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Pick of the Day: Firebird is a nice alternative to pricey vintage Camaro

This 1968 Pontiac F-body has H.O. 400 engine and 4-speed manual gearbox

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There was a time not so long ago that if you wanted a 1960s Chevrolet Camaro, you could get a nice one for less than $20,000. In fact, the only 1960s Camaro I have owned was not actually a Camaro but a completely original 1968 Firebird with a factory 400 V8 with a 4-barrel carb and I paid $7,500 for it in 1996. I did this because even then the Camaro was more money than I had at the time.

Sadly even the days when you can buy any first generation F-Body car for that little money are over and these days any ’60s Camaro is likely to cost north of $40,000. However, there is an interesting alternative still works and that I learned from my friend and Camaro enthusiast Morgan Duffy: Instead of a Camaro, do what I did and try a Pontiac Firebird. 

I did a search and with the exception of the Trans-Ams, Firebirds still sell for quite a bit less than their GM F-body Camaro cousins. 

1968 Pontiac Firebird
1968 Pontiac Firebird

The Pick of the Day is one of these cars, a 1968 Pontiac Firebird, this one finished in red paint over a black interior and offered by a dealer in Greeley, Colorado, advertising the car on ClassicCars.com

The dealer describes this car as one equipped with a factory 400 H.O V8 engine with a 4-speed manual just as it left the factory. It is a highly optioned car, with the Safe-T-Track rear differential, power steering, hood mounted tach, tinted glass, Rally gauges, Rally wheels and handling package. Happily, the options and engine/gearbox specifications on this specific Firebird seem to be backed up with documentation from the seller.

A Camaro equipped with these kinds of options would likely cost somewhere around $50,000 today and personally (sorry Camaro collectors), I prefer the styling of the Firebird over the Camaro. Also, there are quite a few people out there who think that the build quality of Pontiac’s Firebird is just a little bit better than that of Chevrolets Camaro. 

Firebird, Pick of the Day: Firebird is a nice alternative to pricey vintage Camaro, ClassicCars.com Journal

The pictures in the ad are quite extensive and seem to show a car that looks to be in nice condition without a ton of aftermarket liberties taken outside of an aftermarket stereo. They show a solid car, with no evidence of rust issues, and with a clean engine compartment.

So, if you have been priced out of the ’60s Camaro market, you should take a long look at this 1968 Firebird because with an asking price of only $29,999 it looks to represent a great deal.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

25 COMMENTS

  1. who ever wrote this is an idiot and should try for a counter job at mc donalds,, you say the only camaro owned was an all original 1968? really then it would not of had a 400 in engine it!

  2. I had a 68 Camaro SS 350 with a 4 speed when in High School. Nice looking car & it ran well. My friend had a 68 Firebird 400 with 4 speed & my Camaro was no match for it. His 400 had 330 H. P. and some 400’s had 335 H. P. If I was in the market for a different muscle car I would buy a 68 or 69 Firebird.

  3. I love the Firebird. Far exceeds the Camaro in every way. I owned a 69 Firebird 400 with turbo 400 trans. Had air conditioning as well. What a great car. And was fast for the time. I was clocked by the California Highway Patrol at over 140 mph on I-5 in Northern California in 1971. I’d love to have this car with the 4 speed it would be a blast to drive, but a/c is a must for this old timer.
    God bless America

  4. I like the 68 Firebird. At 400 cubes & 330 H. P. or 335 H. P. It made a formidable muscle car. This from a guy who had a 68 SS Camaro in High School.

  5. I believe the horizontal line in the middle of the grill on a 68 FB 400 extends towards the nose of the bumper like a hockey stick. Don’t see it on this one.

  6. Sorry somehow I swapped Camaro for Firebird in the story. I guess I even confused myself talking about both cars. My car was a 68 Firebird with a 400. 🙂

  7. The 1968 Camaro, if a V-8… was probably a 307, 327, 396 or a 427 if my memory serves correct….
    Then again, I was in a diaper then… and heading for one now.

  8. This very nice Firebird clearly does not have power brakes. You need to know how to read an options sheet or better yet, take a peek under the hood where it clearly shows no power booster from the picture you provided.

  9. Hello I have a close to mint 1976 Pontiac Trans Am 400 auto all original low miles 23K. It is white with saddle interior zero rust. I may be interested in a trade as I used to own a 68 Firebird years ago. If you have any interest feel free to contact me. Thank you, Glen

  10. My first car was a 68 Firebird with a 400 HO Ram Air and a 4 speed, despite having several muscle cars afterward, it was always my favorite, (It was red too!)

  11. I owned a 1968 Firebird 400 with automatic transmission , A/C and all the bells and whistles. I topped out one night in excess of 160 MPH. Slowly walked by a corvette who’s owner told me he was at 155 MPH when this took place. I have regretted selling this vehicle. Brings back a load of great memories. All in all, if I hadn’t sold the car I probably wouldn’t
    be here to tell you about it.

  12. I read that he owned a 1968 Firebird with a 400 and a 4 speed…….Camaro typically bites and is overpriced sheet metal. It appears that some of these posts are Camaro Lovers that hang out with the Russian race cars…..washing machines the last I heard standing next to it.
    Be proud own a Pontiac….I do own a 04 GTO

  13. Love these cars, I myself think the Firebirds have more class than Camaro, I have a 68 that I been restoring for a while now, I’ve played hell thanks to code compliance, they took a lot of my parts and their getting harder to come by, 428HO, 4 sp, 3.90 positrac, it didn’t come with the 428 but I rebuilt one for it and code took it with a lot of other parts

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