Tag Archives: Ventura

Early Muscle: 1961 Pontiac Ventura

Early Muscle: 1961 Pontiac Ventura

Pontiac VenturaIt is hard to pin down the first actual muscle car; some have asserted that it is the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which was built with speed in mind, with an overhead valve V8 placed in a mid-size car with a relatively lightweight body. A lot of observers cite the next big step in the evolution of the early muscle car to be the introduction of the 1955 Chrysler C-300 with its 300 horsepower Hemi engine that could go from zero to sixty in 9.8 seconds and reach a top speed of around 130 miles per hour.

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

'74 Apollo Buick Malaise: This word comes from the combination of French words mal- and aise (which translates to ease). This word generally means a sense of being uneasy or feeling out of sorts. It usually involves the beginning of an illness or feeling less that healthy. The term “malaise” has come to designate the decade of cars produced between 1973 and 1983.

Pontiac Ventura: Collecting Classic Car Ephemera

Collecting Classic Car Ephemera

71 Pontiac Ventura Pontiac Ventura: In the glory days of the automobile, the advertisements spoke volumes. From the black and white photos of the early Tin Lizzies to the art deco looks from the 50s and 60s, automobile advertising shows so much more than the cars on the pages. Ephemera from the earliest decades of the automobile capture the identities of the decades. These early ads set the stage for the reality that cars were more than just a form of transportation, but they were a way for individuals to show their style and personality.

Pontiac Ventura

Pontiac Ventura: Cleaning Up the Excess

72 Pontiac VenturaIn the 1950s, bigger was better. When it came to cars, this meant more chrome, more fins, more room, and more design. In 1959, the “bigger is better” theory of car design reached a pinnacle when the Cadillac Eldorado hit showroom floors. Imagine a bubble-gum pink Cadillac with altitudinous tail fins, juicy white-wall tires, pointy bullet tail lights, wide smiling grill, and shiny silver chrome. The car is in the same design class as the froufrou pink bridesmaid dress, the heavily frosted wedding cake, and the bleach-blonde beehive hairdo. There wasn’t much else that could be added to this frilly automobile (or to the other overly designed items). After 1959, car design could not get any bigger (unless you count “The Homer” from The Simpsons fame).

1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air III

1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air II

gto2233As 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.