Pontiac I SwGbt - History

Pontiac I

(SwGbt: t. 974; 1. 205', b. 35', dph. 11'6", dr. 6'6", s. 11 k.; cpl. 172, a. 2 100 pdr.P.r., 4 9", 4 24-pdr. how., 2 heavy 12-pdr., 2 12-pdr. r.)

The first Pontiac, a wooden, double-ended, side-wheel gunboat begun for the Navy in 1862 by Hillman '£ Streaker and Neafie, Levy Jc Co., was delivered to the Navv at Philadelphia Navy Yard 7 July 1864, and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. John H. Russell in command.

The new gunboat joined the South Atlantic Bloekading Squadron at Port Royal, S.C., 12 August, and proceeded to blockade station off Charlestoll. On 1 September, Lt. Stephen B. Luee relieved Russell in command. Pontiac engaged Southern guns at Battery Marshall, Sullivan's Island 7 November. One shell exploded in the steamer's forecastle hitting six men and wounding six others.

On 13 January 1865, she steamed to Savannah thence some 40 miles up the Savannah River to protect General Sherman's left wing as his troops crossed the river at Sister's Ferry, Gal, beginning their march north which soon caused Charleston to fall. Luee later credited his meeting with General Sherman as the beginning of his thinking which eventually resulted in the founding of the Naval War College. He said: "After hearing General Sherman's clear exposition of the military situation, the scales seemed to fall from my eyes.... It dawned on me that there were certain fundamental principles underlying military operations, . principles of general application whether the operations were on land or at sea."

On 1 March, Pontiac captured steamer Amazon, a former Confederate ironclad laden with cotton.

After the war, Pontiae decommissioned at New York Navy Yard 21 June 1865 and she was sold 15 October 1867 to John Roseh.

City of Pontiac michigan

The City of Pontiac now provides online Property Tax, Assessing and Building Permit information. Cost is $2.00 per search. Property information is updated every Tuesday, and Building permit information is updated daily. Click here to look up property information online.

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The History Of Pontiac Firebird

The Pontiac Firebird was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. The Firebird was introduced the same year as its platform-sharing cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro. This coincided with the release of the 1967 Mercury Cougar, which shared its platform with another pony car, the Ford Mustang.

The vehicles were, for the most part, powered by various V8 engines of different GM divisions. While primarily Pontiac-powered until 1977, Firebirds were built with several different engines from nearly every GM division until 1982 when all Pontiac engines were dropped in favor of corporate units.

The first generation Firebirds had a characteristic "coke-bottle" styling. Unlike its cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro, its bumpers were integrated into the design of the front end and its rear "slit" taillights were inspired by the Pontiac GTO. Both a two-door hardtop coupe and a convertible were offered through the 1970 model year (the next generation, minus the convertible, being announced as 1970½ models). Originally the car was a "consolation prize" for Pontiac, who had initially wished to produce a two-seat sports car of its own design, based on the original Banshee concept car. However, GM feared such a vehicle would directly compete with Chevrolet's Corvette, and the decision was made to give Pontiac a piece of the pony car market by having them share the F-body platform with Chevrolet. Somewhat disappointed at management's decision, Pontiac went about re-making the F-body in their own image with both styling and engineering changes.

The base model Firebird came equipped with the OHC inline-6 and a single-barrel carburetor. The next model, the Sprint, had a four-barrel carburetor, developing 215hp (160kW). But most buyers opted for one of the V8 engines: the 326CID (5.3L) with a two-barrel carburetor producing 250hp (186kW) the "H.O." (High Output) engine of the same displacement, but with a four-barrel carburetor and producing 285hp (213kW) or the 400CID (6.6L) from the GTO with 325hp (242kW). A "Ram Air" option was also available in 1968, providing functional hood scoops, higher flow heads with stronger valve springs, and a different camshaft. Power for the Ram Air package was the same as the conventional 400H.O., but the engine peaked at a higher RPM. The 230CID (3.8L) engines were subsequently replaced by 250CID (4.1L) ones, the first developing 175hp (130kW) using a single barrel carburetor, and the other a 215hp (160kW) engine with a four-barrel carburetor. Also for the 1968 model, the 326CID (5.3L) engine was replaced by one with a displacement of 350CID (5.7L). An "H.O." version of the 350CID with a revised cam was also offered starting in that year, developed 320hp. Power output of the other engines was increased marginally. In 1969, a $725 optional handling package called the "Trans Am Performance and Appearance Package,", named after the Trans Am Series, which included a rear spoiler, was introduced. Of these first "Trans Ams," only 689 hardtops and eight convertibles were made. There was an additional Ram Air IV option for the 400CID engine during that year, complementing the Ram Air III these generated 345 and 335hp respectively. The 350 "H.O." engine was revised again with a different cam and cylinder heads resulting in 330hp. During 1969 a special 303cuin (5L) engine was designed for SCCA road racing applications that was not available in production cars.

Bodywise, the styling difference from the 1967 to the 1968 model was the addition of Federally-mandated side marker lights: for the front of the car, the blinkers were made larger and extended to wrap around the front edges of the car, and on the rear, the Pontiac (V-shaped) Arrowhead logo was added to each side. Also, Pontiac stopped using wing-windows and started using single panes on the doors. The 1969 model received a major facelift with a new front end design made of an Endura bumper housing the headlights and grilles. Inside, there was a revised instrument panel and steering wheel. Also, the ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to the steering column with the introduction of GM's new locking ignition switch/ steering wheel.

Due to engineering problems that would ultimately delay introduction of the all-new 1970 Firebird beyond the usual fall debut, Pontiac continued production of 1969-model Firebirds into the early months of the 1970 model year — until the end of calendar year 1969 (the other 1970 Pontiac models had been introduced on September 18, 1969). In fact, by late spring of 1969, Pontiac had deleted all model-year references on Firebird literature and promotional materials, anticipating the extended production run of the then-current 1969 models.

The first generation Firebird could be easily distinguished from the Camaro with its four round headlamps, whereas the Camaro only had two.

The second generation debut for the 1970 model year was delayed until February 26, 1970, because of tooling and engineering problems thus, its popular designation as a 1970 1/ 2 model, while leftover 1969s were listed in early Pontiac literature without a model-year identification. Replacing the "Coke bottle" styling was a more "swoopy" body style, with the top of the rear window line going almost straight down to the lip of the trunk lid — a look that was to epitomize F-body styling for the longest period during the Firebird's lifetime. The new design was initially characterized with a large C-pillar, until 1975 when the rear window was enlarged. There were two Ram Air 400 engines for 1970: the Ram Air III (335hp, 366hp in GTO) and the Ram Air IV (345hp, 370hp in GTO) which were carried over from 1969. The difference between the GTO and Firebird engines was the secondary carburetor linkage which prevented the rear barrels from opening. Bending the linkage to allow full carburator operation resulted in identical engines. A distinctive, slant-nose facelift occurred in 1977, redone somewhat in 1979. From 1977 to 1981, the Firebird used four square headlamps, while the Camaro continued to retain the two round headlights that had previously been shared by both Second Generation designs. Curb weights rose dramatically in the 1973 model year due to the implementation of 5 MPH telescoping bumpers and various other crash and safety related structural enhancements SD455 Trans Ams tipped the scale at a whopping 3,850 pounds curb.

