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Oracle of Delphi

A Rare Pontiac Indeed

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This is not a "rare Pontiac", it's a regular production Pontiac that's been modified- one of thousands & thousands & thousands in that category.

BTW- there was at least 1 other aircraft-assist modified Pontiac; I have a clipping of a '69 Catalina 4-dr hardtop with a rack on the roof so a Piper J-3 can land on it.

GM has a huge, uncollected assocation with aircraft...

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NASA used Pontiacs as chase cars for landings and even towed mock ups of some projects before droppinh them like the one shown here. I had read about this car a while back.

Present day the Air Force uses Z28's to chase U2 planes upon landing and in the past had 421 Catalina's for the same duity. The U2 pilots can not see the ground and need the following car to call out the distance.

Even the SR71 engines had blowers to spool them up to ignite them run by 454 Chevys.

GM has played many parts in our aircraft and space progams.

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This is not a "rare Pontiac", it's a regular production Pontiac that's been modified- one of thousands & thousands & thousands in that category.

BTW- there was at least 1 other aircraft-assist modified Pontiac; I have a clipping of a '69 Catalina 4-dr hardtop with a rack on the roof so a Piper J-3 can land on it.

GM has a huge, uncollected assocation with aircraft...

What I meant by rare was that most people don't see these modified Pontiacs, or how the Government used them ...

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S

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GM's Fisher Body Plant in Trenton, NJ became part of Eastern Aircraft during World War II.

There they built the Grumman TBM Avenger. (torpedo bomber)

President George H W Bush flew one during his Naval Service.

Easy enough to Google should anyone be interested in finding out more about this.

I met many people, when I first started working there in 1976, that worked on GM's airplanes during WWII. Additionally, hung about the offices throughout the plant were photographs of that era showing the planes in various stages of their assembly. I think that President Truman visited the plant in his capacity as then-Vice President sometime in '44. (before my time of course)

Salt-of-the-earth types that did their part to insure victory during that struggle.

My Committee-Woman when I first was hired was, as I believe, the first woman laborer hired by GM in one of their Eastern hardware plants. The plant being built in 1938.

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>>"Even the SR71 engines had blowers to spool them up to ignite them run by 454 Chevys."<<

And earlier, in the '60s, the SR-71 'start carts' were powered by twin Buick 401s, then Buicks 425s.

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IIRC, one of the major car mags had an article on the chase plane Pontiacs sometime in the last decade or so. Pretty cool.

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IIRC, one of the major car mags had an article on the chase plane Pontiacs sometime in the last decade or so. Pretty cool.

I think I have it in one of my Pontiac magazines I have.

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>>"Even the SR71 engines had blowers to spool them up to ignite them run by 454 Chevys."<<

And earlier, in the '60s, the SR-71 'start carts' were powered by twin Buick 401s, then Buicks 425s.

I think I remember reading about the Buick start cars in a story on the YF-12A.

The Pontiac tow car was in a Air and Space Smithonian story too a few years back.

Edited by hyperv6

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IIRC, one of the major car mags had an article on the chase plane Pontiacs sometime in the last decade or so. Pretty cool.

i would venture to say that it was hemmings muscle machines or maybe muscle car review that would have had that in there because i remember reading about that very same car that nasa used with the U2's and all. white 63 pontiac with a 421.

at any rate here is a photo with a write up of the car from nasa

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This thread reminded me of the Air Force chase Mustangs they used with the U-2...there was an article in one of the mags about this restored '88..

Chase Mustang

An abcnews.com article said they first used Chevy El Caminos....and now "..Most of the cars are either Pontiac GTOs or Chevrolet Cameros [sic]— the Air Force buys American. " Surprising, no Priuses? :)

Edited by moltar

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>>"Even the SR71 engines had blowers to spool them up to ignite them run by 454 Chevys."<<

And earlier, in the '60s, the SR-71 'start carts' were powered by twin Buick 401s, then Buicks 425s.

Wow... I had no idea.

So damn cool. :spin:

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