Another interesting article from R&T’s May 1979 issue is here.
Anyone doesn’t know about this (almost) one-off? Read on:
What ever became of these cars?
Don’t know, but here’s a good angle with the man who was supposed to introduce it to the world.
I like it from the front but the back looks rather bloated and uninspired.
James Garner, as Jim Rockford, was apparently supposed to drive one in The Rockford Files.
Being a big fan of the show, I seem to remember that Universal wanted Rockford to drive this in the show. He did not like the front end of the ’79 Firebird and the show continued to use the ’78 model. And , then it turned out to be the last season of the show. Garner was having health issues and decided to call it quits, if I remember correctly.
It seems that wagon appeared in one of the episodes involving Rita the prostitute.
The car appeared in this episode, driven by a female con artist.
It’s interesting that, having tried to build it and not been able to get the numbers right they didn’t then change angles to making a sporty version of an A/G wagon. maybe based on the RWD Grand Am.
With all the leaks that T-Tops had back then, imagine the quality issues this wagon would have!
No worse than what they already had with the existing models. I spent a lot of time working on this generation F-body during high school and college, and they were not put together very well (and yes, I would NEVER own a T-top version unless I had it on display in my living room).
The Norwood, OH plant had chronic labor/management issues which possibly contributed to this.
How were the Van Nuys [Los Angeles] built F bodies?
Van Nuys was a little better, the paint in particular. The later 3rd gens built there gradually became every bit as bad as Norwood was as Van Nuys was living on borrowed time. The Big 3 had been pulling out of California since the ’70s. Van Nuys and NUMMI/Fremont were the last survivors.
Reminds me of the Corvette America…a rare costum four door version of the Corvette built in the late 70’s early 80’s.
I have to admit, I never heard of that 4 door ‘vette! I could almost see myself with the little “F” body wagon, But a Corvette (sedan/pheaton??) Not so much!
God… I remember that thing. Probably a ’78 issue of R&T. This was much nicer. You guys are really hitting on my early teen memories here.
Interesting that GM was unable to “make the numbers work”, while Nissan would take this idea and give the world that Pulsar NX with a the option of a wagon or hatchback roofline.
Tiny bit of trivia, probably known by all here: while they look the same, the doors of a Camaro and Firebird built in the years 1970-1981 are NOT interchangeable. The rear edge of a Firebird’s doors are just enough different to preclude their use on a Camaro.
For starters, the Nissan Pulsar NX was quite a bit smaller than the F-body. Then, the Nissan ‘mini-station wagon’ didn’t have the opening side glass, either.
What is really interesting, though, is why GM didn’t resurrect the idea for the third generation Firebird. It would have been a whole lot easier to get the wagon onto that car’s open hatchback area (as opposed to the 2nd gen car’s separate rear window and trunk)..
Indeed, they could’ve done exactly what Nissan did, a bolt-on fiberglass “wagon” addition interchangeable with the standard hatch.
AFAIR they will interchange, but won’t look right, especially if one wasn’t paying attention and sourced just one side for a collision repair.
It’s too bad Pontiac didn’t make this a production car. It would’ve been fun to see a Firebird station wagon.
See above re: quality Sure, fun to look at, but own and maintain? Or, deal with aging parts?
I always liked these when I saw them back in the day in the magazines. I guess why they weren’t built is typical GM.
I like these. They look like something Hot Wheels would have done.
A side opening panel van version handy for tradesmen for getting tools out of with the side doors, but really other than that is was a stupid fantasy that was never going to be built except in aftermarket fibreglass.
It sort of falls into the El Camino camp. Neither fish nor fowl.
Of course in the mid 1980’s GM again tried the Kammback Firebird, this time calling it a Sportwagon
Several were made but the program was killed off.
Considering how easy (and cheap) it would have been to simply replace the regular hatch with the kammback, seems odd they never went forward with it. Even if it bombed, it wouldn’t have cost GM all that much just to give it a shot. I’m guessing they simply couldn’t figure out to whom they’d be marketing the car if it went into production.
I actually remember reading this article when it came out.
I remember the article, too.
I toured the Norwood plant in the late 70s…when I was a Cub Scout the troop got a tour. I seem to remember lots of black Trans Ams with screaming eagles on the hoods…we even went to McDonald’s on the way home…that was a rare treat.
Considering what rattle-traps F-Bodies of that era already were that thing would have to have been the worst car for BSR in automotive history.
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