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Gm has a long history of reusing 3 letter RPO codes

The LS2 option that was for the 455 is in no way related to any of the modern LSx series of engines. Much the same as the original LT1 in the 70s was in no relation to the early 90s vette motor. RPO codes aren't really a part of modern car collecting because newer cars really don't have options. It used to be that you could order multiple exterior colors with many different interior colors. These days its rare you even have a choice in interior colors. Its the same with engines, you used to have 6-7 different choices and almost any rear end gear you wanted.

What seperates the old cars that are mint and command a heavy price and those that you see getting several hundred thousand dollars are the RPO codes.

Anyways I hated to do a Trans Am so early into this and I certainly don't want it to become the Trans Am write up of the week, but you have to give it the due credit because for the majority of its life it was the flagship of Pontiac. Theres enough of them to write about so I want to mix in alot of the other good cars that Pontiac has made. I want to focus on cars you might not have been aware of or cars that weren't so common and you might remember seeing a long long time ago. The SD455 is a good example of a much lesser known car to many younger folks of Pontiac.

Next one will be from a time in which the Firebird was not yet created :lol2:

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Just throwing this out there for an idea.

I would love you to do one on the first GTO and how/why Pontiac is credited with creating the first Muscle car and starting the whole craze.

ooo yea I almost forgot...................PLEASE. :D

I can answer that question. A muscle car, by most definitions, is considered to be an intermediate car with (typically) a large cubic inch motor. This makes for great power to weight ratios.

The original 1964 GTO was actually an option package uplift on the base Tempest. You had to get the Lemans luxury package first before you could add on the GTO package. At the time, GM and most of the Big 4 auto companies had self-imposed limits on cubic displacement to vehicle weight. Since the Tempest (the base model for the GTO) was classified as an intermediate car, it was limited to a maximuim of 330 cubic inches by the corporation.

In the late 50s and early 60s, Pontiac developed it's legendary Super Duty engine program for NASCAR and NHRA drag racing. GM pulled the plug on company sponsored racing around this time. Since Pontiac could not go racing, they took their perforamnce motors to the street - especially since the youth market had started booming.

Another important thing to remember is that unlike Chrysler, Ford, Olds, Buick, and Chevy, Pontiac never had separate large and small block engine programs. Pontiac's engines were the same external dimensions with different bore and stroke combinations. So a 326, a 389, and a 455 are the same size externally and....therefore, they bolt into the same size engine compartment directly. No adaption was needed. No engineering or re-design work was needed either. The rest of GM's divisions had just small V8 engines - except for Chevy's 409 "W" mystery motor.

So the GTO was the FIRST intermediate car to be sold with a large 389 cubic inch engine. Remember the limit was 330 ci for the entire corporation for the A-body cars. Larger displacement (389s and 421s)engines went into the full size cars like the Bonneville and Catalina based on GM's weight formula/restrictions. So the GTO package was an exception or a loop hole that Pete Estes and John DeLorean used to get the GTO in production. The GTO package was expected to be a small (no more than 5000 units) option. What happened was that it was so successful, that people went nuts and demanded over 32000 GTOS in 1964. So it was the first high cube/small(er) body car to be sold to the public. That is why is considered the first muscle car and the start of the muscle car era.

I have written about the GTO and Firebird histories before in other blogs. It's fascinating. :lol2:

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64 GTO is actually up next, in retrospect its silly that gm had such limits

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when do we get another article? :lol2:

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been meaning to do that lately been swamped with cars breaking down and working OT at work, hopefully here in the next few days

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Wondering if the next one is ready yet? :agreed:

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Finishing touches, and I have more than one ready, I'm off monday and tuesday this week, so look for it soon

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Just throwing this out there for an idea.

I would love you to do one on the first GTO and how/why Pontiac is credited with creating the first Muscle car and starting the whole craze.

ooo yea I almost forgot...................PLEASE. :lol2:

DId I adeqautely answer the question?

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64 GTO is actually up next, in retrospect its silly that gm had such limits

True, hindsight is always 20/20 vision though.We have history on our side now. Still the industry did a lot of self-imposed limits and other silly decisions in those days....like the ban on corporate sponsored racing.

Let's not forget that GM was about 50% of car sales in the US market at the time. Congress was starting to grumble that GM was really a monopoly and there was a real fear, within and outside GM, that the government might sue them under anti-trust laws and break the company up. So GM management had to walk some fine public relations tight ropes in those days, so as not to be seen as a monopoly. Also, the other Big 4 companies did similar things too. GM was not alone in this arena.

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Im digging the pic, cute gal!

Pontiac's involvement in racing is what put them on the map, when GM took that away they looked to the streets and they built the ultimate street machine, from there on its reputation sold it.

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Good article!!

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I like having reviews, hate history, love cars :)

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while in the shower last night i thought of the next few

For the one up next, lets just say it was for the King....

King being Richard Petty

Theres actually one about a half mile up the road from me, not in good hands either..

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Well im gonna be in NC for the month of July so I wont be doing alot of posting or modding. Ill be posting ever so often when I get to some wifi spots. so after the 2 there wont be many post from me.

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new one, coming this week!

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Any new ones to be expected soon? :woot:

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Hey Frosty, with the recent database issues I just wanted to be sure you got that I liked your article and you can post it whenever you want :agreed:

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ill be about 90 miles from home all this week with nothing to do

works been crazy, got a different job in a new store and have been working lots of overtime and both cars have had lots of issues, i fear the transmission in the dirty bird has gone terminal

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Time for a built one???

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Hey Frosty, with the recent database issues I just wanted to be sure you got that I liked your article and you can post it whenever you want :agreed:

All set - I posted it today. Thanks for your help!

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Very nice! I never knew about it. Good write up. I learned something new today! :lol2:

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Thanks. I appreciate that.

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sorry for the long and overdue wait, but I really enjoyed this one!

Baddest bird ever!, well maybe

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Great job!

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