THIS CHICK CAME OUT OF DETROIT’S INCUBATOR – READY TO FLY – IN RECORD TIME.
BY DONALD MACDONALD
Pontiac chief John Z. DeLorean (foreground) briefs MT editor Don MacDonald on new Firebird. DeLorean is one of a minority of top Detroit automen who are true enthusiasts.
THE STORY BEHIND the Firebird is an amazingly short one. We know of no other car that has moved from sketches to prototype in a period of six months, and it is even more remarkable when you consider the fact that Pontiac has the second smallest engineering department in the industry.
As chief indian John Z. (for Zachary) DeLorean puts it, “We took every resource of every person in our organization, and on top of it all, they still had to post a normal performance in the engineering and styling of our regular ’68 line.”
The Firebird, nee Banshee, idea had been in motion at Pontiac for several years, but corporate approval of a sports-personal car completely unique to the one division was not forthcoming. DeLorean finally gave in around May, 1966, and agreed, to work with the then existing “F,” or Camaro,