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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Firebird fans!

My father in law (Johnn Bakker) was a well known animation artist in the Netherlands during the 60's and 70's. He was also well known for his Pontiac Firebird GTO 455 because of the large bird displayed on the front hood. His love for Indian art led him to borrow a airbrush from the local car repair and spray the very first 'firebird' on the hood of his GTO.

A photo was taken of his GTO (now in bright green with a red, yellow and orange bird on the hood) by the local newspaper and a few weeks after it was published he was contacted by General Motors.

GM bought the rights to the drawing for a reasonable amount and as you all know the rest is history.

This is the picture that GM saw of his firebird.

Car Wheel Tire Jeans Vehicle

It took my wife and I a lot of searching to get confirmation that he was indeed the actual original designer of the firebird hood decal. Unfortunately for my wife she never had much of a relationship with her father. We only found out about the 'bird' after he passed away and that was only rumours, no concrete information up until we found the article (where the above picture is from) where it refers to him selling the rights to GM.

Our next mission is trying to track down the car in the photo, if that's not possible then we will get a replica made.
 

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...cool story. Welcome aboard.
 

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Hy and a cool story,

may you will get all information about the bird and what is happen with him.

On the pic I see the bird have the old black licence plate from Netherlands.

If ask the center for licencing car in netherland were he lived, you will get all

the information you need. All VIN numbers are registered for a long time.

We have the same system here in germany.

I wish you both good luck to get all information you want and need.

Regards sascha
 

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Admin - Firebird lover
1968 Convertible 400, 200 4R, 1971 Formula 400 M-22 Rock Crusher, 1984 Trans Am...........
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Great to have you here. Awesome story about the bird.

Ok correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a Firebird, not a GTO, right? If you go hunting for a GTO you may never find it. Look for a Firebird instead.
 

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']['exXxas']['itan
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I think he had the birds on both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great to have you here. Awesome story about the bird.

Ok correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a Firebird, not a GTO, right? If you go hunting for a GTO you may never find it. Look for a Firebird instead.
Hy and a cool story,

may you will get all information about the bird and what is happen with him.

On the pic I see the bird have the old black licence plate from Netherlands.

If ask the center for licencing car in netherland were he lived, you will get all

the information you need. All VIN numbers are registered for a long time.

We have the same system here in germany.

I wish you both good luck to get all information you want and need.

Regards sascha
Thanks for the warm welcome from everybody! I am glad to be able to share the story with you.

@Formula 71 : In the article where the picture is from they refer to the car as a Pontiac Firebird supersprint GTO 455. Hopefully someone here can tell me more about the car and its exact model type.

@Sascha: Thanks for the tip, I am definitely going to follow up on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hy,

hope Its OK to help a little bit,

here some Information I found on the web (Netherland is only 100Km from here/ 1h driving)

Side of Biography => http://http://www.sfanpedia.nl/doku.php?id=bakker_johnn_-_biografie

The Artist of Comic => https://www.lambiek.net/aanvang/bakker_johnn.htm

https://www.lambiek.net/aanvang/bakker_johnn.htm

May this link can help => http://www.firebirdtaclub.com/makbird.htm

good luck

regards

Sascha
@ Sascha: Thanks for taking the time to post the links i really appreciate it.

I have read the 'the making of the bird' unfortunately it does not refer that GM bought the rights for the hood decal from Johnn Bakker, I suppose it sounds better to say it came from the design department. It does seem they had the design for some time before they actually used it.

Johnn was most famous for the comic strip 'Blook' which featured in the 'Pep' comic. He was considered one of the fastest animation artists in Europe.

Can anyone identify the exact model in the picture?
 

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It looks like from the badges on the hood it is a overhead cam
6 cylinder 68 Firebird maybe a sprint package but it also appears there
Were some modifications made to the headlights also
Very hard to tell from the photo
But it is a Firebird not a A body GTO
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It looks like from the badges on the hood it is a overhead cam
6 cylinder 68 Firebird maybe a sprint package but it also appears there
Were some modifications made to the headlights also
Very hard to tell from the photo
But it is a Firebird not a B body GTO
That's a Firebird with extra light s added on
@Brown Bird : Thanks for that info, it helps with narrowing down what exact model we need to look for.

@73Birdman :Thanks for your input, Yup it sure seems like he was trying to be unique! Have not seen another one like it with all those head lamps..
 

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@ Sascha : Thanks for the those links , the last link does not work because it has the words 'regards' at the end. I will leave that for you to edit instead of reposting the link. Thanks again for taking the time to look up that information, we really appreciate it.

Some bad news is that the licence plate does not exist anymore, We managed to find another picture of his firebird before he painted the bird on it and that displays the licence plate. I chatted with the licence department and all they could tell me that the licence plate does not exist anymore. So thats a bit of a disappointment, but it does give us some direction and that is that we will be getting a replica made.

Here is the picture of his Firebird before he painted the legendary bird on the hood. :B):

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting

Section of article where it refers to Johnn Bakker selling the rights to General Motors.

Publication Font Paper Paper product Document

A Translation:

'Superfast Firebird

Those who thought that Johnn Bakker needed the airbrushes for his comic strip were wrong. The artist of 'Blook' (is still) the lucky owner of a superfast car, A Pontiac Firebird Supersprint G.T.O 455, of this type there is only one that is driving around the Netherlands. Now it is painted in 'hell' green with on the hood a yellow-orange and red firebird emblem. This emblem was bought for a large amount of American dollars by General Motors so that nowadays in Europe and USA there is a whole series of Pontiacs driving around with the 'Bakker-emblem' Johnn Bakker said " They should all stop by if they want me to sign my own work, then they will be worth much more with a real signature"
 

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Hy sorry for the corupt link, now its working

http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/pontiac-ohc-six-history/3/

Maybe if you have the vin number you can get informtion?

Or another way is, to write or call an US Car Magazin with a picture of the bird

And the question "wich person know were the car is, who knows whats happen with the bird"

I think, someone of the old US Car owner and knower of the US Car scene in NL

May remember or have some information for you

Good luck
 

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']['exXxas']['itan
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The publisher has his cars mixed up. No such thing as a "455 sprint" as all the sprints were straight 6's. The 455's were also, to my knowledge, never released in the first gen birds only the goats. G.T.O. is an A body car where as the birds are F bodies. 2 different animals.
 

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Maybe he did an engine swap and the engine was a 455 from a GTO and they just didn't spell that out very clearly.
 

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']['exXxas']['itan
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Yeah thats possible for sure.
 
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