Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Come with me back to the days when you were in high school and this 1987 Pontiac Firebird Formula was by far the coolest car on the block. An incredible, unmolested survivor with just 21,214 original miles, this Formula is still a blast to drive and gets loads of admiring, nostalgia-filled looks out on the road. '80s cool is back in full-force these days, and there aren't many cars that can encapsulate that glitzy decade better than this yellow-and-black coupe with pop-up headlights, wide taillights, a big rear hatch, and period-perfect alloys.
It may blow your mind to learn that this Firebird from your High School glory days now qualifies as an antique with the Antique Automobile Club of America, but it's 34 years old now. The good news is that it's only been driven about 625 miles a year, so it's still quite fresh and still plenty fast. The swoopy Firebird bodywork, which, for a time, made it the most aerodynamic car in America, still looks really great today. That factory Yellow paint shines up beautifully and doesn't show any evidence of repaints or accident repairs, and even though it shows like a super-solid driver, a professional buff would really kick things up a notch without altering any of its originality. The Medium Gray on the bottom breaks up the canary theme perfectly, with thick orange and black pinstripes acting as a complementary barrier between the two colors. Personally, I like the lack of obnoxious graphics on this one, although showing full restraint was never Pontiac's style, so you still get "Formula 350" decals on the doors and a "Fire Chicken" decals throughout the body that let everyone know what time it is. A slick wrap-around rear spoiler (no cracks!), that killer scoop in the asymmetrical hood, and the trick '80s taillights are all in great condition and add to the distinctive icon's look. Sure, there are some minor signs of age, but you really don't find 1980s F-bodies with this kind of low-mileage and preservation, and you almost never see this darn clean.
The interior in this Formula is so darn nice, it looks practically new. A mixture of mostly original parts and a couple OEM replacements, the cabin is a great place for performance driving. The black cloth buckets are supportive but not confining, and the grippy upholstery is soft and supple, yet still great for holding you in place because this sucker still has what it takes in the corners. The carpets and door panels show basically zero wear, even with the low miles we think they may actually be NOS replacements (at least the carpets - one would think they'd be a tad bit faded by now if they were still original), and everything fits together so well, just like it did on the showroom floor in 1987. A sporty 3-spoke steering wheel anchors the cockpit, the dash pad ahead of it is remarkably crack-free, and the factory center console has a cool '80s vibe to it and also houses the shifter for the 4-speed automatic transmission below. GM finally gave the big Pontiac a speedometer that would match its performance by reading to 140 instead of 85, and even today the gauges are still functional and highly legible. Cold A/C, power windows/locks/antenna, remote decklid release, cruise control, and a tilt steering column are great options in this new-age muscle car, and even the original Delco AM/FM/Cassette stereo is still in the center of the dash, a genuine anomaly in today's entertainment-crazed world. The rear hatch area is rather impeccably preserved as well, albeit a little oddly shaped, and you'll be impressed by the fact that the original gas struts can still support the big glass hatch and that the original privacy shade is still in place as well.
GM's torquey and rugged Tuned Port Injection 5.7L FI V8 was the top dog in 1987, and while its horsepower figures may not be all that impressive today, it's still a real blast to stomp the throttle and feel the torque as it rockets the Formula 350 forward. It's also blissfully stock, which means it hasn't been abused or raced, and runs as well as the day the original owner took it home. There are none of the usual modifications under the hood and it really is spotless, including that timeless Tuned Port Injection intake manifold with the headers jutting out from the flanks, and other than routine maintenance items it looks 100% original under the hood. That's just how you should buy a car like this because it means it hasn't been abused or raced. It's backed by a 700R4 4-speed automatic overdrive with quick reflexes, and cruises relatively efficiently with a set of highway-friendly gears out back inside the limited-slip rear end. It's just as clean and solid underneath, with some very light surface scale but no rust issues anywhere to report and it still feels tight and solid going down the road thanks to responsive power steering and power 4-wheel disc brakes. Original 16-inch Hi-Tech Turbo whee
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