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‘Holy Grail’ of muscle
cars found in old barn

New York Post, by Michael Starr

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 4/17/2014 10:03:57 AM

“Fast N’ Loud” host Richard Rawlings has found what he calls the car industry’s “Holy Grail” — the first two Pontiac Firebirds ever built. Called simply “#1” and “#2,” the prototypes were manufactured by Pontiac engineers and were used as models for the 1967 Firebird, which revolutionized the world of sporty “muscle cars” when it rolled off the assembly line. “We found the cars in a garage in Connecticut,” says Rawlings. “They were in a dilapidated barn and are the very first Firebirds .?.?. they were hand-made .?.?. and were used by GM to decide if they wanted to build the Firebird.” Discovery

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: mc squared, 4/17/2014 10:20:28 AM     (No. 9814238)

A very nice find but you´ll get a lot of arguments as whether these are the Holy Grail.
Have at it.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 4/17/2014 10:30:37 AM     (No. 9814255)

That Gas Monkey guy is a jerk, and his work is sub par. Restoration obviously thrown together. There had better be significant letters, documentation, VIN and engineering records to prove these were test cars. Even then, their value is diminished with the lousy restorations these dorks do.

That program is unwatchable...I have tried.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: BaseballFan, 4/17/2014 10:49:16 AM     (No. 9814283)

Why am I getting a heavy dose of deja vu over this story?

Anyway, give me a Camaro any day; the Firebird´s nothing more than an imitation poser, and always has been. *wink*

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Reply 4 - Posted by: cjjeepercreeper, 4/17/2014 11:13:32 AM     (No. 9814304)

I could rattle off a list of "holy grail" muscle cars by manufacturer that would be a pretty long list. This is a nice find, if provable, but IMO not near the top of my list. The recent find of a nice, original, dusty, low miles Boss 429 Mustang was IMO a better find, for example.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: rocket-j-squirrel, 4/17/2014 11:21:45 AM     (No. 9814317)

Not to worry, #2, he´ll manage to sell them for a net loss.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: The Architect, 4/17/2014 11:23:32 AM     (No. 9814321)

Agree about the 429 Mustang, but the real holy grail for me is a Shelby 500 Cobra. I know its not a regular production car, but it was the baddest street car ever!

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Reply 7 - Posted by: god of irony, 4/17/2014 12:01:01 PM     (No. 9814366)

#2 and 4 did you read the article? He got them documented, did the resto and cleared a quarter million dollars in profit on the sale.

GYSOT!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: JediJerry, 4/17/2014 12:02:18 PM     (No. 9814368)

The Gas Monkees drink more beer than anyone I have ever seen. Richard Rawlings is no Chip Foose. Let´s get that right up front. My all time favorite muscle car is the ´67 Mustang Fastback hard top. Black is the preferred color. Maybe GM producers can hook up with the Overhaulin guys and Chasing Classic Cars Wayne Carini, and really do these cars justice instrad of letting a group of alcoholics ruin them.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Redneck In NY, 4/17/2014 12:19:00 PM     (No. 9814394)

Richard is loud, obnoxious, drinks beer, likes the ladies, drives fast, spends too much money, owns a bar, lives in Texas, and in general scares little old ladies and children (maybe).

Whats not to love. GYSOT!! Indeed...

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Reply 10 - Posted by: The Architect, 4/17/2014 12:31:14 PM     (No. 9814408)

The best Summer of my life was spent under a 1955 Chevy Bel Aire with a small V8 block. We took the engine down to the down to the block, boared the cylinders, put on new heads and a four barrel carb. By the end of the Summer I had a great tan from my ankles to my knees because that was the only part of me that saw any sunlight. That was back when you could actually work on a car. These days you open the hood and it looks like two octopuses making love. There are hoses and cables running everywhere.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Wetenschapper, 4/17/2014 12:34:23 PM     (No. 9814412)

