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87 History

87 Yellow Formula 350 Ad #1 (still seeking sample, has "*350 Limited production of 1500 units on the bottom")

87 Yellow Formula 350 Ad #2 (63K)

87 Formula Black & White postcard (38K)

87 GTA B&W postcard (30K)

ASC convertible literature cover (32K) & back side (41K)

87 GTA COLOR postcard (25K)

87 Formula Dealers Invoice sample (146K) (NORWOOD OH plant)

1987 was a big year for the Firebird, First, The SE luxury coupe was dropped and the GTA was new and the Formula was re-introduced after being dropped after 1981.

The Formula was an option for the Base Firebird, it essentially was a Trans Am in Firebird Skins.  The only cosmetic differences between the Base Firebird and the Formula were the Hood (from 82-84 Trans Am's)  the 16" N96 Wheels, with 235-50R16 Tires and the Aero Spoiler which was shared with the Trans Am models.  The Formula also received large FORMULA lettering down each of the doors and 5.0 Liter or 5.0 Liter F.I. hood decals.  If purchased with the 350 (5.7) Engine, Formulas received FORMULA 350 on each door, and NO hood decal.  This was consistent through 1990.   Although in the pre-release literature the Formula appears to have a chrome "Firebird" emblem on the front fender between the wheel well and the door.  I have never seen this on a regular production Formula.

Initially the Formula was intended to be "A Tactical fighter designed to go one-on-one with the "Mustang GT, Camaro LT, Dodge Daytona Turbo, and the Celica GT.  Performance at an attractive Price is the greatest consideration."   (From The 1987 Pontiac Dealers Album)

FACT: The Firebird Parts manual does NOT show any "5.7 Liter F.I." Hood decals for 87-90.  Only 1991 & 1992 Formulas received only 5.7 Liter F.I. decal on the hood.  

All Formulas came with a V-8, The 4BBL 5.0L Engine was standard for 1987, with an available 5.0 Liter and  5.7 Liter Fuel injected Tuned Port Engines.  Only the Base Firebird came with either a V-6 2.8 liter engine or the LG4 4bbl V8.  (This was also the Last Year for the (LG4) 4bbl V8, and the last year for a carbureted F-body).

In 1987 was the introduction of the center-bolt engine valve covers and the one piece rear main engine seal.  (Some 86 Engines may have had the one piece rear seal).   The 700R4 Transmission was upgraded and made more reliable in late 1986.  The engine kept the non-serpentine belts from the 86 V-8 Engines.

All Formulas came with the WS6 Performance Package and 245/50R16 Tires mounted on 16 inch Hi-Tech (convex) Turbo "Snowflake" style wheels from the 85 thru 87 WS6 Trans Am.

In 1987 T-tops were not available with the Formula 350, or the Formula LB9 (5.0 TPI) with the Automatic Transmission.  If you wanted T-tops you had to order the LG4, OR the LB9 with the MM5 (Manual Trans).  In short the only way to get T-tops and an Automatic Transmission was with the LG4 with the Formula (1987 only).

Because the Formula, Trans Am and GTA all shared the same 5.0L Tuned Port and 5.7 Tuned Port engines, the Formula is the lightest and potentially faster than the Trans Am models.  The Formula did not have the added weight or the extra drag produced by the ground effects of the Trans Am Packages. 

The First Tier Formula (W61) had the following options: A/C, Tilt Steering, Body Side Moldings, AM/FM Radio.

* A/C could be deleted


The Second Tier Formula (W63) included all the previous but with the following: Delay Wipers, lamp group, Cruise, Deck Lid release, Power Windows & Locks.

*Power Windows & Locks could be deleted.


The following were the options: A/C, Limited Slip Axel, T-tops, Luxury Trim (Deluxe), A Variety of Radios, and Automatic Trans.


Colors available: (13) Silver Metallic, (23) Bright Blue Metallic, (28) Midnight Blue Metallic, (40) White, (41) Black, (51) Yellow, (60) Champagne Gold Metallic, (68) Dark Brown Metallic, (74 Flame Red,  (81) Bright Red,


NOTE: (13) Silver Metallic, & (84) Medium Gray Metallic were the lower colors

The following were used with the (13)  Silver metallic as lower: 

(23) Bright Blue Metallic, 

(41) Black & 

(81) Bright Red


The Following were used with the (84) Medium Gray Metallic as lower: 

(13) Silver Metallic, 

(40) White

(51) Yellow