The 1968 Firebird was just the second entry in Pontiac’s pony car line. Begun in 1967, the Firebird models have been popular with buyers and collectors for decades for their good looks, classic styling, performance-oriented features, and option packages, like the Trans Am. Sharing its platform with the Chevy Camaro, the Firebird at its introduction competed with the Mercury Cougar, and of course the pony car that started it all, the Ford Mustang.
Much of the styling for the 1968 Firebird came from its muscle car cousin, the Pontiac GTO. The Coke bottle styling of the body, the integrated bumpers, and the slit taillights all reflected the more expensive and higher-performing GTO. Not much of the styling changed from the first model to the 1968 Firebird. Federal law mandated that it get side marker lights, so the front blinkers wrapped around the sides of the classic car. Additionally, Pontiac added its classic V-shaped logo to each side of the body in the rear and the vent-windows were removed in favor of a single pane of glass in the front doors.
Buyers of the 1968 Firebird had several options when it came to what went under the hood. Pontiac’s 230-cubic inch OHC inline-six came standard, but larger V8s were also available including 326-, 350-, and 400-cubic inch engines. The V8s were most popular and they could get 250, 285, and 325 horsepower, respectively. The 400-CID engine was borrowed from the GTO and for an extra fee could include the Ram Air option. This included hood scoops that were functional, an improved camshaft, and higher flow heads.
The top-of-the line package for a Firebird was the Trans Am, which became a cultural sensation thanks to Smokey and the Bandit, but it was not yet available for the 1968 Firebird. The Trans Am added a rear spoiler to the Firebird, as well as upgraded suspension and handling and a Ram Air IV option for the engine, increasing the horsepower to 345.
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