Saturday, February 7, 2009

Quotes about the Bill Mitchell Trans Am

John Schinella
(Cars Designer) “One of the Greatest GM Pontiacs

Jim Wangers (signed his book) “The original ‘73 show car is indeed one of the most Famous Pontiacs

Tom DeMauro (HPP Editor at POCI Con 09) “That car really draws a crowd

Don Keefe (HPP Dec 05) “This Trans Am became one of the most well-used (showed) show cars Pontiac had ever built

Firebird Gallery (
“The idea for the Special Edition car was actually founded by John Schinella who was assigned chief designer for the Firebird in 1971. He based the paint scheme on the then popular black and gold John Player Special Formula Gran Prix race cars. Once given the green light to go ahead with the design from Bill Mitchell John debuted the first black and gold Trans Am in the 1974 Chicago Auto Show. Of course this is easily the most recognizable Trans Am of all time to just about anyone born in the last 30 years.”

Firebird and Trans Am by Bill Holder in the forward by Paul Zazarine “One Automotive magazine observed that “the trans am” screaming chicken is now the most recognized car emblem in the world

Jeff Dennison ( “Rarest of the Rare”
“The rumors about this car run rampant. I've heard everything from it got crushed in 1976, to it was totaled in a wreck, to it's still alive and well stashed away in a Detroit warehouse. If this were true, it would be the rarest of the rare!”

NAFTA Eagle by Jeff Dennison
“John knew that Bill Mitchell liked the black-and-gold John Player Special paint scheme, so he had a black prototype 1973 Trans Am made up with a gold foil hood bird graphic and gold pinstripes. No one can remember if this particular Trans Am had a Super Duty 455 or not, but if Bill Mitchell used it as his regular car, it probably did. Bill already had some of his motorcycles painted in a similar fashion. By pitching the hood bird to Mitchell in a color combination he already liked, Schinella sold him on the idea and the hood bird was finally born.
The hood bird would go on to become an icon, one that would identify the Trans Am for the rest of the second generation's production run. When the 1982 Trans Ams arrived at the dealerships in late 1981, the legendary hood bird and shaker scoop went into the history books -- gone but certainly not forgotten.”

Breaker, Breaker: Year One recreates Bandit T/As
by Dan Roth
“The distinctive theme, with black paint and contrasting gold pinstripes and accents, traces back to the 1974 show car season. That year, a particularly evil-looking '74 T/A was done up in black metal flake with extensive gold detailing. The car featured a Super-Duty 455 V8 topped with a shaker scoop, and it was stunning. So stunning, in fact, that it went into production in 1976 as the 50th Anniversary Trans Am.”

The show car had black metalflake paint with a gold and black hood bird and pin striping on various body components including the fender spats, racing mirrors, A-pillar, the roof and trunk lid centreline and the hood scoop surround. It was a stunning car especially with the honeycomb mag wheels. The ’74 showcar also had "Trans Am" in gold gothic lettering on the front fenders.

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