Wednesday, October 31, 2018

1978 Pontiac Sunbird Wagon. One Owner. 60,000 Miles. Really.

I've never linked a car from Facebook Marketplace before. I hope everyone can see it.

This is not a car I am featuring it because it's groundbreaking or fun to drive. I'm featuring it because it still exists.

Remember the Pontiac Astre? It was a rebadged Chevy Vega. Pontiac sold them from 1975 through 1977.

In 1975 GM introduced the Chevy Monza; a vastly improved Vega wrapped in pretty clothing. In 1976, Pontiac got a badge engineered Monza coupe. It was the first car to use the Sunbird name. In 1977 they got the fastback. In 1978 they decided they needed a station wagon. Since there was no Monza wagon to use, they went back to the Vega / Astre wagon and rebadged it as a Sunbird.

The Chevy Vega has made everyone's "Top 10 Worst Car List." Rightly so, too. In typical 1970s GM fashion, they let the customers do their research and development. They soon found out that the Vega / Astre rusted like few other cars rusted. To make matter worse, the original 2.3 liter engine was a disaster. If the car didn't rust away, it stopped running when the engine warped. (To GM's credit, they did a lot of re-engineering of the original car. They improved the rust protection, improved the original engine and made braking and suspension changes.)

The Pontiac Sunbird line never used the Chevy engine. The base engine was its own "Iron Duke" 2.5 liter 4. (This engine, while not groundbreaking or exciting in any way, was incredibly durable. It eventually found its way into a number of other cars, including Chevy's Camaro and Blazer, along with AMC's Concord/Spirit, Eagle and Jeep lines. It was even used in mail trucks.) They also offered a 3.8 liter V6 and a 5.0 liter V8.

This 1978 Astre wagon has the V6 in it. The engine is a Buick designed engine that, like the "Iron Duke" 4, wasn't groundbreaking, but durable. But more importantly than that, this car still exists.

This is a one owner car with 60,000 miles on it. Let me say that again... This is a one owner car with 60,000 miles on it! How? Why? We're not told that, unfortunately. Pontiac made some exciting cars (GM should have never killed the line) but, an automatic V6 Sunbird wagon wasn't one of them. Why would someone buy this and keep it for 40 years, putting less than 1500 miles per year on it? Amazing.

The sellers asking price of $2500.00 is a bargain in my mind. You can go to any car show anywhere in America and see dozens of beautifully restored GTOs and Firebirds. I doubt you will ever see a low mileage Sunbird wagon. Buy this and you will have the one and only.

Located in Robins, GA, click here to see the Facebook Marketplace ad.

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