"Great site! It actually helped me decide to buy this Ventura...Thanks! " - Bill Van Sickle
"One of your readers has come to my rescue. I would like to thank Rob in Burbank Illinois for selling me 2 fenders and a fan shroud for my Ventura. He also threw in the 2 headlight beauty rings for free. It was nice to deal with someone who was not out to make an outrageous profit... I wish him good luck on his project and my deepest thanks. And thanks again to you Roland for such a great web site." -James Ell
(please click thumbnails to enlarge...and by the way, this is a BIG page that may take longer to load over dial-up.)
1973 Ventura Sprint... Complete At Last!
Al Pipher ( email@example.com ) reports "I finally got the car on the road Tuesday August 12th" He has loads of photos of the car in action on his Facebook link, if it's OK with him I'll publish it at a later date. I picked the brake job photo because it shows the decal beautifully (Al had them reproduced and offers them for sale, see our Ad section), and because it shows the proper way to do brakes...get a friend to do it :-) Couldn't decide which front view was best, so that's why you see two.
the last year that the "Sprint" name appeared on the Ventura. Let's
hear from a guy who made a lucky score:
"I Think God Has a Sense of Humor"
writes Carl Hicks, (
involved with both of the cars you see here.
Because the Oregon seller of both of these cars has referred to them variously as 1971 and 1972 models, I've refrained from trying to label the photos as to what they might be. It does look like each car shares half of a 1971 logo, however! Make sure you also check out the cool scrapbook photos that Carl sent of his original '72 Ventura Sprint, down in the "Memory Lane" section. -Ro
(L) Keith Roberts ( Vteagle42@aol.com ) snapped up this Buccaneer Red GTO. He writes: " I live in Vermont. This is my second GTO. First time I was in my late teens. I am now fifty years old. I found this "little goat" in Rochester NY. It has a shift kit in it with an auto trans. Someone put a 400 in it, unknown gears in rear end, and an extra electric fan in it to keep it cool. This goat sure is a different goat than before. My first one was a three speed. It was ok-fast, I guess. This new one chirps the wheels in normal shift to second gear. It's being restored now. I took the fenders off and have it pretty well stripped. It's in good condition but to be show quality it needs rear quarters and paint, plus time. Bless u all, Keith Roberts"
(R) Make sure you check out the Project Car section below to see what's lurking under the hood of Matt Workman's stealthy '71 Ventura.
(L) I hope you're keeping up with the 71-74
Ventura & 74 GTO Tech Forum on
www.performanceyears.com ... not only is it the best source of tech
know-how (most of the contributors have actually worked on their cars) but
you'll get to follow cars like this from beginning to end. It's the best
place to learn about this non-Nova X-body, and the site also features cars
and parts for sale.
(R) "I wanted to buy this car for a father/son project. Waited too long & the owner sent it to the body shop. It popped up three years later, painted and all new chrome. Not the same price, but I bought and my son doesn’t know it yet. I’ve had it stored for a couple months now. Waiting on the right time to spring it on him. Bare bones car, came with 307, 3 speed on floor, bench seat, rubber floor. Plans are: freshen up the interior and suspension; built small block, T-10, poverty caps and red lines, COPO style. License tag “HO COPO”. Make ‘em scratch their heads." Bill Van Sickle ( Wvansickle@carolina.rr.com ) He credits the cool cars on this site for inspiring him to choose our favorite Pontiac.
The Finishing Touch
Jerry out of New Hampshire ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) now has his front bumper installed. Notice that he had the turn signal holes welded over and chromed, adding yet another custom touch to this car. The ominous cowl hood looks great as-is, I hope he leaves it black...it just looks 'right' to me.
The Price Was Right!
Had I re-read the email before adding the titles to the pictures, I might have noticed the true owner of the car is: "...Anthony, I'm 17 and live in Inverness, FL. I bought my 1974 Ventura for $250 and I love it... it's got a Pontiac 350, all original, I'm the second owner. I bought it off this little old lady in Sarasota, she bought it brand new in June of '74' for $2,200. I just absolutely love this car... ( email@example.com ) "
Bruiser, Not a Cruiser
definitely not a trailer queen, this car gets out there and mixes it up on
A 4-door isn't the usual choice for a hot rod, but this one looked to be in exceptional condition, so let's show it to the world. Besides, these 4-doors are definitely few and far between.
just came across your site - cool! Just picked this one up 3 days ago from
the second owners of the car....it's a 4-door, but thought you might like to
see her anyway. The stock 307 was swapped out at some point for the 350, but
it still has the original Powerglide! Not sure about that combo, but so far
so good... stock
wheel covers (PMD centers) and mudflaps.
|Dressed in stately green, this is Dustin Spohn's 1974 Ventura Custom. He says: "...(it has a) rebuilt 350, great all leather interior, amateur paint but will be repainted. Very smooth down the road and I just got new dual exhaust instead of the single it had before. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )"|
"the Rail Guy" has been busy with his Omega... "I took
it to The All GM Nationals at Carlisle to show it , long story short I got
first place for a full-size modified Oldsmobile. I just got it inspected and
aligned the day before the show. I couldn't believe the way it drove
and handled on the Pa Turnpike. Probably the first time I drove it in
(L) Have a look at this Canadian
just wanted to post some pictures of my Omega...it has a 350 Buick with TA
intake, Edlebrock 600 carb, and Foose rims"
Keith Locke (
(R) Talk about a RARE animal, you're looking at only the 2nd Omega "S" from 1975 that I've ever seen. If you look carefully you can see the black and brown striping below the beltline, and the Omega S logo is on the front fender. This one had an unknown Cadillac motor installed, and oddly enough had the large taillights from the 77-79 model years. Go figure...
