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    by Terence, on July 14, 2009, 13:30
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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 After all, if you have an old classic with an outdated powertrain, wouldn’t you want to keep it up to date and give it something that fits more to our times?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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Top Gear USA: Episode 5

Top Gear USA: Episode 5

We are going to start betting on the fact that Top Gear USA is going to be a household name by the time it wraps up its third season. The show is gaining fans all over and the naysayers of the show are starting to come around.

And why shouldn’t they? With the funny challenges, the decent reviews, and the big stars, Top Gear USA is building itself up rather nicely. Let’s just hope that the balloon doesn’t deflate before we can win our little bet.

In this week’s episode, the guys from Top Gear USA run a few old GM models through a series of challenges to see which one should reenter production, Tony Hawk takes the Subaru around the Top Gear USA test track, and the news segment comes around again.

UPDATE 12/21/2010: Check out Top Gear USA’s rendering of their 2011 Buick Roadmaster in the gallery!

Hit the jump to see all of the details for this week’s episode of Top Gear USA.

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Video: Pontiac Firebird involved in hellacious crash after catching air

Video: Pontiac Firebird involved in hellacious crash after catching air

Imagine cruising along a highway on a relatively peaceful day and, all of a sudden, a Pontiac Firebird blasts through on the left side, hits the guard rail, and gets sent straight up into the air before breaking into three pieces and disintegrating in a matter of seconds right before your very eyes.

Totally unbelievable, right? It also happened. Recently, in fact.

The scene was the I-675 highway in Ohio where a police cruiser was driving along with the in-car camera turned on. What happened next was a scene straight out a Michael Bay movie. A Pontiac Firebird driven by a 19-year old blasted past the cruiser and proceeded to do the launch and crash right in front of the flabbergasted police officer.

Miraculously, the driver of the Firebird survived the crash, but is in critical condition after being airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital. While we’re hoping that he fights his way back to recovery, we don’t know what on Earth this guy was doing when he decided to use the guard rail as an off-ramp.

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Man turns Pontiac Grand Am into the worst Batmobile ever

Man turns Pontiac Grand Am into the worst Batmobile ever

We thought we’d seen it all, and given the proliferation of Batmobile wannabees roaming the planet, we thought that we were safe from anything worse than what we’d already laid our eyes on. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Dead wrong.

Straight out of Ann Arbor, Michigan comes this old 1994 Pontiac Grand Am, which was regrettably turned into Bruce Wayne’s own four-wheeled machine of justice. After buying the dilapidated car for $100, the man only known as Gabe decided to do something bombastic with his new purchase. So he did what any self-respecting fan of the Dark Knight would do. He went out and turned it into his very own Batmobile.

It was tedious work, no doubt about it, but in the end, Gabe somehow managed to pull it of. Sort of.

Rest of the story after the jump

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Pontiac on its last legs in the US with supplies dwindling fast

Pontiac on its last legs in the US with supplies dwindling fast

Pontiac will shut down as soon as the calendar turns to 2010 so if you’re the sentimental type and would hate to see Pontiac ride off into the sunset, now’s the time to buy your own Pontiac before stocks run out.

According to Pontiac’s Twitter page, the car brand has a little over 3,600 units left in the US with the Pontiac G8 GXP having the most limited of supplies with only 16 remaining. Stocks of the Pontiac Solstice are also running low with only 139 of the base model still remaining and 160 of the higher-end Solstice GXP coupes available.

We normally wouldn’t advise anyone to purchase a car, but if you’re a Pontiac fan, now’s your last chance to buy your favorite car before, well, supplies go kapoot.

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Oldest running Pontiac to be displayed at the Fairfield Concours d' Elegance

Oldest running Pontiac to be displayed at the Fairfield Concours d’ Elegance

Pontiac is riding off into the sunset in 2010 so it seems fitting that fans of the disheveled American car brand is taking the time to celebrate its long and illustrious history as an American car pioneer.

Organizers of the Faifield County Concours d’Elegance held a recent promotion to find the oldest Pontiac they could find from the brand’s inaugural year in 1926 so they could proudly display it at the Concours.
After months of search – with a few missed leads here and there – the organizers found a magnificently-restored 1926 two-door coach in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

The car, which is co-owned by Roy and Paul Jaszczak, is still in pretty good shape, especially when you consider that it’s around 83 years old. Apart from replacing the valves and the obviously-outdated Lindbergh tires, the coach remains in tip-top condition.

