Classic cars are easily the closest thing we’ll ever have to a time machine. Step inside of any restored (or simply not beat to shit) car of yesteryear and you’re instantly transported to another time.. completely surrounded by the smells, sounds, and styles. Continue reading
One of the more interesting vehicles found at Barrett-Jackson this year was this Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2. Among the more high-profile G-bodies like the Monte Carlo, El Camino, Cutlass and Buick T-type, the Pontiac tends to become more of a forgotten offering. Couple that with this aerodynamic-enhancing body conversion by Auto-Fab for homologation purposes and you find yourself with one interesting piece of history.
Being one of only 1,225 Grand Prix models converted, it’s provenance is evident in it’s smooth Firebird/Camaro-esque rear windshield, revised front fascia and small fiberglass trunk lid. That’s correct: Despite it’s appearance, that window is static, not hatch.
And that lack of useful storage space is only one of the many issues that kept this production variant out of the General Motors limelight. The lackluster performance from the 150hp 5.0L carbureted v8 available only through the 2004r auto and a 3.08:1 rear end ratio didn’t help either. If you remember correctly, even the lowly Monte Carlo SS had an alternative 180hp variant during it’s run, not to mention the offerings from Buick and Oldsmobile.
Despite it’s shortcomings, aesthetically it’s a stud in the confines of it’s era. Which, along with it’s rareness, is probably why this well-kept, low-mileage example went for an impressive $11,000 at auction.
Many of these builders focus on creating pro-touring cars – that is, a classic 1960s muscle car updated with a modern powerplant, independent rear suspension, and disc brakes to name a few. These and other modifications vastly improve the safety and handling of these old rides and in many cases, exceed their original levels of performance.
One custom car that caught my eye at SEMA 2015 was this beautifully restored and upgraded 1963 Pontiac Acadian, which was the Canadian version of the Chevy II / Nova. This car was built by JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, British Columbia – the same shop that built the “Rivision” Riviera that captured a Ridler Award in 2014. Continue reading
It’s hard to look at a second-gen Firebird and not think of “Smokey and the Bandit.” While this car has been forever etched into our memories by the 1977 film, this car is so much more than a movie cliche.
When this car was new, people were worried about Vietnam War protests, the emerging counterculture movement, the start of punk rock, vehicle emissions laws, and The Man taking away their rights. With its Screaming Chicken logo on the hood and its utter lack of subtlety, the Firebird Trans Am is a middle-finger response to the social changes of the 1970s. As long as I’ve got my horsepower, you and your issues can sit on it and rotate!
Look at this face, you can actually see how miserable the car feels, and do you blame it? For $2400 you can rescue this would be shit kit car. I’ll be the optimist and pray it’s transformed into something respectable. Continue reading
I really don’t understand what business GM’s “excitement” division had building large, luxurious, slow cars like this. Don’t get me wrong, I love the body style, and I’d love to have one, I’m just having trouble trying to come to terms with the reason for this car existing in the first place. It would have made a little more sense back in the 60’s when it was actually possible for a big car to have enough power to actually be exciting, but by the late 70’s, all the car makers were pumping out turd after (sometimes nice looking) turd and I don’t really see anything too exciting about that.
I saw this van at a grocery store a couple days ago. When I was taking pictures of it, an employee came outside and told everything he knew about the lady who drives it. Apparently, she goes to the store every day around noon and hangs out all day near the deli until they close at night. I actually feel kind of bad to post this but at the same time, I’m not happy about having to share the road with someone who drives around with such an unsafe amount of visibility-blocking bullshit in their vehicle, so whatever.
The van is so full of papers and garbage that there is “litteraly”(sorry) only room for one person to fit inside. It’s definitely a fire hazard, there’s no disputing that, but I wonder if driving around totally enshrouded by paper actually would protect you in the event of an accident, like packing peanuts. You don’t just drive this van to your destination, you fucking pack and ship yourself there!
While it’s a shame that the 80s and early 90’s were the heyday of under powered front wheel drive cars, the limitations imposed on car designers at the time surely forced them to come up with cars that found other ways to be interesting. The eighth-generation Bonneville SSE is a great example of this. The SSE was the top of the line trim level for the Bonneville. It was essentially a handling/appearance/stereo package since the LN3 3800 was the only motor offered in the Bonneville starting in 1988.
The interior had some really interesting features. On one side of the dash was a driver information center screen that showed an overlay of the car and pointed out problems and maintenance information. On the other side of the dash was a similarly sized display that showed a really neat graphical compass, and the center of the steering wheel had controls for the stereo and a/c, which was a pretty advanced feature for the late 80’s.
Although the car wasn’t exactly fast, I’m sure it had enough power to keep up with most other cars from its time period, and with more style than most cars have today. It’s got just the slightest amount of body cladding to where it looks really sporty, but now with hindsight being 20/20 it’s pretty easy to see that it was the starting point for Pontiac’s plastic addiction that eventually spiraled way out of control in the late 90’s.
It may be just an outdated family sedan decorated like an 80’s sports car but I’d still drive one.