Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Firebird is a new book by David Newhardt and Motorbooks/Quarto Publishing. It is entitled simply: “Pontiac Firebird 50 Years”. It takes its readers on the historic adventure of the Firebird’s roots from John DeLorean’s dream of a world class European style sports car to the Fire-breathing Firehawks and LS engines of the fourth generation Trans Ams.
I love the historical perspective Newhardt provides on the reasons behind the decisions made at GM surrounding different facets of the Firebird line. The book is one any Firebird enthusiast can enjoy, with sections dedicated to each generation of our beloved Pontiac F-body, going year by year through each change. It is a large, coffee-table type of book with 205 pages. It is full of tons of great pictures, and surprisingly some rarely seen shots to enjoy. What I really liked was the mix of beautiful modern photos of Firebirds with vintage historic photos. There’s also a section on all the great Movie and TV tie-ins Pontiac had with the Firebird like the Bandit series, Knight Rider, and Rockford Files.
Having met Herb Adams in person a few years ago, I especially enjoyed learning about his involvement in the early suspension tuning of the 1969 Trans Am, and his press conference to the automotive press in 1973 when Herb announced to the world Pontiac’s near race-car ready, 455 Super Duty engine. While at the same time, all the other American auto makers were shrinking their performance engines – Pontiac was going all out with arguably one of the most powerful engines it ever produced!
From Ram Air to Trans Ams, Formulas and GTAs to Firehawks, this book covers all things Firebird in a way everyone will enjoy. I wholeheartedly recommend adding this book to your Pontiac library. The cost is $50.00 and it is available at Amazon, Barns and Noble and directly from the publisher, at www.Quartoknows.com.
(Story by Ken Pitcher, all pictures taken from the book “Pontiac Firebird 50 Years.”)
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