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Absolute must read


Camino LS6

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I've read it before, very jealously.

>>"an unbelievably wild Pontiac show car called the "XP400." It started out as a Nassau Blue Pontiac Bonneville convertible that had more of a '50s custom look to it (complete with a stowable hard tonneau cover that was way ahead of its time)."<<

The car was the Pontiac X-400, there was one for '59, '60, '62, '63, and '64. With a 421 it was only one of the later 3, and being the summer of '64 it must've been the '64 (tho the pic I have of it, it wears a dark burgandy color). The '63 was yellow and I believe the '62 was red, but many of these show cars were repainted during their tenure.

Oh, and the hard tonneau I take it to mean a hard cover for the convertible top (the X-400s were all convertibles) and not a traditional tonneau (a snap-down soft cover over the passenger compartment- none of the X-400s had this to my knowledge).... sometimes a hard cover for the convertible top is called a 'parade boot'- something that ws standard on the Eldorado beginning with the '53, and I believe all the early 'vettes had one, too.

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Thanks for posting that, Camino. Great piece. Bill Mitchell's genius has long been fascinating to me. Do you really think he would have let the Commodore see the light of day here in the USA as a Pontiac? Doubtful.
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Thanks for posting that, Camino. Great piece. Bill Mitchell's genius has long been fascinating to me. Do you really think he would have let the Commodore see the light of day here in the USA as a Pontiac? Doubtful.

I think he would have understood the need for the G8, but the Aztek would never have even seen clay mock-up.

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I hate all the stupid G names and I won't buy a car with those names on it.

As much as I hate the letter designations as names, it would not keep me from buying a car that performed the function I wanted that style of car for.

That said, Pontiac has such a rich history to draw from. Let's hope that they soon remember that!

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I am lucky to know someone that got to drive on of the XP400's and I grew up on hearing how it ran and all the modifications it had.

Bill Mitchell over saw a group that did a lot of great cars like the Silver Arrow and the 65 Corvair Monza. Bill also had some misses along the way and I hope all remember that with Ed Welborn. We owe hm the same as was Given to Bill. All designs are not going to be hit out of the park but most will find their mark.

As for the number cars it is a shame anyone would be short sighted enough to for go a great car just because of a number name. Am I the only one that thought the name Impact was a poor choice for the electric car and the Prob name did not slow sales too much [well maybe for men anyways].

Besides after all thew complining that a GTO did not look like a GTO I would not blaime Pontiac to drop all the old names for good. Besides you just can't live in the past for ever.

I wish if they did use a number name XP400 would have been a great name for the G8 or a future car. New name with a little heritage but no stigma.

One thing I wondered about is how Bill would have delt with the wind tunnels of today. So many cars are dictated by aero numbers that they lost much of their charm and emotion. I wonder how he would have delt with it.

Edited by hyperv6
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Excellent read I really enjoyed it. The good days GM once had I think might be starting to come again, the Camaro, Enclave and new CTS prove it! I never knew that much about Bill Mitchell, he really did have a soft spot. I wish I could have watched those show-cars drive through suburban Detriot.

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I absolutely LOVE these expressions from the column: "and that beast shrieked and howled" and "a truly nasty-beautiful machine in every sense of the word."

Those were the days....

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