"JC" Castrillon is the proud owner of this uncommon 350 Rocket-powered 4
I bought this car about 8 years ago in Miami and about 2 years ago I
brought it up to New Jersey. I am the third owner with 43,000 original miles.
Lord bless, jc ( email@example.com )"
|Omega fan Thomas Lord turned up a '76 Omega just down the road here in Tacoma WA. I'm publishing this one because it has the rather uncommon 250 L6 installed. Looks like they stripped off the vinyl top and painted it black. The body was a little rougher than it first appears; dents, poor panel alignment.|
Talk About 'Original Condition'...
Bidding ended at $4050, but this offer was not accepted. We're showing these photos because they illustrate how cozy Oldsmobile made this otherwise low-budget economy car. Check out the nice padded door panels and seats, the bone-stock AM radio, and nice view of the shifter.
Mark is the only one I know who has an example of every make of post-1974
X-body. Shown here is his Buick Skylark, which I believe he recently
completed, and the car that got it all started for him, a heavily-modified
Nova. He provided a lot of inspiration on this site's own project
car--- more on that subject in the Project Cars section below.
(R) "I was in South Dakota on vacation and stopped at a roadside auto museum. The cars are all in barn like buildings with concrete sidewalks going through them and fencing to separate the crowds from the vehicles. I have a lot of pictures but the lighting was poor (none!) and the camera not so good either. Most of the cars are pre depression era. The web address is http://pioneerautoshow.com/ John Everett ( firstname.lastname@example.org )" What John found was an apparently unmolested 1971 Ventura belonging to well-known politician Tom Daschle. You just never know where these cars will turn up!
about a '74 Ventura in a local junkyard via craigslist, I ran down there and
pulled off a few parts (rocker moldings, headlight buckets, door panels).
Paid too much but my intent is to try to repro the moldings and possibly the
door panels at some future date. The body was solid but the interior was
absolutely trashed, other than the door panels. This car was
If you notice in the background, there are a pair of W-30 Cutlasses, a car I don't think is too common. According to the yard manager, they just can't crush the cars fast enough to meet the Chinese demand for metal. It even hurt to see a beautiful Mitsubishi Starion having its guts torched out prior to meeting its end. Don't think I could work in a place like this!
Got some cool non-Nova X-body photos?
Your pics are welcome, just email them to
(jpg file format preferred)
Still more ways to zone out at work...
"I was here at
work at lunch surfing the internet for anything Ventura and found the
following video clips …thought you would enjoy. Take care, Jody
Jody's lead, a brief search turned up this 9 second '72 Ventura:
MODEL KIT MANIA
Let's hope I haven't opened a Pandora's Box on this subject, but it seems like there's a thriving subculture out there waiting to be explored... have a look. -Ro
Diz Dean ( email@example.com ) says: "If Don Gay had raced a Pro Stock Ventura it would have looked like this. Panther pink with a 455!"
Check out the partially-rolled-up driver's side window!
Diz also decided to build a very convincing replica of his full-size GTO (see it in the background?) using the 1972 AMT kit. How cool is that? He notes that he has a travelling display of over 350 models!
|The AMT kit again, had these pics on my computer a long time. This car would have a pretty rough ride :-)|
Lots of 1975 kits out there...note that the Lindberg kit says "1976" but we can tell it's a '75. The lines and proportions don't look quite as good as the MPC kit.
Rounding out the collection, here were some other 1976 and 1977 model kit refugees hiding on my computer as well.
Where your old photos come back to life
1977 Omega SX
"My second car
was this 1977 Olds Omega SX
and I regret selling it.. It was light blue (w/blue interior) with gold
bottom striping and a 305 V-8 with auto and column shifter. I am
looking for another one so that my son & I can fix it up, take it to some
shows and I can give it to him in a few years. I am in Morgantown, WV (80
miles south of Pittsburgh) so it would be nice if it was close to that
area. If anyone can help, please get in touch with me.
"I bought this car new in 1977 in Beckley WV and had it until 1985 when I sold it. After moving three times before it was sold and twice since then, this was the only picture I have been able to find! The 35mm print hasn't held up well in 30 years. I'm just grateful for the improvement in technology in that I can scan it & keep it in electronic format. I hope the car has had a better fate & is still out there running strong." James Maurin firstname.lastname@example.org
1972 Ventura Sprint
|The Rail Guy (see Carlisle story above) discovered these vintage photos of his Omega, taken "sometime in the early 80's." Thanks for sharing the memories!|
And Further Reminiscing...
Remember this Car?
