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Following on from Mark Blanchard's topic about his convertible Mustang, I've just bought a 1978 Firebird. Ladies and gentlemen meet Mildred; named a

I prefer the colour you have to the Light Topaz, just looks gold to me and not so interesting.  Do like the original bronze colour as per the boot lid, that's the one to go for, very cool! I noti

Very cool car, would love a 'yank tank' myself. The hard part would be choosing which one. Was just admiring Ethan Hawks Pontiac GTO while watching 'Boyhood' last night as it happens. There's a

Ooooo. :D

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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My dad had a '76 Camaro from new and middle sister later had a '74 Camaro  (basically same beast with different GM badge).

My youngest sister took over dad's car and got married and drove it for a number of years when he decided he wanted something new. About the only bad thing I would say was the Firethorn red paint oxidized badly near the end of her ownership and buffing it out didn't last long.

A friend at work had a '74 Trans Am and that car moved . White with custom added center blue stripe from earlier years  (no "Fire chicken") and of course the shaker hood with the flap that opened with the secondaries.

Myself,  I like the '67 -'69s. but they were all fun cars.

Camaro%20ssconvertible1.jpg

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12 hours ago, Loose Cannon said:

Also loads of other details like non-working door locks etc which promise to fill those tedious weekends when I could be doing something useful around the house.

 

Park it near your house, so the work will fulfill both requirements.

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

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Totally awesome car and well done for biting the bullet and realising your dream.  You've only got one life.

I look forward to reading the progress of the restoration and hearing how she drives.

And only 3 years till your Firebird qualifies for free road tax too!

Once again super cool car!

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Don't get dragged into doing stuff round the house - it's utterly self defeating and once you've finished - a whole new list appears. Like painting the forth rail bridge.

once you've fixed the door locks - they will work - job done !! They won't need painting, renewing, relocating, hoovering, changing again, adjusting blah blah blah again. You won't be able to say the same about the swmbo list!!

 

and a real low on petrol prices at the minute - burn it up baby!!

Only here once

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I had an early 80's Trans Am many moons ago. It's amazing how expensive Firebirds/Trans-ams are getting over here, especially the early 70's variants.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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On 01/01/2016 at 09:10, comem47 said:
On 01/01/2016 at 09:10, comem47 said:

Myself,  I like the '67 -'69s. but they were all fun cars.

I used to like tose too, and in the 80s one was a real possibility, but just silly money now. Plus they remind me of Mk3 Cortinas too much.

 

On 01/01/2016 at 11:19, Mark Blanchard said:

And only 3 years till your Firebird qualifies for free road tax too!

Really? Is that a rolling thing again like it used to be, I thought it had been frozen? If it happens it will keep the missus a bit quieter. BTW the diamond ring set I got her for Christmas/Anniversary might have eased the passage of this through the household accounts.

On 01/01/2016 at 12:59, Barrykearley said:

Don't get dragged into doing stuff round the house - it's utterly self defeating and once you've finished

Forth bridge, too right. We crippled ourselves with a home improvement loan 15 years ago at the height of the boom and you can barely tell any more, the place needs gutting

22 hours ago, fmxa said:

I had an early 80's Trans Am many moons ago. It's amazing how expensive Firebirds/Trans-ams are getting over here, especially the early 70's variants.

Aren't they? I figured it was now or never with the 70s ones. The upshot is lots of repro parts however some suppliers are not keen on shipping this side of the pond for some reason.

 

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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It hasn't budged unfortunately as it sits on the back yard back waiting for the Esprit's engine to come out in the next couple of days. Then it can get inside the garage to keep dry. All the seals have perished in the Californian sun so it's finding 3 days of incessant heavy rain a bit much and it's getting a bit damp inside the footwell! This is a front ender from the adverts

23739502690_43c528ceb1_c.jpg

23952617831_cbace82279_c.jpg

 

And this is the original colour in the boot, a bit warmer and more bronzey than the outside

24133742755_03015c9346_c.jpg

If it gets resprayed as original we will shoot for this. However I still can't decide whether to change altogether to Pontiac Light Topaz for the Rockford look. What do you thnk?

hppp_1101_05+1977_pontiac_firebird_espir

http://image.highperformancepontiac.com/f/29417402/hppp_1101_02+1977_pontiac_firebird_espirit.jpg

 

 

 

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Wow! Cool thing. Congrats.

A 79er TA in black with gold wheels would tease the son of my father also.... Smokey&Bandit.... Hrrrhrrhrr... I must visit Nashville some day.... :D

 

I wouldn't change the colour to Rockford files... Maximum the original colour. It looks good. And nobody is able to recall it correctly. Looks good. Keep it (simple) otherwise the boot colour will be wrong again ;)

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The only other people interested in it were body shops who would have squirted it with black paint and made a half arsed Bandit replica. It had to be save it from that!

