Well he would’ve liked one—it’s much sexier—but I didn’t think he could afford it. Privacy policy. (If you’re REALLY into trivia, look closely at the lead photo of this article and note that the 5 and the 3 on the license plate got mixed up at least once.). This Firebird will be his next restoration project. 1.21: Nice work! Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Is $48,000 too much green for Mazda’s brown beauty? But here's why I am writing....I recently received the Pontiac Historical Services report on one of the screen used T/As used in Knight Rider, and it, too, came from Bob Ruehman Pontiac in November of 1982. In fact, the VIN number of Pat’s original 1978 that was destroyed, was only a few numbers off the 1978 Firebird that he owns today. The automotive star of The Rockford Files was always Jim’s Firebird; it was believable whether Rockford was outrunning villains or taking a leggy guest star to dinner. Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. All four Firebirds were special-order cars with similar equipment. The 1974 Formula came standard with a 350-cid V8 that put out 170 horsepower, and offered a 225-hp 400-cid V8 as an option. James Garner, like a several other notable actors, has a longstanding love of racing. To execute a “Rockford,” Jim Rockford would drive about 35 mph in reverse, then let off the gas, turn the steering wheel sharply, and pull on the emergency brake. The color is Lt. Topaz. Name and email address are required. Garner, a well-known car enthusiast and racer, bought the Pontiac when the show went off the air in 1980 after six seasons and kept it for himself for about a year. Comments are property of their authors. I know I haven't posted any new images in about a year. Rockford was poorly paid (if he was paid at all) by his clients, and Garner wanted to convey that somewhat cash-strapped status in his character’s choice of transportation. This is only a preview. Garner didn't like the look of the '79s, so they never went to those.

(I just revisited the forum!). This weblog only allows comments from registered TypeKey users. Then, it luckily found its way into the sympathetic ownership of Steve Reich; Reich is a long experienced “picture car” guy, in the business of supplying vehicles for film, TV and commercial use (he currently works for Jay Leno in the management of his car collection, and in the production of Jay Leno’s Garage). Was the Jamara the perfect car? I guess you could say that I am your counterpart in the Knight Rider world...working to identify the screen used cars/trucks used in the series and their whereabouts today. He said that everyone always remembered the 1978 Firebirds, which is why they were rebuilt that way. Taking on Europe’s Best: 2016 Cadillac CT6, Drop-Top Madness! We are counting down the Top 50 hot rods and street cars of all time that have made an appearance in a television series, or a … The car looked more subtle but still packed the 400-cu-in engine and more robust suspension. Sign up for the latest automotive news and videos—in short, everything for people who love cars.

Ross also received a photo copy of an article about the original owner’s history with the Firebird. In 1978, the standard Formula engine was a Chevy 305 V8 with 145 hp.
Posted by: Anyone else ever spotted that right at the beginning of Episode 1 during the establishing shots there's a shot of a pier and as the camera pans left there's Columbo's grey Peugeot convertible parked? I have a bunch of information on numerous Trans Ams used in the series. Am I right or wrong. This Firebird was used during the last two seasons. A 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 that was not only used in the James Garner-led TV show, 'The Rockford Files,' but also owned by the actor himself, is up for auction. Market data provided by Factset. Usually it all went by so fast as to not have been noticeable on the clunky curved-glass TVs of the ‘70s. My 10 Best Episodes of "The Rockford Files" Menu. Cars, and often motorcycles, worked their way into the plots and scripts of the movies and television shows made famous by each of them; McQueen was unforgettable for his serious car guy exploits in Bullitt and Le Mans; Newman really drove Indy cars at speed while shooting Winning, and later voiced the Doc Hudson character in Pixar’s Cars. Im watching it now on t.v. STEVE MCQUEEN'S 'THE HUNTER' PONTIAC TRANS AM EMERGES FROM BARN AFTER 39 YEARS: This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 1975 GMC K-1500 pickup with Vic Hickey accessories driven by Rockford’s father Rocky