The 455 engine available in the second generation Firebird Trans Am was arguably the last high-performance engine of the original muscle car generation. The 455 engine first made its appearance in 1971 as the 455-HO. In 1973 and 1974, a special version of the 455, called the SD-455, was offered. The SD-455 consisted of a strengthened cylinder block that included 4 bolt main bearings and added material in various locations for improved strength. Original plans called for a forged crankshaft, although actual production SD455s received modular iron crankshafts with minor enhancements. Forged rods and forged aluminum pistons were specified, as were unique high flow cylinder heads. A 1967 GTO Ram Air camshaft with 301/ 313 degrees of advertised duration, 0.407 inch net valve lift, and 76 degrees of valve overlap was specified for actual production engines in lieu of the significantly more aggressive Ram Air IV style cam that had originally been planned for the engine (initially rated at 310 HP with that cam), but proved incapable of meeting the tightening emissions standards of the era. This cam, combined with a low compression ratio of 8.4 (advertised) and 7.9:1 actual resulted in 290 SAE NET HP. The initial press cars that were given to the various enthusiast magazines (e.g., Hot Rod and Car and Driver) were fitted with the Ram Air IV style cam and functional hoodscoops - a fact that has been confirmed by several Pontiac sources although none of those sources are listed here.[citation needed] There is still some controversy about what cam was used in the early press cars due to an article written by Jerry Heasley for Musclecars magazine titled "Mexican Shooutout." Mr Heasley did not start out with the intention of addressing that question, but in an odd turn of events, he did just that. It all started with a "shootout" between a 1973 SD455 Trans Am and a 1967 440 Dodge Coronet R/ T set to take place at the Houston International Raceway in Texas. The R/ T backed out at the last minute so Heasley decided to run Mike's 81K mile stock Trans Am for comparison against the times that had been published by Car and Driver magazine back in 1973. Out of three runs, Mike bettered the times published by Car and Driver twice, with a best run of 13.75 seconds. While some actual production test cars ran considerably slower and yielded 1/ 4 miles times in the 14.5 second/ 98 MPH range in showroom tune - results that are quite consistent for a car with a curb weight of 3,850 pounds and the rated 290 SAE NET HP figure that some sources suggest was "under-rated," High Performance Pontiac magazine dyno-tested an SD and gave it an honest 371 SAE Net rating. Pontiac offered the 455 for a few more years, but tightening restrictions on vehicle emissions guaranteed its demise. Thus, the 1976 Trans Am was the last of the "Big Cube Birds," with only 7,100 units produced with the 455 engine.

In 1974, Pontiac offered an inline-6, a 185hp 350CID V8, and 175 to 225hp 400CID V8 engines. The 455 produced 215 and 250hp while the SD-455 produced 290hp. The 400, 455, and SD-455 engines were offered in the Trans Am and Formula models during 1974, but the 400 and 455 engines were the only other options in the 1975 and 1976 models. In 1976, Pontiac celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and a special edition of the Trans Am was released. Painted in black with gold accents, this was the first anniversary Trans Am package and the first production Black and Gold special edition. In 1977, Pontiac offered the T/ A 6.6Litre 400 (RPO W72) rated at 200hp, as opposed to the regular 6.6Litre 400 (RPO L78) rated at 180hp. In addition, California and high altitude cars received the Olds 403 engine, which offered a slightly higher compression ratio and a more usable torque band than the Pontiac engines of 1977.

Beginning in 1978, Pontiac engineers reversed years of declining power by raising the compression ratio in the Pontiac 400 through the installation of different cylinder heads with smaller combustion chambers (1977 pontiac 400 engines also had the 350 heads bolted to the 400 blocks, these heads were known as the 6x-4 heads)(taken from the Pontiac 350). This increased power by 10% for a total of 220 during the 1978-79 model years. The 400/ 403 options remained available until 1979, when the 400CID engines were only available in the 4-speed transmission Trans Ams and Formulas (the engines had actually been stockpiled from 1978, when PMD had cut production of the engine). 1979 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Trans Am, and a special anniversary package was made available: silver paint with a silver leather interior. The 10th Anniversary cars also featured a special Firebird hood decal, which extended off of the hood and onto the front fenders. In 1979 Pontiac sold 116,535 Trans Ams which still holds the record to this day. In 1980, due to ever-increasing emissions restrictions, Pontiac dropped all of its large displacement engines.

1980 therefore saw the biggest engine changes for the Trans Am. The 301, offered in 1979 as a credit option, was now the standard engine. Options included a turbocharged 301 or the Chevrolet 305 small block.

In the final year of the Second Generation Firebirds (1981), Trans Am still used the same engines as it had in the previous model year, with the only change being the addition of a new electronic carburation system.

Main article: Third-generation Pontiac Firebird

As federal mandates had shut down the muscle car era, GM decided the New F-body was to be concerned with handling over horse power. The third generation Firebirds was released with three models: Firebird, Firebird S/ E, and Firebird Trans Am and the cars had more in common with the Camaro than ever, sharing over 60% of parts with each other. The Firebird was the base model, equivalent to the Camaro Sport Coupe the Firebird S/ E was the mid-trim-level version, which could actually be loaded with as many options as the Trans Am and the Trans Am, of course, was the performance-level Firebird. The Firebird and Camaro had been completely restyled, with the windshield slope set at 60 degrees (about 3 degrees steeper than anything GM had ever tried before) and for the first time, a large, glass-dominated rear hatchback. Two pop-up headlights, a first on the F-Body cars, were the primary characteristic that distinguished the Firebird from its Camaro cousin the Firebird would retain this styling characteristic until the end of production in 2002. In addition to being 500 lb (227 kg) lighter, the Third Generation Firebird was the most aerodynamic production Firebird to date. Wind tunnels were used to form the body shape, and the aerodynamic developments extended to the finned aluminum wheels with smooth caps and a functional spoiler. The Trans Am received a "Turbo Bulge" hood, styled loosely after the earlier Turbo Trans Am. In fact, plans had originally been made to use the Pontiac 4.9 Turbo, but they were scrapped at the last minute. However, the hood bulge remained and was made functional for the Crossfire-injected 305. While the S/ E could be had with every option the Trans Am could, it didn't use the bulged hood. Leather seating was also available on all models. Firebirds were available with several engines: the standard fuel-injected 90 hp 2.5L 4 cylinder Pontiac "Iron Duke" (this marked the first time a 4-cylinder engine was offered in the Firebird) a 102 hp 2.8L V6 and two 5.0L V8's. The first and most common was the LG4, a basic carburetor-equipped 305 producing 145 hp. The other was a new fuel-injected 305, which employed a fuel injection system similar to that used in the 1982 Corvette's 5.7L, and produced 165 hp. The base Firebird came standard with 14-inch steel wheels 14-inch aluminum and 15-inch aluminum wheels were available on the S/ E and Trans Am models. Pontiac had also hoped to drop all the "Trans Am" badges from the new cars to save royalties paid to the SCCA for use of the name. Early promotional cars were marked "T/ A" as an alternative, however the production cars came marked as "Trans Am" regardless. The WS6 option, available on the S/ E's and Trans Ams, included 4-wheel disc brakes, P215/ 65R15 Goodyear Eagle GT radials with 15-inch cast aluminum wheels, stiffer springs, thicker front and rear sway bars, a high ratio 12.7:1 steering box, and limited slip rear differential. There was also the WS7 option, which was the same as the WS6, except for the lack of the 4-wheel disc brakes. In 1983, the Third Generation Trans Am was selected as the Daytona 500 Pace Car, and Pontiac offered a total of 500 Daytona Pace Car replicas through their dealerships. The limited-edition cars featured full body ground effect skirts that extended around the entire car. In 1984, the Trans Am became available with the same ground effects package used on the 1983 Daytona Pace Car replica the grill inserts in the front fascia were replaced with solid pieces, and new 20-slot, 15-inch aluminum wheels were also available. For the fifteenth anniversary of the Trans Am, Pontiac released another special, limited-edition Trans Am.

