Thursday, August 25, 2011

1967 Pontiac Firebird


Bird of a Different Feather

When Blue Became a Unique Color

Story Jon G. Robinson

Images Al Rogers

In 1967, roughly 31 percent of the new Firebirds made were Verdoro Green. John DeLorean’s wife had discovered the deep, bottle-green on an ashtray during a party at a friend’s house. DeLorean took the ashtray to the Pontiac paint lab, and they matched the new color for the new car.

Because of Verdoro Green’s wild popularity, some of the other colors used by Pontiac for the product line can be considered comparatively rare. Tyrol Blue is a case in point.

“I’ve owned this car for 23 years, and I’ve never seen another one of this color combination,” says Matt Martinelli, who resurrected his Firebird 400 convertible from a dozen boxes he bought from a friend. Martinelli is an automative restoration and collision repair technician at a custom repair facility. Once he deciphered the car’s paint codes, he took great pains to bring its correct Tyrol Blue scheme to life.

Martinelli of Troy, Michigan, has an automotive background. His father Dino designed interior pieces for General Motors in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, specializing in door parts – handles, cranks, lever mechanisms, and hinges. He frequently brought home sporty, new cars, including a ’70 Camaro SS and several Corvettes. Matt was hooked on cars, and his first car – a ’65 Grand Prix – cemented his relationship with Pontiacs.

A close friend had started to restore the Firebird but needed to sell it to buy his family a home in 1988. “It had been sitting in a barn for about ten years out in Capac, Michigan,” Martinelli tells. “The engine had been professionally rebuilt when he graduated high school, and he took the car apart to restore it. The engine sat in his bedroom in a crate wrapped in plastic. The rest of the car was in boxes and milk crates. It was sad, but it was all there. I had to get the top done and redo the whole body. The dash pad is still original. The engine is original to the car. Even the radiator is original to the car, and I just had it rodded out. I had the carburetor redone. The exhaust is not correct right now, but I plan to have Inline Tube, Inc. take the exhaust back to original.”

Martinelli replaced two fenders, made several small rust repairs, and gave the Firebird its final coat of Tyrol Blue at home in the summer of 1995. The ’Bird was finally ready to fly.

The 400ci V-8, capable of 365 horsepower, is equipped with the Ram Air intake system – an option that made the hood scoops functional. Without Ram Air, the hood scoops were only ornamental, and the engine carried an ordinary, dual-snorkel air filter under the hood. Martinelli’s only two modifications to the car have been to add the stock-style, hood-mounted tachometer and the stock Ram Air intake system. Martinelli opened the two covers from the hood scoops, attached the pan to the underside of the hood that guides air to the air filter, and mounted the proper air filter to the carburetor. When the hood is closed, the Ram Air pan comes down onto the air cleaner’s foam border and forms a seal.

“It breathes so much better after putting that Ram Air system on the car,” Martinelli says. “It sounds better. It acts better. You can feel it. It pushes the air right into the motor, and it doesn’t take in all the hot air from under the hood. It made that car run night-and-day better. The pan attaches with five screws right into the crossmembers under the hood. The pan is sealed from the hood with foam, and then it closes down onto the foam around the air cleaner. It works beautifully.”

Martinelli’s Firebird also carries a four-speed Muncie manual transmission and a 3.90 rearend. The car lacks power steering and has drum brakes. These options make it identical to the Firebird 400 convertible Car & Driver tested for its March, 1967 issue. Pontiac introduced the Firebird quite late in the model year, and by the time the first Firebird left the factory, the new F-body Chevrolet Camaro had been on the streets for months. The magazine confirmed that the Firebird was not a rebadged Camaro.

Car & Driver gave the Firebird 400 high marks for its extremely high torque and having the rear suspension to handle it. The Firebird’s lower profile came partly from having only single-leaf rear springs like an early Chevy II, but C&D said the traction bars stabilized the rear axle so well that the rear wheels did not hop around under high throttle as they did on a Camaro. The Firebird 400 carries its engine several inches further back in the car. The editors praised Pontiac for better weight distribution compared to Camaro, but they gave the engine poor marks for serviceability because the engine position pushed the distributor so far back against the firewall.

