1967 Pontiac Firebird: Pontiac Enters The Pony Car Market

The pony car market was established when Ford introduced the Ford Mustang in 1965.  The Ford Mustang was so successful that the other North American car manufacturers all wanted to have their own “pony” car to compete against the Mustang.  Pontiac’s response was the 1967 Pontiac Firebird.  In many ways the Firebird was similar to its General Motors cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro, but there was no mistaking that this car was a Pontiac.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (1)

1967 Pontiac Firebird Convertible

This particular Firebird appears to be a base model convertible.  As I recall this era, that despite the sporty nature of these pony cars that was an attractive part of the advertising campaigns, many pony cars from all manufacturers were sold with the base 6-cylinder engines.

Looking at this particular car, it can be seen that there has been some body work done on the left front corner, but in general the car is in good condition.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (2)

The Fit Between the Chrome Front Bumper And the Left Front Fender Is Poor

There were five different models of Firebirds in 1967:

  • Base Firebird
  • Sprint
  • 326 V8
  • Firebird HO
  • Firebird 400

The base Firebird model had a 230 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder, single-barrel carburetor, overhead camshaft engine that produced 165 horsepower.  The Firebird Sprint also had the same 6-cylinder engine as the base Firebird, except that it had higher compression and was fitted with a four-barrel carburetor.  These Pontiac 6-cylinder engines were the first engines that General Motors had produced with overhead camshafts.  The Pontiac engineers and marketers thought that these more sophisticated engines might attract buyers who might otherwise be attracted to European cars.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (3)

1967 Was The Only Year That Firebirds Had Side Vent Windows

There is little visually to distinguish the base Firebird from the Sprint model except that the Sprint models have an identifying emblem just behind the front wheel well on chrome rocker panel cover.  This particular car does not have such an emblem, indicating that it is the base model Firebird.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (6)

The Firebird Design Has Nice Clean Lines

The 326 model had the Pontiac-only 326 cubic inch V8 engine fitted with a two-barrel carburetor that produced 250 horsepower.  The “HO” model also had the 326 cubic inch V8 engine, but it had a four-barrel carburetor that helped this engine produce 285 horsepower.  At the upper end of performance was the Firebird 400.  This was the same 325 horsepower 400 cubic inch V8 engine that was installed in the 1967 Pontiac GTO.

Firebird 1967 Advertisement

The hood emblem on the Firebirds shown below shows that General Motors was proud of the overhead camshaft engine design.  In addition, the reference to the engine size in litres instead of cubic inches was unusual for North American manufacturers in that era, which further indicated that Pontiac was trying to attract buyers who might normally buy a European car.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (4)

Hood Emblem Indicating That The car Has An Overhead Camshaft Engine

This car was fitted with an automatic transmission.  From looking at the shifter it looks like it has the 2-speed automatic transmission, however a three speed automatic transmission was also available.

The interior of this car also fits the basic model image of the Firebird.  Note that the radio is a simple AM radio.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (7)

The Interior Of This Firebird Is Roomy, But Basic

When I was a teenager, one of the local fellows had a 1967 Firebird Sprint with the three-speed floor shift transmission.  It was a noticeably quick car and it would turn the tires in the shift into second gear, which we found surprising with the 6-cylinder engine.  The car had V8 performance from a 6-cylinder engine.

Pontiac Firebird Sprint Convertible 1967 (5)

The Car Has An Automatic Transmission

In this inaugural year for the Firebird, Pontiac did a great job with this car.  In the 1967 model year Pontiac built 82,558 units of this car in the hardtop and convertible models.  This car continued with only a few changes into the 1968 model year.

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