For 1985 Firebird models underwent significant redevelopment to boost sales as a number of power train improvements were introduced. The LB9 Tuned Port Injection (TPI) 305 was released, producing 210 hp, which brought it suitable attention from buyers despite being unavailable with a manual transmission. The carbureted V6 was replaced with a new, multi-port fuel-injected 2.8L V6 making 135 hp. The standard Firebird received a restyled nose with wrap-around inserts known as "bumperettes" to replace the old grille/ solid inserts wrap-around bumperettes were also added to the rear bumper. The Trans Am "Turbo Bulge" hood was discontinued in favor of a new flat hood with twin louvered "nostrils" that were non-functional. Trans Am also received a restyled nose with integral fog lights and newly redesigned ground effects. Also, the full "hood bird" was made available for the first time on this generation of the car as well. In 1986, Firebirds received a center, high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) to comply with Federal legislation these were placed on top of the back hatch window. In 1987 the CHMSL was moved down to the spoiler. The 2.5L 4-cylinder engine was dropped, replaced by the multi-port fuel-injected 2.8L V6 as the standard engine. The Firebird S/ E model was discontinued at the end of the year. The rubber/ vinyl wrap-around rear wing introduced in '85 became standard on Trans Am. In 1987, Firebird Formula was re-introduced replacing the SE, available with a choice of V8's (LG4, LB9 305 TPI, or L98 350 TPI), 16-inch convex wheels, and the earlier Trans Am "Turbo Bulge" hood. The wrap-around wing was updated and now standard on Trans Am and Formula the regular, flat-surfaced spoiler from earlier Trans Am models was now made standard on Firebird. Trans Am and Formula were also offered with an optional 140 mph speedometer. WS6 was standard equipment on the Formula and GTA. "87 also saw Pontiac's top of the line Trans Am: the GTA, which featured adjustable lumbar supports, digital dash, monochromatic paint, and special badges among other top of the line options. 1988 saw a new option, the notchback, in place of the giant greenhouse hatch window. The fit, however, was poor and few were produced.

The Trans Am was selected to pace the 1989 Indianapolis 500, and Pontiac marketed another pace car replica. This special, 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am (TTA), based on the GTA and came equipped with the turbocharged Buick 3.8L V6, originally developed for the Buick Regal Grand National. At the time, these replicas were as close to the actual pace car as any replica previously offered the only differences between the replica cars and those that actually were on the track during the race were the additions of strobe lights and safety equipment. 1,555 were produced. The TTA was the quickest Trans Am to date. Minor changes were made in 1990 Firebirds as they only received a half-year production run, as Pontiac labored to release the re-styled 1991 model.

All Firebirds received re-styled noses loosely fashioned after the "Banshee IV" show car while Pontiac was developing the all-new Fourth Generation platform. The Trans Am's ground effects were re-styled as well, and were made available on the base model Firebird, but NA on the Formula. The Trans Am and Firebird Formula received a new fiberglass-constructed, flat, wrap-around wing, The Trans Am and GTA received updated two-piece tail lights with "PONTIAC" scripted in orange across the panels, and the center, high-mounted stop lamps were moved to inside the top edge of the rear hatch. In 1991 The Formula was the only third Gen F-body to get to T-tops with a 350 Engine starting in MID year 1991. Also, the car was finally available as a convertible again with the conversions done by ASC, whom a few years earlier did the Camaro conversions as well. 1992 marked the final production year for the Third Generation platform, and as release of the Fourth Generation model was imminent, Pontiac made few changes to the Firebird. One improvement was made on all 1992 Third gens was the addition of some extra bonding agents to stiffen up the cars. The extra bonding was an attempt to correct a long time complaint of many owners was the squeeks and rattles the car made, This also allowed GM to experiment on third gens some of the new technologies which were to be implemented on the fourth generation cars which would be introduced for 1993.

The fourth generation F-body continued the aerodynamic formula initiated by the previous generation but it fell victim to declining sales. As before, the Camaro kept the exposed headlights and the Firebird its pop-up units, with some minor changes. The overall styling of the Firebird more strongly reflected the "Banshee IV" concept car than the 1991 "face lift" received by the Third Generation model.

From 1993 until 1995 (1995 non-California cars), Firebirds received a 3.4L V6 with 160hp, or the 5.7L 275hp LT1 V8. The 1993 Firehawk (only available in Formula trim for 1993) received the SLP package with a functional hood scoop and other performance enhancements that increased power to 305 hp. Only 201 were built for 1993, and they routinely out-performed 1993 Corvettes, leading many to believe that the power rating was purposely underrated to allow the Corvette (also rated at 300hp for the 1993 model year) to be the listed "king of power" (and price tag) for that year. In fact, the LT1 in the Formula and Trans Am was very similar to the one in the Corvette C4, except with 2-bolt mains and a more restrictive intake/ exhaust system.

1994 marked the 25th Anniversary of the Trans Am, and another Anniversary Edition was released, painted white with a single blue stripe down the center of the vehicle — clearly reminiscent of the 1970 Trans Am.

1995 models were the same as those of previous years, but traction control (ASR: Acceleration Slip Regulation) was now available. The steering wheel was also changed. It was borrowed from the Grand Prix.A freerer air intake was given, and a higher red line was given able to reach 7000rpm.The computer was revised allowing the engine to produce higher amounts of power and torque.There are 15 cars sold with this package which was a dealer deal.The only way to know which cars were with this packages is at the dyno.It was able to reach 0-60 mph in 4.9 sec in the hands of daily drivers, and 4.5 sec in the hands of professional drivers on cars that had the manual six-speed.

1996 and later models had a 200hp 3.8L V6 as the base engine, and the power rating of the LT1 had been raised to 285, thanks to a new dual catalytic converter exhaust system which was offered in previous years by order only.

The very rare 1997 Firehawk LT4 model, made by SLP Performance Parts and sold through Pontiac dealerships, had 330hp (243 kW) and 340 ft·lbf (459 Nm) of torque.

In 1998, the Firebird received a "face lift" dominated by a new front fascia (now with four pop-up headlights) as well as other modifications, the most significant of which was the introduction of the latest Corvette small block V8 engine, the LS1. Initially, the color "Bright Purple Metallic" had been available, however it was discontinued due to poor sales (not due to production issues with the paint, as rumors have implied). The color was replaced with "Navy Blue Metallic," but not before a total of 12 Trans Am models with the WS6 Ram Air package (10 coupés and 2 convertibles) made it out of the factory dressed in "Bright Purple Metallic." For 1998-2002 Pontiac utilized the same heavy duty brakes, steering ratios, fuel pumps and shocks (non-WS6) on both V6 and V8 models.

1999 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Trans Am since it's release in 1969, and Pontiac commemorated this event by creating another white Anniversary Edition Trans Am. This commemorative package came with twin blue stripes which more closely patterned the original paint scheme of the 1969 Trans Am. Along with the stripes, blue streamline graphics were added on the sides and blue anodized wheels were included with this package.

The final model year of the Firebird, 2002, offered a distinctive "Collector's Edition" Trans Am, painted yellow. Like the Chevrolet Camaro, the Fourth Generation Firebird and Trans Am were built in Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, and the plant closed down after producing the last F-body cars. This marked the 35th anniversary of the F-Body cars since their initial release.

