1967 Pontiac Firebird

1967 Pontiac Firebird

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD LAUNCHED

After Ford launched the Mustang in ’64 to rave reviews and record sales, General Motors scrambled to build a car that could not only compete, but literally outperform it by every measure. It was decided early on that it would be a Chevrolet, but Pontiac chief engineer John Z. DeLorean wouldn’t hear of it. He wanted a version for Pontiac, and he got it. Early on, Chevy engineers planned to use the compact Chevy II platform to build the Camaro and Firebird twins (collectively known as F-bodies), but they couldn’t get the handling right. So it was decided to base them on a new Chevy Nova platform that was just beginning its development. The F-body team got in early enough that they were able to optimize the chassis for Camaro and Firebird duty, rather than the other way around. The ’67 Camaro launched on September 26, 1966, but it took until February 23, 1967 for Pontiac to launch the Firebird, needing the extra time to cook in some ‘Pontiac-ness’. All 1st-generation Firebirds were available in Coupe and Convertible body styles, and 1967 Firebird production totaled 82,560 units, made up of 67,032 Coupes and 15,528 Convertibles.

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD

SUSPENSION TUNING
When introduced the 1967 Pontiac Firebird had a set of monoleaf rear springs supporting the solid axle, but they were prone to axle-windup, also known as wheel hop, especially on the hotter V8 versions. So, mid-year Pontiac installed an adjustable track bar on the right side to mitigate the problem. Performance models (326 H.O. and 400) got them on both sides. The front suspension was a further refinement of the Camaro’s double A-arm, coil suspension setup with Firebird-specific tuning per Pontiac’s fine chassis engineers. Stiffer springs and bushings and a heavier anti-sway bar made up most of the difference.

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD

IDENTIFYING THE DIFFERENT MODELS
Identifying first-year Firebirds model-by-model is made easy by the “Engine Call-Outs” (the badges identifying the engine) placed on the hood bulges. The call-outs on the basic ‘Firebird’ said “3.8 Overhead Cam”, while the ‘Firebird Sprint’ call-outs read “3.8 Sprint”. The V8 models were labeled as follows: The ‘Firebird 326’ said “326” on the hood; the ‘Firebird 326 H.O.’ said “326 H.O.” and the ‘Firebird 400’ said “400” on it. All Firebird 400s had a special hood that featured two forward-facing intake scoops. On Ram Air cars, these scoops actually worked, drawing cold air into the air cleaner. On all others, the scoops were blocked off and made non-functional. Every Firebird model was available in either Coupe or Convertible body style.

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD

LOCATING THE NUMBERS

If you’re considering investing in a classic Pontiac Firebird, make sure you know what you’re buying. Like so many classic cars today, it’s very easy to fake a high-value model. Simply take a low-value, less desirable model (like a 6 cylinder car), drop a 400 in it, slap on some decals and call it a Firebird 400, which is worth considerably more to collectors than a 6 cylinder car with an engine swap. So, caveat emptor, “let the buyer beware”, or like President Reagan used to say about the Soviets, “Trust, but verify”. So, check the numbers. The chassis numbers are located on a plate attached to the front left door pillar, which carries the 13-digit VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This will be the last year for this location, as in 1968 Federal law mandated that all VINs be placed in the dash, visible through the windshield, even when the car is locked. Below you will find a decoder. The last 6 digits are the actual production number of the car, but they didn’t start matching the chassis, engine & transmission numbers until 1968, so it can be tricky. Get a good book on the subject or bring an expert. The engine numbers on OHC 6s are on the right side of the block just aft of the distributor. V8s display the engine numbers on the right-front of the engine block, just below the mating surface with the head.

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD

STANDARD & OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

All ’67 Firebirds were available with either standard or Custom interior trim levels. The Custom interior had thin-profile, slim-line bucket seats with vinyl upholstery. All Firebirds came with 3-speed manual transmissions standard with a column-mounted shifter (can you imagine?), but few left the factory this way. Most ended up with automatics, either the 2-speed Powerglide or the 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic. However, many also got the Munsie 4-speed manual box. A space-saver spare tire was standard, but a conventional spare could be ordered as a no-cost option.

1967 PONTIAC FIREBIRD ENGINE LINEUP

Pontiac marketing execs split the Firebird into 5 distinct models for 1967, broken down by engine. The base “Firebird” came with a 3.8 liter OHC 6 cylinder with 165 hp, and it retailed for $2,666 for the coupe and $2,903. A higher-performance version of the OHC 6 with 215 hp was the basis for the “Firebird Sprint”. Next up the price-line was the “Firebird 326” with 326 2-barrel V8 rated at 250hp. The high-performance versions started with the “Firebird 326 H.O.” (High Output), with the same 326 small block V8, but with higher compression, a 4-barrel carb and 285 hp. The top of the line was the “Firebird 400” with a 400 big block and a 4-barrel, making 325 hp. All Firebird 400s came with a special hood that featured 2 hood scoops. On non-Ram Air cars, they were blocked off and non-functional, but Ram Air cars used the scoops to aid engine breathing. The horsepower was rated the same as the non-Ram Air 400 but at a lower rpm.

1967 Pontiac Firebird VIN Decoder


In 1981, all vehicles sold in the US went to a 17-digit format. Prior to that, every manufacturer had their own system. GM used a 13-digit system for all GM cars & trucks from all Divisions.
1st DIGIT – GM Divison (2 = Pontiac)
2nd & 3rd DIGITS – Model (23 = Firebird)
4th & 5th DIGITS – Body style (37 = Coupe; 67 = Convert)
6th DIGIT – Year
7th DIGIT – Assembly Plant
Last 6 DIGITS – Serial Number of Car

1967 Pontiac Firebird PRODUCTION NUMBERS

ENGINE TYPE

OHC 3.8 6 cyl

OHC 3.8 6 cyl Sprint

326 V8 w/2bbl

326HO V8 w/4bbl

400 V8 w/4bbl

HORSEPOWER

165

215

250

285

325

w/MANUAL TRANS

5,258

2,963

8,224

11,526***

11,526***

w/AUTO TRANS

5,597

3,846

15,301

29,845***

29,845***

***Number indicates the combined production of 326HO and 400.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top