The Pontiac Firebird holds a well-deserved legacy among classic American pony cars, so it's easy to imagine that the very first example to roll off GM's Lordstown, Ohio assembly line in 1967 will fetch the top end of its $175,000-$225,000 presale value at Mecum's upcoming Kissimmee auction.
This badass red convertible is offered in elite concours condition thanks to the capable hands of Fast N' Loud star Richard Rawlings and his Gas Monkey Garage crew. The saga of Firebird serial No. 001's initial discovery in former NBA player Chuck Aleksinas' personal collection and Rawlings' subsequent nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration was told over two episodes of the Discovery Network show.
Its original L30 326 cubic-inch (5.4-liter) V8 fitted with a 2-barrel Rochester carburetor sits under the hood, delivering 250 horsepower through a column-shifted two-speed automatic. In addition to that transmission, cruise control, a console-mounted clock, AM pushbutton radio, power drum brakes and power steering have all been implemented as original factory options.
The exterior was refinished in its original Regimental Red coat with a black soft top, but the bucket seats, Deluxe steering wheel, door panels, carpet inserts and seat belts were color-matched to the body for extra pop. Mecum also points out Rawlings' extreme attention to historical detail, citing the correct factory markings and treatments in the engine compartment, undercarriage and trunk, which features the correct floor mat, spare wheel, and jack.
Now showing a believed-correct 80,389 miles, the first production model Firebird is with documentation that includes the cowl plate embossed with “Show 1” for show purposes, the driver side door frame VIN plate, and a copy of the factory build sheet.
Register to bid on Mecum's website before the Kissimmee 2021 auction kicks off on January 7.