Martinelli prefers the non-power steering in his Firebird, and C&D liked their test car’s steering for the same reason – responsiveness and quick return to center. The editors described the 3.90 rearend as great for neck-snapping acceleration but “asinine” for normal driving, and Martinelli feels the same way. But both agree that the Firebird is insulated well enough that engine noise is minimal and pleasant compared to some powerful cars.

“I was going to sell it about 10 years ago,” Martinelli says. “I was offering it back to my friend, but my wife took me aside and said, ‘Don’t do it.’ I’m glad she did. I’ve had 65 or 70 cars over the years, but I’m hanging onto this one.”

Firebird: Full Throttle

Jim Wangers is famous in Pontiac circles for his ingenious promotional efforts while he worked for McManus, John and Adams, the company that handled Pontiac’s publicity.

Pontiac announced the new Firebird in January of 1967, and Pontiac management immediately threw a problem at Wangers.

“The Firebird came out months after the GTO,” Wangers recalls. “It was way too late to compete with the Mustang, but Firebird had gone one step better by having that big engine in the smaller pony car. The Firebird 400 was aggressively marketed as a performance car. It performed so well that, to protect the GTO’s performance image, we had to do something to control the Firebird’s performance output. They came out with the stupid idea putting a throttle-stop into every Firebird 400. That enabled them to rate the Firebird 400 horsepower lower than the GTO. It only took five or six weeks for people to discover the throttle-stop carefully hidden on the 400, and people took it off. I laugh now because we seriously thought we could get away with that at that time.”

65 comments:

  1. That's quite a story. You did a lot of tuning on the car's performance, handling and style. You are really an experienced enthusiast.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pontiac may have broken late from the gate in the pony-car derby, but it quickly made up ground. Carefully considered alterations made the 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 perhaps the best compact muscle car of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great story I have read. Thanks for sharing and the article is really informative.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Inspiring story for the Pontiac Firebird. This car is highly renowned all over the world. I think everyone deserves to hear about this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That story was really interesting and thanks for sharing this one. Hope more people could read this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cars that are owned for a long time would really be a great treasure and that would make it unique because most cars are now modern. It would be an attraction to the roadway especially when it is still in good performance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing this story, I really appreciate it and I am glad that I have read your blog here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just purchased a 68 Ram Air 400 black on black, it is a thing of joy and beauty in its simplicity and power.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We at present don’t very own an automobile yet whenever I purchase it in future it’ll definitely certainly be a Ford design!
    Online obchod diely pre Slovensko

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey its really a interesting story. Thanks for sharing keep posting here.
    spax suspension

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thị trường bất động sản đầu năm 2017 với sự xuất hiện của dự án eco dream nguyễn xiển. Chung cư eco dream là dự án căn hộ cao cấp với mức giá hợp lý, chung cu eco dream là cơ hội đầu tư sinh lời cho nhà đầu tư. Ngoài ra, chung cư Housinco grand tower cũng là dự án nổi bật với hơn 200 căn hộ đạt chuẩn 5 sao. Chung cư Vinhomes gallery là siêu dự án trung tâm quận Ba Đình, chung cư Vinata Towers là dự án đầu tiên được đầu tư bởi Nhật Bản. Chung cư eco green city chỉ còn hơn 100 căn hộ cuối cùng. Chung cư The legend sở hữu vị trí trung tâm quận Thanh xuân. Chung cư Tháp doanh nhân vị trí đắc địa quận Hà đông.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for your article! I have been looking for quite a long time and fortunately I read this article! I wish you would continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone my page about friv2 games

    ReplyDelete
  13. You may be very busy with family work or have a scheduled appointment, but if you do not participate from the beginning to the end you should still be present for a while, take advantage of the greetings, chat with people. then secretly go back to the nearest exit.
    30 inches weave curly hair
    32 inches weave curly hair

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this post.


