San Francisco Street Sighting - 1968 Pontiac Firebird Convertible
Ever since I was a kid I've loved the 1967-1968 Pontiac Firebird. Given the choice of one of these, or a same-year Camaro, Mustang, Cougar or Barracuda, I would have trouble picking just one. But the Firebird places really high on my list of favorite cars from this period. It's not just a pretty face either; I'm pretty bored of seeing countless '67-68 Camaros at car shows. GM built 235,147 Camaros in 1968 and only 107,112 Firebirds the same year. GM produced 94,432 Camaros in 2013 (the most recent year for which I can find production numbers at the time of this writing) and Pontiac no longer exists at all.
The Camaro is by far a more popular classic muscle car and cruiser, and enjoys a huge aftermarket and restoration parts supply. Early Firebirds share a lot of the same basic pieces but the engines are all Pontiac-developed units -- even the 350 V8 in this car is a proprietary design not shared with Chevy. Two versions of the Pontiac 350 were available, a regular one and a "H.O." high-output one with a redesigned camshaft good for 320 horsepower. This '68 'Bird sits on 15-inch Pontiac Rally II wheels shod in fat BF Goodrich rubber, and it looks like a fun driver. Note the Ram Air hood, painted black either as a new addition not yet color-matched to the Verdoro Green metallic body, or the owner's approach to a non-glare low gloss hood. I can tell the owner values his car, if the "Protected by Smith & Wesson" sticker on the windshield is any indication. I certainly wouldn't mess with it.
California Streets is a blog that celebrates the history of the automobile in California. We feature old, interesting and often rare cars and trucks found parked on public streets and roads around the state of California.
I'm a delivery driver by trade, but I'm also a freelance artist and hobby photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area with a healthy interest in cars. I love finding and documenting fascinating old vehicles wherever I go.