I grew up with a number of GTO models. The tri power cars are still my favorite with mechanical linkage. The sound and feel of these we're special.
The GM engineers understood Pontiac and it is a shame the management of GM and the pettiness of Chevy destroyed Pontiac.
If you spent time in these you would understand why a later GTP or SSEI while good cars were not real Pontiacs and just better Chevys.
The entire V-program is what should have been Pontiac. CTS-V with the LS6, manual trans, that was as foreign to Caddy as the Escalade, but they did it anyway.
Look at how hard they downplayed the GTO, G8 and later the SS. Once it became clear Cadillac was the upscale performance brand, Pontiac had no hope and the SS was simply an afterthought of the defunct G8.
you don’t have to believe me about the performance hierarchy, but it is true. I once asked a truck engineer why no reg-cab, short-bed, 5.3 Colorado/Canyons? He said oh well, CAFE and take rate.
I asked-too much pressure on the new Camaro?
he said yes.
Remember the b-body Impala SS? LT1, but due to “packaging” only 260 HP. It had WAY better packaging than the Camaro or Corvette. Can’t have a full-sized luxury performance car with more power than the front-drive North Star Caddy.
that is the way it is at GM.
Prior to the SUV tsunami, the model for GM to follow was right there for all to see, but they just couldn’t execute it. It’s Corolla/Camry/Civic/Accord. Toyota and Honda will still be making those models after GM’s next bailout.
While much is correct here you miss it with Cadillac.
There was too many divisions. Cadillac and Chevy were the only viable players. Buick did survive due to China even with Pontiac out selling Buick 6 to 1 here.
Buick China sales helped save GM after the bail out helping to pay many bills.
GMC survived due to Buick and that was a good move as the Denali brand is one of the highest profit brands in the automotive market.
As for Pontiac. Pontiac was reduced to just a fancy Chevy. They had no RWD performance till Lutz arrived but it was too late by then. On tried to save them as a specialty performance brand but there was no funds.
Note the Monte Carlo and Impala impact the Pontiac line. I knew the brand manager and he fought to get the 3800sc snd V8 for his cars that Pontiac had even if Pontiac did not want to share.
The harsh reality is Chevy sells more cars snd Chevy gets more say. Cadillac due to prices helps pays the bills better than Pontiac.
The 60 degree is loved as it is a better running engine and smoother also easier to package over a 90 degree. That is why the 3.6 today is 60 degree.
The 90 degree is a rougher engine due to the angle.
GM really did not have the money to build a modem engine so they just kept up grading what the had. They did a good job but imagine if they had done a good clean sheet engine with no financial limits. Sad they never did.
So here's my question: who/when coined the term "Muscle Car"? Was the Packard, Hudson, Chevy, Buick, or whatever other car that people have claimed were first, ever called that at the time? Did Studebaker ever advertise their new Muscle Car in 1957? Did Chrysler claim that for the 300C? I don't remember ever hearing the term applied to anything prior to the mid-'60s. So one could argue that although there were automobiles that fit some or all of the criteria that became popular in 1964 or 1965, if nobody ever anointed them with the title, how can they be now claimed as such? Seems to me when you first used the term to describe a certain car, that becomes the "first one". I mean, it seems to me that Hercules might have fit the definition of Superhero (or maybe Sampson), but did anyone call them that in their time? Wasn't the invention of Superman the first time you ever heard of anyone called that? So regardless of anyone else before him, wasn't Clark Kent the "first superhero"? So, did Pontiac or someone like Car & Driver, or Hot Rod call the GTO a Muscle Car in 1964 or 1965?
I'm asking for a friend...
Hey ThumperUSMC, I feel your loss as I too had a '68 GTO. You mentioned you saved your shifter handle, do you by any chance have a picture of it? I have a couple of handles laying around from mine but I can't remember which one was the original. Thanks for your time.
whatever happened to the super duty cat? and the tempest for that matter? i have a 63 cat 4 speed and a 63 lemans, originally 326 but now 455 with 4 speed and 9.3 pontiac rear. does 12.8 in the 1/4 mile on pump gas. pontiacs are the best
Hello Poncho, I had just about forgotten about the SD 421 Tempest post, but the ‘62 421 engine and aluminum headers sold to friend, the front bumper went to someone else and a 389 fitted. The car was a metallic blue two door hardtop with the aluminum wheels and Ventura interior. Sold the car then did the Tempest. The only evidence I have left of the Tempest is a picture my mom took of me sitting on the hood with a big middle eliminator trophy after we got too well known to have much fun on the street. I sold my half to my partner and went back to college. Have no idea what happened to the car. The only other Pontiac info I have is that a friend who knew I had raced Pontiacs “back in the day”. offered me the chance to go in before the Mickey Thompson auction after his death and buy whatever I might want. It turns out that Mickey had a ‘63 Pontiac NASCAR carb which was a 1000 CFM AFB, one of only 15 made for NASCAR by Carter for Pontiac. I didn’t buy it but should have. Best Regards, Bryan