Baby Firebirds Last Fling - Part 3
Doug Breithaupt

1993 Firebird IROC racer - Hot Wheels

1993 Firebird Pro Stock - Hot Wheels

1993 Firebird Funny Car - Hot Wheels

1996 Firebird - Johnny Lightning

1999 Firebird - Johnny Lightning

1993 Firebird - Majorette
General Motors has made it official. The Firebird and Camaro will soon join such classic names as Coupe de Ville, Toronado, GTO and Riviera on the model scrap heap. The American pony cars that have been the darlings of Detroit for so long will soon be down to one, Ford's Mustang. The Challenger and Barracuda are long gone. The Cougar is getting the chop from what's left of Mercury. GM has decided that after 35 years, the Camaro and Firebird cannot justify their place in the General's line-up.

The fourth and it seems last generation of Firebird toy cars is more modest than the 2nd and 3rd generation versions. In small-scale, the Firebird is represented by just eight manufacturers. Perhaps this is further proof that GM is right about cutting this model? If toy car makers don't want to offer models, perhaps the writing is on the wall. The fact is that Hot Wheels, who had done a street version of every other generation of Firebird, decided not to do the street version of the 4th generation. They have however done three racing versions! The first is a model from the International Race of Champions (IROC) series. It's too bad they did not offer more than one color in IROC livery but is is a well-done model. The second model is a pro-stock drag racing version of the Firebird. The third is a Firebird funny car on the much-used 1977 funny car base.

The fourth generation Firebird was first seen in the 1993 model year. Over the past nine years, changes have been minimal. It is difficult to assign model years to the examples shown here unless the car is clearly labeled. Johnny Lightning has offered a very nice casting of the current Firebird. A special 1999 model with blue wheels was recently added.

Majorette of France was the first to produce the current Firebird. Complete with opening hood, it is a decent toy car and has also been done in racing colors. Motor Max has been offering some nice toy cars lately and the Firebird is one of the new line.

Matchbox did a very good model of the current Firebird. It features a targa style roof. A rubber-tired version was also offered in the Premier Edition series.

One of the best current Firebird models is room Racing Champions. Their 1996 Firebird was part of the Mint Edition series and includes engine detail. Tootsietoy still offers their 1993 Firebird. Unlike some Tootsie castings, the Firebird appears to be unique to the Tootsietoy line and has opening doors. Another very nice Firebird comes from Welly. It is available with either plastic wheels in the regular line of with sharp chromed wheels and rubber tires as shown here. The casting is quite good and with the rubber tires, Welly's Firebird is an excellent value.

The Firebird has been on the scene since 1967 and it's life-span has matched the growth years of the diecast industry. Your first view of a Firebird was very likely Hot Wheels' Custom Firebird offered in 1968. Since that time, over 60 unique small-scale castings have been produced. Now, 35 years later, it's time to say so long.

1993 Firebird - Motor Max

1993 Firebird - Matchbox

1993 Firebird - Matchbox Premier Edition

1996 Firebird - Racing Champions

1993 Firebird - Tootsietoy

1993 Firebird - Welly