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Historic 1967 Pontiac Firebirds Being Sold For $285,000

Do you remember the two 1967 Pontiac Firebirds that were bought, restored and sold by Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) in 2014 and shown in the Discovery Channel hit reality TV series “Fast N’ Loud“? Well, the current owner who won the bidding for the cars at the 2017 Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction is putting the pair of historic Firebirds up for sale again, this time for a princely price of $285,000! If you’re wondering why such a high price for two Pontiacs, you have to know that these cars were reputed to be the first two Firebirds – a convertible and a hardtop – to roll out of the Pontiac Motor Division (PMD) production line in 1967.

Pontiac General Manager John DeLorean poses with the Firebird convertible in 1967.

As common practice during those days, these first two cars weren’t immediately sold at a Pontiac dealership but were used for product pictorials, car shows and advertising displays. 1967 PMD production records show that the first Firebird ever produced was tagged with Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 100001. It was a convertible finished in Regimental Red with a black soft top and fitted with a 250-horsepower Pontiac 326 cubic-inch V8, column-shift automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. As a car destined for advertising and show duty, the convertible was fitted with a deluxe red interior, cruise control and a rare floor-mounted clock. A metal body tag inscribed “Show 1” was installed at the Pontiac factory.

1967 Pontiac Firebird 326 convertible

The second Firebird wearing VIN 100002 is a hardtop coupe finished in Silver Glaze with a black vinyl top and fitted with a 280-horsepower 326cid High Output (H.O.) V8, floor-mounted 4-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Since it will accompany the convertible in promotional campaigns, it was fitted with body stripes, Rally II wheels, a hood-mounted tachometer, tilt-steering, floor console, and deluxe interior. Pontiac installed a “Show 4” metal body tag on Firebird #002.

1967 Pontiac Firebird 326 H.O. hardtop coupe

Part of the Pontiac Magnificent Five

To differentiate their pony car from its Chevrolet Camaro cousin and their Ford Mustang rival, Pontiac created a unique identity for the new Firebird. Instead of offering one car with multiple options, PMD presented “The Magnificent Five” with each Firebird model having its own distinctive style and different engine. Firebirds #001 and #002 were part of the show cars presented in various launches, dealer events, race weekends, and promotional tours for several months.

1967 Pontiac Firebird Magnificent Five ad

After the Pontiac’s “Magnificent Five” promotional tour ended, nothing much was reported about Firebirds #001 and #002. In 2014, Richard Rawlings and his friend Dennis Collins found the cars in the barn of former NBA basketball player Chuck Alekinas in a deteriorated state of disrepair and bought the pair of Pontiacs for $70,000. The two Firebirds were taken to the GMG workshop in Dallas, Texas, where a frame-off restoration was undertaken under the supervision of Jason Aker, a concours restoration expert, who was brought on board to oversee the project. The restoration was covered in several episodes of “Fast N’ Loud”.

The two Firebirds were owned by former NBA basketball player Chuck Alekinas.

Both cars have rust issues and needed a lot of restoration work.

Firebird #001 was complete but rough…

… and came with documentation authenticating it as the first production Firebird.

Meanwhile, Firebird #002 was missing its front end.

Richard Rawlings seals the deal with Chuck Alekinas at $70,000 for the two Firebirds.

Rawlings looks at Firebird #002 as it was being unloaded at Gas Monkey Garage.

Rawlings and Dennis Collins deal with JD Pass (in cowboy hat) and his business partner over Firebird #001.

The two historic Firebirds await restoration inside the GMG workshop.

“Holy Grail” Pontiacs

“Having done the deal and bought the cars, we elected to bring them back to their former glory so that people can enjoy them as originally built, rather than leave them to deteriorate further,” explained Rawlings. “Gas Monkey Garage rose to fame as a hot rod and custom shop, but the team has done an exceptional job of turning out a museum-quality restoration on these great historic cars.” He also made a risky deal with the buyer to restore both cars to museum-quality condition in just 60 days or pay a $10,000-a-day penalty for every day over deadline. Fortunately for everyone, GMG finished the cars on time.

Firebird #001 was restored to its former show car glory.

It was finished in its original hue of Regimental Red.

The rear boasts of the “slit” taillights reminiscent of the Pontiac GTO.

The trunk was restored to original factory condition…

… as was the engine compartment with the 250hp 326 Pontiac V8.

Red deluxe interior matches the sporty exterior.

Rawlings reportedly spent a total of $400,000 in parts, paint, labor and miscellaneous expenses on both cars during restoration. After GMG made the deadline, the two Firebirds were presented to JD Pass, a cowboy, entrepreneur, collector and long-time GMG friend during the 3rd Annual Concours d’Elegance of Texas on May 4, 2014. Afterwards, the restored Pontiacs were kept inside a private museum in Colorado. “This discovery of the very first and second Firebirds ever built, two of Pontiac’s ‘Magnificent Five’, was an enthusiast’s dream”, said Pass. “The significance of the second Firebird is that it was the very first 326 H.O. ever built!” Pass and his business partner, a lifelong Pontiac enthusiast, reportedly paid $650,000 for the two “Holy Grail” Pontiacs.

Firebird #002 was refinished in Silver Glaze with black vinyl roof.

Side stripes and Rallye II wheels were options in 1967.

Firebird’s rear profile resembled the 1967-68 Camaro except for the “slit” taillights.

Like the red convertible, the coupe’s trunk was restored to concours standards.

280hp 326 Pontiac V8 meant this was the first Firebird 326 H.O. ever built.

Hood-mounted tach kept tabs on the revs of the 326 H.O. V8.

Black deluxe interior features center console to house 4-speed stick shift lever.

Pontiac Royalty

GMG tried to keep the two Pontiacs as original as possible. They only replaced the rusted floors and quarter panels with new reproduction panels but used as much of the original steel as possible in a bid to retain the originality of both cars. Both cars represent an amazing piece of American automotive history. They’ve been kept together as a pair, restored together, and were sold together, which makes them a fascinating pair of historic cars.

The restored Firebirds pose at the GMG workshop…

… then taken to the 3rd Annual Councours d’ Elegance Texas.

The cars got a lot of attention from the show goers and the judges.

Pontiac fans were glad that Firebird #001 was found intact and restored to its original state.

Firebird #002 won its class at the Concours d’Elegance Texas in May 2014.

At the 2017 Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction, owner JD Pass lifted the “Reserve” prices of his pair of historic Firebirds and bidding was closed at only $260,000. JD lost money during the auction since he reportedly bought the cars from Rawlings at $650,00. The winning bidder and current owner, who prefers to be unnamed and refers to these cars as “Pontiac Royalty”, relocated the Firebirds from Colorado to Lincoln, Nebraska and just recently listed them for sale (again) with a price of $285,000, which is a bargain compared to the $470,000 needed to acquire these significant cars and restore them to concours-quality condition. Car collectors are certain that these prices of these first two 1967 Pontiac Firebirds will rise significantly over time because after all, these are historic American automobiles with significant provenance and a long fascinating tale of their existence.

Richard Rawlings and the restored Firebirds before filming an episode of “Fast N’ Loud”.

Dennis Collins and Rawlings inspect the Firebirds at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction.

Bidding topped at only $260,000 despite the pair’s provenance.

JD Pass wasn’t too happy with his decision to lift the Reserve price during the 2017 auction.