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CODE RED! Stunning Pro-Touring Trans Am, magazine car, Goodguys winner!

For sale: 1972 Pontiac Firebird

Technical specifications

Item location:
Solon, Ohio, United States
Engine size:
Rear Wheel Drive
Interior color:
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


1972 Pontiac Firebird Code Red Call 440-914-0000 or email sales@mcgohio. com 1972 Pontiac Firebird "Code Red" Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist Multiple time magazine and calendar car SEMA invitational car Optima Real Street Eliminator invitee MAST Motorsports built 416ci L99 4L80E Transmission by Bowler Full DSE suspension Custom Rushforth wheels Huge Baer brakes Pro level fabrication everywhere Completely fabricated interior Multiple sponsors. VERY well known car This is by far one of the best executed Pro Touring cars we've ever had here. and we've seen a lot. To think that this car was built by an average guy and his friends in a garage is mind blowing. It's pro level from top to bottom. it's amazingly well sorted. and it kicks ass in a straight line AND on an autocross course. Take 15 seconds and search for "Code Red" on Google and see just how well this car's respected. This is owner/builder Bob Bertelsen's third award winning car. in his third attempt. Each build gets progressively harder. and it's obvious he's pushing his skills and trying new techniques. He'd never worked with fiberglass. for instance. but that didn't stop him from heavily modifying the front nose or the hood. or even building a rear belly pan from scratch. You can find articles all over the internet on this car--it's a sensation wherever it goes. It's a cover car for Popular Hot Rodding. and they liked it enough to give it a six-page spread. It's a Goodguys Muscle Machine of the Year finalist. and it ripped through their autocrosses and stormed through the Optima Real Street Challenge. Of course. the paint's slick. but the level of detail is really where this car shines. For starters. really cohesive builds start not just with an idea but with a designer who can tie everything together. Veteran builder Jason Rushforth took Bob's thoughts and transferred them to paper. The accents. the interior. the body and (naturally) the Rushforth wheels are laid out to keep the project on track. The second design driver was Bob's business. A Plus Powder Coaters in Columbiana. OH. Viper Red and Buckskin leather are the main elements. but nearly every metal part is coated in matte gray or brushed-look aluminum with clearcoat. The love of F-bodies runs deep on both sides of the Bertelsen lineage. The first new car Bob's mom ever purchased was a '67 Camaro convertible. She later stepped up to a 350-powered '73 Firebird in which Bob took the test to earn his driver's license. When years of driving on salty Ohio roads did the car in. Bob and his dad fixed the sheetmetal in their garage. "That was my first experience doing paint and bodywork. and from that point on I was hooked on building cars. he says. His mom kept her Camaro for decades. and after Bob built it up he needed a new project to fulfill his need to fabricate. "Three years ago. second-gen Camaros were starting to get really popular. so I didn't want to build the same car as everyone else. I found a nice '72 Trans Am on eBay. and drove up to Pennsylvania to pick it up. The good thing was that the Trans Am was built as a show car in 1984. so it had new GM sheetmetal on it. The bad news was that it still looked straight out of the '80s with a 4x4 stance. side pipes. and a lime green interior. " To address the anachronistic situation. Bob hired veteran hot rod designer Jason Rushforth to draw up a set of blueprints for his new project car. After a grueling two-year build process. the final result is every bit as nice as prevailing stereotypes might suggest. and Bob's Trans Am is one impressive specimen of homebuilt engineering. It boasts a 575hp LS small-block. variable valve timing. a paddle-shifted 4L80E overdrive. a hydroformed Detroit Speed front subframe assembly. a four-link rear suspension. six-piston Baer clamps. and fat 345/30R19 rear meats. Maxing out the Pro Touring theme is a Vintage Air A/C system. power everything. and a Kenwood stereo with integrated GPS navigation. While that impressive list of hardware would normally be enough to steal the show. in this setting none of it seems to matter. It's all good stuff. but anyone with enough money can emulate a similar caliber of execution. and we've seen it all before. What we haven't seen before is a homemade street machine that could easily get mistaken for something built by one the country's premier big-name shops. Just like the big boys. Bob prefers stacking dozens of subtle aesthetic tweaks upon each other that cumulatively yield a dramatic visual kick rather than opting for a couple of flamboyant changes that net an incredibly amateur end product. From afar. it looks like nothing more than a stock Trans Am with a hot stance and big wheels. Up close. however. the subtle design elements flow like hookup lines in an eHarmony. com chat room. Virtually every body part has been modified in some way or form. Out back. Bob shortened the rear bumper 4 inches and recessed it into the quarter-panel. He then built a custom taillight panel from 3/16-inch steel to streamline the light lenses. Beneath the