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What is the fastest Pontiac?


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#1

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:32 AM

I don't think this was ever talked about by anyone... I know Americans seem to mostly think about acceleration and drag racing, and that top speed really can't be used many places.... But that didn't stop me yesterday from wondering what the fastest Pontiac has ever been....has Pontiac been building high-displacement monsters that aren't any good beyond 120 mph, or have there been production models known to do 150, 160, possibly even 180 with no sweat? On record, what is the fastest production Pontiac? Not the quickest (that's what E.T.'s and 0-60 are concerned with), but that FASTEST.... Has any Pontiac been known to have to be governed at 155 mph (similar to Europe's goods), yet clearly have potential for an even higher top speed? Could it be the current GTO? One of the Firehawks? Perhaps the Turbo Trans Am of 1989? Or maybe it was a simple Fiero GT or Grand Prix GTP.... Being the so-called Excitement Division and all about performance, it surprises me that this question really hasn't been broached, or that there really hasn't been much association with top speed at Pontiac.
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#2

PontiacTechNJ

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 11:38 AM

I bet the 05 GTO with 400 hp could break 165 mph , the Turbo TA of 89 was quick , in the 12s if you got it cold enough , but I am not sure of top end . We all look for acceleration in the US
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#3

blackviper8891

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 12:09 PM

Um... I think the 4th-gen Fody could go faster than 150. Probably the same with the GTO. I also know that 5th-gen Grand Am GTs with Ram Air could go about 130, maybe faster. Judging by the RPMs, my Quad4 powered GAGT ought to be able to do 120. All of this is without governers, though. I think the 3400 RA GA are governed at.. 115? IDK... its been a while since I've talked about this. I'll have to check with the GAGT gurus...
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#4

hyperv6

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 01:26 PM

I know the 89 turbo was good for near 170 MPH with much less power than the 05 GTO. I would expect the GTO could and should top that with out a fuel cut off. Heck my GTP comp G will do 140 MPH on only 260 HP. The fastest street legal production based car [TA] that could be driven anywhere might be one of Herb Adams Fire Am's. They would drive them to Florida and race the 24 HR of Daytona in the 70's. I think they could top 180 MPH. The fastest production block Pontiac ever would be Mickey Thompsons Challanger II. It cleared 400 MPH but could not make a return run due to damage from the first run. It carried 4 supercharged Pontiac engines and was wheel driven.
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#5

Sixty8panther

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 02:57 PM

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Ironically it had a Buick powerplant and is not recognized by hardcore enthusiasts as a "true" Poncho. :mellow:
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#6

blackviper8891

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 03:04 PM

Who are these so-called 'hard-core enthusiasts'? Obviously, they aren't...
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#7

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 04:49 PM

I'm talking Pontiacs that came right out of the factory and were sold at dealers. Even if a middleman came in, it sill ended with being sold, factory sticker and all, at Majestic Pontiac over on Coliseum and Crenshaw....feel me?
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#8

balthazar

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:13 PM

God- loads of Pontiacs could top 120. Factory-built Pontiac-engined Super Duty cars --completely production based- topped 150 with ease, maybe even surpassed 160. Yes- except for tires these would be street-legal road cars. Yes they were sold & delivered thru Pontiac dealers across the country (want a list?). Factory 421HOs were solidly in the 130s. A '73-74 T/A or Formula SD455 should likewise be in the 130s. But I would tend to agree (without having checked it) that the '89 Turbo T/A was the fastest: it was the first Indy pace car that got zero mods in order to pace the 500 (beyond lighting equipment). Problem with top speed focus is that there's little space (ironically: in such a huge country) to run wide open beyond Bonneville (more irony) or the Nevada Silver State Classic.

Edited by balthazar, 08 October 2005 - 06:19 PM.

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#9

razoredge

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 08:36 PM

The 89 Trans Am was a Buick Turbo V6

as was this car 13 years earlier
Posted Image

After their successful pace car project for the 1975 Indianapolis 500, Buick was asked to provide a another pace car for 1976. The '75's pace car with it's huge 455 cid V8, didn't have the acceleration needed at high-speeds. This time, Buick engineers tried something new. The solution turned out to be turbocharging. But instead of another large V8, it was applied to the tiny 231 cid V6! After a long absence, the V6 had made it's return to the Buick line-up in 1976. A Rayjay turbocharger, Rochester 4 barrel carb and 20+ pounds of boost, helped the little V6 propel the large '76 Century from 90-110 mph in under 9 seconds (twice as fast as the 455!).*
* "Buick's Turbo V-6", by Mike Knepper; Motor Trend, June 1976.


I would think the newer GTO's as well as the GXP's and that Comp G have been the fastest but they aint all Pontiac either. Maybe something Trans Am or Grand Prix 1970 would be the fastest whole Pontiac ?

Edited by razoredge, 08 October 2005 - 08:38 PM.

