Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2 cool cars with an identity crisis

I'm bringing us back to the halcyon days of Summer when I found the following 2 rides roosting in Moosic, Pennsylvania. That's Moosic like "moo-zic" as opposed to moose, ick.
Get a load of this color! What we have here is a 1971-1972 Pontiac Ventura II in Buccaneer Red. This is basically a Pontiac Nova in an early case of badge engineering. The Chevy Nova was so popular that GM introduced almost identical versions in each of their divisions. The Ventura was first, followed by the Buick Apollo and Oldsmobile Omega in '73.
With the quad split grill this is my favorite of the faux Novas. This grill only lasted for the first 2 years. 1973 brought a split grill in 2 larger segments.
The rear side windows come to a point in the rear which means this is a standard coupe with a trunk. Beginning in '73 these were available as a hatchback. You can identify hatchbacks by the rear window being squared off. They even offered a tent that attached to the open hatchback for camping! Those are so rare it's almost like they never existed.
This hood is Ventura-specific and helps to make the trademark Pontiac pointy schnoz look like it belongs on the car. The Nova, Apollo, and Omega all had a single raised line going down the center. Under the hood lurks either the 250 inline 6 or 350 V8. There was a sporty Sprint option that allowed for the 307 V8 as well.
The "II" suffix alluded to the fact that there was an earlier, full size Ventura in the '60s. was dropped after 1972 even though this compact version soldiered on through '77.
Enough with that flashy but correct ride, let's get goofy!
This sickly looking tough guy is a 1967 Dodge Dart in the unmistakable 1970-only color Sublime Green. The color was one of the High Impact range offered from '69-'72. The High Impact line included Panther Pink, Plum Crazy, Go Mango, and Top Banana as well as others.
I think a 1967 Dart 2 door is a great car on its own. This person obviously wanted a Hemi Dart which was only offered in 1968. However the turn signals are round on the '68 and slightly inset from the location of those above. Who could blame the owner for making a tribute? There were only 80 total Hemi Darts produced and they were reportedly the fastest muscle car of all time. Hemi Darts had the hood with massive scoop as seen above. The hood and fenders were fiberglass, bumpers aluminum, and doors acid dipped to save weight.
Other weight saving details included the omission of a back seat, no arm rests, no window cranking mechanism, and thinner glass. They were sold with no warranty specifically for "supervised acceleration trials" (that's drag racing to you rubes). From the factory the Hemi Dart was good for a 10 second quarter mile at 130 mph!
If you want to be noticed this is a great way to go I suppose. You're setting the bar high though as you'd better have an earth shattering beast of an engine under the hood to back up the look. I have to say the black wheels and blackwall tires look pretty great on this beast.
Well that's that. Summer's coming people just hold on a bit longer!

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