Weblog of Miss-Lou Motor Mafia

September 14, 2008

Travolta Fever – A Barris Celebrity Car

Filed under: Cars — Tags: , — blasterhappy @ 4:12 am

In 1979, Travolta’s career was flying high with the popularity of the Saturday Night Fever and Grease films, so the Travolta Fever car was built to further promote John Travolta and his career. (The name, Travolta Fever, was also used as the title of Travolta’s 1978 pop music album.)

They wanted to create a special car that would fit Travolta’s superstar image while tying in Saturday Night Fever. George Barris, the King of the Kustomizers, personally designed and styled this Pontiac Firebird for John Travolta. Revell produced and sold plastic 1/25 scale model kits of this Barris customized Firebird making John Travolta’s “Firebird Fever” the first celebrity car model ever offered by Revell.

In 1980, Travolta inspired a nationwide country music craze with the release of his hit film Urban Cowboy. After the release of Urban Cowboy, George Barris had the interior of the Travolta Fever car transformed from the Recaro styling to a customized Urban Cowboy theme appointed with cowhide seats and a authentic saddle on the center console.

In 1983, several of the cars from the George Barris Collection (including Travolta Fever) were auctioned off in Hollywood and until recently, the Travolta Fever car has been out of the public eye and hidden away. Travolta Fever is currently owned by James Monroe, an automobile collector in Ventura, California.

The Saturday Night Fever movie will be celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this December (2007) so in commemoration of the movie, James Monroe, agreed to make the car available to the public again. James stated, “The Travolta Fever car is an important piece of entertainment history, it is a time capsule highlighting the Hollywood fads of the late 70’s and early 80’s featuring John Travolta, George Barris, Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy, Disco, Country Music, Grease and Celebrity Cars…”

I’m a bit confused on the Year and Model of this car but research says it a 1971 Pontiac Espirit with a 455 SD motor.  Now I own a ’71 Camaro Z28 RS and these cars are basically the same.  The thing that doesn’t make since is the wrap around back glass which started in ’74 and of course the front cap.  The front cap could have easily been changed but I don’t think Barris would have gone through the trouble of cutting the cab for the newer style rear window much less install what look like factory T-Tops.  This car looks to actually be a ’79 to ’81 model styled like a Trans Am.  Information and Photos from http://www.travoltafever.com and http://www.barris.com


1 Comment »

  1. please send me some pics i helped mike standifer on the interior when it was in haysville ks. thank you

    Comment by stan fox — March 12, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

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