Last updated Mar 9, 2012
A friend of mine (and a fellow Motortopia member) contacted me to ask if I would sell her the copper 1977 Firebird Esprit model ("Rockford") that I had already posted in my garage. It seems that her father had one when he and her mother were dating and first married. She says he still talks about "The one that got away". Well, I had so much time and effort tied up in that model that I didn't consider that I would ever want to sell it. I did, however, offer to build her another one. We agreed on a price and I went about finding the kit. She supplied me with the only photo they have of the actual car and I found a spray can of automotive touch-up paint that came pretty close to the correct color.
1:24 scale Revell 1977 Pontiac Trans Am model kit
Rally II Wheels
Goodyear White Letter Tires
I had to change a boatload of things on this model to convert it from a Trans Am (the closest thing available) to a Firebird Esprit. I had to fill the shaker scoop hole in the hood. I had to fill the T-tops. I had to remove the wheel spats, decklid spoiler and fender vents and fill the holes they left behind. I had to convert it from a 4-speed to an automatic. I had to add all the little details that I feel any model I build ought to have - sun visors, dimmer switch, dome light, turn signal stalk, proper suspended pedals instead of the ones that come molded into the floor, flocked carpeting, etc. I had to add all of the exterior trim that an Esprit had that a Trans Am doesn't: Wheel lip mouldings, rocker panel mouldings, drip rails (since it no longer had T-tops), and the dealer-installed bodyside mouldings that this particular car had. Under the hood, I made a new air cleaner housing from scratch. Out back, I had to come up with new tailpipes, since the Trans Am-style ones that came with the kit weren't even close to what an Esprit came with. I decided to use a little artistic license here. I went with 2 1/2 pipes running out beneath the bumper instead of the stock 2" pipes that came out under the quarter panels. I thought they would be more in keeping with what a young guy would have (or at least want) on his Firebird in the late 1980's.
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