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My '79 Firebird Esprit in a wild Formula look - as I bought it
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. 1979 Pontiac Firebird Esprit

Production total 1979 : 30,853
Id. : 2T87A9N-
Engine : 231 cu. in. (3.8 L) V-6
Annual traffic tax : 1,180.94 €

Weekend driver 1996 - 1997
Status : under resto-conversion

Mylène Farmer
Mylène Farmer
I named her after my favorite 'chanteuse' : Mylène Farmer.
Click here to visit my Mylène Farmer Page in the Music Wing...

From the back right side...
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.. After Pamela Sue's grounding, I was in need for another car and a friend offered his '79 Firebird V6 for sale.
I was desperate - I drove a Chevy Monza (image: 41,631 bytes) for the time being and bought the blue wild thing.

Originally Mylène was a 1979 Firebird Esprit, but she got a little 'dressed up' through the years and now she carried T-tops, a Formula-hood, TransAm extractors and spoilers.

She looked awesome.

T-top removed, drivers side...
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Great Wallpaper !!
.. I was never that excited about the new '79 front end design, but to my surprise many of my friends liked and even adored this car. Pamela Sue never generated this kind of attention.
I guess the wild macho look did the trick.

The car even featured an upgraded exhaust system which made a beautiful noise, almost V8-like.
However she was anything but fast.

At a lost cathedral in the French Ardennes...
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.. It was sensational to take this car on holiday trips in France and Switzerland.

Too bad she still had the original and by that time old 231 V6. Engine troubles showed up soon (2 cylinders malfunctioning from time to time). It didn't cause a breakdown but a new engine was strongly advised.

So, I ordered a GM factory revised powerplant, the same small 231 V6 again and not a V8.
With those huge taxes on big engines here in Belgium, performance is not on top of my list.
And a V6 is exotic enough for me - most cars here just carry a small 4 cyl. engine.

On the road for a new body paint.
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.. At the same time I could replace the '79 front end because I like the '77 front end better.
So after driving this head turner occasionally for half a year on fun trips, the resto-conversion commenced early 1997, with the intention she'd be ready by the end of the next summer.

All this time I continued to use the Monza as my daily driver which I hadn't sold. Lucky me.

But things turned out to take up a whole lot more time

First paintings.
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.. The inspiration, a 1/8 scale Corvette
In a scale modelers mag I had seen a very inspiring picture of a conversion job done on a 1/8 scale Monogram Corvette. It looked damn cool.

I had something similar in mind, but with replacing the Marilyn Monroe images with Mylène Farmer images made by Herb Ritts for the French magazine Photo in 1995.

First, a lot of time and money was lost on a local 'artist' who indeed put some paintings on my car, but it didn't look that great.

Enjoying a brand new engine.
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.. After putting the car at rest for half a year I decided to redo the whole thing and find somebody who was able to put some quality special paintings on the car.

Meanwhile the new engine could be installed - I had to let the importers take care of this.
It was not a cheap operation, but the new/revised 231 V6 makes a very healthy almost musical sound, it's a pleasure listening to it.

Back from clear coating.
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.. And I found somebody with some great references to do the paint job.
Of course a Firebird isn't graced with such elegant lines as the pictured Corvette but I have to say the final result looks pretty cool.

The final trailer trip was made to the body shop to seal the whole thing up with some coats of varnish. After this, I only had to assemble it all together again.
Interior, all lights and direction indicators, windshield, radio, door interiors, T-tops, etc...

The 1977 front end.
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.. It took me all summer.
Most of the time I had to wait for parts. My first idea was to re-use everything but in the end, I replaced many of the parts, including the complete interior.

Hey, Mylène has now a Camaro windshield and seatbelts.
Sadly the T-tops are still original, they have a worn appearance and I have to operate them with care. I still plan to replace them with better items - once I find them.

Waiting for next summer.
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.. Now I'm just waiting for next summer.

I still have to resolve some minor inconveniences though, like the door on drivers side and the hood which aren't closing properly, some paint damage on the front spoiler and some crazy wiring problems with lights and radio.

I wonder if I'm going to drive this car - I invested so much money in her I almost feel it to be a shame to drive her.
Naaah.... I can hardly wait.

The people who build those gorgeous cars...

the Pontiac Firebird Wing : Pamela Sue - Mylène - Franka - Firebird Trips - Firebird Links
the Music Wing : Jesus & Mary Chain - John Mellencamp - Mylène Farmer - INXS - Neon Judgement
the Scale Model Wing : My Plastic - Dads Plastic - Guide - Plastic Gatherings - Links to Plastic
the Cool Clickings Wing
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