Nate’s Enviable Green ’67 Firebird: Your Ride
The year is 1967, and if you’re in the market for a pony car – you have quite the choice on your hands. One could go with the Ford Mustang, Dodge’s heavy-fisted Charger, the Camaro and Firebird twins, or one of a multitude of other muscle-bound vehicles. But enough of ancient history. Meet Nate S. He’s the proud owner of this sultry 1967 Pontiac Firebird, and to him – that pony car choice is a simple one. RELATED: Take a closer look at the iconic first-year 1967 Pontiac Firebird
Where did you get your ride?
I bought the car in October of 2002 from a guy in northern Arkansas – his father had owned it for many years. That month I was moving from Seattle to Atlanta, and I decided to ship all my crap and do a meandering 4-5 week ride on my motorcycle exploring all over the West.
On the tail end, I swung up to northern Arkansas to check out the car in person, and when I saw the condition it was in, I bought my brother a 1-way airline ticket from Atlanta to Little Rock. We finished the last few hours of my month-long trip together – me on my bike and him driving the Firebird. Although, we did have to stop 5-6 times because the Firebird's engine kept overheating due to the radiator being a rusted mess.
What drew you in when you first bought it?
In addition to a great price – the economy was pretty rough in ’02 – I always loved the first-year Pontiac Firebird and the choices Pontiac made in its pony car debut compared to the Camaro. And unlike many other ‘60s muscle car owners, I was especially drawn to this classic subtle green color. She had been decently taken care of, had little rust, and none of hose hot-rod mods that would have violated her first-year beauty.
RELATED: See if you can spot the differences between the '67 Camaro and '67 Firebird
Does the Firebird have a name?
Stella. I hadn’t heard that name in years, since seeing Marlon Brando in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, but the first or second time I drove her, as clear as day I could just picture young Brando screaming “Stella!!!” The intensity of that scene and the name became linked with the car for me.
What do you feel like when you drive Stella?
The raw power of the 400ci V8 is an amazing experience, and the way that power is felt throughout the whole car (and even by anyone near it!) is something I find sadly absent in today’s far faster cars. The car also feels like a phenomenal mix of art and science as you drive it and work on it. A friend of mine was saying he’s never been in a car that got more attention and started more conversations than Stella. She’s also gotten me a few well-deserved tickets.
What would you change about your car, if anything?
She still has drum brakes, so modern discs would be nice. I thought about upgrading and modernizing the suspension as well, but leaving everything original always wins out.
RELATED: Check out photos of the car that started it all - the 1964 Ford Mustang
What have you done to make it bolder?
The exterior chrome and interior were in pretty bad shape when I got the car, so I did a good bit of research and a lot of painstaking work to get the vinyl and paneling back to the great shape it’s in now. We swapped out the steering wheel; it matches the styling and it isn’t quite as massive as the original.
We also added a sound system, and the only reason I was willing to do that was because my father and I figured we could build it in the glove compartment and hide the speakers, tweeters, and subwoofer. It’s not often in life you can have your cake and eat it too…
Dream accessory for it?
Air conditioning! I can’t imagine a way to do it that wouldn’t require modifications I wouldn’t be willing to make, but holy crap since I actually drive this car regularly it would be nice to have! Though, the ’67-only triangle vent windows help a ton. If I ever decided to really diverge from preserving the original setup…and won the lottery, one of those insane Corvette Daytona Prototype engines that I saw at Petit Le Mans – the 5.5-liter making 560-horsepower – would be all the modernizing this car would ever need!
RELATED: Who can forget the striking 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Gold Edition?
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