Long Form

Still Rolling: Swedish and the Bandit

This Trans Am was imported to Germany from the U.S. before it was shipped to Sweden.

Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

Across the Atlantic a Phoenix rose. A gold firebird dressed the hood of a 1977 black Trans Am T/A as it left the shores of North Carolina on its international voyage in the twilight years of the 1970s. It arrived in Europe and was transported to Germany.

There, amongst double overhead cams and flat inline fours, the Trans Am was used as a display piece in a General Motors dealership. The car was never driven except when it was being moved for stationing.

It served as an example of automotive power and design of the West. This wasn't a car anymore so much as an art piece designed to provoke thoughts of Levis, Cindy Crawford, and movie lines from "Smokey and the Bandit".

1977 Pontiac Trans Am T/A The Trans Am has had very few modifications.Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

That was the car's existence throughout the 1980's until it was bought by a private owner and moved to Sweden in 1992.

New country, same lifestyle. The Trans Am was spared from Scandinavian winters, sitting tucked away in dry garages and storage sheds, becoming a garage collectable despite never to be removed from its box.

It wasn't until the summer of 2018 that the Trans Am saw a new hope. It came in the form of a young woman named Julia Eliasson who would save this Pontiac from a fate of never-ending storage and auction houses.

Julia is a 21-year-old self-described car-girl from South Sweden. She lives in the city of Hassleholm, a town whose population of less than 20,000 has a surprising amount of vintage American cars.

The Trans Am's privileged life allowed it to stay in Barrett Jackson-type condition. The car had been stationary for most of its life to the point that the odometer broke from lack of use. The only modifications done to the car since leaving America are the addition of aftermarket wheels and exhaust system, but Julia has plans on reinstalling its original duel pipes sometime in 2020.

The 1977 Trans Am is Julia's dream car. Right before she bought it, she was prepared to settle for a second-gen Camaro when the listing for this T/A suddenly popped up. The planets aligned in Julia's favor as the owner decided to give her the opportunity to buy the car out of several potential buyers.

1977 Pontiac Trans Am T/A The Trans Am is living its best life, being driven in Swedish summers.Photo courtesy of Julia Eliasson

The Swedish woman's love of American V8's was passed down from her father who has several muscle cars in his high-octane past including a 1970 Chevrolet Nova and 1975 Pontiac Firebird.

Julia's favorite detail on the Trans Am is the CB radio.

Winters take up a lot of months on the Swedish calendar, so Julia only drives the Trans Am in the spring when the sun is out and the countryside beams with vivid shades of green. She takes her screaming chicken to local car shows and car meets around town, something she plans on doing for years to come.

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An all-electric vintage Bentley offers retro looks and modern tech.

Photo courtesy of Lunaz

It's been a busy few months. Lunaz has increased its U.K. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing footprint by 500 percent and added the world's first electric classic Bentley to its portfolio.

"Restoration, re-engineering and electrification responds to the global requirement for a clean-air future," said David Lorenz, Founder, Lunaz. "The Lunaz proprietary powertrain has been proven by furthering the legacies of the most significant cars in history. The time is now right to establish a significantly expanded presence to answer the global need for much wider conversion applications. Our commitment to the UK as a global centre of technical excellence in EV engineering is signalled with the commissioning of a permanent home for our rapidly growing business."

New home

The new Lunaz production home, designed from the ground up, will be completed this spring. It will feature a state-of-the-art design and a research and development hub. The company will have the ability to finish surfaces, engineer batteries, restore the bodies of vehicles, and crafts key components in hard and soft finishes in-house.

Customers will be able to access a hosting space on the second floor of the building, which has an uninterrupted view of Silverstone Racetrack. Beyond race days, the suite will be used as consultation space with the Lunaz design team.

Lunaz Bentley Continental

Lunaz is now offering electrified versions of vintage Bentley Continentals.

