1972 Pontiac Formula 400

Here is the car that started it all for us. This 1972 Formula 400 was spotted at a car corral and gave us our first taste of Pontiac power. With a Pontiac number matching 400 backed by the original M22 “rock crusher” 4-speed, this car is a thrill to drive.

Along with sparking our love for Pontiacs, this car has also taught us how to choose parts to make a little bit go a long way. Do you have a Pontiac in need of restoration, but you need to postpone a frame off restoration for the time being? We’ll work with you and choose components to transform your car into a head turner, without breaking the bank doing a whole restoration.

On this car, the previous owner ditched the Formula air cleaner in favor of an Edelbrock carburetor and a foam air filter. Fortunately, the original Q-Jet came with the car, and that was rebuilt. Then, a Formula snorkel assembly was put together using reproduction parts. The tall Mickey Thompson valve covers were too tall for the air cleaner assembly and were replaced with chrome stock valve covers. The original exhaust manifolds were corroded from heat, and the car had Cherry Bomb mufflers with side pipes. The manifolds were blasted and coated by Jet-Hot, and an original style exhaust with a transverse muffler was installed. The engine also received a fresh coat of paint. The Billet Specialties steering wheel was replaced with a black Formula wheel, and the column mounted tachometer came out and the factory tachometer was fixed. The worn out air shocks were then replaced with Edelbrock Performer IAS shocks. Once the car was performing well mechanically, we turned our attention to the exterior. The paint cleaned up very nicely, and after some buffing and waxing, it had a beautiful shine. The red PMD pieces in the center caps were faded and replaced with new pieces. When we got the car, many exterior trim pieces were painted black, including the headlight bezels, tail light bezels, the parking lamp bezels, and the 1970-71 grilles. Chrome head light and tail light bezels were installed, and a correct set of 1972 grilles were painted, and the parking lamp bezels were also painted. Finally the original pitted rear bumper was replaced. We purchased the car looking and running decent, however a few key components were all that were needed to completely transform the look of the car and get a few additional seasons in before restoration.