How cool would it be to have an autographed photo of the one and only Chip Foose posing with your ride? Ask John Everett, who was in the right place at the right time for these shots... and that's why this is our "headline" story for this update :-)
"This is the car I bought a few years ago in Illinois (thanks for the lead). I am still restoring the blue one, but this car has become my weekend cruizer for now. I drove the car and family 500 miles to Brazelton, GA for the car show at Year One. The car is stock, original paint, 350 Buick motor with 79k on the odo. I was surprised the car got 21mpg avg roundtrip. I met Chip Foose and snapped a few pics. Later I was able to talk to him for 20 minutes and got some great tips for re-creating some plastic parts on the interior that are drying up and crumbling as well as tucking the bumpers to get rid of the plastic between the body and bumper. firstname.lastname@example.org "
The tiny European country of Luxembourg is home to the most amazing 1977
Omega Brougham we've ever seen. Klaus and Christiane have taken an
average American grocery-getter and turned it into a sleek European sports
sedan. This is a real eye-opener for what is possible for a 4 door.
The paint is absolutely killer in my opinion. I hope to send these
pics to Dave Freiburger, head honcho at Hot Rod magazine, seeing how he just
recently did an editorial on hot-rodding 4 doors.
Klaus writes: "I'm a great fan of your homepage. I will you send some pics
from my wife's 're-born' Olds Omega Brougham from 1977. The car is
completely finished after a big frame-off resto. Some specs:
From one end of the world to the next, the Ventura and its x-body relatives
are thriving... Here is an extremely well-preserved example from the mountains of
Chile, courtesy of Jorge Gallorio, who writes:
"Hello, I was surfing around looking for some
Pontiac images and found your website. Well, I also own a Pontiac Ventura (a
76) and I would like to share some pics.
If you think it's tough to find parts to rebuild your Ventura stateside, try
doing it in some far-flung corner of the Pacific Ocean! Enter Berhard "Bernie" Floedl...
New contributor Jason ( email@example.com
) really knocked himself out sending us some special items, as you'll see
below. First, let's look at his cars:
"...here are some pics, the 74 GTO project car is in as-bought condition. I've wanted a 74 GTO since my 1st car, a Ventura bought in 1987. The Omega is my 5th Omega, recently bought it on ebay with only 59k miles. It needs body work badly and is my daily driver."
He also included a 74 GSX window sticker from ebay, and you can just barely make out the GSX options, which include such high-performance features as wide body side molding, sport mirrors, specific "ornamentation" (decals)...wow. How times have changed!
Glenn Staszak has one sharp goat on his hands...you can see a few mods, including some bracing to hold the shaker scoop in place. "I've had this GTO since 1982. Just the past few years I've been able to put some much needed work into it. But it always started and ran. A rare car indeed , always a head turner. Not too many people knew they made a GTO that year. firstname.lastname@example.org "
Check out how nicely this '76 Buick has been updated... "more pics of 'Brad's buick'--- new motor is in, some dress up work done, about 350 to 375 hp right now and this winter will be the rear end. Will send more pics when finished! Darryl + Barb" ( email@example.com )
Ventura Concept Car in Work!
"I'm the Web guy for Anthony Pittari. He's in the middle of building a hot rod out of a 1972 Ventura II. He's working on a design by Kris Horton and making his own modifications as he goes. Anthony asked me to get in touch with you because you and your site visitors might be interested in the job he's doing.
"Anthony's site (which I built) is www.aphotrods.com . And if you have any questions or want more information or just want to drop me or Anthony a line, just send me e-mail. Thanks. Chris Rywalt ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) " Builder Anthony Pittari: ( email@example.com )
Isn't it nice to see these
cars turning up at the big events?
