Among the many ways that Pontiac attempted to differentiate its new Firebird from the Camaro was to offer the Firebird in five different flavors, rather than one basic model that could be tarted up with a carte options. For 1967 and 1968, Pontiac even used variations of the tagline, "The Magnificent Five... the Pontiac Firebirds," to tout its new pony car and its five different option packages.
Of course, true gearheads looked to the top version first. Base six-cylinder? No. Hotted-up overhead-cam six-cylinder? Getting warm. The 250hp 326 V-8? Good for secretaries. Firebird H.O., with 30 more horses out of its 326? If you're on a budget, sure.
Instead, it was the Firebird 400 that got an eager buyer's testosterone flowing, with its bigger V-8, dual exhaust, heavy-duty transmissions and suspension upgrades.
To the base Firebird coupe's $2,666 purchase price, the Firebird 400 package added another $274 (in 1968, prices rose to $2,781 and $351, respectively), though adding all...