The Firebird Esprit just wasn’t up to that job, but the Formula 400 sure was. One of the club's members, Patrick McKinney, has the largest collection of Pontiac Firebirds confirmed to be actual cars from the show. Cars, and often motorcycles, worked their way into the plots and scripts of the movies and television shows made famous by each of them; McQueen was unforgettable for his serious car guy exploits in Bullitt and Le Mans; Newman really drove Indy cars at speed while shooting Winning, and later voiced the Doc Hudson character in Pixar’s Cars. Ferruccio Lamborghini thought so, 12 Hours of Sebring | From Pit Lane with John Hindhaugh, In conversation with Porsche VP of Marketing Pedro Mota, Chip Foose reimagines the iconic Jaguar E-type, Chip Foose reinvents the 1966 Ford Bronco with street-savvy style, More essential pointers for safe winter car storage, 11 car and truck models born as trim levels, This modified 6×6 MAN camper rig is driving across the Americas, A tale of two-tones: Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs. Ferrari Dino 308 GT4, 2020 Aston Martin Vantage review: Freethinkers welcome, This week in “that’s not a four-stroke:” a V-4 solenoid motor, The BMW M Coupe stakes its claim as a collector car, not just a clown shoe. He has confirmation of the authenticity of all of them— in the case of the '76 , proof is in a letter from James Garner himself. Cars from a demolition derby seen at the beginning of Ep. They rebuilt them and painted them. Kelly has a letter from James Garner that was sent to the Program Manager at Station WGGT. But would a 350-cubic-inch, two-barrel carbed, single-exhaust Esprit been able to burn miles of rubber or pull off the occasional chase scene stunt? For ’77, the standard Formula engine was a 301-cid V8 with 135 hp—a 170-hp 350 and a 180-hp 400 were optional. This Firebird was used during the last two seasons. “Quickie Nirvana” and “Requiem of a Funny Box” are two of the episodes. In fact, most of the time that he owned the Firebird, it was in storage.

Pat had a paint chip analyzed, which matched the paint on his 1978 Firebird. (If you’re REALLY into trivia, look closely at the lead photo of this article and note that the 5 and the 3 on the license plate got mixed up at least once.). The Sierra Gold coupe, which will be put up for auction by Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., is one of three identical cars that were acquired by the production company for the making of the detective program. It appears that they are still in business as a BMW dealer. Each of them owned and drove great cars, and equally proved themselves to be highly talented racing car drivers at professional levels.
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The story goes that James Garner didn’t like the “boxed headlight” redesign of 1979–80, electing to stick with the earlier look that had served so well from 1977–78. There was a spoiler that was put back on the Firebird after filming. When asked how he liked driving the Firebirds for the show, Clark had nothing but good things to say. Some months ago we solved the mystery of the James Garner 4-seat Indy Car, and this past weekend attended the Rockford Gathering, which must be the epicenter of James Garner-related activity. The Sierra Gold coupe is one of three identical cars that were acquired by the production company for the making of the detective program. (I believe that Universal Studios decided to paint the Firebirds a Lt Topaz color for the 1975 model year, which was the color used throughout the rest of the TV seasons.) So Garner’s Cherokee Productions and Pontiac’s PR team, a company called Vista Group (headed by former Hot Rod magazine tech editor and Motor Trend former editor-in-chief Eric Dahlquist) spec’d up Formula 400s for the show, with the tan vinyl interior and automatic transmission, and then “backspec’d” or “downdated” them to look like Esprits; in other words, with no hood scoops, rear spoilers or “Formula” badging. Having trouble reading this image? Watch part one of THE CASE IS CLOSED after the car chase with the silver Nova. In 1978, James Garner was not fond of the 1979 Firebird styling, plus he knew the series was going to be ending soon. I hope that this information will help other Rockford Files fans! Mervin Pollock | I read that only the '74s were actually Espirits - the rest were Formula 400s with plain hoods, so they looked like Espirits but had the beefed up suspension.


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