(L) Sometimes the best we can do is to preserve a
car for when the time is right to begin working on it again... "The last
time I sent pictures they were posted on April 2005. Here it is July 2007
and the cars are coming home to be stored on 4 post lifts waiting to be
worked on. Maybe it will be another 2 years?? Scott Williams" (
(R) Hood pins and traction bars hint that this Skylark might not be as laid-back as its soothing green paint might imply! "This is my 1977 Buick Skylark with a 454 big bloc Chevy...very fast! David Métivier ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) "
The more I see of the '75-'79 body style, the
better it looks, especially when someone does a nice job like this!
Check out Mark Weber's latest handiwork:
"Hi...I am making progress with the Omega. It runs perfect, I tuned it up and put on a rebuilt carb, plug wires etc. Then I took it to a friend and installed 2.5 inch exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers and American Torque Thrust wheels with BF Goodrich TA's. That old 260 sounds and runs great. I buffed it out and it really doesn't look like that poor neglected car that was advertised for sale ... Mark"
But wait, the story continues! A few weeks
later, we got another message from Mark...
"Well I just completed my set, I have all 4 brands now...'75 Omega,'75Ventura,'77 Nova and I picked up a '76 Skylark last month. I know I'm crazy, but I couldn't pass up the Skylark...original owner, the interior is just immaculate, has a 350-4bbl. Buick, turbo 350, air, it is a hatchback, the paint is pretty fresh and is not bad, but it has a spot on the bottom of the drivers fender and door that will need patches (that is the only thing wrong with the body).
This whole thing started with my '77 Nova that I bought brand new in '77. It was a 350-4 speed but it is now a show car that has a 454. I had received a little money when my Dad passed away, so I decided to buy a new hot rod, one that I could cruise around with since the Nova is all painted and detailed underneath and I really don't like to drive it alot. The one thing about this body style cars, they can be picked up rather inexpensive. I ended up getting the three cars for about what I would have spent on one other car... I am most likely the only one weird enough to have 4 of these. Thanks Roland... Mark Weber ( email@example.com )"
|"Killer Web Site. Here are some pictures of my 1973 Olds Omega. The car lives in Blackfoot Idaho. It has a 355 Olds Rocket with a Edelbrock performer RPM cam and Edelbrock performer RPM manifold and Carter 750cfm carb. Mallory ignition and a bunch of other goodies. I drive this car everyday during the summer and attend many car shows and rod runs. I average around 12,000 miles a year. It is alot of fun to drive. The most fun thing about the car is that up here in Blackfoot it is rare to see a 73 or 74 Omega so there are a lot of people that don't know what it is. It is always good to be different. Dean Penoyer ( firstname.lastname@example.org )"|
I don't think we've ever seen mention of the tent option offered on any late-model Venturas, but the owner of this vehicle swears it came with the car, which used to belong to his grandmother, the original owner. And Grandma wouldn't lie to us, would she? Perhaps a Pontiac dealer put together a creative package as a special deal?
"Here are some pics of a before and after of my 1977 Pontiac Ventura 2dr hatchback. I even have a tent that attaches to the back of it!!!! The only thing it is missing it a good instrument cluster panel. David Coutts ( email@example.com )"
|Take one last look at Cam Moffatt's '79 Phoenix LJ in its old paint... he recently had the car re-shot in a GMC dark brown metallic. Personally, I liked the stripped-down look, but he didn't ask my opinion :-) Smart move. Anyway, I'm a big fan of these chocolatey-browns.|
Jacob Larkin sends these golden oldies from his photo album. I believe
that fierce guard dog in the first photo is named "Bear".
"Here are the two photos I have of my '72 Ventura II. These were taken in late autumn of 1976 in Goose Bay, Labrador. I bought my 72 when I was 17 in 1976! Bought in September (paid 2300.00) and traded it in January on a Nova. A 6 cylinder didn't cut it, when all my friends were packing V8's.