It had already been imported as part of a batch by a dealer over here. This was his cheapest car, the others were more desirable (by die hard Yank fans) like those stepside pickup things and Torinos/Corvettes. So it's been here since last April, long enough to gain a palm sized dark patch in the footwell carpet from the rain :( must get cracking with this engine today to get it inside before it's ruined.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I prefer the colour you have to the Light Topaz, just looks gold to me and not so interesting.  Do like the original bronze colour as per the boot lid, that's the one to go for, very cool!

I notice the grill is silver, rather than black, is that how the Esprit came as standard?

 

Here's Rockford's Esprit looking bronze too:

firebird14.3158.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, Mark Blanchard said:

I prefer the colour you have to the Light Topaz, just looks gold to me and not so interesting.  Do like the original bronze colour as per the boot lid, that's the one to go for, very cool!

I notice the grill is silver, rather than black, is that how the Esprit came as standard?

 

Here's Rockford's Esprit looking bronze too:

firebird14.3158.jpg

 

Here's how nerdy I've become.

The silver grilles were standard on the base model and Esprit (luxury) version. The next models up were the Formula (simple go faster version) and Transam (the full Burt Reynolds), and they got black grilles.

It gets mega nerdy now....

Rockford was supposed to drive an Esprit as a blue-collar sportscar. But the producers needed a more powerful car to do all the stunts and look fast, so they bought Formulas and dressed them up as Esprits (swapped the scooped bonnet, added chrome etc). However they either forgot the grilles or thought the black looked better, just speculation on my part but you'll see above Rockford's grille was black!

They also wanted a recognisable colour that didn't change each year for continuity, so picked a non-standard GM colour that was not available on regular Firebirds, Light Topaz (might have been Buick, I can't recall). They painted each and every car this colour from 74 to 79.

I hear what you are saying about the light topaz, Mark, it is a beautiful colour bit a bit tame. However in your action pic above which shows Rockfords car as a bit more bronzey this is where the producers made a mistake....that shot is from one of the made-for-TV Rockford movies in the 1990s. The original 70s screen cars were long gone, and the producers had forgotten the paint code! So they took a best guess from looking at screenshots etc. and made a special mix. The end result was the still rather attractive shade above that you like, but is not the original 70s colour! The original colour was only identified as Light Topaz by someone who found an original screen car and had the underlying paint analyzed whilst rubbing down for a respray!

Phew all this hardcore nerdiness is exhausting....time for a cuppa.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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In the early 90's I used to live around the corner from where Jim Rockford's trailer home was located - Paradise Beach Cafe, Malibu.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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Very cool car, would love a 'yank tank' myself. The hard part would be choosing which one. Was just admiring Ethan Hawks Pontiac GTO while watching 'Boyhood' last night as it happens. There's a beautiful highland green Mustang that I keep seeing at shows near here too, the Charger, the Camaro, Challenger, Trans Am, Firebird, Corvette Stingray.... crikey they knew how to name a car back then!

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They do roll off the tongue don't they? Some wag somewhere once determined the sexiest car name ever as Jen-sen In-ter-cep-tor because of the way it was constructed, but those names can't be far behind.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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4 hours ago, fmxa said:

In the early 90's I used to live around the corner from where Jim Rockford's trailer home was located - Paradise Beach Cafe, Malibu.

Cool. Did you see any filming of the 90s movies?

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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They were filming all the time in Malibu and you don't pay much attention to be honest.  There was a small supermarket called the Mayfair market not fare from me, you nearly always saw celebs shopping at odd hours in sweat pants and tee shirts trying not to be noticed.  Most I didn't recognize, but my old GF would say that's so and so. Fun times!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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I know you are a stickler for originality, but I'd be tempted to spray that front grill black.  Looks way cooler, especially looking at that 90's Rockford Firebird photo.  If anyone asks, you could say it was a replica of the 90s series car. 

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Hi Mark, like you I prefer the "wrong" colour the 90s Rockford producers gave the car, it's hard to pin down an exact shade though as it was custom mixed, photographs of the same car can look completely different. If you Google "Mecum Firebird" you get some lovely shots of it; https://www.mecum.com/lot-detail/FL0115-204101/0/1978-Pontiac-Firebird/Automatic/

fl0115-204101_2.jpg

It's 50/50 to keep the original brown or go bronze as above. Incidentally, there is another Firebird Esprit for sale in the Netherlands, also one owner from new (a millionaire no less). Annoyingly it has everything I would like to do to mine already done!

150441612_5_big.jpg

Its a 79 and I think the colour is called Sierra Copper. Damn what are the chances? Waited yonks and 2 come along like the no.9 bus. And this one has a nice interior...could save a lot of time with that one.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Very nice! Always liked firebirds, second only to mustangs in my opinion;)

What's it like to drive? Great experience I bet. 

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