Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently.
Thanks to Deb Morrison-Owens, Jim Miller, Cathy Dennison, Ryan Ortbals, Claude Hrycaiko, Arne Bobruff, Kenny Ventura and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr, Justin Kwarta, Doug Lester, Bethany Orr, Bill Simcox and Brett Campbell on their continuing technical help to our members on our message board at http://board. firebirdclub.net.
We are happy to hear that the All Firebird Lawn Show will continue in a different location. The 11th Annual All Firebird Show will be held in Somerset, New Jersey. Contact Steve Reed at email@example.com or at 848-992-2350. The website is http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica .
Join us on Facebook at National Firebird and Trans Am Club and follow us on Twitter at firebirdclub. Classified ads will now appear in the Eagle, the eEagle, on our website, on our message board and on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to the items found in our regular club store, more items including tote bags, caps, sweat pants, shorts and other items can be found at our Fieldhouse Club Store located at www.fieldhouse.com/nftac .
We have updated our payment form on our website to directly take credit card and PayPal payments. Your credit card is now checked for accuracy and verified and your order is placed into a shopping cart of items awaiting checkout. This type of program should be very familiar to people who pay for items on other Internet websites and is available on the PayPal/Credit Card website button. The old form will also remain for members that are comfortable with it.
Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section on the Club Message Board where each local club has its own section where local club items can be discussed.
You can now find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/firebirdclub and twitter in the groups/clubs 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 login 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 and Performance Hints Area. It also allows you to post items in the For Sale and Wanted sections as well as photos in the Member Photos area. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section.
The club has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog. The Club photo gallery is located at http://photos.firebirdclub.net . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.
We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume II CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $65 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. So save some money and get a free t-shirt or tech CD in the process!
Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a photograph of your car or item. Also the classified ads will now appear on our website and in the eEagle.
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 website. 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 change with each issue so use only the current one listed. You can create your own id and password for the members only section. Use the form on the members only page to do this.
Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and start planning now for the show season!
(top photo: 2002 Collector's Editions of Arne Boroff))
What People Will Do to Create a new Firebird - as sent in by Deb Morrison-Owens to our Facebook Group Page at www.facebook.com/groups/firebirdclub
Lingenfelter Brings Back Trans Am
Pontiac is back… Well kind of. This is Lingenfelter’s Pontiac Trans Am based off of a 5th-Gen Camaro. It’s a turn-key package Lingenfelter introduced at the 2012 SEMA show. Mike Copeland, who used to head special projects for GM and built previous HOT ROD project cars, said the only thing left is to sell them.
The Trans Ams will be offered in three price point packages that can be expanded upon or ditched for an entirely custom order. The base model is the $40,000 package which includes exterior work and cat-back exhaust. Package two is $69,000 and includes exterior, interior, paint job, and wheels. The top of the line package, what you see here, includes: exterior, paint, interior, Brembo brakes, full exhaust, and a 455ci V8. Lingenfelter starts with an RHS block and builds a custom 455ci with LSX heads and 655hp to the flywheel. The cars are built to order and don’t include the Camaro (they will buy one for you if you can’t show up with your own).
In 2009 Lingenfelter built four prototypes and thrashed on them for several years tweaking them before production was ready. The body kits were designed and now built by Lingenfelter. The car has specially designed wheels built by Forgeline and you can’t buy them, they will only be offered on Lingenfelter Trans Am.
THE ICONIC FIREBIRD ON THE HOODS OF TRANS AMS
The hood graphics that branded the Pontiac Trans Ams of the 1970s were almost predestined, with the link of Native American mythos with this General Motors division dating back to its 1926 inception as Oakland’s lower- priced six-cylinder companion car. Named after the Michigan city and the legendary Native American chief, the first Pontiac cars would wear Chief Pontiac’s likeness, and the arrowhead symbol that followed it was subtle in comparison to the intimidating power of the firebird to come.
Pontiac’s quickly engineered version of the late-to-market Chevrolet Camaro adopted an appropriate name previously used on General Motors’ three Motorama gas turbine experimental cars of the 1950s. The design of the red and black firebird badges fitted to the fenders and tail panels of first generation Firebird coupes and convertibles were traditional and featured tucked-in wings.
