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wtjosaas' 1970 Firebird

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MikeWhite88

New guy from South Carolina

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Hey guys. I’m new to the forum. I have had a 2001 Trans Am WS6 for 11 years. But I just recently purchased a 1968 Firebird. It was a one owner with 39,000 original miles.  It was put in a shipping container in 1978  and I just pulled it out about a month ago.. It is a matching numbers 6cyl and 3spd in the column. I look forward to chatting with you guys and getting some info and help. And hopefully I will be able to give some help along the way. My dad had two 1968 forebirds while I was growing up so that’s where my desire for Pontiac started.

055D98AB-4803-40B7-90FA-AEA843793AFC.png

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:welcomeFP:

Wow, that's interesting to be put in the container. Where was it stored? Any rust?

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Basically 0 rust.. One small spot on a quarter panel but just surface rust. Yeah they stored it in there because they knew they wouldn’t drive it.. They were collectors i think and started collecting another type of car. It was in North Carolina. They drained all the fluids to prevent internal rust. 

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:welcomeFP:

 

I think you are in for a very enjoyable ride once you get it running and checked out Mike. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

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Thanks guys.. Really the main question I have now is should I keep it original and sell it or put a V-8 in it and make it the car I want and the car I remember my dad having. I know if I keep it I won’t be happy with a 6cyl. 

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That's up to you and your wallet. There is value in an all original, numbers matching car. This would mean retaining the 6 cylinder and the three speed on the tree. Not really a manly car to be sure, but it would be all original.

Upgrading the car to a V8 will probably mean switching the transmission to either an automatic or rebuilding the three speed. I suspect you'd want to cut a hole in the floor to put the three speed (or convert to a 4-speed) on the floor with or without a console. Switching to a 4-speed means buying a whole new transmission. You may need to cut or order a new driveshaft too.

If you put in an automatic, then you need to remove the clutch pedal, install the proper shift linkage, kick down cables, etc. 

These costs can add up quickly and easily run upwards of $10k or more depending on how manly you want to be with this car.

I recommend starting slowly and fix what needs fixing - rust, brakes, fuel lines, interior, convertible top, etc. Get the car running safely and reliably. Enjoy the car as much as you can especially since it is a convertible - in the process. Perhaps converting to front disc brakes are also to your liking too. New shiny wheels and tires are also in the future - these all cost money too.

So start making a two lists - one is the must dos (what has to be fixed and replaced) and the second is what you want to do - some day.  Be realistic with the costs based on catalog and internet prices on both lists.

Start with the must dos. Gradually work your way to the some day list. This gives you time to save your nickels and dimes while still enjoying the car. Buy parts for the some day list as you can afford it or the opportunity strikes. I've owned my Lemans for 22 years and I still have not finished my someday list since life does get in the way. That doesn't mean I've not driven my Lemans convertible in all that time either. I put 2200 or more miles a year on Lucy every year.

So consider this a multi-year commitment and a multi-year enjoyment project.

Edited by Frosty

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Great find. Welcome to FP.  And JUSTA whats wrong with a 6?  :lol:

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Absolutely nothing in my book and I suspect in SPRINT6's book too (our resident OHC6 guru).

The OHC6 engine has quite a following the Pontiac world. In fact, an entire Pontiac-Oakland Club International specialty chapter is dedicated to the OHC6 and I would recommend using them as a resource too:

http://www.ohc6.com/

 

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Awesome! Thanks for the info.. the car is actually a coupe. It is a vinyl top on the car and someone took it off and I’m not sure if they painted it the cream color or if that’s the color that was under the vinyl. And nothing is wrong with a 6.. But my WS6 is fully built so a 6 would be boring to me after driving the TA.

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Thanks for correcting me on the convertible vs. coupe issue Mike. Sorry about that.

Just think how much it would cost to make your Firebird handle and perform as well or better than the WS6? Enjoy the 2001 LS-powered WS6 TA for what it is and enjoy the 1968 OHC6 Firebird for what it is.

Let's face it, we are spoiled by the performance and creature comforts of our modern day cars. 30-40-50 year old and older cars didn't have all those things. The old cars did two things well:

1. They looked good and you could tell them apart.

2. They went fast in a straight line.

Other than that - the radio, brakes, handling, seating all sucks compared to today's modern cars.

