1968 pontiac gto
13 Dec

The Best Pontiacs to Cross Mecums’s Auction Block in 2013

Updated: Dec 18, 2013

With the Pontiac brand officially a thing of the past, I’ve noticed a huge increase of Pontiacs in collector’s garages. I’ve also noticed a lot less of them at car shows — the scene seems to be dominated by Mustangs and Camaros (in this class), and it appears that some of the coolest Pontiacs are being tucked away for personal enjoyment. Even the classic Pontaics are making less appearances at old school car shows, so I’ve been eying auctions lately for my vintage Pontiac fix and I’ve picked out some of my favorite ones that went up for sale in 2013.

1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible
1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 The Best Pontiacs to Cross Mecums’s Auction Block in 2013

Nothing quite rolls off the tongue like “Firebird 400” does. When one of these first generation street machines goes up for sale, many collectors take note. This particular vehicle is a great representation of the model, described as a “well optioned, professionally restored” car — documentation shows over 30 options and a three year frame-off restoration.

Here are some of the specs of this well-equipped convertible:

  • Restored by GM Sports in San Jose, CA
  • All-Original Sheet Metal
  • 400 ci V8
  • Auto Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Cruise Control
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Spare Tire Inflator
  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes
  • Power Windows

1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible
1967 Pontiac GTO The Best Pontiacs to Cross Mecums’s Auction Block in 2013

Another awesome convertible and one of a group of 60s GTOs that has attracted collectors to the brand in 2013 — this 1967 GTO has earned awards like “Best in Class” at the 2013 Omaha World of Wheels for outstanding restoration.

This Rare Car Includes:

  • 335 Horsepower 400 ci V8
  • Transmission with Hurst Dualgate Shifter
  • Rally Gauges
  • 8-Track Player
  • Power Windows & Seats
  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes

1963 Pontiac Tempest LeMans
1963 Pontiac Tempest The Best Pontiacs to Cross Mecums’s Auction Block in 2013

Perhaps one of the rarest Pontiacs sold this year, this model represents one of only six of its kind ever made. It is also known for being the fastest Tempest in the wold — formally driven by racer Stan Antlocer and fully restored by Scott Tiemann’s Super Car Specialities in Pontiac, Michigan.

This model proves that “classic” doesn’t mean “slow” — dyno’ing in at 535 horsepower at 5700 RPM with 556 lb-ft of torque at 4300 RPM.

With a high bid of $325,000, this is one of the most expensive Pontiacs not sold this year.

1969 Pontiac Trans Am
1969 Pontiac Trans Am The Best Pontiacs to Cross Mecums’s Auction Block in 2013

This striking hardtop coupe was one of only 697 made, is equipped with a Ram Air III 400 engine, 4-speed transmission, and was totally restored in 2012. Most notably, this car pulled in the 7th highest big at the record breaking auction in October.

Pontiac not your flavor? Check out these two awesome Mopars that grabbed headlines in an earlier article here.

Images courtesy of mecum.com

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Category: Sports Cars, Vintage Cars

Comments (8)

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  1. MIke iTango says:

    What a but the Ventura GTO?

  2. Steve R says:

    There is no such thing as a Big Block Pontiac. Also, it’s a Hurst Dual Gate Shifter (not transmission).

    • Jason Lancaster says:

      Steve – I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the 400 being a big block. It’s true that this is technically a bored out 389 (and therefore a small block), but in terms of comparable displacement and performance, it’s a “big block”. Calling it a small block and comparing it to smaller displacement engines from that era seems incorrect to me.

      Thanks for the note on the proper nomenclature for the Hurst Dual Gate Shifter. I didn’t know that.

      • Steve R says:

        Thanks for replying!
        Pontiac never had a “big block” or a “small block”. All Pontiac blocks are the same size, just bored and stroked differently. A Pontiac 350 block is physically the same size as a Pontiac 455 block.

        A Chevy small block is actually significantly smaller than a Chevy big block in size.

      • Zach C. says:

        Jason, unfortunately you happen to be completely incorrect in your understanding of terminology. Calling an engine a small block or big block refers to the actual size of the block not the displacement, which affects the weight of the built motor and overall weight of the car. The weight difference between the two in the case of Chevrolet is about 200lbs.

        In terms of Pontiac motors during this time, the difference between each V8 more was the bore and stroke, but the physical size of the motor was the same, and a lot of parts were interchangeable. So, technically there are no small blocks or big blocks.

        You can have big displacement small blocks, ie: boring and stroking a 350SBC to 427ci or 454ci, the engine did not change from a small block to a big block. This is also why large displacement small blocks are known as mouse motors, like the cartoon character mighty mouse, and bored and stroked large displacement big blocks, are known as rat motors, because rats are physically larger then mice.

        Here is a link to an article on small blocks vs big blocks by Car Craft where they compare a 454SBC and a 454BBC: http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/ccrp_0411_small_block_vs_big_block_dyno_tests/

        Not to sound rude, but as a journalist of sorts it would be wise to properly research the subject before putting something in print. I commend you on admitting you were mistaken about the Hurst shifter, but you are mistaken about the engine as well. You need to be more careful.

        • Jason Lancaster says:

          I shouldn’t have referred to the 400 as a “big block.” As you say, all Pontiac motors of that era have (essentially) the same physical dimensions.

          I’ve been calling engines “big” and “small” for years based purely on displacement/engine family…it’s a bad habit for sure. One that I’m not embarrassed to say I picked up from a lot of the people I know who (to my knowledge) are equally interested in all things automotive and have been making the same mistake for years. I’m in good company.

          I’m going to stop using the “big” and “small” terminology, as I don’t think it’s really relevant anyways. Thanks for calling me out.

  3. Derek Mau says:

    Thanks for pointing out the details that were called out. The article has been updated with the proper corrections.

    Good to see someone is paying attention and keeping us honest.

    Cheers!

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