"I remember the Ventura dieseling and not running too well at one point...I brought it to some fellow who had a backyard garage (along the lines of Shadetree Mechanic...he had a Buick Wildcat with a 430 cid in his yard) and he diagnosed things pretty quickly (worn distributor shaft and pitted points). He went to the back of his garage and returned with a distributor and points, put things back together and it ran fine after that. I suppose the older you get the more important the past becomes. Regards, Jacob ( firstname.lastname@example.org )"
Sometimes there are side benefits to sending in scans of your old photos to
the site, like this one... the original was so faded it almost looked like a
black& white, but small tweaks in Photoshop bring out the hidden colors (and the
development date in the lower left corner!). Jim Savage tells us: "I
owned this 1977 red & white Olds Omega SX. I took ownership on 7-7-77 , original price was $4500.00.
It was my first new car! Owned it for 5 years,
than sold it to my sister. The car was totaled a few years later... I am
looking to find 1 just like it. If anyone knows of one for sale, please
contact me at (
email@example.com )" Jim's in Michigan state.
(R) Paul Headley is the owner of this bone-stock 76 Ventura. The first time I saw the huge side molding and Pontiac-style arrow at the leading edge, I thought it was someone's idea of customization, but I've seen it on several cars now, so it probably came out of the factory that way.
|Jeremy Foster still has his '72 Ventura and recently stripped it down for a fresh coat of paint. Employed at a body shop, I think Jer had the honor of shooting the paint himself. As you can see, he also got himself a new header panel.|
|As you know, I always keep a camera close at hand, and so I managed to capture this nice '75 Ventura during one of my alley crawls. The car's been sitting for a while, since one of the tires was going flat and quite a few leaves were collecting on the bumper. Too bad I have too many cars already, or I'd make an offer on it! The Skylark was rough, and the rear bumper filler absent, but the chrome still shone bright. And pardon the Nova, but I saw this one in Chinatown and couldn't resist including it because of the amazing weathering effects. The bumpers were about the only shiny surfaces left! Last but not least, a sampling of Craigslist ads to show you what's out there. I wonder if the '74 is in original paint, it looks pretty cool. There were a number of Omegas and Skylarks cropping up as well over the summer too.|
Can Mopar parts co-exist with a GM product? "If the scoop fits, mount
it" might be a good motto...
"...This my 75 Ventura SJ. It has the Buick 350 with a t/a performance manifold and the typical goodies. Out back is a posi with 341 gears and finally I got my scoops on. Yeah. Love the site... Patrick Varain ( firstname.lastname@example.org )"
"We cruised along with me in the lead, just to set the pace I guess, hehe, followed by a ’77 Ford LTD, a ’67 Olds 442, a ‘72 Mercury Cougar and finally a ’69 Pontiac GTO. I’ve even purchased the Star Spangled Banner which I brought with me just to get the right atmosphere...
"OK, maybe my Ventura wasn’t the most exclusive car at the rally, but what the h**l, I hope these pics show that you don’t have to have no fancy high-price- matching-numbers-collectors-item-car to have fun. On the contrary, to me this hobby is, in addition to driving to the different rallies, about using my car whenever I need some transportation, whether it’s raining or not, and then park it anywhere without facing the risk of getting a nervous breakdown from worrying that some jealous crook might use his switchblade to scrape off the costly paintwork. (Oh yeah, those guys are present, even up here in Norway). God bless America, you guys rule, and please; Drive safely everyone, the tax-collector needs you! Best regards, Vigleik Jansen ( email@example.com )"
"I just thought I had to share some impressions from another trip we made to a neighbour city, just recently. Outside our motel I spotted this car, an Oldsmobile Omega, which I had to drive up to and park beside just to snap a few pictures and make a comparison.
"Eventually the owner showed up, a nice lady wearing a cowboy hat and boots, (she was selling that kind of stuff at the rally) and I had to ask her to tell me a little about her car. She said she was really fond of the car, driving it the whole year around and visiting car meetings carrying the C&W gear with her to sell. I told her I wanted to have a look at the engine compartment. She told me she had a friend helping her replacing the original 6 cylinder with a 350 Chevy motor... Best regards Vigleik Jansen, Norway "
"Hey guy (this is the)1/4 mile track Edgewater Raceway here in Cincinnati Ohio. It was Muscle Car Sunday, big car show and swap meet. It was also my son's 14th birthday and my first time down the track. Been there 100s of times, never actually raced. I wanted to show him life's too short not to do the things you love.