Photo courtesy of Lunaz

Electrified vintage Bentley Continental

Following the offering of an all-electric vintage Rolls-Royce, Lunaz is responding to demand, offering a full production of the world's first electric Bnetleys.

"The Bentley Continental is the definitive British grand touring machine," said Lorenz. "Customers across the globe asked us to create the world's first electric expressions of these iconic cars. The result marries the beauty and presence of these extraordinary cars with a proven answer to the key questions of reliability, usability and sustainability that surrounds classic car ownership. We are proud to further the legacy of the Bentley Continental with the start of full production from our significantly expanded UK manufacturing presence."

The most recently completed car is a 1961 Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur by H.J Mulliner. It is presented with a two-tone paint job and an interior that is finished in hand-restored lustrous green leather with burr walnut trim. Modern conveniences have been fitted to the car including power steering and air conditioning. An infotainment screen with navigation and Apple CarPlay functionality is also included.

This particular model will be used as a daily driver by a U.K. car collector so hill seats have been integrated into the rear.

Lunaz will now permanently release production allocation for Bentley Continental S1, S2, S3 in two-door and four-door configuration. In addition to fixed-head cars, the company will also offer rare Continental Drophead Coupé examples.

Prices for original factory steel-body cars start at £350,000 excluding local taxes.

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The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a desirable car for enthusiasts of all ages.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

In 2020, Americans were given a lot of time to sit at home and distract themselves by surfing the web. Often, they found themselves daydreaming about owning a classic or collector car.

Hagerty has released some interesting results of a survey of the company's web traffic during that period, detailing which vehicles had their quotes searched for the most and what age groups were doing the searching. Scroll down to see the results.

2000-2006 BMW M3 (E46)

BMW E46 Convertible

The E46 generation BMW M3 was available as a coupe or a cabriolet.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Gen-Xers and Millennials are looking hard at the BMW M3s of the early 2000s. Seventy-eight percent of the quotes Hagerty received were from that age group.

The E46 edition of the car was produced as a coupe and a convertible, getting its power from the last of the S54 straight-six engines BMW produced. The automaker sold the model in a variety of special editions but the CSL was never brought to market in North America.

1997-2004 Porsche Boxster

Boxster (986), 1996

Porsche introduced the Boxster in 1996.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche Boxster celebrated a big birthday this year, but last year it was the first-generation model that was on the minds of browsers. Boomers represented 51 percent of the quotes for the Boxster followed by 33 percent by Gen-X.

The mid-engine Boxster was Porsche's first road vehicle to be originally designed as a roadster since the 914, which was in production from 1969 to 1976. A couple different engine choices were available for the first-gen Boxster when it was new and the model underwent a mid-generation update for the 2002 model year.

1984-1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

1989 Jeep Wagoneer

This 1989 Jeep Wagoneer sold for over $100k at Barrett-Jackson.

Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer's popularity is picking up just as Jeep announced that they're bringing the SUV back. The new Grand Wagoneer is expected later this year.

Hagerty reported that 65 percent of all quotes for the vintage version of the SUV were from Gen-X and Millennial buyers - the target market for the new one as well.

1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird

Pontiac Firebird

The Pontiac Firebird was discontinued just before the Great Recession hit causing the brand to fold.

Photo by Ken Morris/Shutterstock.com

The final generation of the Pontiac Firebird is still turning heads, nearly 20 years after it left the market. During the pandemic, 63 percent of the quotes that were searched for are from Gen-X and Millennials

1990-1998 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The third-generation Mazda Miata went out of production six years ago.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Gen-X and Millennials represented 56 percent of all quotes for the second- and third-generation Mazda Miata. The second-gen MX-5 debuted in 1997 and was put on sale for the 1999 model year. This was the generation that got rid of the pop-up headlights.

The third-gen Miata was in production from 2005 to 2015. Design-wise, the car stayed pretty true to its roots but there was one notable innovation. This generation was the first to have a retractable hardtop variant.

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