After a long winter’s nap, the anticipation of driving your prized Pontiac has probably become overwhelming with the arrival of the warm breezes of spring. Weekend drives, car shows, and cruises are about to become a reality, and not a moment too soon. Heavy rains have washed the streets of all the nasty salt and/or sand, everything is getting greener, and the daytime temps are creeping toward sweater weather. But before you extricate your Pontiac muscle from its cozy winter cocoon, twist the key, burn rubber, and head on down the highway, there are a few items you should check to ensure your 2007 show season is not rife with breakdowns and embarrassments. Though much has been written about how to prepare your Pontiac for its long winter hibernation, very little has been discussed regarding its spring wake-up call. This handy guide will show you what to look for, listen for, and feel for when checking out your Pontiac in the driveway and during its first testdrive. Tending to … [Read more...] about How To Prepare Your Pontiac Muscle Car For Storage – Post Hibernation Preparation
Pontiac muscle car
1966 Bonneville: While not quite a muscle car, Pontiac's top-line cruiser was available with the High Output 421 with Tri-Power and 376 horsepower. Did I mention a four-speed? Charlie Lillard brought his primo, freshly restored black Poncho that was loaded with eight-lug wheels, gauges, and class in spades.1969 Mustang: Sure, the 1969 Mustang SportsRoof (aka "fastback") is almost a dime a dozen, and even a 428 Cobra Jet Mach I isn't quite rare. But a base fastback with the CJ is a different story, and the Petty Blue "The Going Thing" Mustang, built for an Ohio promotion supporting the Ford Drag Team, is about as special as it gets.1971 Satellite Sebring Plus: Midsize Plymouth performance fans had the Road Runner and the GTX. But among the more pedestrian B-body offerings was this model, the successor to the 1968-70 Sport Satellite and with its own unique set of trim and pinstriping. Painted In violet and equipped with a 383 four-speed (one of 145 according to the owner), this Satellite … [Read more...] about Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 2017: Maintaining the standard
I grew up in the Muscle-Car Belt – the area between the Rockies and wherever the first Ivy League university is in the east. Problem was, my family was Not From Around Here. We were English. We spoke funny. We ate Marmite. We were scrawny and had bad teeth.But worst of all – and this sounds like an infectious disease – we had Jags.Thus began my life as a misfit – I grew up, got MGs (another disease), then went and got into rotaries (an indictable offence in most central states– tasting the Wankel), and then turbos.I hit adulthood without ever owning a V8 – as unimaginable where I grew up as not having a bar mitzvah in northern New Jersey or failing to develop a respectable rap sheet in East LA. And yet I didn't feel at a loss – I went from tuning exotic V12s to eking 500 horses out of a Japanese two-liter turbo. I was a bit pretentious about it. Cubic inches? That's for sissies. Size only matters to people who can't perform.Except I may have … [Read more...] about The Truth About Muscle Cars: Fourth Place
Sounding every bit as superficial as the redneck poseur he portrayed, the expression on actor Warren Oates’ face as he uttered those words in the 1971 cult classic “Two-Lane Blacktop” spoke volumes about what a muscle car was and what it was built for.As his right foot slammed through the firewall and the big ’70 Judge GTO lunged forward, the contrast between Oates’ character and the two car-obsessed drifters he raced across the U.S. couldn’t have been starker: his brand-new orange Pontiac was a mean machine, but their beat-up primer-gray ’55 Chevy was the real deal.In a recent blog, Motor Trend’s Angus MacKenzie pontificated about the fate of the muscle car. Mainly, he opined as to the engines and body styles it might possess in the not-so-V8-friendly future.No offense, but I think Angus bypassed an important point. His view of what will happen to the muscle car and how it must change assumes that the concept’s … [Read more...] about Muscle Car Writing Contest Finalist #2: Don Gammil Wants You to Color Him Gone
Easy (Warm-Up for TTAC’s Best and Brightest) 1. Major Anthony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie drove a convertible of what 1960s muscle car?A. Chevrolet Chevelle SS396B. Buick Skylark GTXC. Pontiac G.T.O.D. Oldsmobile 442 2. Starsky and Hutch patrolled the streets in Starsky’s?A. 1974 Ford Grand TorinoB. 1975 Ford Grand TorinoC. 1969 Mercury CycloneD. 1975 Ford Thunderbird … [Read more...] about Ask the Best and Brightest: What Muscle Car did Major Nelson Drive in “I Dream of Jeannie”?
