A National Firebird and Trans Am Club EAGLE featured car is the 2001 Firehawk #400 10th Anniversary of Tim Hackenberg. Here is his story:
My father, Steve Hackenberg, ordered the 2001 Firehawk #400 10th Anniversary #84, to replace his 1996 WS6. He used to call me every week and give me updates on where the car was in the build process. When it was finally parked in his garage, it was all he could talk about. He was so excited. My dad drove the Firehawk as his daily driver for the first year before making the decision to make it exclusively a show car. He brought it to several car shows near his home in Allen, TX where he won nine awards over the years. I was fortunate enough to be in town visiting during a car show. My dad and I prepped the car together and spent the day bonding and talking about everything from driving skills to car shows. My dad was always a car enthusiast. I have always had some interest in cars but really didn’t know much about them. I couldn’t even drive a stick. My dad always said someday the car would be mine but that seemed unlikely.
At the time of his passing in 2012, my father had a 2006 Corvette and the Firehawk in his garage. The idea of selling these cars broke my heart because of how much they meant to my dad and the connection we had with the Firehawk. Keeping either of them seemed impractical. My wife, Kathleen, was completely supportive and told me I should take one of the cars and we would figure out how to make it work. We had no place to store it where we live in Brooklyn, New York. Kathleen is not a car person but understood how much it meant to me and to my dad. My sister, Stefanie, and my mother were also big supporters and helped me make it happen.
It didn’t take long to decide on keeping the Firehawk. It had a sentimental significance and I realized I can always find another Corvette if I ever decide I want one. I would never have the opportunity to own this Firehawk again. Besides, my dad told me he wanted me to have it. I had it shipped from Allen, Texas to its new home and my wife taught me how to drive a stick in the Corvette before we sold it. My dad would have loved the idea that Kathleen taught me how to drive a stick.
Part of my dad lives on in that car. Every time I sit behind the wheel, the way it sounds, the way it smells, I feel like he is with me. My Firehawk is a special car in its own right but it means much more to me than I can really describe. The first time I took Kathleen and our two sons for a ride, all I could think about is how proud and happy my dad would be.
Brooklyn, New York