I imagine that in the year or two prior to 1967 two important discussions were going on in two different conference rooms. At Chevrolet, the Pontiac boys probably wanted some of the Camaro action and Ford’s Mercury division wanted to capitalize on the success of the Mustang. In that year, Pontiac introduced the Firebird while Mercury unveiled their Cougar. From that day forward, a cloud of confusion hung over the American car buying public.
While the Cougar kept getting bigger and bulkier through each of its generations, Pontiac hung by the sportier looks for its Firebird. Successive generations of the car maintained the Camaro-like image while imparting a special Pontiac flare to the body and engines.
In the early ’80s, Pontiac introduced the Firebird Trans Am which was geared towards performance. You could tell it was a Trans Am by the distinctive hood scoops that gave the appearance of a dragon’s snout. That went nicely with the Firebird hood graphic.
Sadly, in 2002, both the Camaro and the Firebird were discontinued. There is hope, however. When the new Camaro is scheduled to be released in the spring of ’09, perhaps there will be another discussion in another conference room concerning the resurrection of the Firebird. It would be like the Phoenix rising from its ashes.
Please view the Firebird gallery next.
Click to enlarge.
Three original concept cars first to be named Firebird are shown in this video.