DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

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DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby EagleFish » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Hi! Guys and Gals,

I sold my 1980 Pontiac Sunbird hatchback back in March after fixing it up some.

Yesterday, I bought a 1978 Sunbird notch back. It is an authenticated factory V8, 4 speed, Florida car. No Rust except for the center bottom of the windshield frame. It comes with paperwork including the build sheet, dealer invoice ($5668.29), magazine article and SCCA racing info. See attachments. The engine has a cam, Holley 4 bbl carb and aftermarket aluminum intake manifold, Formula steering wheel, handling package, snowflakes, p/s, p/b, aftermarket A/C and what appears to be a Formula air dam. The car is painted in Carmine w/a matching interior. We got the engine running and sounds healthy and very strong! It will need some work and some parts: cleaning, fuel pump, clean out fuel tank, replace right front fender, refinish wheels, new tires, brakes need fixed, a replacement exhaust, lots of interior replacement, door seals and repair rust in windshield frame and new paint. The car was originally owned and raced by Padgett Petersen. I was told that someone named "Bill" knew about this car. Does anyone know anything about this car?


Thanks,

John and Richard
Attachments
1978 Pontiac Sunbird Page I.pdf
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1978 Pontiac Sunbird Page II.pdf
(48.32 KiB) Downloaded 38 times
1978 Pontiac Sunbird Page III.pdf
(112.57 KiB) Downloaded 39 times
1978 Pontiac Sunbird IV.pdf
(126.21 KiB) Downloaded 36 times
1978 Pontiac Sunbird V.pdf
(49.48 KiB) Downloaded 38 times
Last edited by EagleFish on Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:05 pm

Yep. I had offered this guy $3000 last year but he felt it was solid gold and turned down my offer. He wanted $4k at the time.

I knew waaaaay more about the car than he did. There is a lot of info on this car here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28674

Padgett Peterson used to have a page on this car but it seems to be missing now. He still has a web site but nothing on the Sunbird anymore. http://performanceresearch.us/padgett/ Might want to email him??

Padgett parked the car because all the SCCA racing ended up breaking the front a-arm connection point. Not sure it was ever fixed so you may want to check that out.

I was very interested in buying this car but it needs a whole lot of work. I'm neck deep in my own 1980 Sunbird Formula project: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=44948

Keep me posted on your plans for the car!

Thanks,
Kevin
Last edited by RedFiveKBS on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby RedFiveKBS » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:09 pm

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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby EagleFish » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:51 am

Kevin,

Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated!

I, too, Saw the car about then. I offered $2000 for it back then but, he thought it was more valuable than it is. Still - it has an interesting and documented history. The two things that attracted me to the car is that, 1 - It is a rust free original Florida car, 2 - It is intact. It is all there in one piece, including what I believe is a Formula air dam.

He was selling the car with 3 rear ends, a couple of fenders and a bunch of other parts, which I do not need since my buddy Richard has way more parts than I will ever use. Of course, I would not buy it until I heard it run. We got it started and that sealed the deal. He was now asking $2500 and I offered $2000. He countered at $2200. I countered with the same price plus the right front fender, another rear end, another dash pad, a fuel pump and a hand full of other pars and - delivered. He accepted. I will have the car in my possession about November 3 or 4 or sooner. The documented history, condition (no rust) and completeness of the car makes it worth saving. A story goes that Padgett wanted order the car from the factory with an a/c system but, GM told him they didn't put a/c in the car with a V8 engine. Since GM knew it was going to be used for racing. it makes more sense that racing was the reason they would not factory install the a/c system and warranty system. Thus, the installation of an after market a/c unit. That makes more sense to me since V8 H-Body cars were offered with a/c systems. Just my reasoning to correct an incorrect story.

Now I read another thread that Padgett had to layout a $1000 payment to order a Florida car w/o a/c. THAT makes even more sense!

Thanks again.

John and Richard
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:17 am

I have had a magazine article about this car for about 30 years now. As I recall the story they published was the dealership wouldn't go ahead with a customer ordered car, in Florida, W/O A/C, fearing being stuck with an uber expensive car they couldn't sell on the coldest day, So they wanted the $1000 deposit. IIRC A/C was a regular production option on a v8 car, so there wouldn't have been anything special about it, or kept it from being ordered if Mr.P wanted it.

That's how I understood it anyway's. I"M SOOOO happy to hear this piece of history finally made it into good hand's. Did it come with all the magazine articled it was featured in? If not I'll photocopy some and send them your way.

Here's some links to previous threads about the car....viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28674&start=0

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21221&start=45

Lastly, I just got a call yesterday from a monza owner "Bill Lynch" who was looking to contact Richard, for a visit, during a trip he's taking to Florida... if Richards want a visit, you can PM his current contact info and I'll relay it to you.

I'm going to need to visit, I've wanted to know about this car since before I could drive!
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby cammerjeff » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:51 am

Congrat's on buying a very rare car.

We have been hoping this car would find a good home for about 10 years now! I have never owned a Sunbird Formula, but have owned 3 Astre Formula's.

