Tag Archives: V8

1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air III

1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air III

1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air III
As muscle cars were just making their way onto the American auto scene, Pontiac threw its hat into the ring with the GTO. To create this line of sporty cars, controversially named after the Ferrari race car, Pontiac took one of its biggest engines, a 389-cubic inch V8, and put it into a mid-size car. The Ventura received this honor, and in fact, the first GTO was really just an option package on the Ventura. The result was one of the coolest-looking cars yet produced by American manufacturers and one that set the bar for the rest of the fast and powerful muscle cars to come.

1972 Ford Gran Torino

Among the most popular muscle cars in American automotive history is the Ford Gran Torino. Featured in movies and other forms of popular culture, it represents a unique time in automobile history because of its ability to compete with other muscle cars which were just as exciting then as they are now. The Gran Torino was produced from 1968 until 1976, and it was named after an Italian city called Turin. Though it is still a popular muscle car, this was not the most powerful or the fastest car of its time. Take a look below as we examine one model year of the Ford Gran Torino.

1973 AMC Matador

With a little Spanish flair, at least in the name, the 1973 AMC Matador had a hard time exciting the masses. In large part, these vehicles seemed to be the choice of the older generations. The new drivers of the early 1970s were simply more excited about the idea of driving a flashy new muscle car that could roar down the road and turn the heads of passersby along the way. Like many classic cars of its day, the 1973 AMC Matador was a bit boxy on the outside, though not necessarily unattractively so.

Corvette’s 60th Anniversary

The 2013 model year marks 60 years on the market for a consistent favorite among classic car enthusiasts. As Chevrolet celebrates the Corvette’s  success over the years, it has big plans to mark the occasion. Earlier this year, Chevrolet announced a special edition 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible. The result is impressive, and it is set to be “the most powerful Corvette Convertible ever produced,” according to AutoBlog.

1967 Plymouth GTX

Also known as the Plymouth Belvedere GTX, this model was intended to be a “gentleman’s” muscle car. Assembled in St. Louis, Missouri, the production only lasted 4 years (from 1967-1971). Both the style and performance of this model were better than the original Belvedere, and the two were largely differentiated by the grille and look of the rear of the car. The 1967 Plymouth GTX had mock hood scoops, optional racing stripes, and a different fuel cap, which also set the two classic car models apart.

Oldsmobile F-88

Oldsmobile F-88: Aptly dubbed one of the “10 Coolest Cars” by a popular blog site, Oddee, the Oldsmobile F-88 certainly fit the 1950s-era General Motors idea to build the automobiles of the future. Sometimes, this meant that cars featured Space Age inspired gauges, while others had a cool copper metallic sheen that could easily provoke thoughts of a new age outer space gadget.

The 1962 Studebaker Lark

As America began a new era in the early 1960s, the Studebaker Corporation was desperately tweaking a model which was losing steam. The Studebaker Lark was first introduced in 1959, but by 1961, its sales were already declining. The compact car was missing an iconic American car feature of the time: tail fins. Its design lent itself more to European style, making it difficult for the car to continue competing against other car companies such as the Big 3, which had better adapted to the fickle preferences of the American consumers.

The Maserati Bora

When you think of European sports cars, names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and De Tomaso come to mind.  Another one that should stick out because of its beautiful designs, fast cars, and victories on the racing circuit is the Maserati.  From 1971-1978, the Maserati released a vehicle that was all of those things and it was called the Bora.

When Citroen first took over Maserati in 1968, they were looking for a mid-engine, 2-seater coupe that could compete with Lamborghini’s Miura, De Tomaso’s Mangusta, and the model that Ferrari was rumored to have in the works.  The Tipo117 (later named the Bora) was put underway in October of 1968.  A prototype was shown in the summer of 1969, it was presented at the Geneva Salon in March of 1971 and the first customer got theirs by the end of the same year.

A Look at the V8 Engine

The V8 engine has become ubiquitous throughout the automotive industry over the last century, and its legacy began right after the turn of the 20th century in France. First patented in 1902 by Leon Levavasseur, it was being used successfully in early airplanes and speedboats by 1904. The first V8 engines were capable of 24 hp at 1400 rpm, but this output disappointed aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. He ordered a heavier engine for his aircraft, allowing it to gain a more robust 50 horsepower.