Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Automotif DVI...

Pontiac launched the Ventura nameplate in 1960, during the "Bunkie" Knudsen years, when Pete Estes and his young assistant John Z. DeLorean were boosting sales by zhuzhing up the division's lineup. This was when Pontiac's rebranding as GM's "Excitement Division" really got underway.

The Ventura was based on the full-size Catalina. It was only available as a hardtop coupe or sedan and featured distinctive exterior trim, unique upholstery, and a sport steering wheel.

The one in the photos is a 1967 Ventura hardtop sedan in Marina Turquoise.

For 1967, Pontiac had upped the displacement of the V-8 offerings in their full-size cars, with the 389 getting bored out to 400 cubes and the 421 getting punched to 428 cubic inches... sorta. There's a story.

You know how the old 302 Windsor in the Ford Mustang is actually 4,942 cc's, but Ford calls it the "5.0", nominally because they already sold a 4.9L inline-six truck motor, but more likely because 5.0 looks cooler on fender badges?

Well, in 1967, Pontiac's large-journal V-8...

(Technically Pontiac didn't have "small block" and "big block" V-8s. All the Pontiac blocks were the same size, but they had smaller displacement motors with narrower main bearing journals and larger displacement ones with wider main bearing journals.)

...anyway, in '67 Pontiac took their 421 and gave it a roughly .030" overbore, yielding a 426.61 cubic inch displacement. But Ford and Chevy were already selling 427 V-8's, so thanks to the magic of the marketing department, the Poncho motor magically became a 428.

In '67 the Ventura could be had with the whole range of Catalina motors. There were two choices of 2-bbl 400: a lower-compression one for running on regular gas and rated at 265 SAE gross horsepower, and a higher compression 2bbl 400 rated at 290. Then you had a 4-bbl 400 that had 325hp with a HydraMatic 3-speed auto or 333hp when equipped with a 3- or 4-speed manual.

Finally you had the 4-barrel 428 in standard 360 horse or 375bhp "Quadra-Power" H.O. trim.