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#10

balthazar

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 10:57 PM

The fastest Pontiac-engined regular-production Pontiacs would have to be the Super Duty 421 cars ('61-63). Ran 155+ in NASCAR in 1962.
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#11

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 02:01 AM

I'm only concerned with the fastest Pontiac car, not the fastest Pontiac-ENGINED car. There's only three or four divisions that seem to have their name on engines anymore, if all of them aren't now simply plain old GM engines. Whether or not it had a Pontiac engine matters with me only on pre-1981 cars. Why did GM take engine development away from the divisions anyway? (I really hope this question doesn't take away from us debating the fastest Pontiac car)
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#12

milleramerican

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 03:54 AM

Posted Image
Ironically it had a Buick powerplant and is not recognized by hardcore enthusiasts as a "true" Poncho. :mellow:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Dude where do you find these old ads? They are so much fun to read.
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#13

Sixty8panther

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 04:11 AM

Google. :)
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#14

hyperv6

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 07:27 AM

The fastest Pontiac-engined regular-production Pontiacs would have to be the Super Duty 421 cars ('61-63). Ran 155+ in NASCAR in 1962.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



The SD stock cars were production in body but far from stock in the engine. We used to drive a SD 63 GP to school. Even geared right it would just clear 130 MPH in stock form. We used the 69 428 GP to check the speed as it has a 130 Spedometer. Even my buddys 455 SD TA was limited by its gearing.

As for the comment earliier about the hard core enthusiast. It is better now but for the longest time many of the old school would not accept that Pontiac made cars after 1979 when the last 400's were built. They feel that was the last of the true Pontiac powered Pontiac car.

I also like to point out the 301 was a Pontiac and they really hate it when you point out the last Pontiac powered Pontiac car was a 1988 Fiero Iron Duke 4 cylinder. it was one of the last Pontiac's if not the last built in the Pontiac Michigan.

You guys are safe with the turbo TA as top speed unless someone has a non speed limited 05 GTO that I have not heard of.
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#15

balthazar

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 10:00 AM

hyperV6- you did not ride to school in a '63 GP SD.

The SD engines were not "far from stock" because they were factory-built street-legal engines. It's like saying a low-compression 2bbl 389 is 'far from stock' because it's different than a 4bbl hi-comp motor. That's the key here: these motors are all different, but they're all factory. NASCAR ran SD motors within 90% of exact factory spec; where you gonna go from a 12:1 long-branch-manifold 4bbl 4-bolt mill??

'69 GPs have 140 MPH speedos, not 130.

Finally, of course gearing limits a car's top end, but dealers were doing gear swaps cheaply & often back then, not to mention a long-list of ratios was easily available in any Pontiac to tailor the car towards that if desired (as opposed to many other makes that offered 2 or 3 ratios.
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#16

avro206

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 10:01 AM

89 TTA--162mph in my Car and Driver test.
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#17

hyperv6

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 11:34 AM

[quote name='balthazar' date='Oct 9 2005, 12:00 PM']
hyperV6- you did not ride to school in a '63 GP SD.

'69 GPs have 140 MPH speedos, not 130.

Never said it was a factoy installed 421 SD did I????? It later had a 400 Ram Air IV in the car too. Both were factory spec engines installed in a 63 GP. Not sure of the year SD it was or if it was an over the counter engine. The 400 Ram Air was out of a GTO.

When your buddys father workerd for one of the Pontiac dealers in the 60's that raced for Pontiac you have a lot of good hardware laying around. We put tome fun combo's together over the years.

Sorry I missed on the Speedo on the 69 GP but it was 20 years ago since I drove it. I just knew we went over 130. Valves would float just over 130 as it had high mileage.

Before you tell me what I did or did not do please ask for more info! Don't under estimate what others have done. I never claimed it was stock.

One of the most fun cars we had to play with was a 428 in a 76 Jag sedan. Before you say it yes I did drive this one and no it was not factory!!!!

So you really think Smokey's 62 Cat's engine was 90% factory Stock at Daytona?? Now keep in mind he never cheated he just read the rule book better.
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#18

balthazar

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 05:15 PM

When you say "'63 GP SD" you insinuate it's an actual GP SD car. Sorry I stomped on your toes but to a vintage Pontiac enthusiast- you're terminology is a bit too loose for such an extremely rare & valuable icon.
It's not you, it's me.
Would love to hear more about the car. 4bbl or 2x4 car? SD end up blowing, I assume?

What Pontiac dealership were you guys hanging at?

Smokey was a crafty devil for sure (ever read about his '66 Chevelle?- wow!) but he was not the only Pontiac tuner who won races and he was not always the fastest, either. Remember, this was an era of true stock car racing, where Pontiac couldn't even run a hood scoop in NHRA without a factory part number on it. Not a whole hellva lot of room for tricks. Yeah, for an unsubstantiated guess, I would stick with 90% factory on the SD motors. Got any details to counter that?
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#19

hyperv6

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:20 PM

Lighten up 421 SD engines found their way into many different Pontiac's, or at least in this area they did. You can blame me for what ever you want but a wise man never assumes anything.

