This Pontiac Sunbird was the first new car that I purchased with all my own money. I bought it in January 1993, just weeks after it rolled off the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio and it had only 7 miles on it! It was a rather sporty looking car, with its 15″ Touring tires, rear spoiler, and full instrument gauge cluster with tachometer. My Sunbird did not have any power accessories like windows or mirrors and the radio was an AM-FM with cassette player.
Overall, the Pontiac Sunbird was a fairly trouble free car except for some issues with the interior trim when new. However, as it aged it began to make more squeaking-type noises from the interior and also from the front end. It did have one problem that many GM cars of the 1990s suffered from: the center part of the dash cover began to lift from the edge of the radio housing due to the heat of the sun through the windshield. The drivetrain remained solid but began to leak oil from around the oil pan gasket after 70,000 miles. The paint, officially called “bright aqua metallic”, maintained its shine and remained rust free. Although it was classified as a compact car, it really didn’t feel like one on the road. The only major parts replaced on this car in 87,000 miles were the alternator and fuel pump.
The 3.1 multi-port fuel injected V6 engine had a completely distributor-less ignition system that required no normal maintenance and remained trouble-free. The ignition system worked by firing the spark plugs from one of 3 ignition coils (2 cylinders/spark plugs per coil) that were triggered by a crankshaft sensor. Fuel was injected directly into each cylinder, 2 at a time (hence the name “multi-port injection”).
Here are a few photos of the Pontiac Sunbird taken in 1993 when it was new, including the window sticker: