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Author Topic: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds  (Read 433 times)

737driver

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In the last few years, the value and pricing of Second generation Firebird have really risen. 10-15 years ago the Second Gen Firebirds could be bought and fairly reasonable prices. Now a days those kinda deals are more rare, simply because of demand and numbers. The second gen Firebirds were quite popular cars and now they are fewer in numbers.

With that being said, I wonder if the future would hold the same for the 3rd and 4th gen Firebirds. Gen 3&4 Firebirds were popular in the day and if generational desire proves true, then would be reasonable to say 82-02 F bodies will become more desirable?

The 3rd gen was very popular in the 80’s and right now you can find some great deals on them. So I’m just curious what people may think about them. Who knows?, maybe now would be a good time to think about the future of them.

Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

FormTA

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 05:54:23 AM »
It's funny, I always liked the third gen, never wanted to own one though.  That is until recently. For some reason I have a desire to find a 89 GTA or TA. So, yes, I think they will become more desirable in years to come. They are also a great LS swap candidate.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

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Jack

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 06:00:34 AM »
I never liked third gens but always wanted a convertible, I think the special ones will be very popular and desirable.




Regards, Jack

roadking77

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 07:46:35 AM »
The old car equation is People like the cars they grew up with. That being said, my first brand new car I bought as soon as I graduated from HS was an 82 Firebird. I think the third gens are the best looking of all firebirds, peaking about '85 (I also owned an 85 trans am). I never warmed up to the styling of the 4th gens, frankly could takem/leavem. As far as value, the third gens lack popularity because of performance and that is where the 4th shines. I have started to see third gens in mint, original condition starting to garner some decent prices, but that is because most were rode hard and put away wet. I think the 4th will be the same. The ones that stay original will be worth something, ones that have been modified will only be parts cars.
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FormTA

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 10:48:20 AM »
The other thing with the 4th gens is many of them will be or already were robbed of their LS driveline which is reducing the availability
of them. Like Kerry said, the nice original 4th gens will be the valuable ones.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 10:48:20 AM »

GTABill

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 12:13:22 PM »
I'm guessing that because of popularity and power of the 4th gens, they will be more popular than the 3rd gens ever will be and that's coming from a die hard 3rd genner.  The 3rd gens have always had that "black sheep" of the family thing going on for whatever reason. But even with that being said,  the TTA, GTAs, Formulas(inc. 91-92 Firehawk), Anniversary and Special Edition (Recaro, Daytona) would gather the highest money in the future IMO.  What kind of money that is who knows.  Collector car market will dictate that I'm sure lol.  If, heaven forbid, I was ever to sell mine, I wouldn't be losing any money, as the offers I have been given recently exceed what I paid for it back in 98 and I haven't ever had it appraised or advertised. 
91 Bright Red Trans AM GTA.........41,xxx original miles

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737driver

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 12:41:37 PM »
I’d love to get an 89 Turbo TransAm, if I remember correctly , I read they were the fastest US made car from the 80’s. The third gens also had a really great suspension and drove really well. I think an LS swapped 3rd gen would be a really good car.
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

ryeguy2006a

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 01:03:43 PM »
I'm with FormTA and others on the 4th gen comment. I'm guessing that a numbers matching (yes it will be a thing) 98-02 4th gen, low mile high option will be worth big money in the next 15 years. They are at a price point now where the driveline is worth as much or more than the whole cars. They are being stripped out daily and at some point in the near term they will not be so easy to find.

I'm actually eyeing a nice condition 89 Camaro in town that recently sold for ~$700 that is a project. I want to find a project car for my oldest boy who is 4 now. I'm thinking if I stash it away somewhere, when he becomes interested it would be a fun project for us and could be worth a good chunk of change. Maybe when that guy gets sick of it, it would be a good candidate for a 5.3 swap.

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jonathonar89

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 01:39:28 PM »
Early 3rd gen and early 4th gen are garbage for value.

87-92 and 98-02 are what bring value for the most part.

Also, I think value of 2nd gens might have come down over the past year.  Many of those expensive cars you see on eBay stay for sale for a long time.  We’ve been seeing 10th Anniversary cars go cheap at Mecum recently.

76455sd

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 03:31:46 PM »
Let’s face it.  GM wasn’t making a good product in the late 70s to mid 80s and they lost a lot of market share.  By the time GM started making good product again in the late 80’s and 90s people had lost confidence sand looked elsewhere.  I was never a fan of the 3rd gen and had no real feelings about the 4th gens when they were new.  I gained an appreciation for the LS 4th gens from this site when a number of guys started letting go of their 2nd gens for the refinement of the 4th gens.  The more I looked at the 4ths the more I liked them.  I also didn’t have the time or money for a full restore of my 76 so I let it go and got my 02 vert.  FWIW the nose on the 4th gen birds makes the car.  I’m not a fan of the 4thgen Camaro.  Anyway I truly hope the value goes up on my 02 WS6.  I’m pretty happy with it.  3rd gens have a fan base but I believe it’s limited which will limit the value.
Steve D
'76 LE 455/4speed/solid roof - SOLD
'02 WS6 T/A convertible

Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 03:31:46 PM »

roadking77

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2020, 04:58:57 PM »
The one thing I dont like about the 4th gen bird is the front end! I had a '96 Z28 and thought it looked so much nicer than the firebird.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
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FormulaSVD

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 08:05:21 PM »
I don't know about anybody else but I'm going to keep driving both of mine.  :D
Stephen
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1995 Pontiac Firebird 3800 V6
2000 Pontiac Firebird Formula

DeCaff2007

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2020, 09:54:49 PM »
Early 3rd gen and early 4th gen are garbage for value.

