1973 Pontiac Ventura                     Page 6

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Ron Lutz ( dlutzphoto@msn.com ) provided this awesome shot of his modified '73 Sprint (check out the shaker hood scoop!)...

"Thanks for putting this website together. I spent a while on it checking everything out. Really enjoyed the article on the star of the '7 Ups'. That clip when it goes under the truck used to be in the intro of the 'Fall Guy'.
Anyway, if you have room and time, please post my 73 Sprint, Navajo Orange first love. I still have this one, but it is in an auto cocoon alongside a 74 parts car with spare goat hood and shaker. Someday I will get to it. Thanks again, Ron"

Always a pleasure to post great shots like these, and add a little more to the Ventura's history as well.  This is a pretty rare color for this car, perhaps someone can bring it back to life on their own Ventura restoration?

Speaking of history, remember these three characters from the mid-70s TV commercials?  Undoubtedly the Uniroyal PR department has even more shots of the 'stunt' Ventura on file!  Apparently they were known as the "Uniroyal Thrill Drivers".

We could all use a few more action photos like these! Scott Baggiore ( sbaggiore@yahoo.com ) got a sweet deal on this car:

"Here are a couple of photos of my 73 Ventura Sprint. It was purchased without an engine or trans in 1991 for $100. Since then, I have put in a 73 455, 4-speed and 3.70 10-bolt. I have also added a 74 GTO nose and a 77 T/A Shaker scoop for the 74 GTO look. Since these photos were taken, I have added custom black 74-style GTO decals. I have done all of this for a total investment of $2,500.

"These photos were taken at the Pontiac Heaven Drags in Phoenix, where it ran 13.03 @ 104 on cheap street tires."

His two daughters were the intrepid photographers as Dad smoked the Firebird off the line.  Nice work by the young shutterbugs!

(L) Denise Barnaby ( dbooge@globetrotter.net ) was kind enough to send in this photo of her boyfriend's '73, and writes:
"He is very proud of his car. He had a sunroof installed and had his seats all redone with leather. Of course we had to put a CD too. We are from Listuguj, Quebec Canada and have gone to car shows in the Maritimes and never saw a car like Lloyds. Lots of Nova's though..."
Lloyd adds some of the details: 
"We have a 350 big block, with Western mags 11 inches wide. Paint job about 7 years ago with leather interior. Recently rebuilt motor. 188 thousand miles on it. In excellent condition."  They look forward to chatting with folks about their car, so feel free to drop them a line.

(R) We can report the transformation of another car...
"I have some new information on the 73 Ventura located in Bettie NC on page 5 under the 73 section.

"My name is Sam Mylin and I'm 16 years old. My dad lives in Wake Forest NC and was a next door neighbor to the owner of the car when he sent the pictures in for your page. I was visiting him about a year ago and I noticed the car with a for sale sign on it and looked into it. Anyway I bought the car for 2 grand and have now restored it close to the original state. Only I changed the color from the Seafoam Green to high gloss black.  I also put the original wheels back on. Hope you put these on and Eddie (previous owner) will notice the work I've spent on this. Here's the cardomain URL ( http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/705643 )

"The car isn't completely restored as of yet. I still have to do most of the interior and replace the shocks and coils. As you can see the cars stance is pitifully low. Thanks for your help on getting this car on your site. It's nice to see other people with these cars, because I haven't seen any other than mine on the road.
Sam ( HABITATskater349@aol.com )"

These photos previously appeared in our ad section, but this car is of interest because it's wearing the 'Sprint" stripes without the word 'Sprint" being applied.  It's weather-beaten look is also kinda neat.  All of the original documentation is laid out on the hood, in case you were wondering what was going on.
Great paint on this modified '73...and someone did a great job integrating the cowl hood, with a custom taillight treatment to boot.  I've included two views of the motor so you can see the proliferation of colorful piping and tubing under the hood (even on the brake lines from the master cylinder!).  Funky, but interesting.  The huge '73 rear bumper stands out like a battering ram.   How about the import-style dragon decals?  Those are certainly odd for an American muscle car, but it's cool to try things out and see how they turn out.  Details from the ad: "Beautiful candy-apple red Pro Street Pontiac. Narrowed and tubbed., 10 point roll cage; Strange Spool with Richmond 4:56 gears; coil-overs; adjustable ladder bar; Summer Bros. axles; Weld wheels; fast & fun.  M.S.D.; N.O.S.; disc brakes; power steering; runs and handles like a dream; all the goodies.  The fuel cell and battery are enclosed in a sheet metal box, black carpet covers all the sheet metal used to tub. I put my heart and soul into this car.  $16,000 invested. Must sell due to health reasons..."
A unique series of photos captured from a restoration shop's website at www.murphysclassicrestorations.com (good thing, because the photos are no longer posted there).  This is a great study of a total teardown and rebuild of our prize X-body.  I'm kind of surprised that the primer seems to be spray-can applied...
...but there's no question that the gunmetal-grey (?) is an awesome color for this car!
(L) The finished product.  If we're lucky, someday the owner may contact us and provide a little background on the car.  Meantime, just enjoy this beautiful restoration.

