Street Feature: This ’68 Pontiac Firebird Was Built To Fly

If you’ve ever seen a Pontiac Firebird, then you know at first glance that this one is something special. The fat tires, lowered stance, and absolutely stunning custom paint allude to the fact that this car has had just a little bit of work done.

The color is Viva La Red and it’s a custom color that was designed by his builder. This is a SEMA winning color from 2009, and although it's beautiful in the pictures, you'd have to see it in person to experience the depth and richness of the color. The lettering on the tires has also been shaved, except the required DOT markings, to even further the sleek and smooth look of this build.

This stellar ’68 Firebird belongs to Robert Torppa of Grays River, Washington. He’s had the car since 2009 and when he got it, it was a basket case. “I started the project in my shop, but the build stalled and it ended up sitting for a couple of years,” Robert explained. That’s when he took it to Richardson’s Custom Auto Body out in Hoquium, Washington, and they helped move things along.

The engine powering this Firebird is a custom built 6.2-liter LS3 that dyno’d at 550 horsepower at the flywheel and 475 horsepower at the rear wheels. The engine was built by Nutter Racing Engines out of Vancouver, Washington, it’s followed by a 6L90 automatic transmission, and 3.73:1 geared positraction rearend in a 12-bolt housing.

The suspension has been completely built as well and features high-end Detroit Speed equipment with coilovers on all four corners, a 4-link rear suspension system, and a Detroit Speed 600 sport steering gearbox. The rearend also has 2-inch mini-tubs to make room for the wider tires. “When you lay into a burnout you get both tires all the way,” Robert explained. For stopping power, this bird has 14-inch Baer disc brakes in the front, 13-inch Baer disc brakes in the rear, and a Wilwood master cylinder with hydraboost braking technology.

The build also features a Be Cool radiator and one of the best dressed and cleanest engine compartments that we've ever seen.

The interior was done by AMA Interior Solutions of Kelso, Washington and features recovered seats out of a 2006 Pontiac GTO, custom door panels, and a custom console. Everything inside is wrapped in European aviation leather. It also features an Momo Italian racing wheel, ididit steering colum, and Dakota Digital dash. The interior also features a Vintage Air A/C system for climate control and comfort.

The interior is absolutely beautiful for sure, but the European aviation leather is both soft to the touch for comfort and extremely durable for long life of use.

We love seeing a completely custom build like this. It’s clear that a lot of time, effort, and thought went into the design. Everything has been touched and gone over and nothing has been left as “good enough.” Too much has been done to list every custom aspect of this killer 1968 Firebird.

What do you think of Robert’s ’68 Pontiac Firebird? Is it too much, or just right? Tell us what you think in the comments below. Do you have a cool custom muscelcar that you think would be a good fit for our Street Feature series? If so, send us an email with a couple of pictures and some details on the build. We’d love to consider it.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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