Not every car in the LeMay Collection, at America's Car Museum or at the family’s Marymount location, is finely polished and fully restored. Some are works in progress or just plain cool the way they are. The 1968 Pontiac Firebird, a two-door convertible, is one of them. The car in the LeMay collection is an unrestored body and has managed to retain its original interior.
The Firebird was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors and shared the platform with its sister model, the Chevrolet Camaro. They came just as the Mercury Cougar entered the market with its shared platform car – the legendary Ford Mustang. It was game on in the world of muscle cars. The six-cylinder Firebird engine has a rare, four-barrel carburetor that was optional for owners who wanted more power, since it kicked with the power of 215 horses, up from the standard 175 horsepower model. The $116 "Sprint package" included a three-speed manual transmission with floor shifting, although a four-speed transmission was added to this car for another $226.
The styling difference from the 1967 to the 1968 model was the addition of federally mandated side marker lights, but both years are considered “first generation” cars. The 1969 model received a major facelift with a new front end design made of an Endura bumper housing the headlights and grilles. The instrument panel and steering wheel were revised. The ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to the steering column as well.
The car would face changes and updates as customer demands and federal safety rules required. The Firebird line came to an end in 2002. The whole Pontiac line would follow eight years later as General Motors remade itself into a smaller company with fewer plants, workers and dealers. The classic 1968 Firebirds now sell for between $15,000 and $30,000 when they are available at auctions.