The LS1 Firebirds, despite their poor sales, were among the fastest ever produced. Outfitted with the all-aluminum 5.7L V8 from the Corvette C5, and producing 305 hp at 5,200 rpm 335ft·lbf (454N·m) , 454 Nm @ 4,000 rpm (310 after 2000) or 320hp (325 after 2000) in the WS-6 "Ram Air" version, these Fourth Generation Firebirds could out-perform just about any of their predecessors (including the original "muscle car" Firebirds). In 2001 and 2002, models equipped with a V8 received the higher-flow LS6 intake manifold and a higher-performance clutch. Firebird enthusiasts believe these engines were underrated by the factory, and that these cars often produce up to 20 horsepower (30 kW) more than rated, routinely achieving 310 horsepower at the rear wheels. The rare Firehawk model, made by SLP and sold through Pontiac dealerships, had 330hp (335 after 2000, 345 in late 2002 models equipped with the optional Blackwing intake.). Even the last of the V6-equipped Firebirds were rated at an impressive 205hp, which was more than some of the earlier-generation V8's could muster (in fact, the final V6 Firebirds are as quick as almost any V8-equipped Firebird produced before 1985). Average quarter-mile elapsed times for the Fourth Generation Firebirds were reported as 15.2 seconds at 90mph (140km/ h) for V6-equipped vehicles, and 13.2 seconds at 110mph (180km/ h) for those with the V8 in the hands of an experienced driver, the latter cars have even been known to "crack" the 12-second quarter mile mark. Top speeds for both the V6 and V8 versions were generally governed according to their factory tire ratings, which were typically 118mph (190km/ h) for the V6 models. However, with the governor programmed out and applying V8 speed rated tires, V6 Firebirds will reach in excess of 130mph (210km/ h) (4th gear limited) with the Y-87 performance package and a 5-speed transmission, whereas V8 models that had Z-rated tires had a speed limiter set to 167mph (269km/ h).

1993-1998 had angular cable driven throttle body units, which later changed in 1999 to a less restrictive drive by wire electronic controlled with 18 reference throttle position points. 1999-2002 also saw the change of mass airflow sensor technology. GM, ridding themselves of the cast rod Mass Airflow Sensor in the Throttle Body, chose the higher flow capacity of the top mount MAF sensor and eliminating the angled induction to a straight forward ram air style intake which removes a large portion of the restriction.

In 2000-2002 Firebird also received an upgraded exhaust manifold from rectangular cast Iron primaries to a round tubular style manifold giving further gains in performance.

First generation

  • 1967: OHC 6 & Sprint, 326CID V8, 326CID V8 H.O., 400CID, 400CID Ram Air
  • 1968: OHC 6 & Sprint 350CID 350 H.O. 400CID 400CID H.O. Ram Air II 400CID (mid-year release underrated)
  • 1969: 350CID 350.H.O. 400CID Ram Air III 400CID Ram Air IV 400CID (underrated)

Second generation

  • 1970: 250CID I6, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, Ram Air III 400CID (Pontiac), Ram Air IV 400CID (Pontiac), Late Release 455 H.O. Pontiac (High Compression)
  • 1971: 250CID six-cylinder, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, Base 455CID, 455CID H.O.(Low Compression)
  • 1972: 250CID six-cylinder, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, Base 455CID, 455CID H.O.(Low Compression)
  • 1973: 250CID six-cylinder, 350CID V8, Base 455CID, 455CID H.O., 455CID S.D.
  • 1974: 250CID six-cylinder, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, Base 455CID, 455CID H.O., 455CID S.D.
  • 1975: 250CID I6, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, 455CID V8
  • 1976: 250CID I6, 350CID V8, 400CID V8, 455CID V8
  • 1977: 231CID V6, 301CID V8, 302CID V8, 350CID V8, 400CID V8 (Pontiac), 403CID V8 (Oldsmobile)
  • 1978: 231CID V6, 301CID V8, 302CID V8, 350CID V8, 400CID V8 (Pontiac), 403CID V8 (Oldsmobile) Also Available was a 350 chevrolet engine as well
  • 1979: 231CID V6, 301CID V8, 305CID V8, 350CID V8, 400CID V8 (Pontiac), 403CID V8 (Oldsmobile)
  • 1980: 301CID (Pontiac), 305CID (4-speed only) (Chevrolet), 301CID Turbo (Pontiac)
  • 1981: 301CID (Pontiac), 305CID (4-speed only) (Chevrolet), 301CID Turbo (Pontiac)

Third generation

Fourth generation

  • 1993: L32 3.4L, LT1 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads)
  • 1994: L32 3.4L, LT1 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads)
  • 1995: L32 3.4L, L36 3.8L, LT1 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads)
  • 1996: L36 3.8L, LT1 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads)
  • 1997: L36 3.8L, LT1 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads) / LT4 5.7L (350CID iron block, aluminum heads) in Firehawk by SLP
  • 1998: L36 3.8L, LS1 5.7L (346CID aluminum block and heads)
  • 1999: L36 3.8L, LS1 5.7L (346CID aluminum block and heads)
  • 2000: L36 3.8L, LS1 5.7L (346CID aluminum block and heads)
  • 2001: L36 3.8L, LS1 5.7L (346CID aluminum block and heads)
  • 2002: L36 3.8L, LS1 5.7L (346CID aluminum block and heads)


The Trans Am was a specialty package for the Firebird, typically upgrading handling, suspension, and horsepower, as well as minor appearance modifications such as exclusive hoods, spoilers, fog lights and wheels. In using the name Trans Am, a registered trademark, GM agreed to pay $5 per car sold to the SCCA. Four distinct generations were produced between 1969 and 2002. These cars were built on the F-body platform, which was also shared by the Chevrolet Camaro.

The second generation was available from 1970 to 1981 and was featured in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit, the 1978 movie Hooper and the 1981 movie Smokey and the Bandit II. The third generation, available from 1982 to 1992, was featured in the 1983 movie Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 and the 1984 movie Alphabet City. KITT and KARR, the automotive stars of the popular 1980s TV series Knight Rider, were modified third generation Trans Am. The fourth generation Trans Am, available from model years 1993 to 2002, offered between 275 and 325 horsepower.

Although the Trans Am nameplate was discontinued along with the Firebird in 2002, the body was used in the IROC Racing Series until the series' closing in 2006.

Trans Am engines

First generation

1969: Ram Air III 400 (Pontiac), Ram Air IV 400 (Pontiac) 345 hp, Ram Air V 400 (Pontiac) 500 hp

Second generation

  • 1970: Ram Air III 400 (Pontiac), Ram Air IV 400 (Pontiac), Ram Air V 400 (Pontiac, rare dealer-installed option)
  • 1972: Base 455 (Pontiac), 455 H.O. (Pontiac)
  • 1973: Base 455 (Pontiac), Super Duty 455 (Pontiac)
  • 1974: 400 (Pontiac), Base 455 (Pontiac), Super Duty 455 (Pontiac)
  • 1975: 400 (Pontiac), 455 (Pontiac)
  • 1976: 400 (Pontiac), 455 (Pontiac)
  • 1977: 403 (Oldsmobile), 455 (Pontiac), W72 400 (Pontiac)
  • 1978: 403 (Oldsmobile), 455 (Pontiac), W72 400 (Pontiac)
  • 1979: 301 (Pontiac), 403 Oldsmobile, W72 400 (Pontiac)
  • 1980: 301 (Pontiac), 305 (4 speed only) (Chevrolet), 301 Turbo (Pontiac)
  • 1981: 301 (Pontiac), 305 (4 speed only) (Chevrolet), 301 Turbo (Pontiac)

Third generation

From 1982 on all engines are Chevrolets unless stated otherwise.

