Richard Rawlings Discovered Pontiac's "Holy Grail"
If you’re a fan of Discovery Channel’s hit TV show “Fast N’ Loud”, you’ll want to tune in over the next two weeks. An upcoming two-part episode, which airs on April 21 and 28, showcases what Richard Rawlings believes to be the “Holy Grail of muscle cars” – the first two Pontiac Firebirds ever built. Rawlings, owner of Gas Monkey Garage and host of the show, found the original prototypes in an old garage in Connecticut. Known simply as #1 and #2, the cars were hand-built by Pontiac before production began on the 1967 Firebird. Rawlings stumbled onto the pair after selling a Corvette to a buyer nearby. “I always have a habit of asking, ‘Do you have anything you want to sell?’ He told me he heard a story about a guy a couple of towns over who was supposed to have the Firebirds.” he said. PHOTOS: See More of the 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Though extremely rare, the cars were in bad shape when Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman got hold of them for $65,000. The Texas duo went on to restore both cars at an expense of $200,000 per vehicle, and sold the pair for $650,000.
“I wanted to sell them as they were…but somebody found out and word spread quickly before the cars even got back to Texas.”
The first generation Firebird may have borrowed from the Camaro’s parts bin, but with unique Pontiac engines under the hood it evoked a personality that clearly still captivates. Make sure to tune in on Monday for the first of the two-part series.
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