1970 Pontiac Formula 400 – The 1970 Pontiac line up was composed of the base Firebird with 250 cid six, the mid range, 350 cid Espirit, the 400 cid Formula 400, and the 400 cid Ram Air Trans Am. Of the four, perhaps the most intriguing was the Formula 400. While the Trans Am was loaded with visuals like a shaker hood, fender mounted air extractors, wild front air spoiler, rear wheel opening air spoilers, and wide center stripe, the Formula had none of these. For those who preferred to have a muscular pony car sans the exterior adornments, the Formula 400 was just the ticket. Outside, the only difference between the mild mannered Espirit and the Formula was a special fiberglass hood that sported a pair of front reaching hood scoops (first considered for the Trans Am), sport style dual outside mirrors, and a pair of Formula 400 scripts below the Firebird nameplate on the fenders. Under the sheetmetal, however, is where the $3,440 Formula’s credentials lay. Standard engine was the 400 cid V8 which generated 330 horsepower @ 4800rpm and 430 lbs.-ft. torque @ 3000rpm. Car & Driver tested a Formula 400 with this engine and automatic transmission and recorded a 0-60 acceleration time of 6.4 seconds and quarter mile performance of 14.7 seconds at 98.9mph.
If you want to own a truly “collectible” classic vehicle these days, you need to have the right combination of variables that set your vehicle apart from the crowd. While low production numbers will most definitely help to attain that title, a vehicle that has retained a high degree of originality will often push the collectability scales over the top. We think there’s a 3rd and equally strong variable found in this vehicle that one could dub the “pride in ownership” factor. It comes from the knowledge that you now own a classic muscle car that is cool! It looks amazing, sounds tough, is fun to drive and you truly get excited about showing it off as often as possible. This awesome Formula 400 checks all those boxes. Pontiac only stamped out 7,708 Formula 400s in 1970. Of those, only this example and 688 others were born Ram Air IIIs. To further narrow the field, this is 1 of only 293 that rolled off the assembly line with an M40 Automatic transmission. All those features in conjunction with the rare Goldenrod Yellow paint make this a classic Pontiac one will rarely get the opportunity to own. In March of 1992 this Formula 400 was featured in Muscle Car Review and praised for its originality. Over the last 27 years since that article, the vehicle has seen one repaint and still shows very well overall. While we would never claim that any component of this vehicle is perfect, we would say that it needs very little and it can be driven without the frustration of requiring its own spot at the very far end of any parking lot. Photos of the PHS documents are included and a list of features and options includes; 400 V8 (345hp), 4 bbl, M40 Automatic, Power Steering & Brakes, Ram Air Hood, Chrome Rear Bumper, Dual Exhaust, AM/FM/8-Track, Center Console Storage, Tachometer, Woodgrain Interior Trim, Tinted Glass, Tire Tools, Original Space Saver Spare, 14” Rally Wheels, and thick Firestone Firehawk Raised White Letter Tires! The working odometer reads 71,200 miles. These are believed to be correct but are not documented. In “Average Condition”, the experts at Hagerty, CPI Blackbook, and NADA guides all currently value this vehicle at $42,500-$44,000. Although we have now clearly covered why this Pontiac is more than “average”, we feel it is very fairly priced in today’s market at $39,900. Come take a test drive and we’re positive you will agree.