- Written by webmin
A number of Pontiac enthusiasts were, well, vocal about the Yenko-modified Pontiac Trans Am we brought up a couple of weeks ago. We imagine they’ll be much more satisfied with this 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula, reported to be one of 43 1973 Formulas built with the Super Duty 455 engine. From the seller’s description:
This Firebird Formula SD 455 is one of only 43 built in 1973, and for comparison’s sake, note that Pontiac built six times as many Trans Ams with the Super Duty engine. This car is one of only 33 Super Duty Formulas to be equipped with an automatic transmission. And, finally, of those, only nine were Ascot Silver.
This loaded Super Duty is a very solid car that has never undergone a full frame-off restoration but has been upgraded, refinished and maintained as needed over the years. Gaps are good and the panels are extremely straight, suggesting that this one has never had any damage or significant rust. The Ascot Silver finish carries a soft metallic glow and just a hint of gold in it, making it look very subtle indeed. Decals are in excellent condition with no peeling or fading and all the special Super Duty and Formula markers are intact. The original black interior is exceptionally well preserved given the car’s age. The deep buckets are as comfortable as they look, and the major areas that start to show wear first, such as the side bolsters and cushion, are excellent. Door panels are excellent, and the round Firebird logo actually hides the hole for the manual window cranks on cars with power windows such as this one (and they are fully functional). The dash and center console are pure 1970s funky, with a complete array of gauges monitoring everything from oil pressure to voltage. You’ll also note that this car is loaded with options, including power windows, power locks, a factory 8-track player and even factory a/c. The three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in matching black leather and would become a staple of performance Pontiacs for years to come.
This car is powered by the famous Super Duty 455 engine, which featured a reinforced block, special camshaft, aluminum pistons, oversize valves and header-like exhaust manifolds. Pontiac rated the SD-455 engines at a stout 310 horsepower and 390 pounds of torque, but many experts have pegged the output closer to 370 horsepower. This car currently carries a correct XD-coded service replacement block (which means it was replaced under warranty in period) and it was fully rebuilt several years ago. The rebuild was fully documented, including photos of all the relevant casting numbers and date codes proving that this car is what it appears to be. All the other correct Super Duty components are present and accounted for, including the massive hood scoop up top, which was more for show than for actually feeding air to the engine. The block was covered in Pontiac Turquoise paint during the rebuild, and today has a nice original-looking patina to it that fits perfectly with the rest of the car’s condition. Underneath, it’s solid and clean, but not detailed the way a show car might be, further testament to this car’s life in a warm, dry climate. It wears original 15-inch Rally II wheels and reproduction F60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires. In addition to photos of the engine build, this car has a full PHS documentation package as well as the original owner’s manual and the original warranty tag for the replacement engine block.
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