(R) Another unusual and pleasant color can be found on this remarkably straight New York '73.  Unless we're looking at buckets of Bondo, it's doubtful this car saw many East Coast winters...

A great vintage photo from Derek Reckard ( darker@verizon.net )
"Attached is a picture of my '73 Ventura. Although I don't own the car anymore, it is still my first love. It originally had a stock 350 2 barrel, but it died after 100,000 miles. I replaced it with a 400 c.i.d. with 4 barrel. It is the stock color. Don't see many orange Venturas running around.  In the process of looking for one to replace it.... Great web site!  Derek"

Joe Stalsberg ( pontiacflo@yahoo.com ) is the proud owner of this white '73:
"This is my 1973 Pontiac Ventura 350 Custom that I bought when I was 15 and it had 54,000 miles on it. Now the car has 60,000 miles and runs like it's new. I bought the car out in Colorado for $2,500 and it is original. It looked like it was a low rider when I bought it because the springs were old but since then I have new ones. The car is absolutely the best sleeper ever because no one knows what it is. Joe"  

Photo has been retouched to get rid of a loaded clothesline, but the pool was too big for me to move....Ro  :-)
(L) This shot of a car that is obviously still in the project stage was furnished by owner Thomas Ridley's brother.  It sports a 350 under the hood.  The brother was unsure of the year, but judging by the bumpers, this is most likely a '73.

(R) East coast project car that seems to have fallen just short of the mark.

These wonderful vintage photos were posted by a member in the performanceyears Ventura Tech forum.  I've boosted the contrast to improve the picture quality...enjoy!  I would concur with the forum that the white car in the foreground probably had the stripes applied at the dealership and is really not a Sprint at all, as evidenced by the 4-slot grille. 
Always a hot topic, I think it's just a matter of time before someone will produce some reproduction Sprint decals.  It's not rocket science and not as expensive as you might think if you call around for quotes (Point of reference, I was working on getting some pontiacventura.com website decals made up. The biggest hurdle is getting the image into the proper file format for processing, which a friend could do for free if you have connections).   I'd like to thank Doug Hughes for sending these 4 images to me, just in case I would have missed them.  The decal was purchased and posted on performanceyears by Greg Pittman.
(L) Writing from a small town in Washington state, here's Jim Hintz's new ride ( hintzville@hotpop.com ) :

"Just picked this one up on Father's Day (2005) in Olympia WA for $2350. Bought if from the original owner's son-in-law. All the manuals, new vehicle warranty brochure and the original purchase order came with it. It was purchased brand-new on April 21st, 1973 from a dealership in Sandpoint Idaho for a grand total of $3845.61.
"It has 130K on it. Typical rust around tail lights and around bottom of rear window. It is the original vinyl top and paint !!! The top is flawless, but the paint is pitted and will be redone. Driver's seat has a small tear and headliner came unglued, but is intact and fixable.

"I got my first one in 1976 at the age of 16 and had it for 4 years. It was the same color combination, but no vinyl top, 4 slot front grille, white factory high-back bucket seats and no rubber bumper strips or hatchback. I am pleased with this sweet find. My first Ventura, which was my 2nd car, has always been my favorite.  I've had over 20 cars since and there has been nothing quite like it. More to come at a later date. Terrific site - I love it!  Jim H."

(R) Look at how this car has cleaned up...it definitely looks ready to rock!  "Here are a pair of current photos of my 73 Ventura. The headliner and seat have been re-done to stock specifications... new brakes, bearings, wheels, tires, axles and dual exhaust. Hope to have 400-450 ponies under the hood by summer. Keep up the great work! Jim Hintz" ( hintzville@hotpop.com )

Sprint Madness continues!  Probably the first '73 Ventura we've seen wearing its original silver-grey color.  To the best of my recollection, these images were turned up by following a discussion thread on an online forum. If it's your car, we'd be happy to hear from you.
(L) We are treated to a nice front view of  Joe Stalsberg's '73 Ventura.  He's tweaked the car's appearance just a tad since it first appeared on the site (above).

(R) With all the devastation from the hurricanes of 2005, it's nice to see that some cars survived.  I think Chris Haggerty's technique was to park his car in the middle of an open field last season. ( fishmaster79@yahoo.com )

We really need to be grateful to today's grandmas and grandpas... when they were in their 40s, and finally able to spoil themselves with a new vehicle, they often bought cool cars like this one.  Another 30 years from now, will a Honda Civic will have the same appeal?   :-p

From Mark Napier ( napierme@insightbb.com )"This was my grandmother's car (yes, it really was driven to church by a little old lady, she was 5'0")  It sat for a number of years and has been put back into running condition with new gas tank, new brake lines/master cylinder, tires, etc.

"The paint job is starting to deteriorate. I'm looking into a new paint job, but the Sprint decals may be tough to get.  A couple of the hubcaps are sitting inside the car. They've rusted to the point that they would be likely to come off while driving. Great to see that there are others with a soft spot for this model."