Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Gets The Spotlight: Video
There aren’t a lot of cars in this world that I will freely admit to having obsessed over at one point in my life. The Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am is one of those cars. I’ve loved this car ever since I first saw Smokey and the Bandit on my uncle’s old Betamax player. That love hasn’t died one bit, which is why I appreciate wholeheartedly what Gregg Hamilton has with his own Firebird Trans-Am.
As somebody who makes a living working for Ken Block, Hamilton is used to being surrounded by fellow grease monkeys who know their way around a rally car even if you tried blindfolding them. Hamilton’s one of them, so instead of letting his job consume his life, he found a different kind of car that eventually became his form of release from the rigors of his job. He bought a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from its previous owner and has made it a personal mission to bring it back to its glorious peak condition.
He admits that there’s still some work left to be done on the Firebird, but what he has right now, including the big V-8 engine and the manual transmission, is impressive enough in its own, right? Oh, and that gold Firebird livery on the hood of the car, well that brings back so many memories of my own.
Check out this episode of Petrolicious because it’s a really good one. Take the word of someone who has loved the Firebird Trans-Am since he was five years old.
Burt Reynold’s movie Smokey and the Bandit has been a cult classic among petrol heads and truck drivers since the day it appeared on the silver screen back in 1977. The Bandit’s black Pontiac Trans Am quickly became an icon, only growing in popularity over the years. That’s never been more evident than now thanks to the sizable price paid for Reynolds’ personal Pontiac.
An auction over the weekend at Julien’s Auction House in Las Vegas saw Reynolds’ unrestored 1977 Pontiac Trans Am sell for $489,000 — far greater than the original $80,000 expected selling price. The car’s original condition includes a slightly faded paint job, a dirty (yet fully functional) 6.6-liter V-8, and a well-lived-in interior.
Though the car was never used in filming, it was a “promotional” vehicle used during that time and later given to Reynolds after filming was completed. It comes complete with a gold placard in the door jam saying, “1977 Pontiac Trans Am Owned by Burt Reynolds.”
The car wasn’t the only item of Reynolds’ sold. In fact, the entire auction consisted of his more public personal effects. His jacket from “Stroker Ace” was expected to sell for $600 ended up going for $9,375; the canoe he piloted in “Deliverance” went for $17,500; and the helmet he wore in “The Longest Yard” sold for an amazing $20,000.
Click past the jump to read more about Burt Reynolds’ 1977 Pontiac Trans Am.
Launched in 1967, when GM decided to give Pontiac a piece of the pony car market action by sharing the Camaro’s F-body platform, the Firebird became an integral part of the muscle car wars within a couple of years. 1970 saw the introduction of the second-gen model, which included the most brutal Firebird ever built. In its range-topping trim, the coupe came with a 7.5-liter V-8 under its hood and more than 360 horsepower routed to the pavement. With Pontiac out of the automotive scene for more than four years as of October 2014, the Firebird is one nameplate we wish was still around. Fortunately, the legacy of the early cars grew stronger the past four decades, and first- and second-gen Firebirds have become sought-after collectibles.
While some examples are being restored and taken care of by enthusiasts, other Firebirds are joining the restomod ranks by receiving modern underpinnings and amenities. Which brings us to this 1970 coupe that was auctioned off for $87,000 by Mecum Auctions. It’s black, mean and powered by a twin-turbo, 7.8-liter V-8 that’s ready to rip the tarmac off a drag strip under full throttle. Check out the details after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Pontiac Firebird Resto Mod.
If you were a kid of the 80’s like I was, you probably have a soft spot in your memory for K.I.T.T. like I do. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, K.I.T.T. is the hopped-up Pontiac Firebird Trans Am David Hasselhoff used as a crime fighter in Knight Rider, well before he traded his trademark black leather jacket for those bright-red lifeguard trunks. In any case, The Afficionados produced a video review of K.I.T.T. that brought back a lot of memories, largely because the replica car looks almost identical to the TV car I came to grow and love.
