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The Ultimate Muscle Car Showdown: Old School vs Modern

The Ultimate Muscle Car Showdown: Old School vs Modern

Old School Muscle Cars take on their Modern Counterparts. Which group will dominate? Read on to Find Out

The Muscle Car really is the epitome of power and performance, and there’s no better way to prove that than running these highly tuned machines down the quarter-mile. The Wheels YouTube Channel put out a video in which old school muscle cars go head to head against their modern counterparts in a series of drag races.

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Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno's Garage

Pontiac GTO from "xXx" Cruises Into Jay Leno’s Garage

Vin Diesel and cars is a combo that’s not reserved just for the Fast & Furious franchise

The Pontiac GTO was the brainchild of John DeLorean - yup, that DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee. Its name was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, which on the Ferrari, meant Gran Turismo Omologato (homologated grand tourer, meaning it could be raced in the GT class). The Pontiac GTO didn’t have the same status, but you might remember how a heavily modded GTO with enough firepower to wipe out a small state made an appearance in xXx, as Xander Cage’s (Vin Diesel) weapon of choice.

The same car was given the honor of being in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, where it was brought by Thom Sherwood, a living GTO encyclopaedia and owner of two GTOs used in 2002’s xXx movie. Stick around for the juiciest details you’ll ever get about the so-called Flame Car.

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Three Burt Reynolds Movie Cars Sell for $330K in Vegas

Three Burt Reynolds Movie Cars Sell for $330K in Vegas

Proceeds of the auction went directly to the Burt Reynolds Institute

The last three cars belonging to the late Burt Reynolds were auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas in late September, raising $330,000 for the Burt Reynolds Institute in the process. Of the three cars, two were 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, while the other was a 1987 Chevrolet R30 pickup truck. All three vehicles belonged to Reynolds’ car collection, and all of them were personally autographed by the recently deceased Hollywood legend.

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Video: The Trans Am Lives... Sort of

Video: The Trans Am Lives... Sort of

Back when Pontiac went the way of the dodo bird, we didn’t so much mourn the loss of the brand as much we did the finality of the Trans Am’s death. Sure, the Trans Am was gone following the 2002 model year – along with its cousin, the Camaro – but there was still a glimmer of hope for it to return, much like the Camaro has. Well, when GM finally boarded up the windows and doors at Pontiac in 2010, we laid the Trans Am name to rest.

We have seen many people attempt to turn the new-generation Camaro into Firebirds and Trans Ams, but none have really done the model’s heritage justice. The folks over at Trans Am Depot, on the other hand, have done rather well in converting the Camaro into something that at least somewhat resembles what the Trans Am would likely look like, if it existed today.

The Trans Am is available in three models, so far, and they include: 2012 7T7 Trans Am, 2013 6T9 Trans Am and 2013 Hurst Trans Am. These bad boys not only give the model its due attention, but they also punish the pavement better than Trans Ams of yesteryear with the 6T9 version punching out 1,100 horsepower. Simply amazing.

To help promote its models, Trans Am Depot has released a series of videos about the cars they offer. Above, you will see the promo video for the Trans Am lineup, which includes some shoddy acting, but the cars are sexy as hell and the women are, well… “nice.” The two videos after the jump are mini documentaries about the production of the cars.

All we can say is “wow!”

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2012 Pontiac Firebird TT Black Edition Concept by Kasim Tlibekov

2012 Pontiac Firebird TT Black Edition Concept by Kasim Tlibekov

The Pontiac Firebird was a cool sports car built between 1967 and 2002. The model saw four generations, with the most amazing version being the Trans Am - a model offered from 1969 with upgraded handling, suspension, and horsepower, as well as minor appearance modifications.

Of course, since production ended in 2002 and Pontiac has been defunct since 2010, the creative possibilities for the Firebird are seemingly endless, with none ever getting the chance to see production...ever. That, however, hasn’t stopped Circassian designer Kasim Tlibekov from coming up with the Firebird TT Black Edition Concept - a model that gives a new look to a historic sports car.

Tlibekov’s concept is based on the 1969 Firebird, but adds more aggressive styling, including a very wide body, an aggressive front splitter and front-end, new side air exhausts, and a duck tail spoiler with a massive rear diffuser. The concept was designed to be powered by a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 650 HP and can hit a top speed of 200 mph.

If the Pontiac Firebird ever had a chance of getting a fresh breath of life, this is the kind of transformation we would like it to undergo. Sadly, that’s just not going to happen so we’ll settle for ogling these images for a little while longer.

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1964 Pontiac GTO-R by Raybestos Garage

1964 Pontiac GTO-R by Raybestos Garage

Engine transplants have been around since time immemorial. After all, if you have an old classic with an outdated powertrain, wouldn’t you want to keep it up to date and give it something that fits more to our times?

