When it comes to a love of classic muscle cars we can all think back to those early days in high school or shortly thereafter when we managed to get our hands on some battered and abused wreck that we promised ourselves we'd restore to its original glory. But for one reason or another we had to part with it and the dream it represented... school, marraige, kids, relocation, or just lack of space. Years later we mentally kick ourselves for having let go of that diamond in the rough.
But not everyone. Some managed to hang on to their automotive high school sweethearts long enough to keep that promise of restoration and rebirth. It is fitting in this case that the car that will rise, Phoenix-like from the ashes is a 1968 Pontiac Firebird. And, as you can see in these artist concept renderings, it's not just coming back from the dead, it's coming back with a vengeance!
The muscle machine depicted here belongs to Brad Weinman. According to brad: "It all started back in '83 in high-school... after I'd been driving the family station wagon for a year or so, I decided it was time to get my own car. I was 17."
"Howard, a family friend who worked as a part-time mechanic on the weekends owned a 1969 GTO convertible and I always had a thing for 60s muscle cars. He told me about an old weather-beaten '68 Firebird that had been sitting in someone's driveway around the corner from our house for years. I wasn't specifically looking for a Firebird at the time (I liked Camaros too), but over the years I've come to really appreciate the different qualities that give the Firebird a unique look. I also like the fact that there aren't too many of them on the street anymore."
"Anyways, we took a look at the old bird and found out it had a blown engine and absolutely everything needed to be replaced. We got in touch with the owner who had the car during college and I was able to pick it up for a measly $200. We pumped up the tires and rolled it over to my house and then went hunting for a used engine."
"The first thing I did was tear off the rotten and tattered vinyl
top. The two layers of paint was in terrible condition so I stripped the
car to bare metal and primered it. I drove the car throughout high school
and used to drag race it for fun until I went off to college."
"The car sat in a garage collecting dust for the next 17 years from 1989 till January 2006 when I decided it was time to resurrect the beast. Frankly, I had put my dreams of finishing the car on a shelf for a long time due to starting a business, getting married and buying a home, etc., but it was always something that nagged at me every time I saw the car sitting in my garage."
"By 2005 my business was doing well and I finally had the financial resources that I knew it would take to realize my vision for the car. I searched the internet for high quality speed shops in the SoCal area and when I found the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff website I just knew I had found a home."
"I'm an artist by trade and I wanted to have a car that's 100% unique and one of a kind so this was the main motivating factor to do something much more elaborate and custom, yet retaining the integrity of the original design of the car. I've had the car half my life and I plan on keeping it for a very long time. Iit's become one of my biggest dreams come true and I can't wait to drive the thing!"