All Models Except as Noted
11 - White
16 - Silver Metallic
19 - Black
20 - Bright Blue Metallic NEW
N/A Formula w/W50
21 - Light Blue Metallic NEW
N/A Formula w/W50
29 - Dark Blue Metallic
51 - Bright Yellow
N/A Formula w/W50 or Trans Am
54 - Gold Metallic
N/A Formula w/W50
56 - Yellow NEW
N/A Formula w/W50
57 - Orange Metallic NEW
67 - Dark Brown Metallic
N/A Formula w/W50
75 - Bright Red
N/A Formula w/W50
77 - Dark Maroon Metallic
84 - Dark Charcoal Metallic

The last second generation Firebirds would go out with a blast of color for 1981 but somehow reverted to a much duller naming convention. Color names for 1981 were more mechanical but probably more descriptive. Prior years Solar Gold became Gold Metallic and so on. If the color was a metallic then Metallic appeared in the name. Basic colors were prefixed with Light, Bright, or Dark to denote the shade. Consumers probably found this less confusing and the trend would continue through the eighties.

  • White dropped the Cameo prefix but was carried over since 1971
  • Starlight Black became just plain old Black
  • Silver Metallic was altered slightly from the Platinum of 1978 to 1980
  • Dark Blue Metallic is the same as 1979's Nocturne Blue and 80's Nightwatch Blue
  • Gold Metallic was a subtle change of shade from 1980's Solar Gold
  • Bright Yellow is the same color as 1980's Tahitaian Yellow
  • Dark Maroon Metallic is very close to 1980's Montreaux Maroon but not exact
  • Dark Brown Metallic was identical to 1980's Barclay Brown
  • Ontario Gray was renamed to Dark Charcoal Metallic
  • Bright Red is a subtle shade brighter than the Francisco Red of 1980
  • Bright Blue, Light Blue, and Orange Metallic were all new colors for 1981
  • The code 56 Yellow was a new color but appeared to be more yellow than the paint chip.

U87: Firebird Formula

1981 Firebird Formula
The standard Formula Firebird now wore monotone paint, as it did in 1978. The W50 two tone paint and graphics were continued. Select W50 or W50 with Turbo below and a color from the left hand side to see available color combinations.
Select Formula Trim (Standard, W50 or W50 Turbo). Then select colors at the left
W50 Graphics with Turbo: Dark Maroon with Silver Metallic lower and red graphics
In 1981 Pontiac reverted to the single tone paint on base Formula Firebirds. Only the presence of the hood scoop and small FORMULA decals on the fenders told onlookers that this was a performance model. The bird graphic on the rear spoiler was also eliminated this year. The W50 was still available with some interesting color changes. Black, Dark Blue, and Dark Charcoal Formulas with the W50 graphics package were highlighted on the lower body with Silver Metallic two tone. This was a change from the darker color lowers that were definitely striking. Select a button below to view the color and graphics scheme (W50 or W50 with the Turbo engine which featured unique spoiler identification when option W50 was specified). Select paint colors from the left column to see the color choices.

Trans Am Graphics

Pick one
Pace Car
In 1981 Pontiac continued offerring any combination of graphics and body that the buyer wanted. With graphic colors expanded to six this left the buyer with an insane number of color options.
Starlight Black with Gold graphics
Select a car color (Click to see example)
Silver Metallic
Bright Blue Metallic
Light Blue Metallic
Dark Blue Metallic
Gold Metallic
Orange Metallic
Dark Brown Metallic
Bright Red
Dark Maroon Metallic
Dark Charcoal Metallic

Option B84: Vinyl Body Side Moldings

Once again, six colors of body side moldings were optional in 1981 for the "door ding averse." Beige replaced gold from 1980, silver replaced gray (for those who can tell the difference), and the blue was a much darker shade.
Available All Models
Production Total: 36,133
Examples shown on this page consist of scanned images or reproduction artwork that can not be faithfully reproduced on a computer screen. Illustrations are for example only. Consult with your vendors offerring reproduction parts for their historical accuracy.