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Out Of This World: This 1973 Trans Am Is A Completely Bonkers Take On A 70’s Street Machine!

Out Of This World: This 1973 Trans Am Is A Completely Bonkers Take On A 70’s Street Machine!

If there’s a car that’s been especially hot in the resellers market in the past few years, it’s the 1970-81 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Early cars, especially the 1970-73 Trans Ams, are fetching record prices at auctions. Even the once-derided Disco-Era cars are selling for headline-grabbing amounts that will make anyone who owned one of these things back in the day’s eyes bulge out of their head. As an owner of a 1979 Trans Am, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the market, just for curiosity’s sake. Every once in a while, a car will come up for sale that will make my jaw drop. This is one of them, and I’m not sure my jaw is dropping for all the right reasons, but here we are.

This… err… was a 1973 Trans Am, which is the last year of the classic 1970-73 body style, and was arguably the best looking of the 2nd Gen Firebird line. Someone back in the zany, wacky 1970’s thought it would be a really cool platform to build a space ship from, and, well… let’s let the pictures do the talking!

There’s not much out there that’s more 70’s than this right here. Insane metal flake paint, side pipes, a split pop-up sunroof, Cragar SS’s, weird chrome tube bumpers, and a fin aped from Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America make for an intense visual package. Man, there is A LOT going on here.

As an aficionado of all things Trans Am, it’s funny to see someone purposely swap on later 1979-81 bits on an older car, as it’s usually the other way around! Small details, like filled seams between the nose and fenders and the later-style shaker scoop are interesting touches for an early car, but not out of the ordinary for someone modding a street machine in the late 70’s. Back then, the newer bits like rectangular headlights were the new hotness, and everyone wanted them! Also note the amber turn signals attached below the bumper; this weird bird lives overseas in the UK!

As odd as this car is, the paint itself is nothing short of spectacular. Also note the tread on those Radial T/A’s; those are real early ones!

And you thought the biplane Erector Set wing on your neighbor’s Civic was nuts. This fin which sprouts up in the middle of the car’s trunk actually starts on the filler panel and extends into the center of the tail panel, and yet somehow incorporates a 1979-81 spoiler on either side. Wowzers.

A note about the builder: as displayed proudly on the bumper, a guy named Ian D. Etheridge built this creation. From what we can tell, Ian was a skilled British customizer active in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and created this thing as well as a Ford Capri called Venom that’s also heavily customized. He even made it into a few custom car magazines back in the day with his creations. I would imagine a regular 1973 Firebird being rare enough in Great Britain back then, so modding this one to insanity was certainly a bold move.


Stepping inside, things are just as crazy as the exterior. While the steering wheel appears to be a recent addition, the button tuck Parisian Brothel Red Velour seats and the whacko dash with what appears to be a whole slate of digital gauges and a center section seemingly lifted from a console from James T Kirk’s Enterprise assumingly date to the original build. Note that this car has three pedals and a Hurst shifter with a giant cubic zirconia festooned to the top; yup, this was a 455/4-speed car when it rolled off the assembly line.

And speaking of that 455, Pontiac purists will be happy to note that while there are extreme modifications to just about everything else, the original engine is intact. It’s wearing some aftermarket bits here and there, but it’s mundane compared to the rest of the car. Also of note: that shaker seems to be hand-made, and styled after the angular 1977-81 shakers. And it’s not bolted to the hood!

This car has reportedly won over 300 trophies on the show circuit in Great Britain over the years. It comes with most of them.

This space bird is currently up for sale on Ebay in the UK as a straight-up classified ad with a price of £26,500.00, which translates to roughly $33,712.63 at the time of this writing. That’s strong money for a late 70’s custom, but where else are you going to find a space cruiser that would make Spock raise an eyebrow for the price of a loaded Camry? Another thing to consider: 40+ year old custom show cars typically don’t make it this long without falling into extreme disrepair, so seeing one in this condition is like a time capsule to a forgotten era. As strange as it is, it’s still cool to see something like this street freak still existing in today’s world. If you are truly nuts, live in the UK, and have a hole burning in the pocket of your space pants, you can buy the Celestial right now in the link below:

Here’s an excerpt from the ad:




Iconic Original 70’s UK Built Hot Rod.

Stunning Car


Updated 1973 Model

455 Cubic inch (7,400cc) 4 speed Manual only 47,000 miles (believed to be genuine)


The car was owned and built in the late 70’s by the talented Ian Etheridge of Stockport. Besides all the customising, it took over 2,500 hours to complete the paintwork alone! It is a complete work of art, it shows the testament of the workmanship as it looks as though it was painted yesterday and not nearly 40 years ago.

The car really has to be seen to be appreciated as no pictures can do this car justice. On a sunny day the metal flake is so sparkly it almost makes your eyes hurt!


In its day the car was so advanced of the time and it won almost every show entered. It has won over 300 best in show trophies. (there are lots of trophies to go with the car)

The car featured on the front cover of Street Machine in 1980, included is a copy to go with the car.