However. there are some relatively inexpensive things you can do to improve the handling of the Firebird without breaking the bank. Some might be on the must do list too. Mind you it will never handle as well as the WS6, but you can do a lot to reduce the body roll and improve handling just the same.

Replacing the bushing and ball joints, upgrading the front sway bar to a larger bar, installing a rear sway bar (since I am betting it doesn't even have one - a lot of them didn't), upgrading the steering gear with a higher ratio unit, and upgrading to modern radial tires will do a lot to improve handling. Front disc brakes will do a lot for stopping it too.

Edited by Frosty
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Have been looking for a column shift manual trans...OHC 6 firebird for years.....GREAT find !!!!!!....

Welcome to the site..

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Thanks man! It can be yours for the right price!

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First, welcome to the forum.

That is an interesting back story on the Firebird amazing to see it in that condition after being in lock up for so long. These OHC powered Pontiac's are very unique and seldom seen out and about. I will not agree with so many who buy and sell OHC cars and parts and use the term RARE so freely. IMHO Rare they are not, but are VERY UNIQUE.

What make these so unique is under the hood and If you take away the drive-line then you have just another 1st gen. So if you already feel you will not be happy with the 6 then it would be an unjust to the Firebird and yourself. The OHC was/is a misunderstood power plant and has a great following. I have NEVER gotten the type of response to any of my other Pontiac's like I do with my OHC powered Lemans.

Now if you think you may want to venture into the realm of the OHC you will find we are a gentle breed and welcome all new comers :D   Here are links to the ONLY OHC Club/Chapter in the world! Check it out and consider keeping it OHC powered.

http://www.ohc6.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1013971318683583/

Cheers and best of LUCK with it!

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Awesome! Thanks Sprint 6.. It will remain a 6 for a while either way. So I’m sure I will be getting to know you guys in the OHC world!

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:welcome:

Different take on "barn find", lol!

Way cool and unique Firebird- have never seen another with that engine/transmission combo at any Pontiac show I have been to. I will have to join the choir in this thread and echo the " keep the OHC6 and three-on-the-tree" chorus.  

You will want to contact PHS and get a copy of the original factory invoice of your 'bird.

http://www.phs-online.com/services.htm

You will then want Mike Noun to make you an authentic window sticker.

http://musclecarfilms.com/PontiacWindowSticker

Can't wait to see your progress on getting this rare 'bird on the road... keep us posted with lots of pictures! :dancingpontiac:

:PICS:

Edited by stratman
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Good advice from all the folks above Mike.

stratman - I forgot about Mike Noun. That's a good reminder for all of us.

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On 10/19/2017 at 9:09 AM, MikeWhite88 said:

 

055D98AB-4803-40B7-90FA-AEA843793AFC.png

055D98AB-4803-40B7-90FA-AEA843793AFC.thu

Edited by stratman

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I have a lot of the factory paper work.. IDK of it adds value or not but I thought it was cool to still have it! I have the original title and a duplicate. 

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9D2FBA49-762C-49A3-9474-FE9D68ADD952.jpeg

894911AE-8DC4-4D7C-86A3-8EEE46DE1B97.jpeg

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That's awesome!

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10 hours ago, MikeWhite88 said:

I have a lot of the factory paper work.. IDK of it adds value or not but I thought it was cool to still have it! I have the original title and a duplicate. 

543BD88F-C699-4502-8F0E-C7990B8EB94D.jpeg

7A30FF3E-BF86-45D3-A337-A9032354149B.jpeg

9D2FBA49-762C-49A3-9474-FE9D68ADD952.jpeg

894911AE-8DC4-4D7C-86A3-8EEE46DE1B97.jpeg

Original paperwork like you have most definitely adds $$$$.

 

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The value is in the information contained on the build sheet. This is what PHS uses. If you decipher it, it will show what features/options the Bird left the line with. Preserve that document and keep it out of sunlight as the ink/printing will continue to fade away.  But I would not laminate it. 

Edited by SPRINT 6

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