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Bob Lutz takes back his comments on possible G8 rebirth

Bob Lutz takes back his comments on possible G8 rebirth

Maybe now Bob Lutz has learned a lesson about making promises he can’t keep. It wasn’t that long ago when the high-ranking GM official talked to Automobile Magazine and all but guaranteed that the Pontiac G8 would be spared from the chopping blocks and be re-christened as the Chevrolet Caprice.

Lutz’ declaration was met with raised eyebrows, especially those coming from GM CEO Fritz Henderson who previously said that the G8 – and all subsequent Pontiac models – would cease to exist by the end of the year. Turns out that Lutz may have bitten off more than he could chew and in a recent entry on GM’s blog took back his proclamations and said that upon further review, the supposed G8-turned-Caprice wouldn’t make too much sense given the unstable state of the US auto industry.

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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What could have been: The Pontiac G8 Sports Truck

What could have been: The Pontiac G8 Sports Truck

The sad demise of Pontiac is a true American tragedy, not just because the brand is associated with everything that is American, but because it could’ve been salvaged if it’s parent company, General Motors, was in a strong financial position.

Unfortunately, the economic crisis laid waste to the auto industry and obviously, there were some casualties, with Pontiac being one of them. It’s a pity because the brand was on the verge of coming out with a number of vehicles that could’ve easily been successful if there was just enough support given to them. One of the vehicles that Pontiac launched amid much fanfare was the G8 Sports Truck, which was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show.

Pontiac had stirred up excitement with a marketing program that asked consumers to name the future the Americanized version of the popular Holden Ute from GM Australia. The doomed automaker had a few fun offerings in the works, but just couldn’t get them into showrooms fast enough. What could have been had General Motors had more time and financial resources?

Continued after the jump.

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The Pontiac Solstice is the last of a dying breed

The Pontiac Solstice is the last of a dying breed

For those who know their American car history, they would know that the name ‘Pontiac’ is synonymous to ‘American original’.

For over 80 years, Pontiac has been responsible for producing some of the most iconic vehicles in the US, responsible for the likes of the Bonneville, the GTO, the Grand-Am, and the Firebird. But while Pontiac has enjoyed a remarkable run, spanning generations of Americans, the road has finally come to an end for Pontiac.

And as soon as the last production Pontiac vehicle - thePontiac Solstice – rolls out of the plant, Pontiac’s doors will now forever be closed.

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Pontiac G8 Exports Underway to USA

Pontiac G8 Exports Underway to USA

GM Holden added another vehicle to its growing export program today with the announcement that full production of the Pontiac G8 for the US market was now underway. The introduction of the Pontiac G8 represents a significant milestone for GM Holden as it brings the mix of vehicles produced at the Elizabeth manufacturing plant in Adelaide to a 50-50 split of export and domestic production.

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Is Holden Rebadged-Pontiac G8 the Future Answer to European Muscle?

Is Holden Rebadged-Pontiac G8 the Future Answer to European Muscle?

As you know, Pontiac has gone down under for their next sport sedan and picked up the Aussie icon Holden Commodore- a smart move indeed. But where does the future lie for this Aussie rebated sedan in our beloved United States?
Take a trip down over to the United Kingdom and drivers are going to be treated with the Vauxhall VXR8(a rebadged Holden HSV Clubsport R8,) , which boasts a breathtaking 6.0 liter 420 bhp V8 powered engine. This is enough power to bring the Holden Commodore VXR8 from 0-60 faster than an Australian can drink a Victoria Bitter Beer- under 4.9 seconds. Top speed is yet to be released but there is no doubt this car is capable of pushing over 170 mph with the speed limiter removed.

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Holden confirm G8 export

Holden confirm G8 export

Holden confirmed North America as the VE Commodore’s first port of call on an export world tour that will include the Middle East, South Africa and China, first revealed by drive.com.au yesterday.
Holden boss Denny Mooney announced North American export plans for the Australian-made VE Commodore as part of a deal with General Motors’ Pontiac brand that is said to be worth as much as $1 billion annually to Australia’s largest automotive manufacturer.
The export vehicle will be built in (...)

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Pontiac and Virgin Mega stores form partnership.

Pontiac and Virgin Mega stores form partnership.

Pontiac to sell mechandise in Virgin Megastores

A partnership between Pontiac and Virgin Megastores will present a different form of marketing strategy for both companies.

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