Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hey, neat!

With Ford's Mustang, Chevy's Camaro, and Dodge's Challenger all paying homage to their '60s progenitors, it's good to see that Pontiac knows which decade its nostalgiac soul is centered in.

Disco, baby. Paint it black, make the thunderchicken decal on the hood gold, stuff Burt and Sally inside, and roar off down memory lane... :)

Of all the cars I've owned, the one I feel the most irrational nostalgia for is my Trans Am. It was a tired old thing, with interior trim bits falling off, a wheezing smog motor that had a hard time chirping the tires, and t-tops that leaked. I'd bought it cynically as a cheap-to-get-fixed and moderately-fun-to-drive conveyance that would last me a year or so until I could afford something better, but it did have good-looking lines and it made that sound. The Beemer I drive now would suck that old Pontiac's headlights out without raising a sweat, but I've never driven the Z3 back and forth down an alley with the window down just to hear the staccato rumble of the exhaust mutter back to me off the walls... "This is me, sounding like a juvenile delinquent." Heh. Also, the Z3 may have been trouble free thus far, but there's some truth to the saying that a GM v8 will run like crap longer than most cars will run at all.

(Betcha DaimlerChrysler's kicking themselves for torpedoing the Plymouth marque. Who gives a crap about the Challenger? Now, a reborn 'Cuda... that would sell like bottled water at a habanero festival!)

(H/T to SayUncle.)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dunno. the charger looks sweet.

But the biggest disappointment ever: The new GTO. It's a grand am with a big engine. Lame.

-SayUncle

phlegmfatale said...

My first car, 1984, was a '74 Camaro with a bored-out 350. Loved the crap out of that car, and handed it off to my brother when I bought my first new car in '86. He trashed it. No, not wrecked, just filled it with trash. He would write notes & phone numbers on the inside of his windows with a Sharpie, and made it a shrine to fast food meals gone by. Trashed, alas!

Todd said...

The 'Cuda will always be an icon, no doubt. But for my money, nothing beats the 1966 GT-350H. Go down to your friendly neighborhood Hertz and take home a race car for the weekend!

Billy Beck said...

As I pointed out here once before, you might have recalled my white '72 Chevelle parked at LZU now & then.

There was nothing in the world extremely special about that car. It had a bench seat in the front and the automatic shift on the column. But that bullet-proof small-block V-8 was a great joy. I remember an episode in which I left it idling at the curb while I stepped out to the ATM at the Publix at the corner of Rt. 20 and Old Peachtree Road: a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Is that your car?"

"Yes, sir, it is."

He said, "It does my heart a world of good to hear that sound again."

I guess there'll never be any going back, but, in my own life, it was a big deal to me that I once owned something like that.

pdb said...

Au contrare, Mr Uncle. The new Goat looks perfect.

Compare it to the original GTO, which wasn't even it's own nameplate, merely a performance option on the pedestrian Tempest. The original GTO was a sleeper, a car that you didn't think would kick your car's ass until you were peering at its rapidly disappearing tail lights. The GTO was the grey man of the muscle car universe.

Until GM went nutz with the "Judge". Pfeh.

Ron said...

[quote]But the biggest disappointment ever: The new GTO. It's a grand am with a big engine. Lame.[/quote]

I thought the new Goat was the Australian Holden? I don't think it is a Grand Am.

Tennessee Budd said...

Yup. I'm still driving an '81 Caprice. Nothing like a small-block Chevy (and yes, at 220k, it still looks and runs like new. There's something to be said for proper maintenance.)

HollyB said...

My Mother is driving a '79 Chevy Caprice V8 with twin Smittys.
Her mechanic says it'll still be runnin' long after she goes to that used car lot in the sky.
It rumbles like God's Own Thunder! It's Green, with a landau top. White leather interior. I;ll post on my blog when the funeral is over and the bidding can begin, all you muscle car fans.

B&N said...

The Goat in it's current guise is nothing more than GM's Holden subsidiary with a badge change. That said, the car is an amalgam of a front-drive chassis and rear-drive engine from the Corvette parts bin.

There are almost always cross-platform vehicles produced with varying drivetrains under a common architecture, and this car was no different. It cuts manufacturing costs to do it that way.

Scroll to the bottom of this link for a graph of platform lineage.

So, Ron and Anon, yer both right.

B&N said...

Oh, and I'm a Ford man, blue blood and all. The S197 (that's the current model for the rest of you) Mustang is what I've been waiting for Ford to make since about 1994, but at least they finally got it right.

As a kid, I did have a serious thing for the T/A. I'd love to see that thunderchicken in a gold-on-gold layout, circa 1979. Strikes a certain boy-racer, adolescent chord with me.

Ulises from CA said...

YES!

I want Plymouth BACK. NOW!

My '91 Plymouth Acclaim 2.5L could do 125 mph! My '77 Plymouth Arrow could do 95 with a full load of HEAVY folk & a clogged radiator (I didn't know it at the time: it just ran a little warm)! My dream car is an '88 Plymouth Grand Fury with the police package & a 360.

I also miss my 1987 Firebird: 5.0, tuned port inj., slushbox (LA Traffic's a bear!), & I am not admitting that it could do 100 mph up the side of a local mountain but that was a good engine. I also got 19 mpg in mixed driving, so it was practical to boot.

Alas! The Argentine Bozo who hit it still has a lot to repent of.

A youth well wasted.

Anonymous said...

Understand the GTO/Holden is on its way out - can't meet US smog/crash requirements. Anyone have details? Was in NZ recently and the Holdens and Fords with hot V8s were all over the place. If you remember the Ford Falcon (we had a '61), you've got to see the latest that we'll never get here.
OldeForce

Anonymous said...

Now, if you good folks over there could just put together a modern Superbird you might have one or two of us Limeys rubbing our hands in glee...