Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Today we're going to check out a 30-year-old Detroit car that's an honest-to-god daily driver and parks in the heart of Alameda's downtown. It's got its share of bumps and bruises, but it's managed to survive the hoonage that has killed off most of its second-gen F-body brethren by now. It's also managed to survive the owner's temptation to build a phony Burt Reynolds-esque Trans Am clone, and for that we should be thankful!
It's not a Sky Bird Esprit, just a plain ol' Firebird. In '78, the price tag on one of these with a Buick V6 was $4,545, which $1,254 less than the Trans Am's price. That's quite a bit of money for a few acres of decals and- we're not kidding here- just 75 additional horsepower over the V6.
I've always liked these Pontiac rally wheels, because they look very similar to the wheels on the old Hot Wheels cars I had as a kid. You can still find them pretty readily at self-service junkyards these days, and the bolt pattern fits plenty of non-Pontiacs.
In California, a vehicle must be 1975 or older to be emissions-test-exempt, so most of these Malaise machines remain un-hot-rodded. Perhaps that means this Pontiac will continue to be its original owner's everyday transportation for additional decades.
Polls are fun! After you look at the gallery, vote on your favorite Alameda DOTS Pontiac.