While the bitchin Camaro still lives, its cousin, the Pontiac Firebird has long been pushing up daisies. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe off-roader f-bird would more likely tear up those daisies, but does it come with a price that's pushing it?
Inoffensive universal appeal, that's what makes music by Kenny G, hand jobs, and cars such as Toyota's Adderall-like Camry so popular. Stray from that model of conformity and you risk suffering the sort of shame and mass derision that would result from showing up on a blind date wearing your Forever Lazy with its ass-hatch a-flapping. Such was the case with yesterday's forever-selling Vipette, which turned out to be a fiberglass kit on a B-body, as well as - in the opinion of 95% of you - über Crack Pipe.
That custom GM car didn't find favor, but perhaps today's 1968 Pontiac Firebird 4X4, dubbed by its creator the Binderbird, will do so. In its favor is the fact that its customization has actual application, as demonstrated by the multitude of pictures of it climbing walls and clambering across the terrain like a split-grille cockroach.
The seller, who claims to be the car's second owner, states with pride that he undertook the conversion to jacked up 4x4 almost a quarter century ago, and spared no expense. He started with what he says is one of but 684 H.O. Firebirds built, and that the car came originally with the deluxe interior and factory air. In addition to it now being a potential cause of altitude induced nosebleeds, he says that he gave the car the shiniest silver paint he could find, requiring sunglasses on a cloudless day lest you become like that kid in The Cay.
The conversion to mud holer, as described seems professional enough, with all the Pontiac under carriage bits being replaced by Dana 44s and a D-20 transfer case all mounted to what he claims is the Pontiac's original hard points. The switch from pony car to mountain goat was apparently part of a ground up - and up - restoration, and the ad says that the car is in perfect shape, with no rust top or bottom and an interior that's chock-full of still serviceable original and NOS parts.
Powering this beast is not one of the arrowhead brand's stalwarts, nor is it the engine du jour, SBC. Instead, the builder wedged under hood a 345 cid V8 from an International Wheat Truck, hence the moniker, Binderbird. He provides both a litany of upgrades made to that gas hog, plus his justification for the choice, but he doesn't answer the most salient question - Wheat Truck?
So it's got a torquemada of an engine, top-grade four wheel drive components, and - completing the island of Dr Moreau nature of the car - a Torqueflite transmission. All that under what is arguably a decent representative of a fairly rare car makes you kind of wonder WTF, dude! His claim that the mods are completely reversible, as well as video of what it can accomplish while high as a kite provides a partial answer-
What remains unanswered is why, after 34 years of ownership and the creation of what is obviously a personal automotive statement few might share, he is now offering to sell the beast. Of course, his $49,999 asking price is not chicken feed, and perhaps it is representative of his ambiguity toward actually handing over the pink.
What do you think, is a buck-shy of fifty-large a price that find this Four-by-Firebird a new home? Or, has the seller jacked up the price as high as the car?
H/T to Matt Gannon for the hookup!
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