  • 1982: 305 4 barrel, 305 Cross-Fire Injection (First year for fuel injection in Trans Am)
  • 1983: 305 4 barrel, 305 Cross-Fire Injection, 305 4 barrel H.O. (Only 662 were made all 5-speeds)
  • 1984: 305 4 barrel, 305 4 barrel H.O.(1500 anniversary editions, 500 of them 5 speed)
  • 1985: 305 4 barrel, 305 Tuned Port Injection, 305 4 barrel H.O. (5 speed only)
  • 1986: 305 4 barrel, 305 Tuned Port Injection, 305 4 barrel H.O. (5 speed only)
  • 1987: 305 4 barrel, 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection
  • 1988: 305 Throttle Body Injection, 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection
  • 1989: 305 Throttle Body Injection, 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection, 231 Turbo (Buick)
  • 1990: 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection
  • 1991: 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection 305 tbi
  • 1992: 305 Tuned Port Injection, 350 Tuned Port Injection

Fourth generation

  • 1993: LT1 350
  • 1994: LT1 350
  • 1995: LT1 350
  • 1996: LT1 350
  • 1997: LT1 350
  • 1998: LS1 346
  • 1999: LS1 346
  • 2000: LS1 346
  • 2001: LS1 346
  • 2002: LS1 346

For the thirtieth anniversary of the hit movie Smokey and the Bandit, Year One Muscle Cars and Burt Reynolds (the movie's star) reinvented the 2nd Generation Trans Am. The revitalized classic is offered in three options: "Ban One", "Ban Two", and "Ban Three". They are restored 1977 and 1978 Trans Ams but with a twist. This new Trans Am has many new options.

The Ban One has a 462 cubic inch traditional Pontiac V8 with aluminum heads, 9.5:1 compression and a hydraulic roller camshaft. The engine made 496 horsepower on the dyno. The transmission is a five-speed manual, and the suspension system features upper and lower tubular control arms with coil springs up front, and performance leaf springs in the rear, with sub frame connectors keeping everything properly located. Wheels are 18” x 9” billet aluminum snowflakes all the way around. It, along with all other models, come with a CB Radio.

The Ban Two has a 461 cubic inch, 430 horsepower traditional Pontiac V8, while optional powerplants include a 500-horsepower LS2 based fuel-injected engine, a 550-horsepower Pontiac V8 or a 600-horsepower supercharged LS2. A five-speed manual overdrive with short throw shifter is the standard transmission, and a four-speed automatic overdrive is optional. The suspension system is completely redesigned on Ban II-level cars, and features a tubular front subframe, rack-and-pinion steering, four-link rear suspension, with adjustable coil-over shocks all the way around. The chassis is reinforced with integrated subframe connectors and is mini-tubbed in the rear for additional wheel and tire clearance. Wheels are 18” x 10” billet aluminum snowflakes on all four corners, with 285-35-18 BFG tires. Brakes are from Baer Racing, with 13” two-piece front rotors.

The Ban Three has a 515-horsepower dry-sump LS7 7.0 liter engine, and upgrades include a 605-horsepower dry-sump LS7, or a monster 8.8 liter (540 cubic inch) Pontiac V8 making over 650 horsepower. A five-speed manual is the only transmission offered on the Ban III. Suspension consists of the Ban II’s tubular front subframe, rack-and-pinion steering, and four-link rear with adjustable coil-overs on each corner. Chassis reinforcements include integrated subframe connectors and a four-point roll bar with safety harnesses. Brakes are huge Baer Racing six-piston calipers with 14-inch two-piece rotors front and rear. The Ban III offers a level of performance rarely seen in a street-legal vehicle.

Firebirds were used in the Trans-Am series in the 1960s and 1970s. When the Pontiac Trans Am came out, there was controversy over the model's inability to compete in the Trans-Am because the smallest available engine was too large for use in the series at 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters). The name also caused controversy because it was used without permission from the SCCA, who threatened suit. GM settled the dispute by paying US$5 to the SCCA for every car sold. When the Trans-Am was last seen, model year 2002 Firebirds were in use. Firebirds were used in the IROC Series for a number of years.

During the 1996 and 1997 NHRA seasons, 14-time Funny Car champion John Force used a Firebird body to replace the obsolete Oldsmobile Cutlass body he had used since 1986. He used it for two seasons, winning the championship in both years.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
More About Pontiac Firebird

Burial Place of Chief Pontiac

View all photos

Long before the creation of the car that bears the same name, Pontiac was the name that English settlers in North America gave to an Ottawa chief who fought against colonial advancement. His real name was Obwandiyag, and he led warriors from 18 First Nations in one of the most successful resistance efforts in North American history.

Obwandiyag led unifying efforts among Indigenous populations across the American Midwest to fight against colonial advancement by British and French forces. The resistance he cemented through an alliance of tribes from the Great Lakes down the Mississippi River in an effort to expel British oppression became know at Pontiac’s War (1763–1764).

Despite heightened tensions between British and Native forces, Obwandiyag negotiated a peace treaty with the British in 1766. He was a dynamic and sometimes controversial leader, which made him a target for enemies. In 1769, he was assassinated by stabbing in Peoria, Illinois and buried in St. Louis, Missouri.

Today, a plaque marks the final resting place of this important tribal leader, but it often goes unnoticed as it is fixed to the side of Stadium East parking garage in Downtown St. Louis, not far from Cardinals Stadium and the Gateway Arch.


The Pontiac Fire Department (PFD) is an organizational and operational public safety service of the City of Pontiac. Established in 1865, the Pontiac Fire Department, as we know it today, was established utilizing the veterans of the Civil War as volunteers for an Engine Company and a Hose Company. At the beginning, these companies were separate entities. A new fire engine was put into service, Rules and Regulations were written and fire protection was established. In late 1865 early 1866, the first Fire Codes were written and put into effect to help prevent the current fire hazards that were present. The first Fire Code was the Cleaning and Inspecting of Flue's and Chimney's. This was the beginning of Fire Safety Codes for the City of Pontiac.

In 1867, J.W. Strevell, an Attorney in Pontiac, wrote a letter recommending that Pontiac is in need of a Hook and Ladder Company along with the two current fire companies already established. In 1868, a wagon, hooks and ladders were purchased and a lot on the east side of the square was leased for a building to be built to house the newly formed Hook and Ladder company. After the completion of the new building for the Hook and Ladder company, the Engine company was also moved into this building. 1873, a new engine was purchased and the announcement of a restructuring of the Fire Department was coming in the near future. 1874, as part of the restructure, moved all 3 companies under one roof and will function as one unit. The name chosen for the new unit, Clark Hose Company. Clark Hose Company is still used today as the name of the Fire Department members fraternal organization.

July 1, 1894, after many changes, the existing Fire Department was dissolved, a new Fire Chief was appointed and the Fire Department was brought under the control of the City of Pontiac as a recognized municipal Fire Department.

Pontiac&rsquos first &ldquofire engines&rdquo were pulled to the scene of the fire by hand! After many years, a steam driven pumper was purchased, which was pulled by horses. When the new station was built in 1900, provisions were constructed for the housing of horses at the station. The city's first motorized fire truck was a 1916 Seagrave pumper.

At the time the PFD was organized, (1877), annual fire alarms averaged about 10 per year. The city&rsquos first full time personnel was the fire chief in the 1950s. Full time firemen were not hired until much later. For many years there was one full time fireman on-duty around the clock. In 1977, three additional firemen were added to provide a second man on each of the three shifts.

Pontiac Rural Fire Protection District (PRFPD)

Fire alarms were only answered inside the city limits for many decades. As the fire protection needs of the surrounding rural area increased, in 1959 the Pontiac Rural Fire Protection District was established. The newly formed PRFPD signed an agreement with the city to provide fire protection outside the city and in the PRFPD. This agreement still is in effect. Therefore, in addition to fire protection inside the city itself, the PFD provides fire protection to a large area outside the city known as the PRFPD.