87-92 and 98-02 are what bring value for the most part.

Also, I think value of 2nd gens might have come down over the past year.  Many of those expensive cars you see on eBay stay for sale for a long time.  We’ve been seeing 10th Anniversary cars go cheap at Mecum recently.

Funny, because I paid next to nothing my for 98.
1976 T/A 400, 4-speed swap.... 

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stros

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2020, 09:55:17 PM »
I was curious if there’d be a Knight Rider fan community emerging eventually to raise up the 3rd gen’s values.  If I had the space I’d love one of those Turbo TAs. 
Darryl

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roadking77

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2020, 09:16:29 AM »
We started to watch the Knight Rider reruns awhile back and got a big kick out of it in a more comedic way now as opposed to when it had its original run. I started to fall for that car all over again. If I had the other 3 or 4 cars on my bucket list and a pile of extra money I would like to have a replica. If you do a search you will find that those cars do command a big price.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
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'52-Ariel Red Hunter
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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2020, 09:16:29 AM »


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gm muscle

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2020, 07:37:35 PM »
Performance wise, I'm happy with my '89 Iroc-Z. Sure, it isn't a powerhouse like an LS motor or even a 90's LT1 but it's no slouch either. The 5.7 TPI has a lot of low end grunt. The Firebirds were always a cut above the Camaros but I really dislike the pop up headlamps of third gen Firebirds.
1977 Trans Am stroked 400 (468)
1989 Iroc-Z28 5.7 TPI 90K original miles
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737driver

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2020, 12:32:44 AM »
I’d really like to,consider a 3rd Gen car for an LS Swap. My dad had an 88 Firebird and I loved driving that car . Even though it had the crappy 2.8 V6 , it was a great driving car. The 3rd Gens has a great suspension and handle and drive quite well in my opinion. I also like they way the interior was styled which made for a real comfortable car to drive ( the back seat wasn’t so much). Overall I think it’s a great car.
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

nUcLeArEnVoY

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2020, 06:53:19 PM »
Early 3rd gen and early 4th gen are garbage for value.

87-92 and 98-02 are what bring value for the most part.

Also, I think value of 2nd gens might have come down over the past year.  Many of those expensive cars you see on eBay stay for sale for a long time.  We’ve been seeing 10th Anniversary cars go cheap at Mecum recently.

I physically went to Mecum last weekend and noticed exactly what you're talking about. The bottom breather (79-81) years took the biggest hit. Makes sense for 1979, honestly. Besides it being the last year of true Pontiac motors, all that the 79's  really ride on is their style, and even then, they are not the quintessential "Bandit" like the 77/78's that drove the steep value uprising of late 2nd gens that took place between 2012-2016. 110,000+ of those cars (1979 Trans Ams... not even Firebirds, TRANS AMs) were sold, and considering their crap performance in the grand scheme of things, that sort of lends credence to the late 2nd gen craze being more of a fad, especially the abovementioned bottom breather years. Simply too many were sold. SE's will always demand a premium, sure, but I don't think the $100000+ price tags that some have been fetching can maintain status quo for long. That's simply absurd for a malaise era car, I'm sorry - Hollywood buffing or not. These aren't muscle car era Mopars here. Even Hagerty pricing reports have shown stagnation. I say good, since I am a few years away from entering the market and I have my heart set on a 1979. I want a completed, near show to show condition car but I'll be pretty annoyed if I have to spend upwards of 50-60k for a non-SE hardtop like I want when 116,000 of the darn things were sold and their values are mostly based on cosmetic packages. A lot were trashed, yes... but that's still a LOT of cars that were built.

As for the 3rd and 4th gens... 20th Anniversaries in good condition go for a fortune. I think with the right options and features, they look pretty neat but I'm more partial to the late 4th gens (1998-2002), especially with WS6. They're starting to fetch higher prices. I had the chance to get a very nice one back in 2010 for like 12 grand but I held out to get my 2011 Camaro SS.

It's all proportional to the generation that is nostalgic over the cars. 2nd gens are interesting because they kind of intermingle Baby Boomer and Gen X nostalgia.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 07:07:58 PM by nUcLeArEnVoY »

firebirdparts

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2020, 10:21:41 AM »
My take, which is worth nothing, is that the 3rd's were a nice looking car and solidly build.  Performance, of course, was bad, but that can all be updated.  They will be popular with people a certain age.  The values already reflect that.  They can't be "Smokey and the Bandit" popular.  In fact, they couldn't really sell very many new ones in the late 1980's.  I have always thought 20th anniversaries were underpriced.  They ought to be worth big bucks.  They are all preserved, but they only made 1500.

I don't know what to think about 4th gens.  I am just too far removed from the age of people who would have really wanted one at the right time for nostalgia to kick in.
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TAGuidry

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2020, 11:24:33 AM »
I'd love to put an LS in 2nd and 3rd gens.

Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2020, 11:24:33 AM »

737driver

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Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2020, 01:15:51 AM »
Honestly I think I could be short sighted in saying the 3rd and 4th Gen Firebirds may not ever have the mass appeal as the second Gens . Then again, I could be wrong. Personally I wouldn't mind getting one, I liked them a lot back in the day. However I think the money I would put into a project could not be practically justified in the present day. Then again, when has it ever been justified in the past.
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

Re: What does the future hold for the 3rd and 4th Generation Firebirds
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2020, 01:15:51 AM »
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