All posts by firebirdclub

Should Pontiac's RWD coupe to be called the Trans Am?

In its latest issue, Winding Road calls the fact that Pontiac will get its own rear-wheel

drive coupe based on the same Zeta architecture (sorry, “Global RWD platform” is the new official name) used by the upcoming Camaro is a “poorly kept secret”. We weren’t aware the decision to give Pontiac a piece of the pie was so solid, but are pleased to hear the news nonetheless.

When a new rear-wheel drive Pontiac debuts sometime around 2010 as a 2011 model, however, what should it be called? The obvious choice is to reuse the GTO moniker that was controversially slapped on the back of a Holden Monaro coupe and sold in the U.S. from 2003 to 2006. But what’s a Camaro without a Firebird Trans Am twin, we ask? GM still retains the rights to those names, and as the speculative rendering above done by Poblete proves, Burt Reynolds’ most famous ride looks damn good updated for the new millennium! I’ll be honest with everyone, I’ve never been the new Camaro’s #1 fan in terms of design, but I could get behind a Trans Am that looks good, screaming chicken and all.

by John Neff

If you agree let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact .

New Firebird New Trans Am
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Editors' Desk – May 2007 Eagle

Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently.

Thanks
to all of the contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr on his continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at www.firebirdtaclub.com .

We have a new member of the tech staff, Bill Simcox. He is a first generation Firebird specialist. See the article about his experiences in this issue and see his contact information under the tech staff on the technical services section.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.firebirdtaclub.com or directly at http://board.firebirdclub.net . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at http://photos.firebirdclub.net . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

The Firebird Nation of North America is a new local chapter of the National Firebird & T/A Club. The club is for all Firebird owners in upstate, central & western NY, central & western MA and northern CT. The organizer’s name is Thomas Smith and he can be reached at 518-587-8215 or by email: tsmith24@earthlink.net or http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica .

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $115 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

We now offer eMembership at a reduced rate of $20 per year. This membership offers the eEagle and on-line access to the “Members Only” section of the website which includes on-line versions of the Eagle, tech staff contacts, member shop recommendations, etc. No membership materials will be mailed to this type of member.

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.

We are still looking for additional technical staff people. If you would like to join the technical staff, please contact us.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is www.firebirdtaclub.com and our email address is info@firebirdtaclub.com . The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are getting ready for the driving season!!

Jim Suva's "Rockford Files" Firebird

In 1974 a new TV series aired called “The Rockford Files” starring James Garner. Mr. Garner’s character Jim Rockford drove a Pontiac Firebird Esprit. I fell in love with this car immediately. So I purchased a used 1974 Firebird Esprit that was gold and had a black interior. (Rockford drove a gold and tan interior version.) I only kept the car one year before I sold it.

The Rockford Files went through Firebirds from 1974 through the 1978 model year. I have always wanted to buy one over the years.

Fast forward to November 2002. I was looking for a used car for myself and found a 1977 Firebird Esprit on the Internet. It was gold with a tan interior.

The Firebird only had 63,000 miles on it and it was in great survivor shape. I am the fifth owner of the car. The Firebird was purchased new in 1977 in Oregon to a lady who was about 50 years old, who gave the car to her minister’s wife in the late 1980’s. The minister’s wife kept it for a number of years and sold it to another gentleman around the year 2000. In March of 2002 that gentleman sold the Firebird to another gentleman named Mike in Rhode Island. Mike sold it to me. What is nice about this Firebird is that it has only been owned by people over 45 years old. So it has not been abused.

Once I bought the Firebird, I contacted Jim at Pontiac Historic Service for a copy of the original build sheet. The Firebird was built in Ohio and shipped to a dealer in Oregon. The car originally had a rear spoiler and a stripe, which I believe was removed at the dealership. It also had wire wheels, that Mike (owner #4) switched out with a set of Rally 2 wheels to make the car look like the Rockford Files car.

Since purchasing the Firebird, I have replaced the wheel-well chrome all around, added a correct AM/FM radio with two rear speakers. Of course I have done some regular maintenance like brakes, heater core, water pump and transmission service.

The Firebird has a 305 engine, power steering and brakes. It also has air conditioning and a tilt steering column with a gold Formula steering wheel. These are the only options on the car.

I used the Firebird as a daily driver for about 11 months. It is now retired as an antique vehicle with just over 69,000 miles on it. It sports the same license plate number that was Jim Rockford’s on the TV show (853 OKG).

I have shown the Firebird at a few local car shows and it is received well. A lot of people actually ask me if this is an original from the TV show. The nice thing about this Firebird is that it is a star car replica. Since everyone wants a General Lee Charger, KITT Trans Am, or a Batmobile, my car is special. Not too many Rockford Files Firebird’s running around. Plus, there are a lot of Trans Am and Formula Firebirds, so it is cool to see the Esprit as one of a few examples still out there.

Plans for the future are to have the Firebird repainted and have some minor dings and dents taken out. As luck would have it, I met a gentleman in California who gave me the original color-based codes from an actual surviving Rockford Firebird.

