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AJ's Car of the Day 1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible

Driven by Precision Tune Auto Care & Vogue Performance Exhaust

Car: Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible

Year: 1969

What makes it special: Brought to market in mid-1967 under John Z. DeLorean's watch at Pontiac, Firebird was restyled for 1969, with a new front end design, but unlike its big brother the GTO, it did not have the Endura bumper. A 400 cu in V8 was standard in Trans Am and Firebird 400 models. The instrument panel and steering wheel were revised, and ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to the steering column with the introduction of GM's new locking ignition switch/steering wheel.

What made it famous: In addition to it's sporty looks, it gave performance with its 400 V8 engine. The 400 model’s optional Ram Air IV V-8 promised 100 mph quarter-mile acceleration.

Why I would want one: It's a very good looking car. I've never owned a first generation Pontiac Firebird. ( I did have a second generation 1970 1/2 base model with a factory 350 V8 ). I also would welcome the open air driving pleasure of a convertible.

Fun fact: In actuality, the Firebird was a "consolation prize" for Pontiac, who had sights on producing a two-seater sports car of its own design based on the original Banshee concept car. But GM feared that such a vehicle would directly compete with Chevrolet's Corvette, so the decision was made to give Pontiac a piece of the pony car market by having them share the F-Body platform with Chevrolet.

( 1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible photo from lifeandbeer.com )

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