This is a mid 60s review. Some of the cars in recent comments are well over 1 mil today in value. Somehow we jumped into the late 70s. My 2 classic muscle cars don't burn a drop of oil. If these type of cars have zero appeal, why then are you on a 66 GTO review?
Pontiac was the performance leader after '71. The 73-74 455 SD, even with low compression and smog controls produced 500 lb. of torque and were good for 13 second 1/4 mile stock. This level of performance wasn't reached again at G.M. until the mid 80's turbo Buick's.
Now in 2014 I bought the new Corvette. Pontiac may be a topic for late 70s discussion, but there are fantastic vehicles offered today. I thought insurance and government intervention killed it all back then. Today it's great again for the boomers like myself.
Because I'm a big fan of Pontiac, and GM from the 60's and 70's.
I don't recall stating that these vehicles have no appeal. Please don't put words in my mouth.
If you want to pounce into the late 70s and 80s, it was pretty sad overall. Fortunately I had a 69 Camaro SS and a 280ZX 2+2.
One car I liked was the Buick Grand National. I saw one in particular at Cecil County Dragway tearing everyone up in that era. The dash was a joke with the 80mph gauge cluster, but it was still a cool fast car.
Another interesting Pontiac from the period was the Pontiac CanAm. But after 1970, the insurance and government interference was really a sorry period with immediate HP drops. The TransAm was at least a bright spot at the time.
I think the last GTO was a very poor looking example with a great nameplate; a vehicle maligned. And even the Firebird as far as styling. Just a personal opinion.
Anyway, Pontiac is history. Maybe GM will redesign some new Pontiacs someday and especially resurrect the mid sizes. With the 8 speed trans out today, I am sure the MPG will improve. But there has to be enough interest. Too bad they didn't offer a Solstice with a small block V8!
Today my definition of a malaise period is a wife that keeps you from buying the muscle car of your dreams. Mine use to say we had a nice piece of driveway that my rare matching #s car was sitting on. Old and no air conditioning. The rarity didn't matter whatsoever. That is a malaise period. Now in 2014 you can buy new muscle cars again with plenty of HP and loaded with amenities. About time.
"My 2 classic muscle cars don't burn a drop of oil"
Well, I did happen to read your breathtaking review about the '70 Chevelle that you say was restored. If the engine was rebuilt as a part of the restoration, I sure would hope it doesn't burn any oil at all.
That's a camshaft for the 389, and trust me it's not smooth. You have to be very specific, not so broad based. In fact not being smooth isn't necessary negative for a performance car. Otherwise a 350 2 barrel LeMans would fit the bill.
It didn't burn oil before my rebuild; more a preventative measure. If you have a matching #s big block today, it isn't a very bad idea. Certainly not that difficult.
I don't have a definition for "malaise" at all; other sources such as Jalopnik, The Truth About Cars and enthusiast opinions are a bunch of crap in my mind. They love to criticize quality and styling.
A far as quality from that era, in my experience every full-mid size GM and Ford car we have had were great in reliability. Weak points from those 2 companies were indeed compacts and the first wave of front-wheel drives.
As far as styling, well it's mostly personal taste, but from the so-called malaise era, in my opinion the '73-77 Grand Prix's were beautiful, followed by the Monte Carlo, as well as big Buicks, Caddys and Lincolns. '71-73 Rivieras were astonishing, and the Cougars and T-birds were pretty sharp looking.
Move on to the late 70's downsizing, even then the A-G body Cutlass, G.P., Regal and Monte were nice, along with full-size Fleetwoods, LeSabres, etc. Nice comfy interiors and underpowered, but reliable engines.
Performance issues can be solved for example; my next project may be a '78-81 Grand Prix with a 301 or 265 Pontiac, and easily swap it for a 400. I like my cars stock on the inside and out, with slight mods under the hood.
This is a collector's car, most likely insured for under 2500 miles a year, weekends and car events. It's typically not a daily driver.
The oil burning comment is unlikely. These cars typically run from the low 20k range to 60k as a ballpark. Most are show cars and cruise night cars. I see average about 1000 miles a year usage. If you see cars smoking at cruise nights and shows, I must have been missing something since 1986. Once you get a car pretty well finished, they are pretty much minimal maintenance. Change the filters and fluids, unplug the battery maintainer and go out. I have a late model car that shows typically 95 percent or better oil life remaining on the dash readout. I still change oil on time intervals, not mileage. Oil is not being burned.
I waited 11 years to raise a lot of money for my car. I did not want just any old car or a major project on a real muscle car. If you set your sights on a model and can discipline yourself, it's great in the end. I didn't want a Plain Jane or a 4 door car. The cool thing is owning it, and thumbs up to those that actually own one today. Turn key and nice example. I plan on keeping mine and passing it down to my family.
I agree with the oil burning comment. I have always been loyal to the Buick and Pontiac brands over the years, and owned a couple models that were Chevy powered; a 1979 Regal and a 1984 Bonneville. Both came equipped with the 305 CID. While they were both reliable, they did burn oil between changes compared to models that I owned that were equipped with their own engines. Legend has it that the first 265 small block burned a quart every 500 miles.
Odds are if you buy a 66 GTO Mid Year Corvette Chevelle 442 etc, they are driven max 1000 miles to 2500 a year. That's typical for antique tags and classic insurance restrictions. The point being I doubt you will ever burn a quart between changes. I run Castrol in my older cars, and change it twice a year within those mileage numbers. In turn I have owned a few late model Corvettes that burn zero oil, and I change Mobil 1 and filter at 5000. I don't expect my new one to be any different. Chevrolet has a bulletproof engine and drivetrain. I am not versed in Cobalts etc, but this is a high performance review. At any rate I would be proud to own this model. I missed on a Ram Air III 69 GTO Vert a while back, original owner. Nice car! Got beat to the punch on that one.