COAL: 1974 Pontiac Firebird Esprit: One Whip Antenna from Paradise


Curbside fans, I’m back with more vehicular mayhem, and the good news is that I’ve teleported directly into 1974 with the purchase of this amazingly beautiful 1974 Firebird.  Although its relative newness may take some getting used to, its poetry on wheels styling makes me weak in the knees.  Eastbound and down!


I dragged this car home on the back of a U-Haul trailer this afternoon, so some acclimation will be necessary; however, I have no doubt that we’ll become fast friends.  On the other hand, a little voice in the back of my head whispers the word “hoarder” incessantly.  I’m at the point where I’m stashing cars in other locations, and I’m not sure that’s a “healthy adult” thing to do.


Anyway, when in Rome…or, uh, Pontiac in this case…  Unfortunately, the Firebird’s been sitting unused for 15 years, so it will need the typical everything that everything I ever buy needs, but I can’t wait to do it.  This is the summer project extraordinaire that I’ve been waiting for lately, so the long hours of replacing brakes, hoses, calipers, bearings, and seals will be well worth it, even if only to sit in the driveway so I can stare at it.  It might not be Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” but I’m in love just the same.

Bill Mitchell and his talented minions made a masterpiece from potential malaise.  Most ’74 models were a precipitous step down from preceding models, but I’m not so sure that the Firebird is retrograde to the ’73.  I personally like them both equally and always have.


For those who are interested in the nuts and bolts of my new situation; it’s propelled by a 350 Pontiac with a Rochester two-barrel, backed by a Turbo 350 and the usual labyrinth that is 1974 emission control.  Its loud twice pipes (factory-issue, by the way) promise more bark than bite, but then again, who cares about speed anyway?

The color is apparently Buccaneer Red, and its interior is red to match.  Those rally wheels will look just right with some much newer tires.


I’m certain there will be more updates to come between forays into my other (gasp) five antique darlings, but it promises to be a summer of mechanical fun coming up, and I can’t wait.  As my coworker said, “Let’s get a fifth of Southern Comfort and a Molly Hatchet 8-track and hit the road!”  Amen, brother.