to buy my first Firebird. How do I find them and know what they are worth.
A: I see that a few of you are looking to buy. Let me share my story with you about how I found my dream bird. When I bought my 1968 400 convertible three years ago, I did a nationwide search. I employed a search agent I found in Hemmings called “The Locator”. For $25 he’ll compile a list of cars per your description, for $50 he’ll call the sellers and add info about the status of the car, and for $100 he’ll negotiate the deal for you. This was three years ago, so he may not be around anymore or his prices may have changed. Look in Hemmings under Services.
I also did my own search and found most but not all of the cars on the Locators list by going to my local library and search all the old Hemmings they had (2 years worth!). You’d be surprised how many cars in Hemmings do not sell, and then the sellers give up and put the car back in storage. 6 months later they get a call out of the blue and are very eager to sell.
Once you narrow your search and get serious about a car, call and find out as much as you can over the phone and ask for pictures. Then, if you are still interested, go to the library and get the yellow pages for the closest metro area to your seller. Find an auto appraiser and have him be your eyes. For $100 or so, you can get an independent third party’s opinion and a documented appraisal of the car. I did this and after I was satisfied, I negotiated the deal for less than the appraisal and then flew from Moline, Illinois to Denver and finalized the deal in the airport parking lot. Drove the car 900 miles home. What a trip! My wife told me she was pregnant with our first child while I was on my way back, but that’s another story.
Anyway, for what its worth, that’s how I found my Firebird, will probably employ this strategy again when I get the itch for another.
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Q: Buying a First Generation Firebird
What do I need to look for when I buy an old Firebird.
A: To buy a first generation Firebird, you will want to first decide what year you would be interested in. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For little long run headaches, you will want to look for a solid car. Then you will want to decide if you want a car to fix up or someone else’s project car. The last will cost you more but should be cheaper in the long run. Then there are two schools of thought to what an old car should be, factory original and modified. You will want to decide which you would like.
Buying a car that you want to do little work on and is near factory original, look for the following:
The body should have little rust. Get on the ground and look on the back of the body panels for patch jobs and quicky fixes. Look for signs of repairs which occurred from an accident (drill holes, lots of bondo, and/or bent metal supports/parts).
Read the body tag and vin to make sure you are getting an authentic car (Paint, trim, numbers). I have pages on the web site to help do this for the 1967, 1968, and 1969.
Look the equipment, engine, and accessories over. Determine if they are near original and not been replaced with incorrect parts. Make sure they are in good condition and do not seem to have excessive wear. For example, make sure the engine is a 350 if the owner said it was a 350. There a specific codes on it that will help you determine this. Look at the axle to determine if it is original or has been replaced with another axle, say from a Skylark. Again, I have a few web pages to help you determine this on a 1968. Avoid cars that are missing a lot of original equipment since their value will be less. The most valuable cars are the ones with the original equipment.
See if the owner has original documentation for the car. Billing history, invoice, window sticker, manifest, etc.. A billing history can be purchased from Pontiac Historical Services (found on the links page) if there is time. The billing history tells you some of the original equipment that should have come on the car.
Take the car for a drive in a number of conditions. If something seems wrong, there probable is something wrong. If you need to, take it to a knowledgeable friend or mechanic to have them look it over. They might find something you overlooked or determine that you should not buy the car.
Avoid a car that seems to have seen a lot of wear and millage. You should be able to determine this from the undercarriage since most quick fixes for a sale focus on the exterior body. I always look at the front end to see if it looks loose and worn.
Take a soft-sided magnet to check for excessive bondo in the body panels.
The above won’t guarantee you a successful purchase but it will help you be a better informed buyer.
A: Potential Problems to look for:
Research Pros and Cons for 1967’s 326 V8 vs. 1968-1969 350
Dash heater controls, cowls, convertible wells
Non-functioning back-up lights on 1967s
Match the VIN with the engine number on 1968 and newer
Replacement parts for special options are hard to find (Ram Air, Sprint, etc..)
A: For All Models:
You should also check the rear wheel wells. Feel around the lip for rot or bondo oozing through. Look where the wheelhouse connects to the rockers. This is a common area for rust
Crawl under the back and look at the trunk drop off (this connects the trunk to the bottom of the rear quarter panel). There should be a body drain plug behind the wheel house. Sometimes you’ll just find a large hole. Look carefully at the trunk reinforcement rails. Rust is common around the front edge of these and at the back where they attach to the inner valence panel.
Look carefully inside and out at the replaced quarter panels. GM quarters have long since been discontinued and there are many types of replacement or patch panels available. I’ve seen some really bad ‘hack’ jobs where the patch panel is quickly riveted over the top of a rusted original. A good inspection from the trunk side will usually reveal the quality of the work (in addition to the wheel lip/housing area. Also, if quarters were repaired, look at the floor pans for rust/repairs as well. Especially near the drivers feet and trunk/shock tower area.
From the trunk, check where the convertible top is bolted and look for rust or rust repair around the edges.
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm
Q: Shipping a Car
I am about ready to buy a Firebird but need to transport it from California to Maine. I can not drive it so what are my options.
A: When I shipped my 1968 350 conv. from Boston to Seattle I used Intercity Vanlines. They use only totally encloded trucks and were very good and very careful. I would highly recommend their service, but I’m not sure how competitively priced they are. Check out their web site at http://www.intercitylines.com/
Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm
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