"You know what was funny, this car has the original 260 olds v8 in it... 19.25 was my fastest time. I thought "these guys are going to make fun of me but I don't care. I'm here to have fun." But you know what, not one person made fun, they helped me, they encouraged me, it was a blast. I didn't get one negative comment... that only goes to prove car peeps are the best. They saw how much fun it was for me and I think they enjoyed it too. Dennis Doyle ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) "
I still think Dennis's car would stomp my '77 Project car, assuming I ever got it put back together. Cool story, Dennis!
"Sending some pics of the 1973 Ventura. Car is mint, thanks to Louie in Toronto for keeping it in good shape. Mike Adair ( email@example.com )"
When this car was submitted to the ad section of the site, it looked pretty clean. As these hi-res photos show, it is a lot cleaner and straighter than I could imagine!
"Hi Roland- Great website I've included some pictures of my
76...it's been done top to bottom, end to end, with original factory
350 cu in +60 over, 202/160 aluminum heads, Eagle assy, 3" exhaust all the way through
456 posi , 400 turbo auto w/reverse valve body manual shift, 2500 stall
RPM Engineering Dyno 390hp to the rear wheel @6500 RPM
All professionally done by FMA & TRI-FIVE
"I would consider selling at the right price. I have put close to 12K in the motor/trans/rear in the last 2000k miles. Gary Graham ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) "
|My brother Rolf in North Carolina spotted this weathered old girl while out for a walk. The way it's rusted makes me think it might be a northern car that came down to the south to spend its declining years. From the look of the grass, it hasn't been sitting too long.|
Ventura Video Links!
If you want to see some cool burnout
action, check out some of the videos at :
Thanks to Chris Haggerty, who found this old TV commercial. They got the
model year wrong, but you'll recognize the car for sure!
Cruise with Bob Yoy in his 74 GTO...the motor sounds great! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuQRJyzgtGw
Still on life support...
Got some cool non-Nova X-body photos?
Your pics are welcome, just email them to
email@example.com (jpg file format preferred)
We DO accept pics of the '77-'79 Nova Rally and '74 Spirit of America, because they are cool and pretty rare, too.
By the way, thanks to Adrien Tanguay for his Photoshop creation at left :-)
This car is a HE, not a SHE!
"He is a numbers matching car, but the motor is locked. We really want to drop a 403 in him, like I had in my 79 T A, but we can't find one in good shape...we are putting in a strong 350 Chevy I got for free from a guy that helps out at the shop I work at. I KNOW, everyone is going to ask, WHY A CHEVY, but it's the only mill we have available at the moment. That also gives me the time to find a suitable 403.
"I know he doesn't look like much in these pics, but much work has gone into him since they were taken. He will end up
black cherry with a black T A interior, and keep the 14 in Poncho mags. I will send more pictures as he comes along. Your
fellow Pontiac lover Chris Castro (
|More news from Tennessee...
"Some pics of my 74 Ventura Sprint Project, some assembly required. The Sprint stripes will be orange and cream, will send more pics of car when it's completed. Thanks, Dwayne Moody in Bulls Gap, Tennessee ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Dwayne also sent an old scrapbook photo of the car in it's original Sprint stripes, which I didn't re-discover until the day I planned to publish the site! I'll try to add that photo at the same time I fix the error on these photos... as you now know, the car is a '74, not a '73. Sometimes I get cross-eyed working on all the pics!
|By the next site update, I bet this car
will be roadworthy...
"Roland we are up and running, the engine sounds terrific with the little hotter cam and flowmaster mufflers. Hopefully next week the top will be put on, then to the body shop for paint. Well back to work, enjoy the pictures, Bob ( email@example.com )."
Bob was the one who headed an effort to get the '74 bumper rub strips made as a repro item, but the demand was not enough. We thank him for his initiative anyway!
|Hats off to those who can bring these cars
back from near-death...!
