Firebird concept car




Firebird concept car

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  • Just as today's concept cars try to convey a brighter future, one where everything is electric and autonomous, the concepts of yesteryear tried to.

    From to , Pontiac built the now defunct Firebird. It was a pony car in the purest sense, similar to the Mustang and Camaro that it.

    When Chevrolet introduced the Corvette Quartet in , an unusual amount of interest was shown in the shooting brake/wagon variant, the.

    The concept car concept is translated as "the idea of a car". This is a kind of prototype car, which tests people's reactions to new technologies being introduced, design solutions, etc. In its original form, prototypes are never launched into mass production.

    Firebird concept car

    Firebird concept car

    The movie's concept now more than fifty years old was that this future was not unreasonably remote, and General Motors would provide it—and yet it is consistent with current projections for future automotive travel using electronic vehicle control and improved highway infrastructure. Initially, during the first design phase in , there was only one body design — a notchback sedan — being considered. The tradition of offering prototype vehicles continued with the Pontiac Banshee series. The innovative body style never appeared in showrooms, however. Both were emblazoned with the Firebird emblem on the hood.

    Firebird concept car

    Firebird concept car

    Firebird concept car

    Firebird concept car

    Firebird concept car

    Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird Concept Cars | HowStuffWorks

    The Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird concept cars previewed an idea -- the sportswagon ponycar -- that was on schedule for a introduction. The innovative body style never appeared in showrooms, however. The Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird arrived two years behind Ford's Mustang, but were eminently successful in their own right. Yet even as the debut s went on sale, General Motors designers were already planning their next-generation "ponycar" -- "F-body" in GM parlance.

    By early , work was in full swing toward a introduction. One of the more interesting notions to pop up on this development trail was an F-body sportswagon as a companion for the mainstay hardtop coupe. Because of uncertainty over near-term federal safety regulations, a new convertible was never in the running. Though "sportswagon" might seem a contradiction in terms, the idea had a certain logical appeal.

    Firebird concept car

    For one thing, many GMers still fondly remembered the Chevy Nomad and Pontiac Safari wagons with their sleek two-door "hardtop" styling. Though neither had sold well, there was nothing else like them at the time -- or since.

    A decade on, GM was, as usual, seeking "a difference to sell," and it was doubtless aware through the time-honored Detroit grapevine that Ford had contemplated a Mustang wagon for As we know, Dearborn didn't rush to embrace the idea, but GM evidently deemed the notion not a fool's errand at all.

    Firebird concept car

    Whatever their motivations, Camaro designers under Hank Haga and Firebird stylists under Bill Porter mocked up full-size sportswagons alongside their evolving new F-coupes. Cooperation between the studios was unusually close even for a GM corporate project, with lots of creative give-and-take -- unlike the first-generation F-car, where Pontiac had gotten in at the last minute on what began as strictly Chevy's act. That cooperation enabled the new Firebird to wind up looking a lot more distinct from the Camaro even though basic structure was again shared.

    It also contributed to a very pleasing overall design for both models. Predictably, the sportswagons were planned to be identical with the new coupes from the doors forward, which naturally included the front-end styling unique to each nameplate. Behind, the studios jointly devised a shapely extended roofline with relatively long side windows, C-pillars showing noticeable "tumble-home" from dead-astern, and a sharply cut-off tail.

    The last prompted the "Kammback" nickname, after the prewar work of a German professor named Kamm, an early aerodynamicist who proved that cropped tails help smooth airflow off a vehicle. Though records are a bit hazy, tailgates were likely designed as top-hinged hatch-type affairs, with a somewhat shallow window above a coupe-style back panel.

    Firebird concept car

    In designing the coupes, the studios had come up with subtly different doors that dictated specific rear-quarter panels; this meant that each wagon would require unique sheetmetal too, as their rear quarters naturally differed from the coupes'. Though Chevy and Pontiac wanted Kammbacks very much, GM managers deemed their extra tooling expense prohibitive, refusing to approve the body style unless both versions used a single set of panels.

    That meant one studio compromising its design for the other's, and try though they did, the Haga and Porter teams never managed to agree on which should prevail. With that, the F-wagon was finished.

    1970 Pontiac Firebird Concept Car / Pontiac One - walkaround



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