As for the SD engine it spun a rod bearing and had a tri power on it. I know they have the exhaust manifolds yet as I just saw them not long ago. I am not sure if he kept it or sold the engine. He still has the car but rarely drives it since he restored his 62 T bird Sport roadster. His next project is a 60 Starliner like he built in 1960.

We had at our disposal in the late 70's-early 90's these Pontiac's and too bad they don't have most of them now since they are worth a bundle today.

63 GP, 62 Tempest convert, 77 TA, 74 Formula 4sp, 65 GTO, 64 GTO, 66 GTO drag car, 74 SD TA with the original engine, 67 Firebird 400, 69 GP 428, 76 Jag 428 and a few other cars that were bought to be sold or stripped for parts. The 64 GTO, 63 GP, a recent addition of a 68 GTO and 76 Jag are still around along with a collection of engines.

My buddies dad worked at Knafel as did the Terry I work with today. They both got to work on some of the Tin Indian cars and had a race car that Bill Knafel helped them with.

Terry the guy I work with has a 60 Cat factory 4 sd race car that came out of Detroit. We are 98% sure it was the Pete Seton's car that was runner up at the NHRA US Nationals in Detroit in 1960 [the blue one in the prints]. The car was parked in 1965 and just brought out in the early 1990's. I am working with a guy from High performance Pontiac Magazine that is interested in the car, he might be able to help provide documentation it was the factory car that Pete's father order for him as a GM offical. It has factory installed Stewart Warner gauges in the dash idiot light holes and some other factory mods. Terry is restoring a 67 GTO right now. He also helped a guy that restored one of the original Tin Indians.

We have a few big time Pontiac People in this area like Ted Rob the vintage SD racer 3 cars one with a set of back up heads for M Thompsons Challanger II car. 2 of his cars were featured in HPP, Don Johnston and his brother Paul who run Don Carberator who specialize in building Pontiac racing engines and co sponsore the races at the Pontiac Tri Power Nats at Norwalk. and Glassco Family who race the national factory mucsle car meets in their rare show show winning Pontiac's. They also have been featured in many magazines. Pontiac is pretty strong in this area for some reason so it is not hard to find these rare cars at shows and races around here.

Even Arlen Vanke pops into town when he is not fishing in Michigan though in a Plymouth most times. Knafel is not doing to good with a poor heart but Terry is still in contact with him from time to time.

They are going to feature my 1990 Fiero nose emblem collection in the near future in High Performance Pontiac. I dug into this and found of around 100-150 made only around 20 are accounted for. My friend in FL and I have most of them. I was lucky to get a hold of some people at the company that produced them for GM and a few people at GM that gave me the original engineering drawing of them. Most of them were thrown out by GM or taken by employees once the Fiero was canceled. It was just neat to find them and authenticate them. The funny part is GM does not have one for their only remaining 1990 Fiero.

I have been lucky to be around a lot of good old time Pontiac people and seem destin to be involved with Pontiac's. I guess it started when I was brought home from the hospital in a 60 Ventura.

We even lucky to have one of the best national Hemi restorers in the area Sheppards.

As for your non mods tallk to Vic Edlebrock [I did] about his Smokey's Camaro Trans Am car it was clearly outside the rules when they restored it. As for the SD cars I have never seen much in print to prove anything but I will have to recheck my Autobiography and see if he tells any tricks. It is 3 volumes and I have not gotten through the whole thing yet. Smokey did not often tell on himself even afer he got out of racing. He still denied the large fuel line in the Chevelle. I was very lucky to meet him at PRI a year or so before he passed.

Keep in mind Nascar today has much less cheating than in the 60's and if you did not cheat you did not win back then. Junior Johnson is proof of that. I guess you never saw the Bannana 65 Galaxie.

Back then bigger than stock engines larger than stock fuel tanks trick non stock springs, non stock body mods and many more tricks were common and the norm, yes even the Pettys cheated. These things were not always addressed by Big Bill France as he was more worried about keeping the car companies involved and putting on a good show than inforcing all the rules. It was more selctive inforcment back then.

Smokey, Ray Fox, Junior, HM, Petty Bud Moore, all had many tricks they pulled and never got caught back then and the engine was one area never off limits to cheating.
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#20

prinzSD

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 12:58 PM

The SD stock cars were production in body but far from stock in the engine.  We used to drive a SD 63 GP to school. Even geared right it would just clear 130 MPH in stock form. We used the 69 428 GP to check the speed as it has a 130 Spedometer.  Even my buddys 455 SD TA was limited by its gearing.

As for the comment earliier about the hard core enthusiast. It is better now but for the longest time many of the old school would not accept that Pontiac made cars after 1979 when the last 400's were built. They feel that was  the last of the true Pontiac powered Pontiac car.

I also like to point out the 301 was a Pontiac and they really hate it when you point out the last Pontiac powered Pontiac car was a 1988 Fiero Iron Duke 4 cylinder. it was one of the last Pontiac's if not the last built in the Pontiac Michigan.

You guys are safe with the turbo TA as top speed unless someone has a non speed limited  05  GTO that I have not heard of.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes there are several members in our Trans Am club who despise any corporate motor in Pontiacs. These guys are living in the past.
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