If there’s a car more likely to be driven by people who are usually found chewing a toothpick in an alley wearing a leather jacket and a bad moustache than the ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, we’re yet to find it.
This Speed Champions scale Trans Am comes from Rolling Bricks, complete with a lift-out T-top, opening doors, and a golden flaming bird motif.
Don your leather jacket and head to an alley to chew a toothpick via the link above.
We’re not sure why robots in the eighties were uptight nerds, but KITT was the wheeled equivalent of C-3PO.
However unlike Star Wars’ anxious golden bi-ped, KITT had flame throwers, lasers, a tear gas launcher, a giant taser, and ultramagnesium charges at his disposal. And we don’t even know what that last one means.
Equipped with none of that, but looking rather cool nonetheless, is Jerry Builds Bricks‘ 8-wide Speed Champions version of the Knight Industries Two Thousand, which captures the TV star car beautifully.
There’s more of KITT to see at Jerry’s photostream, and you can head there to deploy some ultramagnesium charges via the link above.
This is a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, a car made famous by the ’77 movie ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, and possibly the only car in history to look kinda-cool with pin-striping. Plus a giant flaming bird motif of course.
This exceptional 1:8 recreation of the American icon is the work of Chris Radbone of Flickr, who has not only replicated the exterior of the ’77 Trans-Am beautifully, complete with pin-striping and giant flaming bird motif, his model is a qualified Technic Supercar underneath.
A Technic frame holds a working V8 engine, all-wheel suspension, functioning steering, and a D-N-R gearbox, all of which are concealed behind the wonderfully accurate Model Team exterior.
It’s the early ’80s, perms are big, jackets are leather, and 200mph, self-driving, talking cars exist only in the imagination. And then NBC shoved C-3PO into the dashboard of a Pontiac Trans-Am. Perms remained big and jackets remained leather, but the 200mph, self-driving, talking car was now a reality, on screen at least.
The Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T) became the coolest car for every eight year old in ’80s America, and even though most of the technology it featured is now hilariously out-of-date (even Mrs. TLCB Writer’s compact hatchback can do more* today), it’s still one of the most famous and enduring TV cars of all time.
This might just be the most American thing we’ve ever seen. Apart from Police brutality of course. This is the late ’70s-early ’80s second generation Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, GM’s sister car to the Camero, and the Mustang’s fiercest rival.
Powered by an expansive choice of enormous V8 engines ranging from 4.3 to 7.5 litres, plus some marginally less enormous six-cylinder motors, all of which produced about as much horsepower as a European or Japanese engine half the size, the Trans Am completely erased the words ‘oil crisis’ and replaced them with a giant flaming bird motif. Because America.
The iconic slant nose arrived in 1977, bringing with it huge sales numbers, with this iteration of the Firebird selling between 150,000 and 210,000 units annually until emissions regulations finally caught up with it in 1980. The Trans Am’s starring role in Burt Reynolds’ 1977 movie ‘Smokie and the Bandit’ can’t have hurt its popularity either, a film basically about little more than trucking, car chases, and beer*. Because America.
Recreating this icon of American automobiles is TLCB Master MOCer, regular bloggee, and all-round excellent human being Firas Abu-Jaber, who has captured the ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in astonishing detail. Firas’ model replicates the Firebird’s famous exterior beautifully, with opening doors, trunk, and hood (complete with giant flaming bird motif), plus an amazingly accurate interior, and with presentation as stunning as the model itself.
Over a dozen spectacular images are available to view at Firas’ Pontiac Firebird Trans Am album on Flickr, where a build commentary can also be found. Click the link above to take a closer look, and the first link in the text to read Firas Abu-Jaber’s Master MOCers interview here at TLCB to learn how he creates incredible creations like this one.
Founded in the late 1920s, mis-managed into administration, and then closed down in the last decade or so, Plymouth and Pontiac are best known in recent times as victims of the Big Three’s sorry tale of arrogance, greed and incompetence.
But before all that there were some good times. Really good times. In the late-’60s to early-’70s the muscle car was in a golden age, and both Plymouth and Pontiac were riding the crest of that wave.
Plymouth’s Barracuda (above) launched in the mid-’60s with a range of engines beginning at just 100bhp, yet by 1970 it was making up to 425bhp from an enormous Hemi V8. Unfortunately 425bhp didn’t sit really suit the market once the oil crisis hit in 1973, and production ended shortly afterwards, but if anything that short life has helped the ‘Cuda become one of most sought-after muscle cars in history.
General Motors were also in on the muscle car action in the 1960s, bringing – via their Pontiac brand – the GTO (below) to market in ’64. By the 1970s they too were making over 400bhp, with stock cars delivering 13.4 second 1/4 miles times straight from the forecourt. Like Plymouth the oil crisis put an end to that, but in its hay-day the Pontiac GTO sold almost 100,000 units annually, despite its slow steering and ‘amazingly inadequate’ brakes. The roads must have been a fun (if slightly terrifying) place!
The two superb Speed Champions versions of the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and Pontiac GTO pictured here are the work of Thomas Gion, who has faithfully recreated both cars in just 6-studs of width, capturing the styling cues of each brilliantly.
Today both brands are gone, but the legendary cars they created in the 1960s and ’70s mean they won’t be forgotten for some time yet.
It’s a bumper haul today at The Lego Car Blog, thanks to Tim Henderson and his wonderful collection of retro-futuristic hover cars. Loosely based on all manner of classic American machinery, Tim’s hover car concepts update their historic counterparts with a whole lot more vertical ability.
