Monday, June 4, 2012

Car Of The Day: June 4, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is GreenLight's 1971 Pontiac GTO.

The Pontiac GTO is an automobile built by Pontiac Division of General Motors in the United States from 1964 to 1974, and by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. It is considered an innovative, and now classic muscle car of the 1960s and 1970s. From 1964 until midway through 1973 it was closely related to the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans and for the 1974 model year it was based on the Pontiac Ventura. The 21st century GTO is essentially a left-hand drive Holden Monaro, itself a coupe variant of the Holden Commodore.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Pontiac GTO

The 1971 GTO had another modest facelift, this time with wire-mesh grilles, horizontal bumper bars on either side of the grille opening, more closely spaced headlamps, and a new hood with the dual scoops relocated to the leading edge, not far above the grille. Overall length grew slightly to 203.3 inches (516 cm).

A new corporate edict, aimed at preparing GM for no-lead gasoline, forced an across-the-board reduction in compression ratios. The Ram Air engines did not return for 1971. The standard GTO engine was still the 400 CID V8, but now with 8.2:1 compression. Power was rated at 300 hp (220 kW) SAE gross at 4,800 rpm and torque at 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) at 3,600 rpm. It had 255 hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the GTO and 250 hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the Firebird.

An engine option was the 455 CID V8 with four-barrel carburetor, 8.4 to 1 compression ratio and 325 hp (242 kW) at 4,400 rpm, which was only available with the Turbo Hydra-matic TH-400 transmission. It had 260 hp (190 kW) SAE net at 4,000 rpm in the GTO and 255 hp (190 kW) SAE net in the Firebird. This engine was not available with air induction.

The top GTO engine for 1971 was the new 455 HO with 8.4 compression, rated at 335 hp (250 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 480 lb·ft (651 N·m) at 3,600 rpm. It had 310 hp (230 kW) SAE net at 4,400 rpm in the GTO and 305 hp (227 kW) SAE net in the Firebird Trans Am or Formula 455 with air induction. The 1971 Pontiac brochure declared that this engine produced more NET horsepower than any other engine in its history. That would imply the 400 CID V8 Ram Air engines had less than 310 hp net. While rated at 335 hp gross, in order to suggest it had less power than it did, you could say it should have been rated at 375 hp gross to compare with other Pontiac engines. This engine had more NET horsepower than the 1970 455 CID V8 GTO, which was essentially the regular engine found in other Pontiacs with a GTO exhaust system, and was continued in 1971 as the second option above.

For 1971,the standard rear-end was an open 10 bolt. Posi-traction 10 bolt rear ends were available as an option on 400 CI engine equipped GTO's, while all 455 CI GTO's were available with a 12 bolt open or optional 12 bolt posi-traction rear-end.

Motor Trend tested a 1971 GTO with the 455, four-speed transmission, and 3.90 axle, and obtained a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds and a quarter mile acceleration of 13.4 seconds at 102 mph (164 km/h).
The Judge returned for a final year, With the standard equipment being the Mountain Performance package was the 455 HO. Only 357 were sold before The Judge was discontinued in February 1971, including 17 convertibles today the rarest of all GTOs, aside from the 1969 Ram Air IV convertible. Only 10,532 GTOs were sold in 1971, 661 of which were non-Judge equipped convertibles.
David Pearson drove a 1971 GTO in the Winston Cup Series.

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