Raybestos Garage certainly understands this thought. That’s why they took it upon themselves to take a 1964 Pontiac GTO-R, one of the most iconic American muscles in history, and give it a modern powertrain make-over to the tune of an LSX 454-powered 700-horsepower modern-day maniac. Raybestos and Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle used the frame from the ’64 GTO-R and added a few noteworthy parts, including a GM-sourced LSX crate engine, a Tremec six-speed manual transmission, a Moser 9-inch rear-end, custom fabricated body and suspension, $20,000 Raybestos NASCAR brakes, and a reverse-sweep 180-mph speedometer.

After all the work done on this American beast, we’re left with a 700-horsepower machine that, get this, is being given away for free by Raybestos! That’s right, you can drool over this car and have it in your garage in as easy as a few clicks. All you have to do is sign up for the contest on Raybestos’ site and you stand a chance to win a one-of-a-kind classic with a modern twist. We’re still trying to figure out what’s in it for them, but it may just be the crazy amount of advertising the group is getting for this contest alone.

There’s also plenty of videos detailing the build of the car and some behind-the-scenes looks at how this tuned-up workhorse became the head-turning monster it is today.

UPDATE 08/11/11: We’ve updated our video line-up of this monster-infused Pontiac GTO-R with some more tidbits on how the car is doing! Give it a watch, folks! It’s mighty interesting, to say the least.

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2011 Pontiac "6T9 Goat" by Trans Am Depot

2011 Pontiac "6T9 Goat" by Trans Am Depot

A little over a year ago at the 2009 SEMA show, Trans Am Depot introduced a conversion kit for the Chevrolet Camaro, affectionately turning it from modern-day Bumblebee muscle to an iteration of what a Pontiac Firebird would look like. They even had a name for it: the Phoenix Trans Am.

Fast forward about 20 months and Trans Am Depot has returned for their next Camaro-based Pontiac conversion kit. The car of choice this time is the 1969 GTO Judge, although you certainly wouldn’t mistake this one for the real deal.

In any case, Trans Am Depot’s work is called the “6T9 Goat” and looking at the renderings sent over by TAD, the new conversion kit comes with plenty of styling elements, including a bespoke front end with its own split grille.
There’s also a revised hood with air scoops, a new tail lamp, a restyled ‘old-school’ trunk with a small rear wing, quad tail pipes, and a new set of alloy wheels.

“The 6T9 Goat concept was created by designer Kevin Morgan to capture the look and feel of the classic ’69 GTO Judge,” Grand Am Depot said in a statement. “The 1969 GTO is considered by many to be one of the top ten muscle cars of all time. Available this fall, this modern day version incorporates the look of yesteryear with the modern convenience and technology of today.”

Hardened fans of the classic GTO Judge – and the Camaro, for that matter – will probably snicker at the thought of driving a kit version of the old classic, but as the market has shown in recent years, there are some people that will still pay for conversion kits, even if it isn’t the real thing. If you’re one of these folks, here’s your chance to own a modern-day iteration of an all-time classic. Just make sure you don’t promote it as an original.

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2010 Pontiac G8 GXP

2010 Pontiac G8 GXP

The Pontiac G8 GXP is a tremendous performance bargain, built with the best parts from the GM parts bin; the GXP offers owners quite possibly the best fun/dollar ratio on the market. It comes complete with a 19 inchCadillac CTS-V inspired wheel and brake package as well as an LS3 V8 from a Chevrolet Corvette sending 415 HP to the rear wheels via an optional six-speed manual and a very racy limited slip differential. This is all good for a quarter mile time of 13 seconds flat at 108 MPH and a 0 to 60 MPH time of, with the luxury of four doors.

There was once a Car and Driver comparison with a subtitle that read: Dundee and Goliath: A dark knight from Down Under rattles the BMW M5, and you’ll never guess who builds it. The car that author Aaron Robinson was comparing with the luxury performance sedan back in 2001 was the Holden Commodore HSV GTS R 300. Think Cadillac Catera body on top of an LS1 Corvette power train and whatever other special parts that GM had ad their disposal. At the end of the article, the BMW squeezed ahead thanks only to fit and finish, but the fun to drive award went to the Holden. This was even more astounding because the special edition HSV was selling for only a fraction of the pride of the M lineup.

Since the turn of the century General Motors has invested heavily in their rear wheel drive platform and imported another Australian V8 super car, the Holden Monaro based GTO with LS1 power. After the initial test run, Pontiac brought over the 21st century goat’s cousin, the Commodore, except it was more commonly known at the G8, which is a tremendous performance sedan. With the recent demise of the brand the Pontiac G8 could go the same way as the ill-fated GTO, but if that means no more GXP we are going to have to ask Obama for our bail out money back. It would be just like an American automaker to kill a $37,610 sedan that makes a BMW M5 seem ridiculously overpriced. GM is offering a $3,500 cash incentive on all variations of the G8 Sedan.

Continued after the jump.