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor covering the car industry and racing. Not so much. The late James Garner, who played Jim Rockford, didn’t invent the reverse 180-degree “J-turn,” but he used it so often in The Rockford Files television series that the maneuver is forever associated with the character. According to Hagerty, the Formula 400s and their powerful 6.6-liter V8 engines were needed for stunt work, but the cars were stripped of some parts and badges to make them look like one of the cheaper Firebird Esprits that down-on-his-luck Rockford might actually be able to afford. Tom Selleck played recurring character Lance White, a detective with a ritzy Cadillac Eldorado convertible. All the cars used for the show came from Pontiac, a GMC division, through Visa Group, to Cherokee Productions. Now, interest in Firebirds from the Rockford Files is a decidedly niche market. If anyone has any other information about any original screen used Rockford Files Firebirds, please let me know at jimsuva34@aol.com. http://www.hunskytrucking.com, Posted by: On August 29, 2009 I had the honor of meeting Kelly in person in Iowa. "You could take a corner at 60 mph, for Crissakes," he told me. i think he ot hit on the head at least once per show!! Though they were nowhere near as flashy as the typical “star car,” the no-nonsense Pontiac Firebirds that James Garner drove on The Rockford Files are among the best-loved TV/movie vehicles of all time. Each of them owned and drove great cars, and equally proved themselves to be highly talented racing car drivers at professional levels. Follow @foxnewsautos, James Garner's 'Rockford Files' Pontiac Firebird is up for auction. The Firebird is all there, including the holes drilled to run recording wiring. Error type: Ross Healey located a 1976 Firebird Formula in San Diego in 2008. Quality of current pics is good enough to me, is such a big effort worth? Garner did well in choosing the Firebird. Please try again.

I asked Vinny about the two Firebirds that he supplied for the Rockford Files movies.

Is It Just Us, or Do a Lot of Cars Look Like Stormtroopers These Days? We are busy with cars here, but I think, this pure 70ies-music shouldn't be forgotten: De nada ... it wasn't your mistake anyway, was it? The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. You can see pictures of the restoration on the Rockford Files website. The documentation on the Firebirds from the TV series were destroyed sometime around 2000. Garner once explained that “Rockford would have probably rather had a Trans Am, but realistically couldn’t afford it.” And of course the handsome but decidedly more humble Esprit was a bit stealthier than the rumbling, grumbling big-block Trans Am with its flashy mag wheels and phoenix hood decal graphic. Have you ever tried to contact anyone there regarding the cars? I left off with "The Man Who Saw the Alligators" (Ep. Account Deleted | Rockford’s license plate—853 OKG—was the work of Meta Rosenberg, James Garner’s agent and executive producer of The Rockford Files. After…. It is unique in that it was the only car that had holes drilled near the bottom of each of its fenders for sound wiring and microphones. Garner even had a signature driving move, a sort of quick from reverse-J-turn that even became known as a "Rockford turn.". I've also spoken to someone at Universal in depth about the numbering of the cars. In March 2002, I had a conversation with a man named Vinny Imerti who maintained the Firebirds for the TV series, as well as the Rockford movies. Typically two to three cars were used for each season’s filming. I don't know if or when I'm going to start uploading images from it or not. Other cars in The Rockford Files included a 1975 GMC K-1500 pickup with Vic Hickey accessories driven by Rockford’s father Rocky (played by Noah Beery). View an alternate. Really, there are far worse ways to spend your time. You can even use it for your own remake of the show, because it was the sound car and is still equipped with microphone inputs in the dashboard, although the rest of the recording equipment has been removed. Pat McKinney purchased the 1976 Firebird from Ross a few years ago, along with all the documentation. Pat’s 1978 Firebird was purchase from the daughter of a stunt man for the Rockford Files. He purchased the first one from a couple in the early 1980’s. Unfortunately, she chose to have the car repainted a darker color, and she had the seat covers replaced. He sold his business, Carriage Studio Rentals, which had merged with Cinema Vehicle Services around 2002.

Any reason to keep a vintage auto on the road is a good reason in my book, and these guys have signed letters and can see their cars doing exciting 70s-era stunts and hauling around guys with hairy chests on DVD whenever they want. The car also has a skid plate mounted to the frame to protect the engine and transmission from any damage from stunts.