1972 Pontiac Ventura II                page 5           

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These cool shots were begging to be moved to the top of the page... here you see Chris Kirtland's dad in the midst of a 2 minute burnout... this cloud was good enough to win the contest!  You can reach Chris at flaco502@yahoo.com ; it's his car, which also runs in the 12's at the strip.
Well, we don't see many 4-doors in this section (not many that are still on the road, anyway).  So that prompted a Mr. Daks to provide some welcome variety with these 2 shots..."I was checking out your site and was really digging all the pics of the '72 Venturas and have one of my own I'd like to share w/the club. It's a 1972 Ventura II four door, I've had it for quite some time now but haven't had the time or money to really fix it up the way I'd like to yet. Just enough to make it run really well for now. It was originally my grand mother's. When I got it, it only had 53,000 miles. Now its up to about 85,000.  Nareeda76@hotmail.com "

Justin's just been hangin' out, waiting to show you the new motor he dropped into his car.  He'd also like to report that he's dropped the dreadlocks, as well  :-) 

A few views of a pretty nice '72 owned by Jason Delaplain in Oregon
E-bay watchdog and '71 owner Carl captured these images of a Motor Trend (May 1972) road test of a Ventura SD.  You might be able to read a word here or there, but at least the pictures are nicely visible.  Look at that 4-door corner!
(L) Saw this really nice car on cardomain and captured it here for your viewing pleasure.  This car is said to be a Sprint, but it has obviously been repainted, so the Sprint striping was apparently never added back. 

(R) Another piece of automotive history out of my archives, but I no longer recall which magazine this appeared in.  So sorry!

(L) Here's a sample of what you will find in the planned Tech File, which will become a separate section at some future date.

(R) A nice "before" picture supplied by Bruce Schafer, taken at the perfect front 3/4 angle.  The car has its motor out in this shot.

1972 Ventura Rebuild      photos and text by Bruce Schafer      Mar 2004 Here's a cool project car history; can't wait to see how the car will look when complete!

"The car was originally a six cylinder/powerglide (which were removed before I took the side shot) base model with power steering, manual drum brakes, rubber mat flooring and only 49K miles. I bought it from the estate of the original owner who was 66 when he bought the car new. It has a few rust spots in the typical areas (front fenders behind the wheels, base of windshield which you can see in the firewall shot, under the taillights where the bumper to body seal goes) Otherwise the car was in pretty good shape for a 32 year old car.

"The plan was to replace the six with a 350 chevy with a TH350 and drive it while I painted it. I contemplated doing a Pontiac 455, but the block was too hard to find in my area at a reasonable price. I found a complete 350 4 bolt from a truck that the owner said didn't run. Two wiped cam lobes do that to a motor. I freshened up the motor with forged pistons, balanced lower end, Lunati cam, Holley aluminum heads, MSD ignition, Holley intake and 750 vac sec carb, Dynomax headers, Flowmaster dual exhaust, new cooling system. Basically rebuilt every system.

"I obtained a TH350 for $40.00 that also didn't work and figured it's a great transmission to learn how to rebuild. I tore it apart and found the low/reverse planetary was fried along with the clutch pack. I got a rebuild kit and the new parts from a local transmission shop along with an output shaft and housing to convert it to a short tail shaft trans. I also picked up a B&M shift kit and installed it during the rebuild. I topped the package off with a 3000 rpm stall converter from JW.

"The stock 8.5" open 10 bolt rearend had 3.08:1 gearing which didn't fit in with my plans for the car, so I got a solid Eaton posi out of a Trans-Am and traded its 3.42 gears for some 3.73's. Again with so little cash outlay I figured I would attempt the rear end rebuild myself. It took five tries installing different shim packs behind the pinion to get the gear pattern to come out right. I also sand blasted and painted the housing, replaced all the 32 year old brake springs and wheel cylinders while the rear end was apart.

"With the main drive assemblies done I was going to clean up the engine bay and reinstall my new goodies. I took a close look at the body bushings and they were about gone. Basically all the original rubber bushings were wasted, so I removed the subframe, tore it completely apart, sandblasted and repainted all the parts. I got an Energy Suspension bushing kit and replaced all the bushings with poly. I also replaced the front springs with Hotchkis lowering springs and got the disc brakes off a burned up 74 Nova and installed the spindles, backing plates, calipers (after new seals) and bought new rotors and bearings. I also bought new brake lines front and back. I got a reman master cylinder for disc/drum manual brakes, which took an incredible amount of searching. I cleaned up the bottom of the car and painted the floorpans and firewall with POR 15, and reinstalled the rebuilt subframe.

