The Pontiac Firebird Type K Is The Coolest Station Wagon General Motors Wouldn't Sell

The Pontiac Firebird Type K Is The Coolest Station Wagon General Motors Wouldn't Sell

There are idea motors, after which there`s Pontiac's Firebird Type K. It's bizarre — the sort of automobile whose creators get a "what had been they thinking?" It's additionally possibly the best American idea automobile that became by no means made ... however must had been. We say American due to the fact handiest in America might this sort of automobile ever come to fruition. It's as All-American as spray cheese, the Hulkster, and Nathan's annual warm canine ingesting contest.

Like many idea or prototype motors, the backstory may be simply as thrilling as the auto itself. Such is the case with the street now no longer taken — American poet Robert Frost, for the win! — with the aid of using the Firebird Type K. The "K" stands for "Kammback," which sounds goofy however in reality has a unique records of its very own that stretches lower back to 1938.

In best terms, "Kammback" refers to a tear-drop automobile frame fashion in which the roofline sweeps down toward the auto's rear and suddenly involves an stop, a characteristic that reduces aerodynamic drag. It's an appropriate description for Pontiac's automobile because it looks as if a person actually lopped off the lower back stop with a massive knife.

The legend of the Firebird K begins offevolved withinside the past due 1970s, whilst Pontiac desperately tried to revitalize its fading F-frame lineup of motors. Gerry Brochstein, below General Motors govt David R. Holls, got here up with a automobile that essentially took the the front stop of its well-known Firebird Trans Am and merged it onto the lower back stop of a station wagon.

The Kammback was hoping to feature sportiness to the own circle of relatives truckster

Brochstein began out with the aid of using tossing out the old-faculty rear tailgate discovered at the lower back of maximum station wagons. Instead, he strolled but any other direction by no means taken with the aid of using getting rid of the tailgate completely. In fact, not anything at the lower back of this automobile opened, inclusive of the rear window that stretched throughout its complete width. His method to this strange layout desire became to double down on any other and set up  big gullwing home windows on both side, giving lots of get admission to to the shipment area. In theory, human beings should attain in and clutch groceries, stuff in a Christmas tree (albeit a tiny one), or permit the youngsters climb thru.

Oh, and there wasn't a 2d set of passenger doorways for parents to get into the lower back seats. You both needed to climb thru the formerly noted gullwing home windows or bend and twist your manner in the back of the the front seats. This -door station wagon needed to maintain its sporty vibe and now no longer stink like a traditional own circle of relatives truckster.

In 1997, Pontiac mocked up a idea and confirmed it to Bill Mitchell, VP of layout on the time. He became so inspired that he ordered  complete fashions with all-metal construction be built, now no longer withinside the appropriate ole US of A with the aid of using his company, however with the aid of using famend Ferrari fashion dressmaker Sergio Pininfarina. Over in Italy, of all places. Why? Because Pininfarina and his group had been skilled in making motors with quick manufacturing runs. Plus, it had the "Ferrari" cachet.

One of the standards had a gold outside with an identical beige interior, whilst the second one became painted a lustrous silver and got here with a shiny crimson interior (through Story Cars). Stop gagging... it became the '70s.

Where there is smoke there is the flaming Kammback

These  Kammback's rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a 'seventy eight Firebird Trans Am. They even had the identical hood scoop and hood sticker from the Trans Am. Yet, they were not powered with the aid of using its engine. Designers opted rather for a 403 cubic inch, 185 horsepower V8 Oldsmobile engine.

GM despatched those  fiery birds onto the auto display circuit and had been met with sparkling reviews, in order that they ratcheted up plans to mass produce them. One concept became to permit Pininfarina and his group construct them in Italy, which might had been price prohibitive. The lower-price concept became to cause them to withinside the United States below Pininfarina's direct supervision.

And then the rubber hit the street. When all totaled, the very last MSRP at the Firebird Truckster might price about $25,000. GM hoped for a rate round $16,000. At the time, a base version Firebird became handiest $4,753, whilst a base Trans Am became $5,889. Heck, the MSRP on a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB became handiest $28,580 (through Auto Week). Needless to say, the Type K went down in flames.

The silver idea regarded in  episodes of "The Rockford Files" in 1979 (after you have up to date with a 'seventy nine Trans Am nosecone) and is the handiest one nevertheless round. According to 1 source, the other "became destroyed with the aid of using GM for an unknown reason" (through Auto Week).

Wonder what sort of movie "Smokey & The Bandit" might had been if Burt Reynolds became tooling round on this issue rather. The international will by no means know.

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