By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

This is a rare and unique, one of a kind Pontiac Firebird. It was made as a custom kit car. All body shells bolt on and off if needed.

That’s right, underneath that long, chunky bodywork is a Pontiac Firebird, a 1984 model to be exact. The finished product looks nothing like the third-generation F-body. The somewhat ’70s looking bodywork looks more like equal parts 1971 Dodge Charger and Aston V8 Vantage, with bits of Ford Torino and (honestly) DeLorean mixed in.

I wouldn’t call the finished product ugly. It’s definitely no 300SL, but it’s interesting and has some potential. The transformation from Knight Rider-era Firebird to fastback muscle car is dramatic, even if it doesn’t suit your tastes. When you look at some of the detail work that’s gone into the project, it’s clear the shop that undertook the project has considerable talent. The custom grille, front splitter, Ford Torino Cobra-inspired taillight panel, all these individual pieces could go toe-to-toe with some of the custom cars we see at SEMA. There are also some well-crafted pieces in the interior, like the custom door cards and dashboard. The off-the-shelf GM parts stick out a bit, namely the gearshift, radio and overhead console, but I suppose that’s common enough within our hobby.

Pop the hood and you’ll see a well-preserved Chevrolet LT-1, 350-ci V8 at home in the Firebird’s engine bay, but not before checking out that custom shroud filling the gap created by the extended bodywork — another well crafted piece. The rest of the Firebird’s mechanicals are just fine. 700R4 automatic, solid rear axle, MacPherson struts — fine, nothing more, nothing less.

It’s undoubtedly been quite the undertaking to transform the Firebird into the custom car seen here, but the builders had something bigger in mind than a custom one-off.

“Also this car is sold together with molds that it was build from. With this package, you would be able to remanufacture any part of this car, if so needed, or start your own manufacturing.”Seller, Craigslist

Is a muscle car mashup based on the Firebird chassis a valid undertaking? Possibly, as running donor cars can regularly be found under $3,000, and GM’s parts interchangeability is on your side, but this is definitely a niche market. But at $45,000 for the tooling and car number 1, someone would have to be seriously committed.

This car needs just a couple things to prove its concept in my opinion. For one, those wheels aren’t doing the car many favors. Everyone likes a throwback, but this car needs something bigger to turn heads, and you could pick just about anything out of Rocket Racing Wheels’ catalog. Second, this thing needs a power adder to get real attention. With that grille real estate, I’d toss a couple turbos under the hood with air inlets in the place of the two inner headlights.

Check it out here on Miami Craigslist.