Monday, December 20, 2021

Junkyard 1999 Firebird: One White Hot Slice of Wonder Bird

 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

The internet savvy Junkyard Life brother and Firebird enthusiast Jamie Lee alerted the troops to the one sole solitary Firebird in our local pull-it-yourself parts place. We did indeed find the Artic White 1999 Sport Coupe as he promised us. A few things occurred to us as we eye-topsied* this loaded-out V6 Coupe. Not minor things, but large ones.

Such as the leather interior. It occurs to us that even after years on end of attending The Trans Am Nationals and various Bird gatherings, we cannot in complete confidence recall seeing a Sport Coupe with leather interior. It also boasted a classy “split code” interior. Something we have only noticed in Trans Ams and a select few Formulas.

Tan Prado leather interior on 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

Turns Out You Could

So after a date night with the options catalog and an angry woman, we did learn that with certain colors such as Artic White, you could have it! Prado Leather is the Pontiac nerd word for the exotic seat cover. Maybe we should not say “you could have it” because it was really expensive. You could not just have it. At the time, a vehicle equipped with leather usually stickered for a grand more than cloth.

The other option this car rolled out with is generally not a favorite of all Firebird enthusiast… the W68** appearance package. It's what we describe as ground effects. These were starting to make appearances in the after market, so Pontiac thought they would offer it to you from the get go. I would be interested to know how that went over. We don’t necessarily care for them, and it seems this example did not hold up. The rocker moldings were supposed to give the car a wind tunnel ready look. We prefer the smooth and sexy lines that the Bird already had.

3800 V6 in 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

I Could Have Had a V8!

This car was already like a space ship with its remote entry locks. Click-click. Like James Bond. It has the ever fun and always in demand T-tops. You know what goes well with T-tops? An awesome stereo. The top shelf sounds from the Monsoon sound system with steering wheel controls made that happen. Cruise control and seemingly power everything rounded this Bird up to Rockefeller. The only thing left to get was a V8. The 200-horsepower V6 was a smooth machine. This Bird has a 3:08 rear gear without a posi unit. 

Still, the options it does have far outweigh the things it does not. This would have been one expensive Firebird. Could this be a bargaining point for a crafty salesman? To paint the picture of the bottom number on the sticker for this Bird, and then a less optioned Trans Am or Formula for same money… Most of us would lean toward the LS1. You have to admit, that is one packed-out Firebird

You're Grounded!

How did it wind up here? It didn’t seem wrecked. I would not be surprised to learn it ran up until a year or so ago until it got pushed out for something else. The car presented well overall and had not been in the wrong hands very long. Then it was here. The pull-it-yourself yard where it will be relegated to the next “over the scales” deal. 

They were kind enough not to do it but image a combined Pontiac and recycling advertising campaign…“Firebird… coming soon to a soda can near you!”

I shudder.

Ron Kidd
– Junkyard Life

RPO code on 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

Editors Note:
*Eye-topsy: A new word Ron came up with meaning to look over the remains of a cool car. We don’t know if we will let him keep it.

**W68 RPO code also made an appearance in 1979 as the appearance package for the Firebird Esprit Redbird. Odd that it went from representing a package level we loved to one that we didn’t care for in the 4th generation Firebirds.

Do you have a car story?
Send us details and we’re on the way!
Send emails to Jody Potter at
and Ron Kidd at

Interior of 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

Power seats in 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package in junkyard.

Junkyard of doom, the Pull-it yard: 1999 Pontiac Firebird with W68 Appearance Package.

No comments: