An engineer in Ohio has embarked on a very unique project wrapping the body of a 1967 Pontiac Firebird around a 2014 Toyota Prius.
The owner first purchased the car in 1979 after graduating college with an engineering degree. The Firebird was found by his late Father and bought with a loan from his Grandfather. He also took his future wife out on dates in the car. Clearly the car holds tremendous sentimental value for the owner.
After many years and moving to three different states the Firebird started showing its age. The wiring harness completely fried after trying to start the engine. After being put into storage mice caused a lot of damage.
The owner tried twice to restore the Firebird but each time hit major issues. The floorboards were rotted, several suspension issues, and even the engine had seized. Being discouraged it was his Wife’s impromptu comment about making the car a hybrid that resparked the interest in the Firebird.
After researching several different hybrid models he settled on a Toyota Prius V because their tire diameter, tread width, and wheelbase are very close.
The owner is even using CAD to model exactly what parts of each car need to be removed to allow for a good fit.
There are many people who are going to have issues this project. A hybrid FWD Firebird is definitely different but as the owner puts it “it’s my car project and I’m having a blast doing it.” At the end of the day that’s all that matters.
While this b goes against mi grain on so many different levals, It is not even funny, On the One that Counts…………………….
My “Mad Scientists” Side…………,
I can and do love it! It’s ALL WRONG!. And for that reason alone I continued reading the story. If you can’t have FUN, With what you Own in this Hobby, Then It’s time to pack it up! A Dr. Jacket & Mr. Hide meets Dr. Frankenstein and between the 3, they hatch a plot to produce this mystery of the universe. Why is it being built you ask?????
Simply because he Can!
It Certainly is not me, but what the hell, more firebirds have been chopped up to make freek show cars of every other description, Why not this? Go for it my man. Love to see it when your done.
I have cut many cars, and modified them without regard for others opinions,both for me and as a profession. thats what hot rodding is all about. I am currently repairing a very rusty 73 ford 4×4 everyone says is a waste , just too rusty, but I was born in 73 and have had it a while and can do the work,metal is only shapes welded together after all, if you can weld and shape your golden. even though its rusted in places i didn’t know it had lol it does break my heart as I am a pontiac guy and would love to have another early bird to replace the 68 I lost during divorce. my concern is this, if he has tried to restore it twice and bailed because he hit serious problems, well, its going to be a lot more work to do what he is doing now, so when he hits that road block hes now going to have two cars that will likely end up in the scrap yard. once you cut a car apart as far as this will be cut, if you change your mind or can’t do the work its done. or at most a tube frame race car. just my two cents. if he hadnt tried to restore it twice and failed and if he was using a new camaro or vette chassis I would say go for it. but sadly I see two cars likely to end up detroyed beyond repair. hope I am wrong though…..
Usually build starts to improve most of the cars characteristics. Because well no one says “I want to make my car worse.” In this this case I don’t see how it will improve. Will it look better? No. Will it be faster? No. Will it handle better? No. Will it sound better? No. Will it have good fuel economy? Maybe.
So overall car will be worse than standard.
Being as I’m not a big fan of GM vehicle designs I find this pretty neat. I wondered when this sort of thing would start becoming a trend even though I see hybrids as anticars.
It says he twice tried to restore the Firebird but ran into major issues and got discouraged. I hope this isn’t going to be just another failed attempt. Seems he gives on projects. But this is one swap that I find rather pointless anyway.
I’m not an expert on Christian Biblical prophecy, but I’m fairly certain this may be an example of the beginning rise of the Anti-Christ. Only something this horrible and wrong could be imagined, much less attempted, by Pure Evil
Is it really easier than redoing the Firebird?
finally a firebird a mopar can beat
Phht! You mean finally found a way to make a firebird faster.
well this is an easy project. only 4 steps required
1. buy a nice looking but old muscle car that is great at what cars are used to be
2. buy the most boring, highest fuel economy vehicle on the market
3. Cut up both to pieces and merge them together. Take the odd shape of the old car with the annoyingly boring mechanics of a new car
4. Done. You reduced both cars value by a lot, and created a car that does not look good nor does it drives like a muscle car. It is also not so fuel efficient as you increased the weight by 50% and reduced the aerodynamic shape by 60%. So it is slow and quiet and has a look of an old car.
I guess if you are not a car person and hate driving fasten then the speed limit and don’t like money, you could do this and will make sort of sense.
Like my neighbor who purchased a BMW 135i convertible for his 50th birthday. He had the middle age men syndrome. He had a 1999 Camry 4cylinder automatic.
Less then 2 years and 8000 miles later, He parked the BMW and purchased a brand new Toyota Highlander 4 cylinder.
He said the BMW was not good, too loud and too fast. His wife had a 01 Grand Cherokee. She dumped the Cherokee and jumped into the BMW and never been happier.
I guess some men are not cut out for car enjoyment. Good thing that their wife is 🙂
If it’s still parked and he’s looking to dump it….I’ll take it. Great car!
I build rat rods most people discourage them saying fix them right I built what I want and tell people its mine don’t like it don’t look at it I say I love this concept I’d rather see this done and enjoyed than to see it rot down with someone hoping to restore it one day I’d love to read the whole build on this I’ve been looking at a minivan cutting it up and sitting a 53 Chevy styline on it but like I said if I’m building it for me opinions are like butholes everyone’s got one and no ones but smells good
Wrong on every level!
I have owned 186 cars and trucks in my 65 years of life, and over that time span, I have cut up many of them for fun, or profits. I never felt that it was any ones business but my own, as to what I did with my cars and trucks ( Including the state’s. ) My post was the first one listed here, and as I stated, this is not My personal kind of build, But I Think that this is in it’s own way a very Cool project. Would I do it? No. But to slam the car, and the man, says more about the person doing the slamming, Then it ever will about this builder and his car. You guys likely didn’t bat an eye when a full sized Chevy was Basterdised in to the Wicked “Bat Mobile a few Years back, because it struck you as “Cool”. Your thoughts were “Who cares about a full sized Chevy” My point is that you can’t have it both ways, Or talk out of both sides of your mouth. Perhaps you might recall somthing your mothers tried to teach you, Had you listened,
“If you can’t say somthing good about some one than don’t say any thing at all!”
Open your Eyes, Open your ears, Open your mind, And Shut your mouth, and you might see, hear and learn somthing, Before you Speak.
Very good remarks Chris. These are my same opinions. So many people seem to have such negative thoughts. I almost feel sorry for these sad, sad people.
How about the original Batmobile? It started out as a 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept car. No one ever says it was wrong to destroy the one off concept car for a TV show.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but, judging someone is not an opinion. Everyone is free to say what they would do. Telling someone they are wrong for doing what they chose to do with their property is simply not right. As for this particular build, I find it interesting, doubt I would ever do it, simply due to time/cost restraints though. Happy someone is able to do what they want to do.
I couldn’t agree with you more. My only comment would be: “If this was my project, I’d try to mount in the trunk and make it rear wheel drive.” But, it’s his project and he got recognition for thinking outside the box! Way to go!
100% right Chris it’s the going not the getting there that’s good
Completely bonkers but who can’t love the idea. I’ve an old Prius so if I could just find a nice Jag XJS to wrap around it
So since this gentleman has owned the firebird for almost 40 years, he certainly knows by now if he wants it as it was originally, or wants it in some other form. Good luck on an interesting project.
Jay Leno, of whom I think very highly, has spent lots of his own money building some questionable vehicles: a virtually un-roadable jet powered coupe, a rear-wheel-drive Toronado (Leno invents the Riviera), Corvette-powered RoadMaster, cars with airplane engines, etc, etc, etc – many are great, some not so hot, but all are interesting.
This Firebird project certainly is interesting.
Too bad the owner did not find a wrecked Tesla p85d as the donor chassis. This Firebird has become a Turkey.
“De gustibus non disputandem est” (In matters of taste there can be no disputes).
It’s not my cup of Castrol R but it’s HIS car and his time and money and it seems to keep him out of bars and away from fast women so if his wife approves, why not? Damn, it’s a shame that the practice of “political correctness” has come to the car hobby!
This guy is doing what he wants to to a car he OWNS. It’s not up to other people to tell him what he can or cannot do. Personally I think it’s a cool project.
As the owner of two Prii (the correct term for more than one Prius, according to official Toyota doctrine) and a ’65 Corvair Monza in stunningly drivable condition, I admire this gentleman for taking on such a project. Three comments to the detractors – First, there was no indication of the original engine in the Firebird. For all you know, it could have been a 250 cube six (although not likely given the hood mounted tach). Not every Firebird was a fire breather. Second, if you haven’t driven a Prius, you have no idea of the acceleration potential in the 40 to 80 mph range – ask those whose doors I’ve blown off when they thought it was funny to keep my Prius out in the passing lane by increasing their speed as I was in the process of passing them. Third, it sounds like the outer sheet metal of the Firebird was the only thing worth salvaging and the Pruis V donor car not only would provide an interesting propulsion mode, but could be parted out to somewhat reduce conversion costs. I am an enthusiastic supporter of restoring vintage cars, but one cannot fault an individual who saves the best parts of a beyond hope vehicle and creates something that he can enjoy and retain fond memories of. My hat’s off to him and I wish him every success.
The OHC Sprint would have been a GREAT car to save if it was one and it could have had a hood tach just saying
I think this isn’t going green…but going grey.
Will this be the first V8 Prius or did I miss something in the article?
This will be the first Firebird with a Prius engine/drivetrain.
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every once in a while you just have to go off the reservation. Restoring these cars to original production specs is cool but a real pain and leaves no room for deviation. I know because I have a 66 GTO I restored and a 64 in progress. I recently decided to build a tow vehicle, you know, something different. I found a 73 Grand Safari in decent shape (I thought) on ebay. After purchase, I found it needed a little more body work than desired. Had to put a roof on it and do extensive metal replacement on the tailgate and drivers rear quarter. I plan to repower with a dura-max/Allison package thru a 14 bolt diff. Probably will need to beef up the front suspension a bit too. Air suspension would be nice. Good luck with your project, maybe we’ll meet up someday.
Im not going to lie I love firebirds so I may be a little biased. I dont understand why people hate the firebird going on the Prius, we are all car lovers and we should be encouraging the guy even if it means he makes bad/good projects. I think its awesome that he’s giving it a go and no-one should discourage it 🙂
An act of creation, building, and doing is SOO much harder than destroying, detracting and crapping on- especially someone else. I would NEVER let someone tell me what to do with my time or vehicles- especially from the sidelines of a project- and I would imagine those negatively commenting would also not ask for anyone’s opinion/comments on their life. I came to this article searching for a similar concept of a Prius platform, but under a 1950s vehicle. Thank you for the courage to do something you want to do on your own terms and putting it out there for others interested in what you are doing. Makers make and Haters Hate. Thank you for the info, would love to see the completed project if that is how far you take this! Randall the Scandall
I see nothing wrong with it.
When you put a supercharger on a car you modify it. This is just another type of mod.
I have a 1927 ford that I am currently debating putting on a tesla roadster frame. But the tesla is too expensive even wrecked. I have debated doing a prius but worry it won’t have the guts I want.
I am pretty sure I will settle on my 3rd option of a turbo 4 cyl.
I don’t want a car I can’t drive every day and while I would love to put a 302 in it the milage isn’t feasible in todays world.
If they phase out oil I want the car to still be driving when it’s 200 years old
@Eric Spence , Any update or links to progress on the ’27 Ford?
This car was never going to be “original and unrestored” again.
This is the future of resto-mod, hybrid and/or electric conversion. Attach the antique parts that are usable to the modern car appears to have an advantage to installing modern parts in the antiquated chassis.
Well done. Looking forward to the follow up.
I own a Pirus and a 69 Firebird. I certainly am not going to merge them, but I am impressed with the technology of the Prius Drive train. Who ever dreamed up the two electric motor/generators and a planetary gear set in place of a tranny was a genus. Best wishes to this guy and hope he succeeds. BTW there is youtube video of a guy who has successfully merged a Prius and a 1946 pickup truck. So it IS possible.
Well, where can we see the results? I would like to put a van or boxy-shaped cover over a Prius myself.
You can view some recent photos on page 79 of the build thread.
Thanks for the link!
How horrible. Another classic bird ruined. Why???? I just threw up in my mouth