‘Bird Is The Word

From its 1967 debut, Pontiac’s Firebird soared above the stigma of badge engineering to become a performance icon in its own right. General Motors killed off the ’Bird after 2002 (along with the Camaro), then killed off Pontiac in the wake of the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, leaving no hope of this popular model’s return. Luckily, there are flocks of Firebirds available today with personalities ranging from subtle and innovative to outsized—and even a little outrageous. Everyone knows the versions that dominated pop culture with starring appearances on TV and in the movies, but there’s more to the Firebird legend than the Rockford Files or Smokey and the Bandit. For this month’s Buick-Olds-Pontiac edition of Hemmings Motor News, we took a long look at the Firebird and attempted to pare down its legacy to 10 significant versions. The Trans Ams figured heavily into the discussion, of course, but there were others demanding to be recognized. Here for your consideration are some of our favorites. We’d love to hear about and see photos of yours—send them along to

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