The replica K.I.T.T. car is actually owned by Jennifer Catano, who, like me, grew up as a big fan of Knight Rider. But her devotion to the show, especially to the car, remains to this day, which is why I admire her dedication in building her own K.I.T.T. car. It’s got pretty much everything that the show car had, including the trademark all-black look, the iconic scanner, and the plane-like dashboard with all those switches.
It’s an incredible piece of restoration that even caught the Hoff’s attention. Yes. David Hasselhoff is in this video and he even got a chance to drive K.I.T.T. around like a certified boss.
This is a the true personification of a walk down memory lane. The only thing missing is K.I.T.T. actually talking.
Mobil 1 and Tony Stewart — Smoke to most of us — are up to a whole new bag of tricks with their commercials. This time around, they borrowed the plot of one of every car buff’s favorite classic car flicks, Smokey and the Bandit. As expected, Tony plays the Bandit — a role once reserved for Burt Reynolds — and he is driving a Trans Am nearly identical to the 1976 Trans Am that originally starred in the movie.
So far, Mobil 1 has released three episodes of the six-part series and a trailer. If you’ve watched the original Smokey and the Bandit movies, then you will appreciate that a lot of the scenes are nearly identical to the original, save for a few humorous modifications. If you have not seen the original movies yet, I suggest watching them before checking out this series — you’ll definitely need to have the original plot in mind to really grasp these remakes.
We’ll pass on the remaining episodes as Mobil 1 releases them, so keep it locked on TopSpeed.
Click past the just to see the videos.
Back when Pontiac went the way of the dodo bird, we didn’t so much mourn the loss of the brand as much we did the finality of the Trans Am’s death. Sure, the Trans Am was gone following the 2002 model year – along with its cousin, the Camaro – but there was still a glimmer of hope for it to return, much like the Camaro has. Well, when GM finally boarded up the windows and doors at Pontiac in 2010, we laid the Trans Am name to rest.
We have seen many people attempt to turn the new-generation Camaro into Firebirds and Trans Ams, but none have really done the model’s heritage justice. The folks over at Trans Am Depot, on the other hand, have done rather well in converting the Camaro into something that at least somewhat resembles what the Trans Am would likely look like, if it existed today.
The Trans Am is available in three models, so far, and they include: 2012 7T7 Trans Am, 2013 6T9 Trans Am and 2013 Hurst Trans Am. These bad boys not only give the model its due attention, but they also punish the pavement better than Trans Ams of yesteryear with the 6T9 version punching out 1,100 horsepower. Simply amazing.
To help promote its models, Trans Am Depot has released a series of videos about the cars they offer. Above, you will see the promo video for the Trans Am lineup, which includes some shoddy acting, but the cars are sexy as hell and the women are, well… “nice.” The two videos after the jump are mini documentaries about the production of the cars.
All we can say is “wow!”
The Pontiac Firebird was a cool sports car built between 1967 and 2002. The model saw four generations, with the most amazing version being the Trans Am - a model offered from 1969 with upgraded handling, suspension, and horsepower, as well as minor appearance modifications.
Of course, since production ended in 2002 and Pontiac has been defunct since 2010, the creative possibilities for the Firebird are seemingly endless, with none ever getting the chance to see production...ever. That, however, hasn’t stopped Circassian designer Kasim Tlibekov from coming up with the Firebird TT Black Edition Concept - a model that gives a new look to a historic sports car.
Tlibekov’s concept is based on the 1969 Firebird, but adds more aggressive styling, including a very wide body, an aggressive front splitter and front-end, new side air exhausts, and a duck tail spoiler with a massive rear diffuser. The concept was designed to be powered by a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 650 HP and can hit a top speed of 200 mph.
If the Pontiac Firebird ever had a chance of getting a fresh breath of life, this is the kind of transformation we would like it to undergo. Sadly, that’s just not going to happen so we’ll settle for ogling these images for a little while longer.