The firebird emblem would receive a restyling along with the cars it appeared on in 1970, most dramatically as an 8.5-inch decal on the top of the Trans Am’s body color Endura front bumper. For the first time, the Firebird’s firebird would spread its wings and spit flame from its beak, and the relatively subtle 1970-1972 Trans Am would get a shot of attitude in 1973 that would define it for the rest of its days.
David Newhardt’s book, Firebird Trans Am, discusses how the soon-to-be-famous big firebird came to be:
"Bill Porter remembers, ‘Norm James, the designer of the 1957 Firebird III show car, had been in the airport at Phoenix and had seen this stylized firebird, with its wings spread and sort of feathered. He did a decal firebird on the hood of the Firebird III. It was much more stylized and much more angular than what ended up on the hood of the modern Trans Am. I remembered it, and it gave me an idea of a device to get the hood scoop to look like it belonged on the car, by wrapping these wings around it- it kind of sucked [the scoop] back into the surface of the vehicle, integrated it. I laid one out, and a graphic designer named Norm Inouye helped refine it.’ "
Bill went on to explain that GM styling director Bill Mitchell was furious to find this design being applied to one of the prototype cars, and ordered it removed. John Schinella, head of the Pontiac Design studio and a fan of the concept, took the controversial hood emblem, and with help from 3M, made it more production friendly, creating three for three red, white and blue Trans Ams for presentation to management. Bill Mitchell was finally swayed by seeing a black Trans Am accented with a gold bird, done in the same mold as his black and gold cafe racer motorcycle; he relented to offer it as an option for 1973.
Regular Production Order WW7, costing $55, was available on Trans Ams in three colors: a blue-flamed bird on Cameo White cars, an orange-flamed bird on Buccaneer Red cars and a pale green-flamed bird on Brewster Green cars. These hood-hugging firebirds were a generous 45.5 inches wide and 44.5m inches tall, and were an instant success.
Helping to celebrate the Pontiac Motor Division’s 50th anniversary in 1976 was a Trans Am Special Edition painted Starlite black with gold pinstripes, lettering and a striking gold firebird on its hood. This car would inspire the 1977 Special Edition Trans Ams that achieved huge fame with the Smokey and the Bandit movie. A similar black and gold livery and gothic-style script theme was available in 1978, and would continue in modified form from 1979 to 1981.
To mark the Trans Am’s tenth anniversary in 1979, Pontiac released the biggest ‘bird to date, one whose wing tips wrapped on to the fenders and separated the body’s Platinum Silver paint from the roofs charcoal paint. The Turbo Trans Ams of 1980 and 1981 traded the shaker for an offset hood bulge, so the firebird was redesigned with a long flame that curled up from its beak onto the bulge.
When the aerodynamic third-generation Firebird and Trans Am debuted in 1982, the bird decal remained on the nose, albeit in smaller form; a larger hood firebird would be optional through 1987. Although the firebird would remain an integral part of the Firebird and Trans Am until the model’s demise in 2002, it would never again have such a prominent size or placement.
Hood-spanning firebirds of all sizes and colors are reproduced today by Phoenix Graphix and Stencils & Stripes Unlimited, and can also be purchased from Classic Industries, Ames Performance Engineering and Year One.
PONTIAC OAKLAND AUTO MUSEUM
The Pontiac-Oakland Museum in Pontiac, Illinois opened July 23, 2011 and is home to 15 classic and antique Oakland and Pontiac cars, thousands of artifacts from dealer promotional items to signs, posters, and sales training aids, and an entire library filled with automotive-related print materials. The museum is located at 205 North Mill Street in Pontiac, Illinois.
Come see one of the world's greatest collections of Pontiac and Oakland automobile brand items. Antique and Classic cars, thousands of dealer artifacts, a comprehensive library of maps, brochures, original design drawings, service manuals.
For more information, 1-800-835-2055 or www.visitpontiac.org .
KITT Voted Top TV Car of All Time
KITT, the talking supercar from 1980s TV series Knight Rider, has been voted the most popular TV car of all time.
The black Pontiac Trans Am, driven by Michael Knight, played by Britain’s Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff, received 35 per cent of votes in the capital.
Del Boy's yellow Robin Reliant from Only Fools and Horses came in second with 21 per cent and third favorite TV car was the Batmobile, with 20 per cent of the vote.
