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Pontiac Firebird: The Screaming Chicken, Smokey And The Bandit

Anyone who is a car buff, and anyone who loved Burt Reynolds or has watched the movie “Smokey and the Bandit” will remember The Car. A 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird, complete with the ‘screaming chicken’ decal. But there’s more to the Pontiac than just the movie. It had history going back to the fifties, although the iconic decal has only been around since the 70’s. History Firebird-Style The name ‘Firebird was given to early GM prototypes from 1953, 1956 and 1959, which were displayed at Motorama auto shows. The designer, Harley Earl, was inspired by the innovations in jet fighter designs at the time. But the Firebird did not come into its own until 1967. Even then it had stiff competition. The Firebird was Pontiac’s pony car answer to the Ford Mustang, but it also came out at the same time Chevrolet brought out the Camaro, and Ford introduced … Read More

Herbie The Love Bug – A Chronology of Car Culture

If you remember the original 1968 (it wasn’t released until March 1969) movie, The Love Bug, you probably also remember all those Bugs or Beetles on the highways and byways of America. The VW Beetle was ubiquitous from the late 60’s to the mid 70’s, and no wonder: Over 21,000,000 Beetles were produced – and driven – worldwide! The VW (Volkswagen) Beetle name comes from the nickname Germans gave the little car. Because of its rounded shape, they started calling it ‘Der Kaefer’, the beetle, in the early 50’s. This was the shortened name, from ‘Der Brezelkaefer’, the pretzel beetle, which had a split rear window that mimicked a pretzel. The car officially got the ‘Beetle’ name in 1968, just before the release of the first Herbie movie. Herbie The Love Bug Movies Herbie is a self-aware, anthropomorphic car with attitude and an ability to drive himself. He helps his … Read More