    โปรโมชั่นGclub ของทางทีมงานตอนนี้แจกฟรีโบนัส 50%
    เพียงแค่คุณสมัคร Gclub กับทางทีมงานของเราเพียงเท่านั้น
    ร่วมมาเป็นส่วนหนึ่งกับเว็บไซต์คาสิโนออนไลน์ของเราได้เลยค่ะ
    สมัครสล็อตออนไลน์ >>> goldenslot
    สนใจร่วมลงทุนกับเรา สมัครเอเย่น Gclub คลิ๊กได้เลย

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very cool!

    เว็บไซต์คาสิโนออนไลน์ที่ได้คุณภาพอับดับ 1 ของประเทศ
    เป็นเว็บไซต์การพนันออนไลน์ที่มีคนมา สมัคร Gclub Royal1688
    และยังมีหวยให้คุณได้เล่น สมัครหวยออนไลน์ ได้เลย
    สมัครสมาชิกที่นี่ >>> Gclub Royal1688
    ร่วมลงทุนสมัครเอเย่นคาสิโนกับทีมงานของเราได้เลย

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing the information. Now I would like to divert you from the topic. We are certified experts in the field of QuickBooks. Consult our QuickBooks Error tech Support

    ReplyDelete
  17. QuickBooks Online Support - We hope that you found this article helpful in gaining some insight into how the QuickBooks online system operates. In case you have any further queries that you would like to clear, contact the QuickBooks Online help number.

    ReplyDelete
  18. TurboTax is very user-friendly and people find it easy to navigate and search for the option they want. Furthermore, even if you are experiencing errors while using the software, you can contact the TurboTax Customer Service phone number +844-616-4459 (toll-free) for resolution. All you need to do is, provide the TurboTax Customer Service team with your tax-related information.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We provide WordPress support services and you can get this service by just contacting our WordPress support number which is a toll-free number +1(888).363.8941 for best WordPress Support services. Get in touch with us to know more about the plans we offer!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing such informative post. If you are looking for best treatment of cancer - Find Best Oncologists in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  21. QuickBooks Enterprise Support - Find complete solutions to all QuickBooks issues with instant support here and find answers to all your questions.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dial Quickbooks Online Customer Service Number +1-888-412-7852 for instant fix QuickBooks online banking issue from certified technical experts round the clock.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Download Quickbooks File Doctor and repair company damaged file and errors such as 6000 -82, 6150, 6000 -305, 600 6147, 6130 with QuickBooks File Doctor.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The QuickBooks Connection Diagnostic Tool aid its users in mitigting data file damages, network issues and other errors that plague the software.

    ReplyDelete
  25. QuickBooks Pro Support - You can reach out to the QuickBooks Pro Support team whenever you face any glitches with Intuit QuickBooks Pro Software.

    ReplyDelete
  26. QuickBooks Online vs Desktop - QuickBooks Online is the best solution if you are a service-based business that does not require any inventory tracking options or complicated invoicing requirements.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Being a keen reader, I have seen so many posts and blogs so far. But this was quite unmatched and exceptional. The true spirit of writing and reading has been kept alive by a few people. You have got those exceptional skills and hence, I recommend to write more often.




    quickbooks connection diagnostic tool | quickbooks multi user not working | quickbook sync manager | quickbooks error 6000 832

    ReplyDelete
  28. QuickBooks connection diagnostic tool is used to resolve the network and company file corruption errors. To know about QuickBooks diagnostic tool contact QuickBooks Tech Support Number
    QuickBooks connection diagnostic tool | write off bad debt in QuickBooks | QuickBooks database server manager | QuickBooks online login problems | QuickBooks File Doctor

    ReplyDelete
  29. A QuickBooks ProAdvisor is a professional who is trained and certified in maintaining and resolving QuickBooks error. You can Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor by visiting Intuit’s Find a ProAdvisor website.

