The Bandit That Stole Your Heart

The Bandit That Stole Your Heart

Do you ever just look at something and feel with every once of your being that it was meant to be? When you lock eyes with your destiny and it steals your heart forever? For Ivy Rose that moment was when she saw Critter.

The “Critter” in question is a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird. She dreamed and saved all throughout high school. One day in late October, after graduation, she was cruising through facebook marketplace and stumbled on an ad for a work-in-progress 1980 Pontiac Trans Am. She knew instantly that this was the car for her. Saying “THATS IT! THAT’S THE ONE!” She immediately sent a text to her dad asking him to go with her to look at the car. He was both surprised and thrilled.

Rose grew up around cars from an early age, Her father has an ‘87 K10, her grandfather had a bodyshop and his neighbour had an engine shop. Rose spent most of her childhood watching cars come in and out of the shops. She never got to help, but she took every opportunity to listen and learn, enamoured with the world of classic cars. It was always so close but just out of reach, So when she finally got the opportunity to buy her dream car, she jumped at it.

It didn’t take Rose long to name Critter. Critter was originally the nickname for Rose’s father. He has it tattooed on his stomach in barbed wire script. Rose and her father have a unique relationship When they shit talk each other as a form of love language. So when they pulled up and saw the car for the first time Rose turned to her father and jokingly said “Hey! Kinda looks all raggedy like you! Maybe I should name it after you!” At that time she had no intention of actually naming it after her father, but the coincidences just added up too quick. The following month Rose was at Oreilly’s and without thinking, picked up a black license plate cover with barbed wire, later she realized that it matched her fathers tattoo and the name just stuck!

Since getting Critter, Rose has replaced his wiring harness, steering wheel harness and got new lights and tires. Some body work was also done with the help of her grandfather. She replaced the door locks and other tidbits  including fixing weird wiring issues.

Critter is powered by a Pontiac 301 and a 3 speed turbo Hydramatic 350 Automatic transmission. This means great gas milage and reliability, which is good because Rose daily drives Critter! Rose plans to maintain and upgrade Critter to be the best daily driver and road tripper possible. So far the biggest trip Rose has taken Critter on is to Amarillo TX, which is 5-6 hours from her home. Her favourite thing to do with Critter is to explore back roads and find fun photoshoot locations!

Rose would like to thank her father for being such a big support and she would also like to thank her boyfriend Jason for taking such amazing photos and for supporting her dreams. It’s a whole lot easier to reach your goals when you have a partner who supports them! Lastly Rose would like to thank Danny Jones for helping exorcise the gremlins in the wiring.

In the spring Rose will be prepping Critter for a big road trip to Canada, convoying with her good friend Carly (@carlyandthebandit).

Rose can’t remember a time when she wasn’t into cars. Growing up her dad had multiple Chevy trucks and spending time around her grandfathers shop definitely played a roll. Rose isn’t sure where she came up with wanting an 1980 Firebird, given she wanted that car before she ever watched Smokey and the Bandit! Rose and her mother moved away from where her grandparents lived when she was 9 years old and they wouldn’t reconnect again until many years later, but the passion she gained from being around the shop never faded.

In her personal life Rose dreams of having her own unique Tattoo parlour incorporating her love of American traditional tattoos and house plants! So this year she plans to focus on expanding her tattoo portfolio and hopefully get taken on as an apprentice at a tattoo shop. Other than Firebirds, tattoos and plants, Rose enjoys photography, the colour black and everything Halloween! Rose was not able to celebrate halloween as a kid due to family traditions but as soon as she moved out a new tradition was born. If it’s black and spooky it’s hers!

Currently Rose (21) works part time at Spencers Gift shop in the mall and spends the rest of her time working on her tattoo portfolio.

In the future Rose would like to have an armada of 80’s vehicles including a 1980’s custom chopper motorcycle and an 80’s boogie van/camper van!

Rose might not know where her love for 80’s firebirds came from, but that’s okay, because she sure knows were she’s going with it! Riding off into an Arizona desert sunset, with the bandit who stole her heart, and ours.

order your copy at

or read it online at

Article by Miranda Kurpe

Photography by Jason Jones

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Cruise Culture Magazine