Rescue Squad

In 1968, the PFD organized the &ldquorescue squad.&rdquo The Rescue Squad was the first rescue company in the area and did respond as far away as 50 miles. Primarily organized to respond to automobile accidents and assist trapped victims, the role of the rescue squad has changed since its beginning. Although called the Pontiac Rescue Squad, it is in fact the PFD. All rescue squad personnel are PFD personnel. The rescue squad responses have steadily increased over the years. Most rescue squad responses are to emergency medical responses rather than auto accidents.


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Pontiac, (born c. 1720, on the Maumee River [now in Ohio, U.S.]—died April 20, 1769, near the Mississippi River [at present-day Cahokia, Ill.]), Ottawa Indian chief who became a great intertribal leader when he organized a combined resistance—known as Pontiac’s War (1763–64)—to British power in the Great Lakes area.

Little is known of Pontiac’s early life, but by 1755 he had become a tribal chief. His commanding manner and talent for strategic planning enabled him to also become the leader of a loose confederacy among the Ottawa, the Potawatomi, and the Ojibwa. In 1760 he met Maj. Robert Rogers, a British colonial ranger on his way to occupy Michilimackinac (St. Ignace, Mich.) and other forts surrendered by the French during the French and Indian War of 1754–63. Pontiac agreed to let the British troops pass unmolested on condition that he be treated with respect.

He soon came to realize, however, that under the British rule his people would no longer be welcome in the forts and that they would ultimately be deprived of their hunting grounds by aggressive settlers encroaching upon their ancestral lands. Thus, in 1762 Pontiac enlisted support from practically every Indian tribe from Lake Superior to the lower Mississippi for a joint campaign to expel the British. In what the English called “Pontiac’s Conspiracy,” he arranged for each tribe to attack the nearest fort (May 1763) and then to combine to wipe out the undefended settlements.

The shrewd and daring leader elected to capture Detroit himself, and it is for this military action that he is particularly remembered. When his carefully laid plans for a surprise attack (May 7) were betrayed to the commanding officer, he was forced to lay siege to the fort. On July 31 Pontiac won a brilliant victory at the Battle of Bloody Run, but the besieged fort was nevertheless able to receive reinforcements, and on October 30 Pontiac withdrew to the Maumee River.

Pontiac’s larger plan was more successful. Of the 12 fortified posts attacked by the united tribes, all but 4 were captured most of the garrisons were wiped out, several relief expeditions were nearly annihilated, and the frontier settlements were plundered and laid desolate. By 1764 continuing British action began to take its toll, however, and Pontiac finally agreed to conclude a treaty of peace in July 1766.

Three years later, while he was visiting in Illinois, a Peoria Indian stabbed and killed him. His death occasioned a bitter war among the tribes, and the Illinois group was almost annihilated by his avengers.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Letricia Dixon, Copy Editor.

Best Forgotten: The Story of the Pontiac Aztek

How the Pontiac Aztek happened is important&mdashso it doesn't happen again.

From the December 2017 issue of Car and Driver

Dear friends, we have arrived at a very dangerous moment in history. Please listen closely to what we have to say.

The Pontiac Aztek, that automotive punchline made by General Motors for five long and regrettable years in the early aughts, is on the verge of being considered cool. We blame its recurring role on AMC&rsquos insanely good series Breaking Bad for getting this ugly ball rolling. Right now, 10 bloggers are spitting out stories about the ways in which the Aztek is now cool. Okay, not actually cool, but &ldquocool&rdquo through the process of ironic reassessment. It&rsquos the process by which sales of that low-budget swill Pabst Blue Ribbon increased by about 150 percent between 2005 and 2014.

As we pointed out in our &ldquoGuide to Automotive Bullsh!t&rdquo in July 2017, &ldquoIf it&rsquos mostly cool because it&rsquos not cool, then it&rsquos not really cool, is it?&rdquo

And make no mistake: The Aztek is not cool. It was and shall remain an irredeemable shit heap. It was the antithesis of cool from the start. Pontiac introduced the production Aztek at the 2000 Detroit auto show. For its press conference, the company hired locals to stand around in a mock mosh pit. Some wore rainbow wigs, some carried signs reading, &ldquoIt&rsquos The Versatility, Baby!&rdquo and &ldquoAztek 185 hp&rdquo&mdashyou know, just what you&rsquod see in a mosh pit. At the end of the presentation, the Aztek&rsquos head marketing man, Don Butler, jumped into the pit and crowd surfed. This all actually happened in the real world. The Aztek, a blatant minivan-in-drag monstrosity, sat on stage looking like a sad, fat man who&rsquod had his nose cut off. It&rsquos so powerfully ugly that a blobfish wouldn&rsquot be seen next to it. If you saw something that looked like the Aztek scurry out from behind your fridge, you might have difficulty deciding whether to kill it or kill yourself. After all, if you kill it, you&rsquoll still have to live with the knowledge that it existed in the first place. If the infant Aztek were abandoned on a mountainside, it would eventually come crawling back to civilization because even the vultures and ants wouldn&rsquot touch it.

It wasn&rsquot supposed to go that way, of course. According to designer Tom Peters, the idea bubbled up from GM&rsquos West Coast Advanced Concept Center. The notion was to mix the attributes of a Camaro and a Blazer into a wide, low, powerful, off-roadish thing referred to as the Bear Claw. Think of it as a GMC Typhoon with off-road tires.

But the GM overlords determined that the thing should instead be based on the tall, narrow structure from the corporation&rsquos minivans. Did this deviation, and the inherent compromises it represented, prevent GM from producing the thing? It did not.

The Bear Claw idea was to lash the practicality and off-road capability of an SUV to the performance and excitement of a sports sedan. Instead, the production Aztek, powered by the corporate 3.4-liter V-6 and with a decidedly on-road&ndashfocused optional all-wheel-drive system, combined the performance, excitement, and off-road capability of a minivan with the lesser practicality of a chopped minivan.

Bob Lutz, who took over the top product job at GM in the aftermath of the Aztek, has claimed that the design was presented to focus groups who felt about the thing the way we all felt about it when we first saw it: They hated it. Well, actually Lutz claimed that the market-research respondents said, &ldquoI wouldn&rsquot take it as a gift.&rdquo So convinced were the powers that be of the essential rightness of the vehicle, though, that this didn&rsquot kill the Aztek, either.

Instead, GM­&mdashstung by years of criticism that it was a stodgy old corporation that produced stodgy old designs&mdash pushed ahead. This was an era in which the General produced a number of vehicles that were determined to be innovative, regardless of whether buyers were interested in such innovations. Remember the awkward GMC Envoy XUV with a power-retractable roof over the cargo area? That arrived only a few years after the Aztek, which itself was an idea of versatility rendered in plastic and corporate parts-bin pieces. One of the Aztek&rsquos few claims to cleverness was a removable insulated drink cooler mounted between the seats. That feature was later copied by zero car companies.

So poorly was the Aztek&rsquos styling received that General Motors announced it would restyle the thing after only five months on the market. That didn&rsquot help, either. Pontiac finally took the Aztek behind the barn in 2005.

And behind the barn it should stay. It&rsquos no more worthy of reassessment, ironic or otherwise, than is Limp Bizkit. It should live on only as a memory. And then only for use in cautionary tales.

The Buick Rendezvous Proves That Ugly Is Relative

Next to its Aztek platform-mate, Buick&rsquos Rendezvous didn&rsquot look all that horrible. A mildly less repellent exterior and Tiger Woods&rsquos shilling helped the Buick crush the Pontiac in sales. It still sat on the hideous end of the design spectrum, but it survived until 2007, two years longer than the Aztek.

PONTIAC (NT-proBNP selected prevention of cardiac events in a population of diabetic patients without a history of cardiac disease): a prospective randomized controlled trial

Objectives: The study sought to assess the primary preventive effect of neurohumoral therapy in high-risk diabetic patients selected by N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP).

