Volume VIII, Number 1

Pontiac Firebird by Hot Wheels
by Doug Breithaupt

The first Pontiac Firebird produced by Hot Wheels was a 1967 convertible, offered in the first series of models that hit the stores in 1968. I remember buying one shortly thereafter and it has been a favorite ever since. While slightly customized, the '67 Firebird was much like the sexy new pony car that could be seen on the streets. While GM has now put the Firebird to sleep, Hot Wheels continues to offer new versions of this much loved car. The latest for 2005 is the 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. During the 37 years in between, Hot Wheels has produced eleven more Firebirds for a total of thirteen versions of Pontiac's most famous model. Here they are.

1967 Custom Firebird
The original Hot Wheels Firebird is still one of the best. Lack of a convertible top might seem a bit odd but those Redlines look just fine.
1967 'Light My Firebird' re-issue
This recent re-issue of the '67 Firebird corrected some errors and added detail like doors and vents. Is it not more like the 'Custom' than the 'LMF' model?

1967 'Light My Firebird'
Here is the original 'LMF' which has the aero-windshield, taller spoiler and exposed engine. These were offered in the 'Spoilers' series.

1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The most recent Firebird is a modest effort that seems a bit short compared to the real car. The graphics are also wrong fro the T/A.

1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am (Sizzler)
This plastic bodied Sizzler is much better proportioned than the new diecast version. It has been repainted in the same original purple.

1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
This collector model from HW is very nice and offers excellent detail and colors. This body style was one of best for the Firebird.

1978 Pontiac Firebird
This gold version reminds me of the car driven by James Garner in TV's Rockford Files. The t-top shape is a bit odd but sturdy. A full-roof version with big wheels and exposed motor was also done.

Pontiac Firebird Funny Car
While this version is clearly representing the Pontiac Firebird, later versions had Chevy graphics. HW used their classic funny car base for this model.

1982 Pontiac Firebird
This model was very popular when released and still looks good. The colors and graphics are appropriate for a car of this vintage.

Pontiac Firebird quarter-mile racer (Cal-Custom)
This model has seen limited production over the years. The side pipes and mid-spoiler make it unique. Does it represent a real race car?

Pontiac Firebird IROC Racer
This model has an authentic look with International Race of Champions graphics and racing tires. Too bad it was not produced in more IROC colors.

Pontiac Firebird Pro Stock
Are there any racing versions of the Firebird missed by HW. A stock version of the last Firebird would have been nice too.

Pontiac Firebird Funny Car
I almost missed this recent Firebird Funny Car.
Fortunately a reader reminded me that this makes
a lucky 13th Firebird by Hot Wheels.