The Firebird and Trans Am were the featured car for this year’s Indian Uprising, and the Midwest Firebirds were the featured club of the event! This gave our club members and other first generation Firebirds preferred parking that allowed most of us to be together. Today’s post features thirteen 1968 Firebirds that we saw at the show – and there may have been even more that we missed. From concourse level restorations to wild, high-performance restomods to daily drivers, these birds have something every Firebird enthusiast can appreciate.
Five 1968 Firebirds in a row – this must have been what it was like at your local Pontiac dealership in 1968.
Mark Evans, of Chelsea Michigan own this beautiful Firebird that won the 1968 Best of Show trophy presented by our club. The Cameo White, 400 4-speed convertible, is a high option car, featuring the “Bird Glass” side windows, among other options. We did a feature on Mark and his Firebirds in March.
Here I am with Mark just after the awards ceremony, as he poses with his hard-earned trophy for the best of show ’68 Firebird. The red stripe on the outside of the car really complements the red interior of this laquer painted restoration. While at a show in Detroit, Mark even had the glove box signed by the creator of the Hallmark ornament that looks just like this ‘bird.
This Solar Red on Red interior Firebird really caught our eye because it is a 6 cylinder Sprint. The overhead cammers would be proud of this entry, and I think Sprints are one of the rarest Firebirds you will ever see – if you are fortunate enough to ever see one in person. The history is that John Delorean himself wanted to put the peppy, 4-barrel carbed, 230 horse powered inline 6 engine into the Firebird to make it compete with European Sportscars of the day. If you want to learn more, check out our three part article on the overhead cam Firebirds from earlier in the year. One thing I learned is that people would remove the 6 in favor of a V8 since gas was cheap back then, and everyone seamed to want the straight-line speed a V8 generates, thus making the Sprint and it’s smaller 6 cyl, 2 barrel version even more rare. However, word has it that these will out handle the nose-heavier V8 birds, and with some modifications, can even be faster.
Club member Brian from St. Charles, starts us out with the first of three Restomod ’68 Firebirds that were at the show. This wild bright yellow convertible, has a custom interior, engine, wheels, tires and suspension making this a fast, comfortable and great handling bird. One of the coolest things about Brian’s ride is the air-ride suspension which allows him to raise and lower both the front and back of the car.
Next up is member Paul’s bright orange restomod 400 coupe. He started with a PHS documented 400, 4-speed car and kept the original motor and trans for his complete frame off restoration. The suspension is top-shelf with Hotchkiss tubular upper and lower A-arms with QA1 coilovers. The rear is lowered with springs and QA1 adjustible shocks. The 17″ front and rear tires are mounted on custom chrome wheels, giving it that classic restomod stance. Paul’s finishing touch is the outragous House of Kolor Sunset Pearl Orange paint, with Pearl Silver flames. Add in a custom interior, and lots of chrome engine goodies really puts this ‘bird over the top. Paul won a first place trophy with this Firebird on Sunday.
Member Jim is the original owner of this ’68 400 HO, 4-speed convertible. Solar red with a red interior is a great combination, and this car has taken many a family trip with Jim and his family from Florida to Colorado. Member Ayham’s Autumn Bronze 350 coupe with the Cordova top is an excellent example of this rare special color that came out in late 1968.
Below is the third 1968 Restomod that was at the show Sunday. This Verdoro Green 400 Coupe features a custom interior with carbon fiber steering wheel, custom guages, performance headlights, suspension and a great sounding engine.
And here’s my car – 350, 2BBL, 2-speed automatic, column shift, affectionately known as “Grandma’s Firebird”, because if a little old lady bought a Firebird in ’68 this is how she would have ordered it. She’s a PHS documented, reliable cruiser, and just perfect for going out for ice cream with the family. Below Grandma’s bird is Phil’s Starlight Black, red interior 400 coupe, and new member, David’s Solar Red 350 HO coupe – both Dave and his car are from Oregon.
This is member Tom’s 400 Flambeau Burgundy / Parchment interior convertible, with member Mark L.’s Flat Black 350 Convertible with 400 hood below.
Here’s the last of our thirteen 1968 Firebirds we saw at the show. I don’t know much about this vehicle, and thank Larry Delay for finding it in the show field and snapping this picture. I can tell you it looks like a 400, and is painted in either Verdoro or Linden Green exterior with a green or gold interior. The tires are the radial red-lines which give it the classic look of the redlines without the stiff ride of the bias ply tires. Also note the remote side view mirror option. It looks like a great restoration – I wish I could have spoken with the owner to find out more.
This grouping of 1968 ‘birds, represents the most diverse approach to a Firebird restoration project – from mild to wild. Stay tuned, our next post will tackle the largest grouping of our first gen beauties – the 1969 Firebirds. We found sixteen of them at the show including Rob’s ultra rare (1 of 8) 1969 Trans Am convertible, and Scott’s all-original, never painted, Trans Am coupe with (1 of 14) parchment interiors.
(Story by Ken Pitcher. pictures by Ken Pitcher, Paul Gundberg and Larry Delay.)
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