Models include a Buick Skymaster (apt name!) station wagon (pictured above), a pair of Pontiac Grand Prix (pictured below) and Mercury Meteors (more apt naming!) (top), and a very cool Blacktron-esque Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice (bottom).
There’s more to see of each build, all of which contain a mini-figure and some delightful detailing, plus many more besides, at Tim’s ‘Hover Car’ Flickr album. Click on the link and leave gravity behind!
Ralph Savelsberg, aka Mad Physicist, is one of the most prolific bloggees here at TLCB. One of our Master MOCers and a writer for the The Brothers Brick (everybody boo!), Ralph has been building stunning Miniland scale vehicles for years, and years, and years. His creations number in the hundreds, but until now he’s had no-where to put them. Finally though, a few are getting a home!
This brilliant classic car workshop, inspired by some of the workshop-builders that have appeared here in recent times, contains everything you’d expect to find in a modern repair facility, plus of course, some wonderful classic American cars. Six of the eight vehicles have appeared here at TLCB in some form or another, with the Ford F150 pick-up and a Hudson Hornet making their debuts today (we think!).
We’ll stick with the classics, and there’s more to see of each beautiful ’50s-’60s slice of Americana via the links above to the respective articles here at The Lego Car Blog, and you can see more photos of the complete workshop via Ralph’s Flickr photostream – click here and enjoy!
If you’re going to tow a shed with wheels behind you to a field where you have to crap in a bucket, you may as well do it in something cool. This 1956 Pontiac Catalina certainly fulfils that brief, and the dinky caravan in tow doesn’t look too bad either. See more of both courtesy of LegoEng on Flickr.
This is not the best looking recreation of Knight Rider’s KITT (that accolade belongs here or here). But KITT’s genius wasn’t found in the way that it looked, but in what lay hidden inside. This is Gabor Horvath’s remote controlled KITT, and what’s underneath is a simply astonishing piece of Lego engineering.
Gabor’s KITT contains six Power Functions motors, the first being a Large motor driving the rear wheels through a differential, and the second being a Servo motor for steering. The remaining four motors are all needed to give the model KITT’s most recognisable feature; its lights.
Up front a set of pop-up headlights are controlled via a Medium motor, whilst another Medium motor switches them on. Sitting in-between these is KITT’s scanner, which oscillates back and forth via an ingenious linear-actuator operated mechanism. It’s a properly clever solution, which Gabor has detailed through a series of images and in a neat video.
America is just about emerging from the automotive wastelands it’s been occupying since the late 1970s. Sadly though, Pontiac didn’t survive its stay in the wilderness, dying alongside such names as Saturn, Oldsmobile, and Eagle. But Ralph Savelsberg hasn’t forgotten Pontiac. His recently updated and totally beautiful 1965 Bonneville reminds us of a time when the American car wasn’t a fat joke, and ‘Aztek‘ only referred to an ancient civilisation in South America. You can see more of his glorious tribute to old-school Americana on Flickr – click here to take a trip to ’65.
This blue beast is a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe, with a few modifications courtesy of the inside of Lino Martins‘ head. A chop to the roof and ground-scraping lowered suspension accentuate the already ridiculous proportions of the ’66. It’s been built for the 99th LUGNuts challenge on Flickr, and with the 100th just a few weeks away we’re expecting something pretty special to celebrate… We’ll bring you more details of the 100th LUGNuts challenge soon, but in the meantime you can check out the 99th and Lino’s entry via the links above.
LEGO’s diminutive 4-wide town vehicles are kinda cute, but they are also a bit lonely for the poor mini-figure at the wheel, as they can only fit one mini-figure inside (and even then only with the windows down).
However, a slight scale up to 7-wide and a very clever cabin design allows your mini-figure to take a friend along for the ride too. TLCB newcomer James C’s lovely classic Pontiac GTO works treat, and you can see more how he’s done it on MOCpages.
Breaking Bad is, according to everyone who’s ever watched it (including this TLCB writer), the best thing that’s ever been on TV ever. The Pontiac Aztek however, is widely considered to be one of the worst vehicles ever made in the history of the automobile ever.
These two hyperboles met when some brilliant automotive casting matched the early 2000s crossover with Breaking Bad’s lead character Walter White, aka Heisenberg (before the show’s success attracted some blatant vehicle product placement).
Whist we thoroughly agree with the first statement above, the second we’re not so sure about. The Aztek was of course a spectacular failure, derided for both its function and aesthetics. But… much of what made the Aztek such a joke back in 2001 is now completely on trend. Spilt headlights, cross-over profile, and coupe-like rear glass are now all common-place in the burgeoning crossover segment, with everyone from Nissan to Mercedes using one or more elements of the Aztek’s design in their latest products.
It’s all too late for Pontiac though, which was closed down by parent company GM shortly after the Aztek ceased production. However, in a strikingly similar repeat of another star-car failure, the Aztek has seen a resurgence in popularity as a used buy, mostly due its starring TV role. It may even become a future classic.
The perfect recreation of Walter White’s battered Pontiac Aztek shown here is the work of serial bloggee Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), and you can see all the photos of his latest TV car at his photostream via the link above.
Ralph Savelsberg continues his fantastic run of movie cars with an epic from 1977 – the famous black n’ gold Pontiac Trans-Am from ‘Smokey and the Bandit’. Brick Reynolds makes an appearance too. Get Eastbound and Down on Flickr at the link above.