While his own racing success and the original Cobras’ performance and track success were the basis of the Shelby legend, I think it’s fair to argue that had there not been so many replicas made, that legend would be less renowned. The only reason why the general public knows about the car is because of the replicas. In the 1960s and 1970s, the chances of seeing a Cobra off of a racetrack were close to nil. Serious car enthusiasts knew about Cobras and of course the six Daytona Coupes took on a Bugatti like aura among collectors and buffs, but to the general public it was just another ’60s hot rod. If people outside the car world knew about the name Shelby, it was because of Ford Motor Company. Without the “Cobras” built by replica makers, most people would have thought that Shelby was just some kind of Mustang.Mr. Shelby’s business relationship with Superformance is more of a marriage of convenience than an acknowledgment of how others have helped … [Read more...] about The Cobra And The Cheetah: A Muscle Car Tale (Part One)
In How Fake Luxury Conquered The World, Jack Baruth started a productive conversation on just which cars or group of cars disrupted Alfred Sloan’s “a car for every purse and purpose” hierarchy of brands that was such an important factor in GM’s success in the 20th century. Jack believes that letting each division sell fully equipped full size cars like the Caprice, Regency and Park Avenue trim lines cheapened the Cadillac brand and blurred the lines between all GM brands. In the comment thread to Fake Luxury, some of the Best & Brightest suggested the 1965 Ford LTD’s seminal role in breaking down the lines between middle class and luxury cars. Yet others suggested the blurring of lines began in the 1950s with cars like the Buick Special, a less expensive Buick.Before the 1970s, the brands at GM were individual corporate divisions, with considerable autonomy. They shared some corporate R&D but for the most part developed their own engines and … [Read more...] about How the Corvette and Muscle Cars Helped Destroy Sloan’s Hierarchy
It’s mind-boggling. You sit there for hours, watching middle-aged guys in Hawaiian shirts and big watches bid stupid money on muscle cars on the myriad cable channels that broadcast collector-car auctions these days. Crappy models that were being swapped among migrant farm workers a decade ago for tens of dollars go for high five figures now. And the good stuff is all over $100,000. The great stuff? That’s in the millions: A 1967 L88 Corvette went for $3.5 million at Barrett-Jackson—before all the fees that make founder Craig Jackson wealthy. So it’s safe to say that you probably can’t afford the classic muscle car of your dreams. (What are you going to do with a $3.5 million Corvette anyway? Drive it?) • Follow Car and Driver on Facebook Here’s what we say: Change your dreams. Aim quirky, and expand your horizon beyond 1972. Here are 10 solid, drivable, interesting cars that, more rather than less, qualify as muscle cars. More … [Read more...] about 10 Collectible Classic Muscle Cars You Can Afford
The Wall Street Journal’s Driver’s Seat touches on the muscle car segment, and whether they’ll fall pitfall to rising gas prices in the future, CAFE regulations or some combination of the two. Among the solutions brought up in the article – by Chrysler executives, no less – is “a high output four-cylinder engine”.There’s no doubt that the current crop of V6 muscle cars is better than ever; the constant chorus of “V6 Mustang $19,995 FTW!!!111” may get tiresome, but there’s no doubt that the value proposition is there – and it really is a good car. The V6 Challenger with the Pentastar V6 is an often overlooked entrant, and the Camaro V6 is an honest effort, even if it’s not very good.But to me, and many others, a true muscle car always has been and always will be about the V8 engine, and the intangible qualities that surround it. There’s the sound, the knowledge of all that power under the hood, but also … [Read more...] about QOTD: Can Muscle Cars Do More With Less (Cylinders)?
By 1966, muscle cars were hitting peak stride. But some argued they had become too expensive and strayed too far from the original concept. As performance models had grown in displacement and technology, some crossed into premium pricing territory. Pontiac’s GTO, for example, could easily exceed $4,000 with a handful of options when the average cost of an American automobile was closer to $2,750.Enter Jack Smith.Plymouth had fallen into the pricing pitfall like most other manufacturers. Smith, who owned a souped-up Belvedere II, had recently been promoted to head of the company’s mid-sized car planning division. He wagered the public might enjoy a car like his and Plymouth introduced the GTX in 1967 to compete with the GTO. But it was still too expensive, especially for a budget brand like Plymouth, and garnered a lukewarm sales response — which gave Jack an idea. With muscle cars getting progressively more costly, Smith figured the … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: Jack Smith, a Mopar Muscle Car Maestro