"Hey, I just found your site and wanted to share a few photo's of my project car (74 GTO restore). I've been at it for about 7 months working on it, mostly weekends. Parts for this old girl have been hard to find in Calera AL but I found out about thepontiacman in Talladega AL and he has been a great help. She was a rolling chassis when I found her but now she will be a 462ci monster with M21 Muncie 4speed street rocker when complete. From the pics you will see she was in pretty bad shape but it's coming along great. She will be painted back to her Ascot Silver original color and Black bucket seat interior. When I have her back on the road I'll send updated pics. Great site!!! Terry Lamb, Calera, Alabama ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
|Frank was rolling up his sleeves to get to work on his new purchase, but I've lost his message so I can't tell you what he was planning... >whack!<|
|"I received an email from a user asking for an update on my car and
he sent me quite the email. So I thought I'd throw an update your way.
Still sporting the 350 motor w/ TH350C transmission. The car is running
good. It's not roasting tires or anything, but it's a good daily driver.
Last fall and through out the winter, I was wrestling with the idea of
another motor, a 355 or 427. Have definitely ruled out any big blocks. I
don't want to butcher the car to fit a big motor in. If I do anything,
it'll be a mild 350 or 355 small block. Possibly a stroker ... but
doubtful, it's just not in the works at the moment. I don't have the
money to build a complete powertrain to handle a powerful motor at the
moment. (I have my nova which has a 406 in it, if I want to play). I've
decided to leave the sagged springs in, instead of swapping them out to
keep the car lowered. I have new front shocks to install, which I will
do, when I get a chance. The old ones aren't too bad, so it's not a
"I've been cleaning up the engine compartment and detailing it too. I finally have a decent set of tires on the front, sporting some BFG Contour 205/75/14 on Steel Rims. I'm currently running Chevy Doggy Dish hubcaps, the spare set from my 73 Nova. I've loved these caps all my life and they just look good. I do have some Oldsmobile dogdish style caps, but I'm saving those for when the car is done. There are mint, and I don't want them to get ruined or worse ... disappear. Next on the list, I'm thinking will be interior. I'm wrestling with the idea of going to a black interior. I have an extra set of Green Interior I'm thinking of dyeing/painting black. Due to my custom headliner & decklid, which is a button-tough vinyl ... I don't know how well it will take to a color change and I don't want to ruin it. I'm thinking how can I pull off a 2-tone interior... David Meier ( email@example.com )
|Here are some scenes from the restoration of Bernie Floedl's '71
Ventura in the Philippines (the completed product is toward the top of
this page). You can almost feel the heat and humidity in
the air, and I've tossed in a few more of his photos for the shop atmosphere.
"I send you a few
more photos of cars in the shop where my car is fixed. The shop is
called Castro Motorworks, owner Eddie Castro.
"Also, my souped up engine is as good as finished. The only thing missing (at this stage) is the 4 barrel carburetor and the chromed valve covers, together with the bumpers and other stuff. The headers are aluminum. Greetings, Bernie"
|Last, but not least, another major
recovery effort of a salty East Coast car...
"Found this one on the streets of Paterson NJ. It sat for who knows
how long, but man it was a rust bucket. Came with a 350 2bbl & 350 A/T
and the stock 2:73 rear.
frequently asked question:
"When you update the site, do you put all the cars from the new car page into the year's section, or are they lost when you update the new car section? Seems like some sections like 74 get larger and others like the 75 stay the same."
Answer: Due to the amount of work that goes into working on submitted photos (re-sizing, cropping, color or brightness adjustments, adding text, making thumbnails) I most definitely do NOT discard the photos! After a "NEW RIDES" page is replaced with a new one, over the next few weeks I will be secretly filtering the previous new rides into the years where they belong. They may not go to the most recent page either, but I will try to get them into a spot wherever there might be room on an earlier page. -Ro
Keep those photos and stories coming!