    ReplyDelete
  30. QuickBooks Error 106 happens when you are using an older version of QuickBooks. To fix error 106 contact QuickBooks Error Support Number 1-877-263-2742.
    QuickBooks Error 106 | QuickBooks student discount | QuickBooks Error 12152 | QuickBooks Error 108 | QuickBooks Online Slow

    ReplyDelete
  31. To set up QuickBooks child support you have to follow some steps. To know the complete procedure contact QuickBooks Tech Support Number 1-877-263-2742.
    QuickBooks child support | Disable Merchant Services in QuickBooks MAC | QuickBooks integration with Salesforce | QuickBooks Error 6010 | QuickBooks Error Code C=51

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am very interested in this post, everyone should know it more, wish you success. The author of this post is admirable, it brings a lot of emotion to everyone reading it, let's share it more widely.
    abcya5, friv for school for kids 2019, cá koi mini, io jogos for kids

    ReplyDelete
  33. Consult with with expert Neurologists based on your medical condition. Best Neurologists in Chandigarh

    ReplyDelete
  34. The following article will elaborate upon what does Write off bad debt in QuickBooks desktop. Although it is easy to follow the article. Call now

    ReplyDelete
  35. QuickBooks Error 15241 is an error that you will face while doing a payroll update. The error will not allow you to update or run Payroll.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dial QuickBooks Online Support Phone Number +1-888-412-7852 to get Online Help via remote service from our Certified and experienced QuickBooks ProAdvisors.

    ReplyDelete
  37. QuickBooks Support Phone Number +1-800-537-5805 is available 24*7 for help when you feel like something is wrong with your software.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Call at QuickBooks Desktop Support number +1-888-412-7852 to resolve QuickBooks Error 3371, status code 11118 within minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  39. QuickBooks Premier Support - QB Premier is accounting software that offers you with various features that range from tracking expenses to generating invoices.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.
    According to a survey it has been seen that it gets easily infected by QuickBooks Company File Error 6189. Thus, we are making an attempt so that you can easily resolve it swiftly with manual steps. If you need immediate help – you can get in touch with the QuickBooks premier support team anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks for sharing your knowledge via this post.
    We will discuss one of the most common errors – QuickBooks Error Code 1402. This error occurs when there is corruption found in the operating system. We will also learn the various causes behind this error code 1402 and also read out the solutions to resolve this issue.
    We aim at solving the issues that QuickBooks users generally face, especially in context with QuickBooks Enterprise Error 15107. Also, one can get in touch with the QuickBooks Enterprise support by dialing +1-866-707-7925 and get all their queries answered.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you for sharing this! Does your Quicken software are not working as they should be and also throwing some out of the blue errors? If yes, then you need to take Quicken Customer Service and take proper aid from me. I am easily reachable throughout the day and night to conquer customer queries. So, whenever you want to terminate your entire problems allied to your Quicken software as a consistent Quicken tech expert I am always ready to deliver my best. I am always eager to help all deprived one, so that they can use their Quicken software to the fullest visit quicken.com/support.

    Quicken file won't open
    Quicken won t open
    Quicken 2016 wont open
    Quicken 2015 wont open
    Quicken wont open
    quicken won't open after update
    quicken will not open
    quicken will not open after update
    quicken won't update
    Quicken Error OL-301-A
    Quicken Error OL 301 A
    quicken error cc-506
    Quicken Error CC-800
    Quicken Error OL-221-A
    quicken ol-393-a

    convert quicken to QuickBooks
    convert quicken file to quickbooks

    ReplyDelete
  43. QuickBooks is one of the largest Software in Accounting and Bookkeeping, which has improved its reputation globally.The majority of the individuals that are extremely knowledgeable about the QuickBooks. then visit my website and service.

    Steps to Use the Clean Up and Condense Company files in QuickBooks

    QuickBooks Error Code 15241

    ReplyDelete
  44. Quickbooks File Doctor tool helps in resolving errors related to QuickBooks. Read this blog to know the steps and advantages to install QB file doctor tool.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Molitics is India's first Sociopolitical platform pledging the latest and unbiased political information. We deal with political news and videos of all the states of the country. We give you the chance to know your leaders by providing their information and political backgrounds. We also offer a unique platform known as "Raise Your Voice" where common man get chance to raise the issues they are facing.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Molitics- Media of Politics is a platform of all the political happenings. You can get Political News, Election Results and details of Politicians, you want on a single click through this app.

    ReplyDelete