The Firebird-based 1977 Pontiac Type K concept cars blended muscle and func

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Pontiac Type K Concept Cars

Though Chevy did nothing further with the F-Wagon, Pontiac revived the concept in late 1977 with a pair of special concept cars -- Pontiac "Type K" concept cars (Chevy had by then appropriated Kammback for its small Vega wagon).

Devised under GM executive designer David R. Holls and executed by Pontiac studio staffer Jerry Brockstein, the Type K was much like the original sportswagon proposals, but sported top-hinged rear side windows that swung up in crowd-pleasing "gullwing" fashion, plus a neat back panel with thick horizontal louvers hiding taillamps and fuel door.

Both concept cars were built off base production Firebirds, not Trans Ams, though they wore T/A-type dummy front-tender vents. One Type K was finished in silver with a red interior, the other in gold with natural-beige interior.

The Type Ks met such an enthusiastic reception on the auto-show circuit that GM design chief Bill Mitchell explored the prospect of limited production via Pininfarina, which had built the show cars under contract.

The Pontiac Type K concept car sported top-hinged rear side windows that swung up in a gullwing fashion. The tailgate was fixed in place.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Price was targeted at $16,000 -- almost triple the base figure for a 1978 T/A coupe -- and assembly was eyed for either Italy or a small Stateside plant. In either case, Pininfarina would supervise construction, likely starting with specially supplied conversion-ready coupes.

A limited-edition Firebird convertible was also discussed. Alas, the F-wagon was left stillborn once more when the Type K's projected price ballooned beyond $25,000 amid inflationary pressures and the onset of a second worldwide "energy crisis."

Then too, the F-body itself was pretty old by that time, and GM was pointing to a belated new Camaro/Firebird, which would bow for 1982.

Though not generally known, Pontiac bothered to mock up at least one more sportswagon based on that third-generation Firebird. Completed during 1986 in Trans Am trim, it wasn't identified as a Type K or Kammback, but it sure looked nifty: smoother, tauter, and cleaner than any previous F-wagon.

This third-series Firebird Type K concept car was cobbled up during 1986 as a speculative exercise.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Regrettably, it too was rendered a no-show, thanks to the plethora of problems that began catching up with GM in the late 1980s and reached crisis proportions by 1990.

But it looked like perhaps the Kammback still had a chance. After all, GM had been fighting back very hard, and striking new fourth-generation F-cars appeared for 1993 as if to herald the apparent turnaround.

For more on concept cars and the production models they forecast, check out: