The Firebird

The Firebird

1974 Pontiac Trans Am

Fire in its name and fire in its soul, Ahmed Shehabi’s burning red 1974 Pontiac Trans Am roared around the corner of Arad Fort... all the attention... all the awe and we couldn’t wait to get inside. But first a little background. Originally designed as a pony car to compete with the Ford Mustang, it was introduced in 1967, the same model year as GM’s Camaro. The 1974 second Generation model which we have here, saw away with the “Coke bottle” styling of the first gen Firebirds, replaced with a more “swoopy” body style, while still retaining traditional elements. This generation of Firebirds were available in coupe form only; convertibles disappeared until 1991 after the 1969 model year.

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Ahmed tells us about how he had to wait for a whole year while his baby was being restored in the garage. Having owned the car for only half a year before beginning restoration, he tells us that every thing from A to Z has been replaced, with original stock parts from the US, except the dashboard, as he decided to keep that original.

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He purchased the car in Bahrain but say’s it was in a terrible condition, and he began working on it almost immediately. He told us that he found it incredibly difficult to find the parts for this 1974 model as it was quite rare, he spent a lot of time shopping around different places in the US until he got it perfect. Ahmed reckons he has spent between BHD3000 - BHD4000 on the restoration and got the entire thing done at Zemma Garage in Arad.

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Today, Ahmed only uses his car on the weekends, although he tells me it could easily be used as a daily driver, but its too special. He enjoys showing off the proud work at different car shows within the kingdom and would love to take it internationally at some point during the up coming year. Although this is the first car that Ahmed has restored he tells me that he would love his next project to be a 1969 Camaro, if he can find one in Bahrain that is. So watch this space for more...

© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS APRIL 2017

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