I found this 1974 Ponitac Firebird in St. Louis. I bought the car from the original owner; it has 65,000 original miles on it. Being a fan of the 1970’s, I thought it would be cool to do a "Rockford" firebird. Most Firebirds are converted to Trans Am’s or Formulas, so growing up with the Rockford Files, I thought it would be great to do an original Firebird just like the show.
The car is just like the one from the 1st season. Every year Pontiac updated the Firebird on the show with the current model year, so you can see slight differences with the car thoughout the seasons. The show ran from 1974 to 1980.
Mine is an original Denver Poly Gold, which is the color of the Rockford car. (It was important to me to find an original color Rockford car.) The car has a Pontiac 350 motor and automatic transmission.
The carpet and dash pad are in excellent condition, the car was ordered with white seats and trim, I am in the middle of changing this to the medium saddle to give it the same look at the TV car.
The car was virtually rust free and very straight when I purchased it. It mainly had surface rust and oxidation; it even has the original AM radio still in place. The car had a bad case of sitting when I got it, it been parked for about ten years.
I dropped the gas tank, put a new one in, flushed the fuel lines and put in a new fuel pump as well. Did a tune up on the motor, plugs oil etc. I plan on keeping the motor original to the specs.
The Rockford had the paint stripped down to bare metal and resprayed in the Denver Poly gold. The car is almost done, all that needs to be done to complete it is change the interior trim, which is a shame to do because it’s in such nice condition, but I want the car to be as true to the show as possible, down to the front 1974 California license plate that was on Jim Rockford’s car: 853 OKG.
I will be posting progression pics showing the car through its restoration.
At long, long last, here is the finished product:
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