bumper. the quarter-panels have been extended into a handbuilt roll pan that sits closer to the ground than the stock piece. and also houses the exhaust tips. Likewise. the rocker panels have been rolled to cover up the factory pinch welds. In an effort to replace the factory rear spoiler with something less gaudy. Bob fabbed a one-off piece from 18-gauge steel. "I pictured what a Firebird would look like if GM were to build one today. and tried to create it out of sheetmetal. he says. "My goal was to make the Trans Am look sleeker and more modern by smoothing out the car's lines. but I also wanted the aesthetic changes to be completely functional. I tried to make the body panels look more streamlined and elegant with changes that were both subtle yet noticeable. " Bob's ability to shape custom sheetmetal is just one of his myriad skills. and he's learned a thing or two about fiberglass fabrication over the years as well. To give his bird a custom beak. Bob started out with an aftermarket fiberglass front nose and filled in the vent openings. The bottom of the nose then got hacked off and reshaped with a custom fiberglass spoiler. foglight openings. and brake ducts. The one-off hood met a similar fate. It started out as a fiberglass aftermarket unit. which Bob immediately cut a pair of vents into. By positioning them right behind the cooling fans. they help extract heat from the engine compartment. The finished product is a rather complex panel with smoothly flowing contours that looks factory. Bob estimates that he spent 100 hours on the hood alone. but that wasn't the most difficult piece of fiberglass to fabricate. "I noticed that the Ringbrothers and Troy Trepanier were putting bellypans on a lot of their cars. and I really liked the way they covered up the gas tank and made the bottom of the car look so clean. I wanted to put one on my Trans Am. but I had no idea how to make it. he says. "I first made a mold of the bellypan out of wood. then I took it to a local guy who makes fiberglass animals for miniature golf courses. He said he was way too busy to take on a project like mine. but he agreed to let me use his equipment for $50. I learned a ton from hanging around his shop. and that gave me the experience I needed to fabricate the nose and hood of my Tran Am out of fiberglass as well. " Even brand loyalists who despise Pontiacs. or all GMs in general. can't help but sit back in awe at the magnitude of fabrication ability exhibited by a guy working out of his two-car garage. So how exactly does the average hot rodder develop the chops necessary to build a car of this caliber? "My dad taught me when I was little that if someone else can build something. that means you can build it too. That's just the prevailing philosophy out here in the Midwest. he says. For a man with such gifted hands. Bob maintains his modesty and is always willing to learn more. "It's not that I'm a better car builder than anyone else. I just have an eye for it and seek out help whenever I can. Some people want to be know-it-alls. but if you're willing to talk to people with an open mind. it's amazing the kind of advice you can pick up. Most of the stuff I've learned is from my friends and guys I talk to at various shows. and even people who build cars that aren't as nice as yours have valuable skills you can learn. Believe it or not. high-end builders are also willing to talk and aren't as hush-hush as you might think. Mike Ring of Ringbrothers has helped me out a ton. and sometimes the most basic tips go a long way. For instance. one time Mike told me that if you use an air gun to cool down your welds. you can move along to your next weld so much more quickly because you don't have to wait for the first weld to cool down. I've had guys at the local body shop give me tips as well. and being stupid enough to jump head first into a project can sometimes pay off. Of course. it never hurts to have very talented friends who are willing to lend a hand. " At the Motor Car Group. we're enthusiasts first. We want you to enjoy your new car from the minute it's delivered and the trailer door drops. Before a car leaves our shop. it's gone through comprehensively. both visually and mechanically. We fill your tires with nitrogen. road test (if the weather permits us here in Cleveland!) and clean it inside and out. We buff the paint using a three-step process immediately before it's taken away so that it gleams when it arrives. Every car we sell. from Sunday drivers through the rarest exotics. is meant to be driven--get out there!If you have any questions before. during or after the sale. do not hesitate to contact us. It's what we're here for! Call us at (440) 914-0000. write us at sales@motorcargroup. com or stop by and see the new shop at 6441 Davis Industrial Parkway. Solon OH 44139. We're 26 miles from Cleveland Hopkins Airport and we can pick you up when you come to inspect or purchase your car. We welcome any prospective buyers. their buyer's agents or inspectors from Monday through Friday during business hours. as well as evenings and weekends by appointment. We're car people who love what we do. and you'll feel it from the first time you contact us. Give the R&H crew the opportunity to serve you: Our passion and attention to detail set us apart! Call 440-914-0000 or email sales@mcgohio. com

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