Scott Oldham blogs about how the PONTIAC TRANS AM’S SCREAMING CHICKEN got its wings!
A beloved symbol of 1970s car culture. An icon of disco-era design. A redneck’s red-letter regalia. It’s gaudy. Garish. Tacky. Even vulgar. And we love it. This is the story of Pontiac’s Screaming Chicken, the largest and most recognizable decal in automotive history.
Lost to time is the name of the man who first referred to the graphic as a “Screaming Chicken.” The nickname came quickly. By the late-1970s, even Car and Driver was using the label. No doubt derogatory, over time the epithet has become one of endearment, although the brand’s hardest purists still hate it. That bunch landed on “hood bird” four decades ago and refuse to budge. Others go with “Rising Phoenix” or simply “Firebird.” The ignorant usually refer to the massive flaming fowl as an Eagle or a Hawk.
PHOTOS: GM image used on cover of Thunder AM Magazine; GM designer John Schinella: Martyn L. Schorr.
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