Pontiac Firebird aficionados will immediately recognize that this is a unique first-generation ‘Bird. The instant giveaway is its glowing Carousel Red finish, a factory option on the new-for-1969 GTO Judge, but in the Firebird’s case available only through special order as confirmed on this example’s original trim tag. According to Pontiac Historical Society records, it is the only Ram Air I firebird ever produced with the special order Carousel Red paint, making it a “One of One. But there is another less evident feature that sets the car apart from its contemporaries; it is one of only 413 1968 Firebirds built with the Ram Air I engine, only 92 of which came backed by the 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. Designed with 4-bolt mains to ensure maximum durability, the L67 Ram Air I V-8 was rated at 335 horsepower and a healthy 430 lb-ft of torque thanks to 10.75:1 compression, a long duration camshaft, code 31 cylinder heads with swirl-polished valves and dual valve springs, and “longbranch” exhaust manifolds for better breathing. To handle the engine’s torque, all Ram Air I cars came with a Safe-T-Track Positraction rear end with 3.90:1 gearing. Because it was intended for racing and not for use in inclement weather, the Ram Air intake system was packed in the trunk at the factory for installation at the dealer.
This special Firebird was restored by Pontiac specialists Tri-Power Automotive, who completed the job in November 2009. As proof of their quality work, later that very month the car was awarded Concourse Gold Certification at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, judged as possessing 95 to 100 percent factory originality, scoring 991 of 1,000 points and being named Best Pontiac. Along with its special order finish and rare drivetrain, it also features a Black vinyl roof, Black bucket seat interior with woodgrain console, bright trim package and an AM radio. Rare Koni shock absorbers are part of the Ride and Handling package, maximized by optional Redline tires on Rally II wheels. It’s all backed by PHS documentation and presents as new and fresh as delivery day, a wonderful find for any Pontiac collector.