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.
What is so rough about it?
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.
The level 4 camshaft.
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!
I don't think that was a factory camshaft.
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.
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