Pontiac Ventura

Original Pontiac Ventura was named after the Italian word bonaventure which means good fortune. In 1960 General Motors introduced the model as a package for the Pontiac Catalina, making an immediate impact on the market.

The unique exterior design with luxury wheel covers combined with a balanced interior proved their popularity in the production run that lasted eighteen years.

Most significant interior design features were a sporty steering wheel and special tri tone seats made from leather imitation vinyl upholstery called the Morrokide. Consumers loved the attention to details such as Ventura name written on the trunk panel.

With the same basic body as the Pontiac Catalina, Ventura was available in four door sedan and two door coupe options. General Motors sold an impressive 28,700 hard top models and 27,577 coupe units.

Ventura model was a heavy car that weighed full 3,995 pounds and had a long body of 213.7 inches. Performance was based on 389 cu in V8 engine capable of generating from 215 up to 283 horsepower, depending on individual configuration. With an overhead valve, a two barrel Rochester carburetor and made from iron, it worked at 3,600 rpm with a solid 8.6:1 compression ratio.

A manual Synchromesh transmission was a part of standard equipment. Buyers were offered additional options such as remote control mirrors, power windows, electronic antenna, padded dash, super deluxe radio and Magi Cruise control. The Ventura model was available for several years as a custom trim option until it was replaced with Catalina Brougham series in 1971.

Pontiac wasn't over with the Ventura name yet, since the management moved it to new prototype based on Nova body. The Pontiac Ventura II was presented in 1971, in order to continue the tradition. Suffix "II" was removed the following year. Most advanced Sprint option on two-door models included three speed transmission with floor shift and 350 cu in V8 engine.

It was very popular for custom carpeting, all-vinyl upholstery with Strato bucket seats, Custom Sport steering wheel, blackout grille and special striping details. For the next seven years, Pontiac Ventura was offered with regular power and design modifications.

In 1973 a movie "The Seven-Ups" starring Roy Scheider promoted Ventura in the best way. An inspiring car chase featured legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman as the bad guy driver with Pontiac Ventura speeding on the streets of 1970s New York City, over the George Washington Bridge and through the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey. In 1978, Ventura was retired from production and all similar future models were produced under the name Phoenix. Nevertheless, this unique car represents an important piece in the General Motors history.

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