I have to agree with the above posters who think the Gas Monkey crew simply do quick and dirty restorations. Most of the cars they restore I wouldn´t care to own, even if they were done by somebody who knew what they were doing. Muscle cars were simple-minded death traps: big engines stuck inside cheap cars with crude straight-axle suspensions and drum brakes barely capable of stopping the car. Give me braking and handling over straight-line acceleration any day. Ahhh, reminds me of an impromptu street race in my youth: My little 2-liter Porsche vs. his 7-liter Firebird. Suffice it to say the Porsche easily took the curve. The Firebird didn´t, and wound up getting close and personal with a tree.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: karo, 4/17/2014 1:37:51 PM     (No. 9814508)

I despise the recent phenomenon of "finding" some hidden gem car and selling it at a fabulous profit. The enthusiasm is largely fake and usually ends with a fool being separated from his money. The best old cars are the ones that were loved, cherished and taken care of, not abandoned in some barn.

And today is the Mustang´s 50th anniversary. Camaro and Firebird were also-rans and came late to the party. Mustang is the original and best pony car.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Ichiban, 4/17/2014 1:40:03 PM     (No. 9814514)

#6 -for me the Holy Grail is the 1967 Shelby 427 AC Cobra. :-)

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Reply 14 - Posted by: The Architect, 4/17/2014 2:09:51 PM     (No. 9814547)

#13, I had the pleasure of riding in one last year. I was at the local Shell Station putting air in my tires and I heard a deep throated growl. I looked around and there sitting in front of the roll up door was an electric blue 427 Cobra with a white center stripe. A classic! My first thought was that it was a kit car, but when I looked closer, the black dash board was autographed in white marker by Carol Shelby. The owner saw me drooling on it and asked if I would like to take a ride. I´ve never gone from zero to 60 that fast in my life. He was an old timer with a distinct western drawl. He said he bought it new and has had it ever since. What a car!

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Reply 15 - Posted by: happywarrior, 4/17/2014 2:17:39 PM     (No. 9814554)

Another Holy Grail is Jim Morrison´s 1967 Shelby GT500. He drunkenly hit a pole on Sunset Blvd in ´69, wandered off, and the car was never seen again.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: harper, 4/17/2014 2:22:24 PM     (No. 9814560)

Yes, GMG specializes in whizzo restorations and seems to have access to that special Reality TV asset: the doofus with large wads of cash willing to "pay" outrageous sums of money for very questionable quality. How many of these Joe Biden clones are out there?

I suspect it is a form of quantitative easing.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: tomanderson61, 4/17/2014 10:15:55 PM     (No. 9815130)

#11, the reason you have issues with muscle cars is because you didn´t have the skill to drive them correctly. They were never intended as sports cars.

Do you know the difference between a sports car, a GT, and a muscle car?

You´re trying to compare safety of a unibody, rear engine, unbalanced, easy to pull the rear end around little 911 Porsche against a large, often body on frame car of that period? Brand new 911s have thousands of dollars of computing and control systems to STILL try to control that heavy rear-end of that series car. Talk about a potential death trap.

Buy the way, there was nothing wrong with the quality of a Pontiac GTO (based on a LeMans/Tempest), a Charger, a Challenger. By 1969, many even had front disc brakes.

By the way, I have a 911, a ´71 Super Bee, a ´68 Charger R/T, a ´69 AMX, and a new BMW 328i. What do you have in your garage?

Please go to the Discovery Channel website and spew your unsupported, wrongheaded blather over there.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Foggybottom, 4/17/2014 11:39:52 PM     (No. 9815174)

I was hoping this article would lure Iowahawk to drop by.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Wetenschapper, 4/18/2014 6:05:17 AM     (No. 9815250)

My apolgies if someone took offense at my disparaging of muscle cars; I guess my comments were somewhat snarky, but the fact remains that such hardware simply fails to excite me. It may surprise the previous poster to learn that I´m also not fond of 911´s for precisely the same reason he gives: they´re tail-heavy, prone to terminal oversteer, and require any number of engineering tricks to try to overcome this design flaw. The Porsche in question was in fact a woefully underpowered 914, made by Volkswagen, and arguably not even a Porsche. It was, however, mid-engined, with disks on all four independently-sprung wheels which gave it superb braking and handling properties. What do I have now in my garage? two long-in-the-tooth family-car Toyotas. Though I still admire a well-engineered sports car, when I settled down, got married and raised a family, my priorities changed substantially.

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