Sweden: Well preserved, highly optioned ’68 400 Firebird Coupe owned by Janne Saukko. This Firebird would be a rare find here in the United States, but that fact that such a prestine, highly optioned Firebird 400 is in Sweden is simply amazing! Here’s Janne’s story told in his own words.
The story I can tell about my car is this… Someone has imported this car to Sweden in 2009 and from where I don’t know. I was working some extra hours at Christmas holidays 2013 at my job all alone and was a little bit bored, so thought I’ll check out some car adds just for fun on my phone and I found this Firebird at a car dealers shop who is located about an hour’s drive from where I live. Me and a friend paid a visit to the dealer and I started to check if I would find some rust or any bad repairs on the bird. And I found nothing! So we asked the salesman how and why he had this car because they were dealing with newer cars. He told us that an older man traded it in for a Corvette C6. Why the heck would anybody do that I thought. Then I checked out the car once again before we started to drive home.
When I was home I had that funny feeling that I just must buy this car no matter what, so I told my wife that I’m thinking of buying a classic car and showed her some pics. I have never owned one before! She was not very impressed and my son who was 11 years at time didn’t like the car. I knew it can be a high risk to buy a car with no history or so and I couldn’t test drive because of it was winter….but I went back and bought it anyway!
My son was standing outside our house when I pulled up with car loaded on the truck.
At the exact moment when I started the car and backed I down something happened to my son when he heard that Pontiac 400 engine rumbling for the first time.
His smile went to be so stupidly big! I drove car in to garage and shut the garage doors and drove back the truck that I borrowed.
Finally in the evening when I got back home I took a beer and went I to garage and started to think about what I have done… Was this a good or a bad buy? Knowing nothing about Pontiac’s I started to try finding out if the engine was original or not. It has the correct intake manifold and 16 heads but sadly the block has been changed. I was little bummed about this and I checked the numbers on my Rochchester and found out that this is a carb for an A/T Firebird Ram Air and mine is an automatic. 7028276 are the numbers.
My car has the correct paint color, vinyl top, AC, black deluxe interior, power windows, power brakes, disc brakes in front and drums in the back, th400, hazard lights, remote side mirror, and a speed warning in the speedometer and the original clock. And the speedometer is not the same that other birds have what I seen. So if this is an original car or if someone has made great restoration I don’t know.
What I have done with the car is: changed the exhaust to a stainless 2.5″ flowmaster, new springs and leaf springs and shocks in both front and back. I recent also bought a new MSD distributor because the aftermarket sheep H.E.I copy distributor that someone had put in there was not working. Had a lot of pinging problems. Now I’m learning how my carb is working and tuning it for best performance. It’s fantastic how a 47 year old carb can perform when it tuned well.
I few weeks ago I found the build sheet tucked away in the rear seat, and guess who is happy now! Now I must get help and decode that sheet someday but for now I’m just enjoying every moment that I spend with my bird. This car I my first muscle car and think I’ll never ever sell it.
Maybe it was not me who found the car, maybe the car found me.
My wife, son and our little dog just love to cruise around with the bird… I can tell you that me and my son love the feeling when I punch down right pedal and the 400 reliefs it’s power. Wife looks a little bit scared every time though:-) So this what I tell you about my bird for now.
Best regards from Sweden, Janne.
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