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Old 08-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #1
Paul Ceasrine
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Default 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula SD-455

Trying to get some information on the rare Firebird Formula SD-455

My sister bought one in the Summer of 1976, from a young guy in Yorktown, New York for only $2500.

It was Buccaneer Red {Code 75}, and an Automatic with a SD-455 which was factory rated at 310 HP in 1973.

Production numbers state that '43' were built in 1973
10 = 4-Speeds
33 = Automatics

Saying it was too fast for her, was an understatement. It was one of the quickest 'pure stock' Musclecars around.

Below, a 1973 Firebird Formula 455-SD.


Last edited by Paul Ceasrine; 08-11-2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Paul, I know that there were not many of them, but I only have seen one that I knew for a fact was a SD formula . It did not even have the shaker hood . It had the twin scoop Formula hood on it with the SD455 call out letters on the scoops. No expert ,but seeing the picture you have, I have to assume the Formula cars could be had with the standard twin scoop or the shaker as an upcharge. I am sure there people know more about than I. Maybe the options where different between 73 and 74 ?

Last edited by FINESPLINE; 08-10-2013 at 01:30 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
Paul Ceasrine
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Mr. Finespline,

Thanks for adding.

In 1973, you could get the Firebird as a

* Formula 455
* Formula 455 'Ram Air'
* Formula SD-455
* Trans Am

The 'Formula 455' had the fiberglass hood with the 'twin-scoops'.

The 'Ram Air' option had lettering on the side of each scoop.

But, the ultra-rare 'Formula SD-455' had the Trans Am style hood with reverse scoop,
with 'SD-455' lettered on the scoop.

My sister's car {she was only 17 at the time} was the Formula SD-455.

The car came through 'option ordered'
* Automatic Transmission
* Rear Spoiler
* Honeycomb Rally Wheels 'Gun-Metal Color' {15" x 7"}
* Firestone F60 x 15" Wide Oval R-W-L
* Power Windows
* Air Conditioning
* Power Steering
* Handling Package
* Power Front Disc-Brakes
* Special Order 3.73 Gears

It looked like this Model,



Last edited by Paul Ceasrine; 08-13-2013 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
Rich Biebel
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

What year was the Herslow and Morloc Firebird?

They raced SS/JA and SS/KA and set records with the car and were very fast....

I visited John Herslow's place once looking for some parts for a 455 I was working on for a customer/friend...

He had two trailers full of Pontiac HP stuff.....

I bought a set of +.060 Venolia flatops.....

He had some very rare parts......and some that never saw the light of day.....

I worked as a Pontiac dealer mechanic in the mid to late 1970's and recall a few of those SD Firebirds coming in for service work White with blue trim is the one I recall best.......Way faster than the average T/A of that era.....
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
Liteweight
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

I purchased my original 70 hemi cuda from a guy in 1976 that needed a more family friendly ride. The car he was looking to buy when he sold the cuda was a blue & white 4 spd. 73 SD. I was 18 at the time
Not sure if he still owns it today, but I still own the cuda. I quess the term " family friendly" is really up to the descretion of the owner, because I met my wife in this car, got married in it, & both my kids grew up in the back seat of it, including having baby seats in it for a few years

Sorry for the hijack Paul. Just thought I'd share this

liteweight

Here's a pic of it taken a few years ago. I pulled the engine cause it was getting tired. It's an all #'s correct car

Last edited by Liteweight; 08-10-2013 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
Paul Ceasrine
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Thanks to all for adding,

What I remember about my sister's cars, is that the 'Front Valance' was fiberglass,
and it had a small wind-dam built into the lower section which looked pretty cool.

The Formula SD-455 car was very clean looking, and did not have all of the 'Billboard Graphics'
like the 'gaudy' Trans Am.

And the Black Interior, with the Rally Gage Dashboard, Bucket Seats and Center Console was a
General Motors 'gem package'.

The young guy who had owned it, was the original owner, and his father was the Sales Manager at
Lockwood Motors {Pontiac} in Peekskill, New York.

Since we were a Mopar Family, my sister became 'turn-coat' when she told my Father she wanted
that 1973 'red' Firebird instead of a 1973 Dart Sport 340.

But to be honest, we did not know how rare that 'Formula' SD-455 was, or how quick it was.

At the time, I had a 1969 'M-Code' 440 'Cuda with 3.91 Gears, which was one the quickest
'Street-Stock Cars' cars around.

But my younger sister could stay within a 'car-and-a-half' of me with the Formula SD-455 with
the 3.73 Gears in a straight-line race.

For general all-around driving, and racing on winding roads,,,,,,,,,,, she'd destroy me.

That red Firebird could fly...............


Last edited by Paul Ceasrine; 08-10-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
Paul Ceasrine
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Ed,

I was sent a PM.

In 1973, only '43'..... Formula SD-455 Firebirds were built.

* '10' - 4-Speeds
* '33' - Automatics

Only '1' Buccaneer Red {Code 75} was built, and my sister owned it...

If the Automatic was built with Air-Conditioning, the standard Rear-End
Gear Ratio from the factory was a 3.08.

But, you could order the Code #G92 {3.42} Performance Axle, or 'special order'
Dealer Installed Code #CG {3.73 Gears} which my sister's car came though with.

I was told that the 1973 SD-455 also came though with a 'special'
'PQ-Code' Turbo 400 Transmission.

Anybody know anything about the PQ-Code......

Last edited by Paul Ceasrine; 08-13-2013 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
Run to Rund
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Herslow and Morlock's E/SA Celluloid Hero was cover car, and had an article, in March 1976 SS&DI.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Thanks, Mr. Run to Rund

Herslow and Morlock ran a 'Trans Am' SD-455

National Record Holder in E/SA {10.00 - 10.49 Wt/Hp}

The 'SD-455' 455/310 HP was refactored to 345 HP by NHRA.

My sisters car 'Formula SD-455' was lighter than the Trans Am, but still made it into the E/SA Class.


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Old 08-11-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455-SD

Thanks Again,,,,,,,,, Mr. Run to Rund

Herlsow & Merlock from Scotch Plains, New Jersey

1973 Pontiac Firebrd Trans Am SD-455 {455/310 HP} re-factored to 345 HP.

1975 = E/SA

National Record set at ATCO {September 1975}

11.89 @ 112.50 MPH

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