Background: Few clinical trials have successfully demonstrated the prevention of cardiac events in patients with diabetes. One reason for this might be an inaccurate selection of patients. NT-proBNP has not been assessed in this context.

Methods: A total of 300 patients with type 2 diabetes, elevated NT-proBNP (>125 pg/ml) but free of cardiac disease were randomized. The "control" group was cared for at 4 diabetes care units the "intensified" group was additionally treated at a cardiac outpatient clinic for the up-titration of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) antagonists and beta-blockers. The primary endpoint was hospitalization/death due to cardiac disease after 2 years.

Results: At baseline, the mean age of the patients was 67.5 ± 9 years, duration of diabetes was 15 ± 12 years, 37% were male, HbA1c was 7 ± 1.1%, blood pressure was 151 ± 22 mm Hg, heart rate was 72 ± 11 beats/min, median NT-proBNP was 265.5 pg/ml (interquartile range: 180.8 to 401.8 pg/ml). After 12 months there was a significant difference between the number of patients treated with a RAS antagonist/beta-blocker and the dosage reached between groups (p < 0.0001). Blood pressure was significantly reduced in both (p < 0.05) heart rate was only reduced in the intensified group (p = 0.004). A significant reduction of the primary endpoint (hazard ratio: 0.351 95% confidence interval: 0.127 to 0.975, p = 0.044) was visible in the intensified group. The same was true for other endpoints: all-cause hospitalization, unplanned cardiovascular hospitalizations/death (p < 0.05 for all).

Conclusions: Accelerated up-titration of RAS antagonists and beta-blockers to maximum tolerated dosages is an effective and safe intervention for the primary prevention of cardiac events for diabetic patients pre-selected using NT-proBNP. (Nt-proBNP Guided Primary Prevention of CV Events in Diabetic Patients [PONTIAC] NCT00562952).

Keywords: ACE N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide NT-BNP-selected NT-proBNP RAS RAS antagonists angiotensin-converting enzyme beta-blockers diabetes mellitus eGFR estimated glomerular filtration rate primary prevention renin-angiotensin system.

Copyright © 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

History of the Pontiac GTO

The origin and the History of the Pontiac GTO, the vehicle that became an icon for the muscle car set, is really a story of one man’s battle against the corporate establishment. That man, John Z. DeLorean, was, at the time, chief engineer of Pontiac. What he wanted was to build a normally mild-mannered mid-sized sedan powered by a big V-8.

The GTO concept developed in early 1963 when DeLorean, along with members of his engineering staff, were experimenting with the Tempest, an economy Pontiac introduced the previous year. The cars four-cylinder engine was inherently rough-running and vibration prone. As a cure for the car’s power deficiency, it was suggested that, since the Tempest’s four cylinder shared the same engine mounts as the V8 it would be easy to install the big motor into the little car.

A prototype was cobbled together using a Tempest Lemans coupe as a test bed. It contained a 389 cubic inch V8 borrowed from Pontiac’s full size Bonneville, as well as a four-barrel carburetor and heavy duty four-speed manual transmission. The resulting transplant not only made the car quick, but was also a blast to drive.

It was also DeLorean who named the car. The term GTO stood for Gran Turismo Omologato, or, in plain English, Grand Touring Homologated. The word “homologation” was used to describe a race car constructed from a variety of parts in sufficient quantities to be approved for production-class competition by the International Automobile Federation. (FIA)

Added 09/12/19 – It has also been rumored that the Pontiac GTO was named based off of the Pontiac Tempest as an option, since the original designed GTO was in fact a glorified Pontiac Tempest. So the Tempest upgrade would be “ G rand T empest O ption”, or GTO.

As it turned out, a limited edition Ferrari was already using the GTO name. But, as the initials could not be copy-righted, it was no problem for Pontiac to adopt them for its newest creation. In the 󈨀s, it was GM policy that no specific model could have more than 10 pounds of total weight per cubic inch of displacement. Since the GTO weighed about 3,500 pounds, it meant that the 389 motor was too large by nearly 40CI. DeLorean’s way around this rule was to make the GTO, a Lemans option, instead of a separate model. That somewhat loose interpretation of corporate edict allowed the beefed-up Pontiac to sneak by top management so long as nobody looked too carefully.

Originally, the division’s skeptical sales department committed to just 5,000 GTO option packages for 1964. But as the word got out, dealer demand gobbled them all up within days of the official announcement. The 󈨄 GTO became a certified hit before it had even arrived at any Pontiac showrooms. So sensitive were the GTO’s creators to breaking the engine size rule that initially no mention was made of the car in any of Pontiac’s sales literature. News of its existence was communicated in a few automobile enthusiast publications only.

Every GTO optioned Tempest (base-priced at around $3,200) started with a 325-horsepower 389 V8, dual exhausts, floor mounted Hurst three-speed manual transmission, heavy-duty suspension, front bucket seats and chromed air cleaner, valve covers and oil-filter cap. Buyers could also add a more powerful 348 horsepower version featuring three two-barrel carbs, as well as options such as a Hurst four-speed or GM-built two-speed automatic, limited slip differential, extra heavy duty shocks, and a faster steering ratio.

By years end, total sales of Tempest Lemans hardtops, coupes and convertibles equipped with the GTO option totaled a whopping 32, 450, a far cry from the original GM approved plan. For 1965, the GTO (or Goat, as it was now beginning to be called.) remained and option, but now featured attractive new front and rear end styling, improvements to the engine and suspension and new rally-style wheels. That year total GTO sales exceeded 75,000.

It wouldn’t be until 1966 and the arrival of the second-generation Tempest that the GTO would be marketed as a separate model. By then, other manufacturers were scrambling to create their own versions of the GTO in an attempt to cash in on Pontiac’s success. But, there was simply no substitute for the original. With a little planning, underhanded, inventiveness and a lot of luck, the GTO created the madness for muscle cars that captured the imagination of a generation of drivers.

Although the Pontiac GTO’s existence was born of original thinking, its name was not. The GTO moniker was “borrowed” from Ferrari, which had a short production run (40) of sports racing cars of the same name starting in 1962. GTO in that case stood for “Gran Turismo Omologato” the english translation of which is “Grand Touring Homologated”, a fancy way of saying that it was approved for certain classes of international sports car racing. Controversy over the name theft continues today, with many insisting that the Pontiac owners deserved more original thinking. It was noted in a commercial advertising the 1965 GTO where girls were often seen driving the GTO, the announcer stated G-T-O wasn’t meant to mean “Girls Take Over”. Jokesters of the time also claimed that GTO stood for “Gas, Tires, Oil”, all of which both the Pontiac and the Ferrari used in large quantities. Fans and owners of the Pontiac GTO proudly call their favorite car a “Goat” and label their meetings as a “Gathering of the Goats”.

But, as told by Jim Wangers at a seminar at the GTOAA National Convention in 2008, he stated the name GOAT was conceived when the letter “A” was added to the letters G-T-O to form a word from the GTO abbreviation. The advertising gimmick was not well received by the GM brass as they didn’t like the GTO name sake linked to an animal. Be that as it may, the name GOAT stuck. Despite how many versions there are of the way the name GOAT came to be, Jim Wangers version is the official one.

In 2004, the Pontiac GTO was relaunched in the U.S. market in the form of a rebadged, third-generation Holden Monaro. The VZ Monaro-based GTO was Pontiac’s first captive import since the 1988–1993 Pontiac LeMans. The V2/VZ Monaro was a 2-door coupe variant of the Australian developed VT/VX Holden Commodore. The Commodore had, in turn, been developed by enlarging the European designed 1994 Opel Omega B, which was marketed in its original form in the U.S. from 1997 to 2001 as the Cadillac Catera. The Monaro was also exported to the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Monaro and to the Middle East as the Chevrolet Lumina SS.