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Initial thoughts: Pontiac G8 GXP

Initial thoughts: Pontiac G8 GXP

We have just received a real gem into our Top Speed test fleet. The once endangered and now recently saved Pontiac G8 is an excellent performance sedan. The stylish sedan came from the land down under where the Australians prefer their race cars with a V8 up front and four doors all around. It was this rear wheel drive formula that made the G8 such a hit when it originally debuted with either V6 or V8 power. However this is no ordinary G8, this is the high performance GXP version, a model that combines the fun of rear wheel drive, the power of an LS3 and the control of a six speed manual and is said to compete with much higher priced sports cars like the BMW M5.

Our Sport Red Metallic car rides on a set of stylish 19 inch polished aluminum rims that when combined with the oversized Brembo brake calipers, bears a striking resemblance to the Cadillac CTS-V. Aside from the impressive rolling stock the exterior of our G8 GXP looks just like any other of the four door imports from Queensland. The only other features that hint at the outstanding performance under the bonnet are the pair of sport inspired hood scoops and a set of reasonably flared fenders. Apart from the cleared out taillight lenses and the aforementioned details, there is no other way to tell this hot rod G8 apart from any other of Pontiac’s rear wheel drive grocery getters.

The Onyx interior is about the same as a base Pontiac G8 except that the aluminum sport pedals and GXP logos embroidered into the backrests of the leather wrapped front sport buckets hint at something special. That sensation is further reinforced by the Corvette-like shifter. The grip is connected to a six speed manual that sends 402 HP and 402 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2 Liter V8 through a limited slip differential directly to the rear wheels. The G8 GXP should be good for a 0 to 60 MPH time of about 4.7 seconds and a quarter mile time of 13.0 seconds flat.

Continued after the jump.

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1967 Pontiac GTO @ Russo and Steele

1967 Pontiac GTO @ Russo and Steele

If there is one car that has to be considered as the Godfather of American muscle cars, no vehicle can make a better case than the 1967 Pontiac GTO.

Conceptualized by the dynamic trio of Russell Gee, Bill Collins and John De Lorean, the GTO rose into prominence for creating a car that paved the way for future muscle cars to grow somewhat of a cult following among the speed-induced, thrill-seeking youth market of the 70’s. While the car is universally lauded these days as a true American icon, it actually was developed in the mold of a Pontiac Tempest, the difference being the GTO – which incidentally was named by De Lorean as a tribute to the Ferrari 250 GTO – included a 389 CID (6.5L) Pontiac V8 engine, as opposed to the 326 CID (5.3L) standard Tempest V8. Despite drawing criticism for the use of the ‘GTO’ tag, which in Italian stands for, Gran Turismo Omologato, Pontiac went ahead and put the car in its production line with modest expectations. Suffice to say, Pontiac had no idea the car would hit over to the market so much that it has since become a classic masterpiece, and a cultural icon to boot.

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Transform your Camaro into a Pontiac Trans Am

Transform your Camaro into a Pontiac Trans Am

Now that Pontiac has fallen by the wayside, Firebird fanatics are left with a gaping hole in their collections. But don’t worry, because American Specialty Cars is offering a complete package that rebody’s the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, transforming it into what should have been the 2010 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am.

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2008 Pontiac G8 test drive

2008 Pontiac G8 test drive

The brand new 2008 Pontiac G8 is a lovely car with tons of power, respectively 361 BHP for the 6 liter V8 and 256 BHP for the 3.5 liter V6. To enjoy and control all this power the G8 is putting at your disposal all the modern features you would only expect in a German sedan: multi-link suspension, ventilated disk brakes and rear wheel drive propulsion.

Priced at $33k for the loaded V8 model, this new Pontiac G8 cannot be ignored, that’s why we went all the way to San Diego to test it for ourselves. (full road test after after the jump)

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YearOne builds a new Bandit

YearOne builds a new Bandit

Without a doubt, one of the most iconic cars of the ‘70s was a black and gold Pontiac Trans Am. Thanks to the release of Smokey and the Bandit in 1977, a whole generation of kids (and not just a few adults) had dreams of screaming down the highways wearing a cowboy hat and staying one step ahead of the law with his CB radio. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Smokey and the Bandit, YearOne is teaming up with Burt Reynolds to build a limited run of the ’77 and ’79 Bandit Trans Am. Subtle (...)

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1964 - 2003 Pontiac GTO History

1964 - 2003 Pontiac GTO History

0In the begining ....0
The GTO was the brainchild of McManus advertising agency executive Jim Wangers, an automotive enthusiast, and Pontiac chief engineer John De Lorean. Shane Wiser was the first to think of the idea of the GTO. In early 1963 General Motors management issued an edict banning divisions from involvement in auto racing. At the time Pontiac’s advertising and marketing approach was heavily based on performance, and racing was an important component of that strategy. Wangers (...)

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