I have also had the opportunity to talk to someone who actually supplied the Firebirds to both the TV series and the Rockford Movies in the 90’s. He gave me a lot of background information on the Firebirds. But that is another story. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Eagle)
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7th Annual Pontiac Classic Car Show

The South Central Texas Chapter held their 7th Annual Classic Car Show in Seguin, Texas on Sept. 16, 2006. We had 127 classic cars and the show was a great success. There were some very nice Trans Ams and Firebirds shown, several owned by Club members and more in the non Club classes. We were very fortunate to have a very rare ’73 Brewster Green Trans Am Super Duty 455, 1 of 252 produced, shown at our show. It is a gorgeous concourse quality rotisserie restoration and we were grateful to our son, Greg San Marco, for bringing it to the show.

Thanks to The National Firebird & TA Club for sending several door prizes and goody bag items that helped contribute to a wonderful show.

This year’s show is scheduled for October 6, 2007. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Eagle)

Penny San Marco

Future Firebird Trans Am?

Future Firebird Trans Am? As appeared in Hot Rod magazine as a possible Firebird Trans Am built on the forthcoming Camaro body. Is it just us or does this Trans Am sketch look better than the Camaro it’s based on?

This rendering is by Kevin Morgan of Canton, Pennsylvania and we say this needs to be built. If you agree let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact .
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Editors' Desk – February 2007 Eagle

Firebird of Beverly ReedyThanks to all of the new members that joined recently.

Thanks to Beverly Reedy, Charles & Katie Singer, Keith Fuerst and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr on his continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at http://www.firebirdtaclub.com/.
We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at http://www.firebirdtaclub.com/ or directly at board.firebirdclub.net. We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at blog.firebirdclub.net. Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at photos.firebirdclub.net. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

The Firebird Nation of North America is a new local chapter of the National Firebird & T/A Club. The club is for all Firebird owners in upstate, central & western NY, central & western MA and northern CT. The organizer’s name is Thomas Smith and he can be reached at 518-587-8215 or by email: tsmith24@earthlink.net or http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica .

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

We now offer eMembership at a reduced rate of $20 per year. This membership offers the eEagle and on-line access to the “Members Only” section of the website which includes on-line versions of the Eagle, tech staff contacts, member shop recommendations, etc. No membership materials will be mailed to this type of member.

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.
We are still looking for additional technical staff people. If you would like to join the technical staff, please contact us.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is http://www.firebirdtaclub.com/ and our email address is info@ firebirdtaclub.com. The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are getting ready for the driving season!!

2006 All Firebird Lawn Show Report & Photos

I’m happy to report that the 4th Annual Firebird Lawn Show at the Saratoga Automobile Museum was a complete success! The weather was almost perfect-sunny, warm and not too humid. This year’s show was the largest to date- 109 Firebirds, T/As, Firehawks, GTAs showed up in Saratoga from 9 states and Canada to share our love of Firebirds and raise money for the Special Olympics. A total of 4100 dollars was raised, another show record.

Some of the cars at the show were-a 74 SD 455, a Notchback GTA, Notchback Formula, a #2 of 6 2002 Mecham Trans Am, 80,81, 89,96 pace cars, a Father (20th anniv. T/A) and Son (25th anniv. T/A), a 67 Firebird stuffed with a built 455, KITT, Bandits- most of them met up at a hotel and arrived at the show in one long line!! A bone stock 80 turbo Bandit T/A… well not exactly, under the hood was a twin turbocharged 455 putting out 848 hp at the rear wheels!! WOW. Talk about a sleeper!! Yes the owner had the dyno paper work to back up those numbers. Once again the quality of cars was amazing.

I’d like to thank my fellow NFTAC members who made it to the show. Also the members of Firebird Nation of North America who attended and Trans Am Country- many who drove three, four and up to eight hours to get to the show.

Thanks to Rob, Frank and NFTAC for providing items for the show. Hope to see you at the next show on July 7, 2007.

Keith Fuerst

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2006 Trans Am Nationals Report & Photos

The 22nd annual Trans Am Nationals were held the weekend of August 25-27, 2006 in Dayton, Ohio. The staff of the National Firebird & T/A Club are always at this event because of the large number of Firebirds and Trans Ams that always are present. Sue Emmel and Becky Bayes and the rest of the “crew” did their usual fine job.

The turnout was great and Trans Ams as there were approximately 600 Firebirds and Trans Ams with many fine examples of all generations.

It was great to meet so many of our members at the show and we thank you for all of the many complements about the club itself.

A great time was had by the attendees and the 23rd Annual Trans Am Nationals is scheduled for August 24-26, 2007. Take a look at all the great cars and we know we will see you there!

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National Firebird & Trans Am Club

The National Firebird & T/A Club at www.firebirdtaclub.com was founded in 1984 in Chicago to serve the interests of Firebird, Trans-Am and Formula owners throughout North America. The NFTAC offers, magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your Firebird or Trans Am, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the EAGLE magazine AND on the Internet web site.