The revival was prompted by former GM North America Chairman Bob Lutz, who had the idea of importing a Holden Commodore-based vehicle after reading a Car and Driver review of the Holden Commodore SS, published circa 2000. Car and Driver praised the performance of the V8 powered, rear-wheel drive Holden Commodore SS, but noted that even though it was one of the best vehicles that GM offered at the time, it could not be purchased in the United States. The idea of importing a rear-wheel drive Holden as a GM North American performance offering gradually transformed into importing the Monaro. Lutz, as well as other GM executives, later drove a Holden Monaro while on a business trip in Australia, which convinced them that importing the car could be a profitable venture.

Lutz had to convince GM executive hierarchy to import the car, and overcome a corporate culture that promoted regional autonomy between GM North America and its overseas divisions. This resulted in an “unnecessarily long gestation period,” as Lutz put it, and at a much higher cost than anticipated. The Monaro design was introduced in 2001, but appeared “dated” in 2004 when it was released in the United States. It was also originally planned to sell for about $25,000, but by the time it was launched in the U.S., the Australian dollar’s growth against the U.S. dollar had inflated the price of the car to well over $34,000. Both of these elements played a role in the car’s lukewarm acceptance by the general public. The GTO was assembled by GM’s Holden subsidiary at Elizabeth. It was equipped with the 5.7 liter LS1 V8 engine for the 2004 model year, the same engine found in the concurrent model year Chevrolet Corvette, with a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. Changes from the Australian built Monaro included bracing additions to the body to meet U.S. crash standards, a “corporate Pontiac” front fascia, new badging, “GTO” stitching on the front seats, and a revised exhaust system. GM Engineers bench marked the sound of the 1964 GTO held in the Pontiac historical collection, as well as other LS1-powered vehicles, while working with the exhaust vendor to tune the system. The effort was made to make the new GTO invoke the same sound as the original while still meeting the noise threshold required by some states. The 2004 GTO exhaust was a true dual system that followed the original Monaro exhaust routing, thus both tailpipes exited on the driver side of the vehicle. General Motors claimed performance of 5.3 seconds to 60 and a 13.8 second quarter mile time, which was closely verified by several magazine tests.

Initially in 2004, the car was offered in several colors: Barbados Blue Metallic, Cosmos Purple Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Phantom Black Metallic, Impulse Blue Metallic, Torrid Red, and Yellow Jacket.

The hood scoops that originally were slated for production in 2005 were pushed into production as part of an over-the-counter Sport Appearance Package. The 2004 Sport Appearance Package also included a taller and more angular rear spoiler, as well as deeper inset grilles.

Closing out the 2004 model year was the W40 package featuring an exclusive paint color called Pulse Red, red GTO embroidery on the seats, and a grey colored gauge cluster. The last 794 of the 2004 model year GTOs were built with the W40 package.

The 2005 model year continued with standard hood scoops, split rear exhaust with a revised rear fascia, and late in the year, optional 18 inch (45.7 cm) wheels. The major change for 2005 was the replacement of the LS1 engine with the LS2 engine. This 5,967 cc (364.1 cu in) engine increased power and torque in the GTO to 400 hp (300 kW) with 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) torque. Other changes included larger front rotors and caliper hardware from the Corvette, and the drivetrain was strengthened with the addition of a driveshaft with larger “giubos” and a larger differential flange, as well as revised half-shafts. Dashboard gauge graphics were revised. The optional dealer-installed Sport Appearance Package became available and differed visually by having a different lower rear fascia, aftermarket mufflers with quad chrome exhaust tips, revised spoiler and front lower fascia extension, recessed grilles, and revised rocker panels. This package was available from GM as an accessory in red, silver, black, or primer for other color cars. Production was 11,069 due in part to a shortened model year. Barbados Blue and Cosmos Purple were dropped this year, but Cyclone Grey and Midnight Blue Metallic were added. Customers also had the option to order their GTO without hood scoops (RPO code BZJ), though only 24 were produced this way. There was a 17-inch chrome wheel option. Only 17 GTOs had the chrome wheel option because this option was not offered until May 2005 and the 2005 production run ended in June. Another reason was this option was expensive, which resulted in low demand. With this improved powerplant, GM claimed the car capable of 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.7 seconds and a 13.0 second quarter mile at 105 mph (169 km/h) (automatic transmission). Car and Driver magazine tested the car at 0–60 mph in 4.8 seconds and the ¼ mile in 13.3 seconds at 107 mph (172 km/h) for the quarter mile with its BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDWS, 245/45ZR-17 95W M+S front and rear tires but manual transmission. The 0–100 and 0–130 times were 11.7 and 19.6 respectively.

For 2006, two additional colors were added, Spice Red Metallic and Brazen Orange Metallic, while Midnight Blue Metallic and Yellow Jacket were dropped. Changes for 2006 included revised blacked-out tail lamps, illuminated steering wheel radio controls, faster moving power seat motors, and an interior power door lock switch. The climate control button for the A/C also had the word “Defog” added to it for the 2006 model year. Along with the 2005 model, the 2006 GTO was equipped with the 400 hp (300 kW), 6.0 L engine.On February 21, 2006, Buick-Pontiac-GMC General Manager John Larson announced to dealers that GM would halt imports of the GTO in September, making 2006 the last model year for the new GTO. The explanation was the inability to meet new airbag deployment standards for 2007. The final production numbers of the 2006 Pontiac GTO are 13,948 cars, an increase from 11,069 from the previous model year.

The last Pontiac GTO, which was also the very last Monaro-based coupe produced, came off the assembly line in Australia on June 14, 2006. Total production for all three years was 40,808 vehicles. This generation GTO was only intended as a limited production run for those 3 years from the beginning of the program.

The Last Pontiac Muscle Car

Unfortunately, the 2006 Pontiac GTO would be the last muscle car Pontiac would ever produce. The Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am production ended in 2002 and the only Pontiac cars produced after 2006 were the Solstice, Vibe, G6 and G8. none of which were considered “sports cars”. The last Pontiac, a 2010 model year G6, was built at the Orion Township Assembly Line in January, 2010. In early-2009, amid financial problems and restructuring efforts, GM announced it would discontinue manufacturing and marketing vehicles under the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010 and focus on four core brands in North America: Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. The last Pontiac badged cars were built in December 2009. Franchise agreements for Pontiac dealers expired October 31, 2010.

GM invests $40 million at Pontiac Stamping for future EVs

Detroit — General Motors Co. on Friday said it will invest $40 million at its Pontiac Stamping Plant to prepare for coming electric vehicles.

Renovation will start immediately and include the installation of "highly flexible fabrication machinery and presses to support future electric vehicle production and various product applications," the automaker said in a press release. The investment will create 20 new positions, GM said.

General Motors Co. has announced plans to invest $40 million at its Pontiac Stamping Plant. The investment will be used to renovate the existing facility, and install new, highly flexible fabrication machinery and presses to support future electric vehicle production and various product applications. (Photo: General Motors Co.)

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For the first time ever, the automaker is spending more money this year on electric vehicle investment than it is on gas-and-diesel-powered products.

The “Flex Fab” sheet metal fabricating technology that will be used at the facility allows for repeatable, custom and precise stamping, which reduces costs for low-volume applications.

Pontiac Stamping, which employs 191 hourly and 31 salaried employees, began production in 1926 as part of the Oakland Motor Car Company.

“UAW workers at Pontiac Stamping Plant have a proud history of quality work," United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. "UAW GM members are proud to be using some of the latest technology available and add some new jobs as they continue to innovate and build at this historic facility.”

Watch the video: Part 5: Pontiac GTO History - 2004-2006 (January 2022).