1973 Pontiac Formula 350 Firebird

1973 Pontiac Formula 350 Firebird

The second generation Pontiac Firebird came out of the chute in 70 ½ like gang busters but by 1973 GM had figured out how to take nearly all of the fun out of the car with the creation of the Formula 350 Firebird, 350 cubic inch Pontiac engine putting out a killer 150 horsepower with that mighty 2 barrel carburetor. One thing General Motors was not able to take away was American ingenuity...

Fast forward to 2013, Dave’s Garage is starting a project to put some of the pizzazz back into one of these classic American muscle cars. We have a nearly flawless 1973 Pontiac Formula 350 Firebird that runs as good as it possibly can with the 128,000 mile 150 horsepower engine.

We’ve been stock piling parts for this project for the past three or four months and are now about to embark on our mission to help this car live up to the Pontiac slogan "We Build Excitement".

Here’s the shopping list:

  • LS-3 crate engine 480hp
  • 4L65E Transmission
  • Art Morrison front sub-frame
  • Detroit Speed rear 4-link with 9"
  • Wilwood Brakes
  • Vintage Air
  • AutoRad
  • To name a few…

First things first, we are about to strip this thing completely down to the bare tub, Sandblast and clean the entire bottom of the car, clean up and fix any thing we find there. We will roll the chassis over to Bob on a dolly so he can smooth out the firewall and paint the engine compartment.

Here’s where we install the rear coil-over 4-link suspension and the rear end just to make sure everything fits and operates right, at this point we will make our tentative wheel selection (were shooting for a 12” under the body on the rear). Now we undo everything we just did and apply a nice heavy coat of Raptor to seal everything up and quiet it down a little under the car. Some brake lines and fuel lines and we are ready to install the front sub-frame which already has the engine and transmission installed in it (it’s been here assembled for over a month), reinstall the rear suspension and get to work on the brake system.

And hours and hours of finish work and wiring…

Keep an eye here as this thing develops we are planning on a schedule, start to finish of 120 days or so. I will update progress and include pictures and commentary on how accurate some installation instructions are or are not as it develops.

We have a few Pontiac projects in the system right now so stay tuned.