"5 years later I found it
sitting in a field –no engine, no rear end - and not a straight body panel
was to be found. Interior was junk other than the back seat (which I bought
for $10). There wasn’t anything else on the car that was worth using!!! It
made me sick to my stomach!
"Just happened to be looking through your site and realized you have pictures of our car. We just purchased this car last weekend and the pictures you have really do belong to our car right down to the custom interior and the faded out carpet on the door. It is the black one with the "intriguing paint job from Miffilintown, Pennsylvania". (see photo at left)
"Would love to know who owned it before and if they have any other details they would like to send along. Darrell and Loretta ( email@example.com ) Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada."
X-Bodies Far From Home
You really should look up this location on the map. You'll wonder, 'how the heck did a Ventura get there?'
I'm not certain if this car
is in running condition, or what the owner's plans are, his note was pretty
brief. But you can see how the salty air is taking its toll on this
in '65 GTO B3 Blue
the color of his first GTO, the look of this car will just floor you.
"I found your website when I first got my Ventura. It has been in project status for the past several months and now I have a lot of pictures to go with it. It has a 3peed manual on the floor and a straight 6. I bought it for 600 dollars as a project. I have some questions about the tranny, and what motors I can hook up to it without too many mods. Chad Lloyd ( firstname.lastname@example.org )" Can anyone help Chad out with the tranny-motor question? A 3-speed floor shift is pretty rare in these cars, it would be nice to keep it if possible. -Ro
After endless distractions and seriously
wondering whether this car would ever be put back together again, I got
some timely encouragement from Wisconsin X-body dude Mark Weber, which
made a world of difference. Now that I'm past that roadblock, and
experienced how sweet everything bolted up, I can finally see the light
at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to completing my vision
of what this car could be.
I really was impressed with the rebuild kit from PST, having it sitting around for 3 years had me worried what would happen if the parts didn't fit by the time I bolted everything together. Now the car is finally off the jack stands and supporting its own weight again. While they're accessible, I will be replacing the subframe bushings with solid aluminum mounts this weekend, because while the car was jacked up, I saw all sorts of movement and air gaps between the bushings and the body... not good! Now, on to some painting and sheet metal... By the way, the car was only perched on the wood blocks for a short time while I screwed in the grease fittings on the lower control arms. It only looks scary.
Having driven a couple of turbo cars recently, I've also decided to put that idea on hold, I didn't much care for the feel of it. Might go with an improved 3.8 V6 from the 1995-2001 F-body cars, those put out 200 hp without any upgrades.
"To summarize, the car has 61,000 original miles on it. It is a rust-free california car that I purchased from the estate of the original owner, who passed away early last year. It had a 250 with a Powerglide in it originally. I have since removed that garbage and installed an LT1 out of a '93 Corvette, along with a Muncie M20 4-speed out of a '67 Firebird. I also put a 12 bolt rearend in it out of a '69 Chevelle (had to shorten it). Anyway, here's a link to my photobucket with a lot of pics of the progress of the project: http://s31.photobucket.com/albums/c373/mechanic116/1971%20Ventura%20II/?start=0
"This car IS the quintessential sleeper. Would be nice to see it up on your website. Great website btw. P.S. It might be for sale, for the right price. Matt Workman ( email@example.com )"
X-body collector Mark Weber sends this project update: "Hey there, I finished the Omega for now. The interior is all done...new carpet headliner, seats recovered, plastic trim dyed and new carpet in the hatch area....Here are pics of the front suspension, new tie rods, springs, bushings etc.. The motor is a little cleaner and a lot more detailed...still stock with that neck-snapping 260...! Mark ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
|REPRO PART NEWS|
|75-79 plastic interior pieces crumbling to dust? Almost all of these are now being reproduced for the Nova, see the Classic Industries catalog, Interior section. You can download it for free, all at once or sections at a time. www.classicindustries.com It pays to check those Nova catalogs from time to time! The parts are not cheap, but they are available, so NO COMPLAINING :-)|
|New 1968-1974 X-body factory disc brake proportioning valves are available from www.inlinetube.com . Reported in Hot Rod, June 2008|
The 1975-1979 Buick Skylark
right and left rear bumper fillers are now being reproduced!
The outfit was called "FIBERGLASS AUTO BODY
PANELS" and can be found on ebay. (I was surfing ebay Canada)
|New Ventura hatchback lift supports (strut cartridges) were also being advertised in another ebay store; if anyone has purchased from this supplier, let us know about your experience.|
"CAN I USE PICTURES FROM PONTIACVENTURA.COM ON MY OWN SITE, OR SHARE THEM WITH FRIENDS, WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT COPYRIGHT ISSUES?"
99% of the time, you're free to use the photos you find on this site. The 'pontiacventura.com' name is added not as a copyright, but as a way to promote the site thru sharing the photos with fellow hobbyists, and to take a little credit for all the extra work that goes into processing the photos for internet publication. Whenever I can, I credit the car owner, photographer, or website source and would ask the same favor in return if you use these photos on your own site. If you want to use a photo that has the photographer's own copyright, or is obviously from another publication, I'd recommend you seek the original source's permission.
THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS, SEE YOU NEXT TIME! -Roland