The car was then tracked down by the owner of Holker Hall (Lakeland) Car Museum where it was the star attraction of the museum for almost 20 years.


I bought the car directly from the museum and have owned it for aprox 10 years.   My first job was to do an extensive re-commissioning job, most of which was carried out professionally by Drag Racing Guru Dave Billadeau.


The work that has been carried out over my ownership is as follows:


All fluids, oils and filters changed,

New Brakes,

New Master Cylinder,

New Hoses,

New Plugs and Leads,

New Electronic Ignition Fitted,

New Custom Made Radiator,

New Water Pump,

New Clutch Fitted,

New Holley Street dominator Carb (old carb to go with the car)

New Chrome Rocker Covers and gaskets,

New Chrome and Leather Sports Steering Wheel,

New Exhausts,

Pioneer C.D. Player and New Speakers Fitted,

Engine Tune-up.

Plus other things I am sure that I have not mentioned.


There is a workshop manual and an original engineers report (to go with the car)


The car drives really well and is very fast and also drives equally well around town. The exhaust sounds awesome and has that proper V8 rumble.


The car is fitted with power steering and brakes, electric windows a 4 speed manual gearbox and has more lights and switches than you can shake a stick at.


The interior is equally as impressive as the outside with deep buttoned plush red velour seats, doors and headlining.


It has never had any rust issues with spending most of its life inside and has never seen any rain for around 30 years! As mentioned previously, the bodywork and paintwork are stunning.


The car is Tax and MOT exempt (never had any advisories) and the insurance costs me £180 per year (Classic Car)


Miles per Gallon – Not many to be honest.

Smiles Per Gallon – Hundreds!


The car gets Lots of attention wherever it goes and you can’t go anywhere without people stopping to talk or take photographs.


It would be a good business Promotional Vehicle.


Bad Points (not many)

The Heater does not work (its been disconnected at some point)

The Fuel gauge has just started to be temperamental (I think the float is sticking)

There is a small paint chip on the front wing that has been touched up. It’s where one of the trophies fell over and chipped the paint work in the museum!

(There is a jar of the original metal flake to go with the car)


None of the above have bothered me – just trying to be honest in the description.


This is truly a one of a kind car and unfortunately due to my circumstances I haven’t used it as much as I would have liked. It is a very, very reluctant sale.


£26,500 cash


If there is any more information needed – please ask.

Genuine sales enquiries only, please do not waste my time with silly offers, deals or swaps.


Cash Sale Only


The car is located in Morecambe, Lancashire. LA4


£500 deposit to be made within 24 hours and contact to be made within 24 hours to discuss the rest of the cash payments.


Sorry no overseas buyers.






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15 thoughts on “Out Of This World: This 1973 Trans Am Is A Completely Bonkers Take On A 70’s Street Machine!

  1. Brian Cooper

    If anyone wants to recreate this beauty, I have that exact same sunroof in my garage I took out of my wife’s 69 Camaro. It’s free for the taking.

  2. Rock On

    I think the more correct term for the exhaust on this side of the pond is “zoomies”.

    1. Jeepster

      while riding a Tz750 powered big wheel, sporting a horned Viking helmet, and a Godzilla tail – and topless of course…..

      whew !
      ( a machine with no equal so far this year Bangshift )

  3. RK - no relation

    It is in remarkable condition for its age. But thats about all I can say about it. Sometimes when you see a car done this weirdly, you know that its European. What Paul said, its like putting Scarlett Johansson in a clown suit.

    And that price! You would have to be the kid who grew up with that magazine in his room, drooling over it for decades to pay that kind of dough for it.

    But I got to admit, I like some of the paint work, in a nostalgia kind of way. It would be worse if he used the better looking Firebird, the last one with the round headlights

  4. Jeff White

    Small back window 73, with an 80-81 front bumper, same era rear? Odd combo for sure, but I LOVE IT!!!!! Full street freak. Such and incredible time warp.

  5. Gary D

    Says “no overseas buyers” so that leaves me (gladly) out of the mix. Aside from the drivetrain, I wouldn’t be comfortable taking it out of my garage and claiming ownership. Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the beholder, and best of luck to the seller.

  6. Scott Liggett

    I really like the paint job. It’s like the crazy custom vans of the 70’s. The rest of the customization can find the nearest dumpster.

  7. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Completely bonkers?

    More like the biggest pile of wheeled shit EVER seen on these hallowed pages. This is a warning that prolonged use of psychedelic drugs can rot the mind and that they should never never be used whilst planning and building a car!

    1. David

      Agreed. Wasted on a 73\’ T/A to boot…(these psychedelic builds should be reserved for ho-hum cars- Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs and the like…

      Drugs is right! What a pile!…

  8. stitchdup

    I like it, it’s in one of the books i got as a child along with a few similar customs. Its no worse than some of the stuff ed roth built

  9. Matt Barton

    Lots of haters, but you’ve got to remember this was done very late 70’s. Used to be a regular visitor in our street when it was first done. As a 10 year old it was the stuff of dreams. Only thought about it today, and there it is on eBay…. destiny??? The mrs says not.

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