76 FORMULA PROJECT
I purchased my 1976 Firebird Formula approximately 6 months ago. I bought the car from the original owner, he had it since high school. The car is currently sterling silver with blue interior. It has a 2bbl 350 and TH-350 transmission. To date, the only work done on the car was the installation of patch panels on both quarter panels from the marker light down. In addition, repairs were made for minor rust on the roof, around the back window, and trunk floor.
The car has approximately 230,000 miles and still running strong! The engine has never been rebuilt, and the only major work was a valve job at 80K. For the time being, I plan on pulling the engine to clean and paint the engine bay. At that time I will decide whether to do one of the following:
1. Rebuild the original 350 and put it back.
2. Finish building a 70 455 2 bolt and put that in.
3. Only do a "refresh" of the current engine (oil pump, water pump, gaskets, timing chain, valve job etc) and put it back.
The condition of the engine at the time I pull it (and the budget) will dictate what I will do. I am leaning towards putting in the 455 and later rebuild and store the numbers matching engine, so that it could always be put back in case I sold the car.
I plan on keeping the car basically stock (or at least stock-looking), the only deviation from original is to change the interior (which is trashed) from blue to black. Currently, the car has 7" snowflakes, which are not correct. I will put on a set of Rally IIs, which is what the car came with. Even if I go with the 455, I will keep the engine compartment looking stock and original (no chrome do dahs here!).
I would really like your comments about my plans for the car. I will not be doing any major work on the car (as in $$$) for a while, at least not until I finish the 80 project. The only work I will do will be on things that I can clean/fix/replace without major expense. Will keep you posted.
PICTURES OF MY 76 FORMULA
TECH & RESTORATION ARTICLES