The survey of 2,000 people was commissioned by Netcars.com - the UK’s fastest growing car sales website - to celebrate its launch to consumers, following a successful introduction to the motoring trade in December 2010.
The General Lee, from TV show The Dukes of Hazard, came fourth with 11 per cent, followed by the classic Jag from Inspector Morse which won 8 per cent of votes.
Louis Rix, marketing director from netcars.com, said: "With such an amazing history of popular TV cars we were intrigued as to who the public would pick as the number one but let’s be honest, who didn’t want a car like KITT? Fast, cool and filled with a wonderful array of gizmos and gadgets it was – and still is for many people - the dream car.
"The series ended 25 years ago this year but people still remember KITT with so much affection, there will never be another car like it. But the great British public also loves a good underdog and that explains why so many people voted for Del Boy’s three-wheel Robin Reliant; it’s at the opposite end of the car scale to KITT but loved just as much."
Netcars.com Louis Rix added: "Most companies launch their offering by using celebrity personalities but our whole business model is very different - the cars are the stars. So it only seemed natural to launch with some of the most iconic celebrity cars of all time, including among others KITT, the Batmobile and Del Boy’s three-wheel Robin Reliant."
As a used car classified website, Netcars.com offers motorists the opportunity to search for their ideal next car and also put their current vehicle up for sale for a flat fee of £15. The car then stays on the site until it is sold; a completely new way of selling compared with existing formats, which demands payment on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to keep a car advertised online.
The website’s additional Car Advisor function also allows motorists to leave reviews of models they have previously driven and ask other reviewers questions or advice about future purchases.
The top five TV cars of all time
2. Del Boy’s Robin Reliant
4. The General Lee
5. Inspector Morse’s Jag
Textured Wrap Kits
Ames Performance Engineering
Now available from Ames Performance Engineering: Carbon fiber textured wrap kits for hoods, hood scoops and interior components. Add a modern touch to your classic car with this state of the art, 3M backed 3D textured material. Engineered with invisible air release channels to virtually eliminate bubbling. The pressure activated adhesive backing allows it to be easily repositioned during installation. Use as accents or completely wrap flat and contoured surfaces. Available in both black and gray. For Ames part numbers and pricing please inquire. For more info on these and other new products visit www.amesperf.com or call 800-421-2637.
1977 - 1981 Firebird and Trans Am Steel Hood
Ames Performance Engineering
Now Available from Ames Performance Engineering: 1977 - 1981 Firebird and Trans Am Steel hoods. These long awaited hoods will save restorers many costly hours usually spent refurbishing rusted, or bent pieces. The hoods were a very good fit during numerous testing sessions. The Trans Am hoods feature the correct shaker scoop opening, and are correct for non-turbo T/A’s. Hoods come painted black, and will need to be blocked and primed, prior to final painting. These steel reproduction hoods feature the correct supportive bracing and under side structure as the originals. This gives them the same strength and rigidity the GM pieces had. The Firebird hood is Ames Performance part number FD109D, and lists for $409.00. The Trans Am Hoods are part number FD109F, and list for $439.00. All hoods ship commercial truck freight, and must go to a commercial address.
To order, call Ames Performance Engineering at
(800)421-2637, or visit our website at
Technical Sections Volume 2
A complete copy of all the Technical Sections, topics, questions and answers published in the EAGLE from 1998 to 2007. Available on CD-ROM for PC or Mac or in a printed version. It is indexed by category such as electrical, suspension, etc. for easy reference and accessibility and contains over 150 pages and over 200 topics.
Available from the NFTAC by ordering on the website or by using the order form in each issue of the Eagle.
$15 plus $5 S&H for the CD and $20 plus $5 S&H in printed version.
It can be purchased as part of a 2 volume combo that contains Tech Sections Volume I & II (vol. II on CD) for $25 plus $5 S&H or Volume I & II both printed for $30 plus $10 S&H.
Eagle Issues on CD
You can have the last years of the Eagle since 1998 easily accessible on your computer. Indexed by issue. These publications, which are no longer in print contain numerous and diverse articles and photos. Enjoy all the entertaining and informative stories that you can no longer get anywhere else and at a reasonable price.
Available from the NFTAC by ordering on the website at http://orders.firebirdclub.net or by using the order form contained in each issue of the Eagle. $15 plus $5 S& H.