Your car seems to have all the correct Formula pieces except for the blacked out grills, but those could have been swapped out over the years. It has the front and rear spoilers, Tilt Column, Formula steering wheel with the silver arrow head emblem, blacked out side window trim. The 13" Snowflakes were one of the 2 wheel options available, the other being steel rally's with trim rings and bright wheel slot moldings.

I have at least 2 possibly 3 NOS Pontiac centercaps for those wheels if you are interested. I picked them up when I still thought I was going to run the smaller snow flakes on my car. I have sense decided to run 15X7 versions so I no longer need them,
Jeff R

78 Sunbird Safari Wagon, 3.8 N/A, 1971 Catalina Freeway Enforcer
77 Astre Formula, some day soon powered by a 215 Buick V-8
1973 4-speed Lemans Safari STOCK!!!!! 1978 Catalina Safari
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby monzaaddict » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:19 pm

Check those lower front control arm mounts. They were cracked from the stresses of racing. That is the reason Padgett sold it instead of fixing it. He is a car guy and a Pontiac enthusiast. If it wasn't fixable in his view I would imagine it was bad!

on Padgetts page below clicking on Cars/Forebearers/Sunbird will take you to a page about the Sunbird. The last paragraph mentions the cracked control arm mounts being the reason the car was sidelined.

http://performanceresearch.us/padgett/

There is even a nice picture of the broken control arm
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controlarmmount.jpg
controlarmmount.jpg (4.75 KiB) Viewed 497 times
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:30 pm

cammerjeff wrote: I have at least 2 possibly 3 NOS Pontiac centercaps for those wheels if you are interested. I picked them up when I still thought I was going to run the smaller snow flakes on my car. I have sense decided to run 15X7 versions so I no longer need them,


Jeff, if he doe not want the 13" center caps I definitely would be. I have three set of 13" snowflakes and only one set of caps. Been looking for good ones.

thanks
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby RedFiveKBS » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:42 pm

I do not believe it is a true Formula but he ordered it with the Formula wheel. Look at the trim tag and see if it has the "66" on it for the Formula option.

My 1980 trim tag for reference.
1980 Formula trim tag.jpg
1980 Formula trim tag.jpg (138.06 KiB) Viewed 478 times


I love this car and its rich history. I'd keep it as original as possible or at least in original SCCA configuration anyway. Definitely needs a lot of replacement interior parts, the dash rot fixed, and the fender replaced. Paint probably needs refreshed too. One thing that HAS to stay is the trailer hitch. That is a key part of this car's story.

Put me on the list if you decide to sell it. I'll probably need another project in about 2-years. :lol:

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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby marco_1978_spyder » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:53 pm

cammerjeff wrote:Congrat's on buying a very rare car.

We have been hoping this car would find a good home for about 10 years now! I have never owned a Sunbird Formula, but have owned 3 Astre Formula's.

Your car seems to have all the correct Formula pieces except for the blacked out grills, but those could have been swapped out over the years. It has the front and rear spoilers, Tilt Column, Formula steering wheel with the silver arrow head emblem, blacked out side window trim. The 13" Snowflakes were one of the 2 wheel options available, the other being steel rally's with trim rings and bright wheel slot moldings.

I have at least 2 possibly 3 NOS Pontiac centercaps for those wheels if you are interested. I picked them up when I still thought I was going to run the smaller snow flakes on my car. I have sense decided to run 15X7 versions so I no longer need them,


I'll take those caps of John doesn't need them...
1978 Monza Spyder V8 4speed, posi
1978 Sunbird Formula V6, 5 Speed, Hatchback
1980 Sunbird Hatchback 4cyl, 4spd.
2006 Chevrolet Aveo 5 speed Hatchback
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby EagleFish » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:54 am

Hi! Marco,

Yes, I am interested in buying your 3 NOS Pontiac center caps. Shoot me over a price @ my email addy: EagleFish123@yahoo.com.

Thanks,, John
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby cammerjeff » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:22 pm

John, I offered them to you 1st, so you will get 1st shot at them, I think I paid an average of $75.00 each for them. But I wrote it down so I just want to break even on them, let me verify that I still have 3 NOS ones. I should have 1 good used one but I may hang onto it for a spare for my 78 Sunbird wagon that has the 13" snowflakes on it. I will post some pictures of what I dig out of storage here.
Jeff R

78 Sunbird Safari Wagon, 3.8 N/A, 1971 Catalina Freeway Enforcer
77 Astre Formula, some day soon powered by a 215 Buick V-8
1973 4-speed Lemans Safari STOCK!!!!! 1978 Catalina Safari
1969 Firebird Sprint 301 ci OHC6, T-5, 4.10 12 bolt posi
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby EagleFish » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:26 pm

Jeff R,

Yes, let me know what you find in your H-Body Junk Closet. Regardless, I still want to buy those NOS Pontiac center caps.

Thanks, John

John and Richard
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby rm617 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:39 pm

John and Richard.(mainly Richard), Bill Lynch would like to contact Richard about possibly visiting the H-body museum in Florida around Nov. 9th or so. His phone # is 570-972-3410. Could you contact him or respond here, either would be appreciated.
Ron
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Re: DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CAR?

Postby EagleFish » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:03 pm

I will pass the number on to Richard. I am sure he will be pleased that someone will stop by.

Thanks, John.

John and Richard
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