From the past i had one American car, it was a 1966 Dodge Dart 273ci V8. I owned it from August 2000 to April 2001, the desire to have an other US car kept running through my mind for a while. Browse classifieds from all magazines and collections of french American cars, my choice would turn to the second generation Firebird equipped with a 350ci block (less consumption = more drive...). I absolutely wanted a model running on unleaded fuel, i was looking for a bird' from 1972 to 1978. Finally i've found it in NITRO magazine number 203 (April-May month), it was a 350ci V8 Firebird Formula 1975.
The previous owner is a young guy very cool and very careful. The car had no paint (only primer) but the body seems to be in good condition and relatively healthy. After a trial run i decided to close the deal. Having 500km (320miles) to come, there was still a lot of drive hours to bring it back safely to home. The mechanical didn't inspired some confidence, because the car hasn't really rolled for the last two years and it gave me a doubt, but i couldn't spend too much time on these details and i began to bring my little 5meters coupe at home. The road goes smoothly despite a few scares on the road down some mountain passes a little stiff and not helped by the spongy brake circuit and unbalanced. Several hours and several dozen liters of gasoline later, i am finally here in one piece driving my new toy.
Full fender flares had been fitted by a previous owner on the rear wheels to be able to put 10" wide wheels. I would have preferred to find the same car without this accessory, but you don't always have the choice. The engine is original stock in its own juice and unmodified except for the air filter. the interior is no longer the original vinyl seats, but those from a Camaro of the same year.
Some pictures of my Formula just after buying it...
Since I have the car, the engine did not seem to run right round and shook a little at idle (like if it was a 440 Hemi, except that it isn't one!). So I changed all the ignition harness in order to thus wires and plugs, a rotor, an ACCEL ignition module. The result was amazing. The engine sound has changed, and when i went to a roadtest, i left one nice trail of rubber (no posi traction) on the ground, before i wasn't possible because the engine was so lazy! The day and night. In fact the engine was running on 6 or 7 cylinders. So I also changed the spark plugs to put the right ones, the R46TSX.
Here are 2 short videos of my PONTIAC at that time:
Synthesis of new parts:
- spark plugs and wires
- rotor + ignition module
From April to December i did 3400km. (2110miles)
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