"Right now I have the driveline in and am finishing some plumbing and wiring to start the engine. Can't wait.

"I am also welding in new sheetmetal where I cut out the rust. Another new trade learned for this project - welding. I have painted before so at least that won't have a steep learning curve.

"I've completely removed the interior to recover the seats and replace the carpet and to get it out of the way of the welding. I am converting the interior color to another yet to be determined color but I bought black carpet so that's a start. The door panels are in great shape so I am hoping I can just dye those, but I removed the entire dash so I can paint the metal and replace the PRNDL with a PRNDL2L1 plate.

"It's amazing how the project snowballed, but I figure I am going to have what is basically a new car for one third what a new one costs and ten times as much character.  I need to take some more pictures in it's current state. I'll keep you posted.  Bruce"
 Image from Hotrod Magazine's website ( www.hotrod.com ); they've announced that this $300 Ventura will be their next project car (Feb '04)  I subscribed to the mag just so I wouldn't miss any updates on the car.  And hey, car magazine subscriptions are some of the best deals out there!

We haven't seen this one before...cover of a 1972 brochure available from www.mclellansautomotive.com

Note: '73 front clip
Tiger Bennett ( abm2004@tmail.com ) sends these images of his new purchase.  The car has a 400 under the hood.

Joe Reichardt ( jknight@knightriderzofnewark.50megs.com) also found himself this nice project car.  He writes:
"A little history...this Ventura was built at the Willow Run, Mich. plant. The car is a '72 Ventura II with a '73 Ventura front end. It's a 307 V8 2bbl carb. with approximately 54,314.2 miles. It was bought by my grandfather's dad on April 2, 1974 for $1,600 in Newark, OH. (I was told) my great-grandfather was the original owner. My grandfather got it when his dad passed away. It has been in the backyard for a few years because the 307's timing gears had plastic on the gears and broke when it was being tuned up one day. I think it might have damaged a combination of the cam, valves, piston(s) etc... the engine no longer runs and needs to be rebuilt.  It needs a little body work."

(L) This is a familiar image of the '72 Ventura Sprint, but a company called West Coast Vintage was offering T-shirts with this shot on ebay.  I include it here because it's a large image that shows the "Skyroof" option pretty well.

(R) Carrying on with the rescue of as many Ventura photos as we can get our hands on...let us know if any of these cars show up in your neighborhood :-)

Details from some 1972 sales literature, courtesy of prolific site contributor Rock Ringer.
Rock also sent a number of nicely-posed new shots of his car...wish I could post them all.  You can see it coming together rather well, he's got all the right badges on the car now.

This car belongs to Norm Johnson ( abstractorman@earthlink.net ), who was overjoyed to find photos of his car on this site ('72 page 2 ) because he'd lost his originals!  The intended buyer flaked out, and he still owns the car, pictured recently at right.

Some interesting variations on the '72 at left.  The Tampa FL car has '73 grille inserts, so don't get confused, and the black & white promo picture is the Sprint version with Skyroof option.  Now that's hot!

Here's a taste of what's happening in the pages of Hot Rod magazine...the Ventura II project has gotten tremendous response so far, and nothing's even been done to the car as yet (June '04)



  Dan Taylor ( sikkens72@yahoo.com  ) from Montana forwards these shots of his unrestored '72.  This car will be added to the Projects page when he begins work on it, so you can look forward to that!  A few words from Dan: "Here are a few pictures of my 72 Ventura. It belonged to my grandfather and he got it in 1997 from the original owner that GAVE it to him! It only has 58,114 miles on it and it runs like a jewel. I put an Edelbrock 650 carb, (a little much), Edelbrock intake, Mallory Unilite distributor with mechanical advance and all the chrome goodies.

Other than that, it's all original. I switched the stock steering wheel for a Grant but after much junkyard scrounging, I found the 3 spoke style out of a Catalina. The suspension is my next project as all the bushings are shot and the front springs look like they are for a 6 cylinder car. They aren't even the right diameter and they almost ride on the bumpstops.... my grandfather passed away in 2002 and I want to make this car into something he would be proud of. I promise more pics as I go step by step."      We'll be looking forward to it, Dan!

Dan Taylor's '72 Project Kicks Off (fall 2004) Dan's well under way with his restoration job; during this site update, a new set of photos came in, with the car's front end already going back together again.  The second photo above shows a busted spring, not a good thing to have while running in triple digits!  He speculates that perhaps God watches over fools and Ventura lovers.  Lots more to come on this project, plus he has Jeremy Foster of 72ventura.com fame to help him out. WE HAVE WORD THAT THIS CAR IS NOW COMPLETE.  YEE-HAH!