Like the Camaro, the Firebird came out and stole our hearts. The curves, the power, the fact that it was a Pontiac, these were things that allowed it to quickly become an American icon, of sorts.
Read below to see how Joseph resurrected his 1967 Pontiac Firebird.
Make sure to go to the end and check out all of the photos. (Over 300)
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What type of vehicle?
When was it purchased?
I acquired this car in 2007 and traded my very low mileage 1994 Z-28 for it. I have always worked on cars and completed a few projects, but always wanted to build a classic car my way.
Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you..
I have worked on cars for as long as I can remember.
My first project car, when I was 18, was a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. I rebuilt and transplanted a Chevy 350 into it from an 84 Corvette. This was just before the Internet was very popular, so I learned a great deal – the hard way. I also completed Automotive Technical school around that time, thinking I wanted to be a mechanic. I actually ended up working with automotive electronics, stereos, video, custom work, after a short period working as a mechanic. I gave all that up and switched to working in IT, but have always had a passion for cars.
Give us some information about the condition of the car before you started working on it and tell us what you have done so far.
The car was in very rough shape when I got it. I found a lot of rust covered with body filler. Although I had some experience with bodywork and have even painted a few cars, this was the first time I got so in depth.
I started by dismantling the car and building a framework to hold the body together and a dolly to roll it around on.
I cut off the roof, quarter panels, trunk filler panel, tail panel, trunk floor, and a portion of the floor in the passenger compartment. I taught myself how to weld and worked on getting the body back into shape.
Along the way, I welded up a few of the seams – front fenders to lower section, rear filler panel, and part of the tail panel. I also cut out and replaced the gas filler cap section with a Camaro section so I could use a Ridetech gas cap.
I painted the car in my garage using PPG products and buffed with 3M.
I built the motor with aluminum heads and a forged stroker assembly – it’s now a 461. I completed all of the motor work except for the machine work.
The transmission is a T-56 from an early Dodge Viper, actuated by a 4th gen F-Body master (modified for extra throw).
The rear end is a 31 Spline Ford unit which I narrowed myself and had a friend weld for me. I completed the rear end assembly with a Ridetech coil-over 4 link setup.
The brakes are C5 Corvette with Kore3 components to fit them. I modified and integrated the 4th gen F-body e-brake assembly, including the handle.
The front suspension is Global West upper, Factory lowers with poly bushings, Hotchkis lowering springs, and DSE sway bar.
On the interior, I modified late model GTO seats to fit, front and back. I ended up lowering the track into the seat for the front and removing about 6 inches of foam from the rear seats to get them to fit. I also had to remake some of the rear seat structure.
Along the way, friends have helped with the heavy work – grinding, mounting the drive train, etc. The only items I have hired out are the installation of the front and rear windshields, alignment, tire mounting, and building the tailpipes (to clear the 4 link).
Where is it now, in the rebuild stage and are there any special parts you have used or any help you have gotten?
I believe I am about 90% done.
I need to complete the interior (door panels, deck lid, build a console) and do something about heat/ac.
I also have some areas in the paint I would like to improve.
I got the car on the road this past May and have been driving it whenever I can. I live near a Summit racing, so many of the parts were purchased there.
I have also purchased many items through Classic Industries.
I could not have gotten this far with the project without the support of my wonderful wife, mother-in-law, Uncle, and friends.
The online forum community has also been a huge help in the acquisition of information. I am a member of Pro-touring.com, Lateralg.com, and several other forums.
There is so much more I am sure I am missing, but it has been a 11 year process so far, so it is difficult to sum that up.
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My name is Dennis. First, let me just say, I am a Christian, a husband, a father to 1 beautiful step-daughter and 3 strapping young boys and a step-grandfather (She calls me “Grumpy”) to a gorgeous step-granddaughter. These will always be my priorities, no matter what my interests are. That said, I strive to keep and maintain a family friendly atmosphere, so my boys and their friends can enjoy the site as much as I do. (Granddaughter isn’t old enough and daughter has other interests.)
See my home page for more about me.