This weekend, I ripped the sleeves off all my ratty band t-shirts, crushed a can of Bud Lite against my forehead, and thrashed my mullet to some classic Anthrax. I’m just kidding; I took delivery of my 1996 Pontiac Firebird. So, basically the same thing.
Before I get another man sending me an email that literally just includes “horsepower torque mpg?” and space for me to respond, let’s talk some specs. The 3.8-liter V6 engine was originally rated to produce 200 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. The EPA gives this rear-wheel drive machine a generous 20 mpg combined, but we’re going to see about that.
Now, onto the goods. Right off the bat, I discovered a problem that I had forgotten about when it comes to older sporty cars: I can’t raise the back of the seat bottom, so most of my line of sight is taken up by the dashboard. I’ll have to MacGyver some sort of solution, but: could be worse. This is not a Firebird-specific problem, and it’s one I can easily solve.
When you turn the key, it takes a second for the engine to kick on, but there’s not a ton of hesitation. Though I am kind of concerned about the fact that there are some sketchy lights on the dashboard:
The fluids looked fine, and I don’t have my code reader, so I have yet to discover what bits of the engine are requiring service. The seller assured me that it runs just fine, though, and that his son had used it for the same purpose as me: Daily driving for a while in order to learn how to drive stick. And for that purpose, it will purportedly serve me well.
It also features a CD player that comes with its own remote, which is kind of hilarious:
The interior needs a good deep clean, but it’s in pretty damn good shape, all things considered. I feel like I look worse at 25 than a car born the same year as me.
The very biggest issue? There’s a pretty long crack on the windshield that I’m going to have to address. It’s a little hard to see, so I’ve included my rough estimation of it below, too.
Have I done anything with it yet? No. Have I inspected it beyond a cursory look? Also no. I have a fever and headache thanks to a nasty eye infection, and trying to Learn A Thing right now feels like a truly chaotic idea. Rest assured, though, that I’ll have more of the good content coming your way in the near