Driving our Pontiacs may be the closest we ever come to time travel. When locked away in the cozy cocoon of our favorite ride while blasting down a back road, we can feel like it is 1965 again—or 1978, or whichever year you prefer.
Short of actually taking your baby for a spin, HPP can also offer a version of time travel, and you can do it without ever leaving your favorite chair, by reading stories that take you back to what we perceive to be simpler times. This is done not only through HPP feature stories on your favorite privately owned Pontiacs, but also through historical perspectives that are paired with vintage photography and sometimes a vintage road test. This month we are fortunate enough to be able to combine those three elements in a story that will transport you back to the mid-’60s.
Pontiac Advanced Design Engineer Herb Adams needs no introduction to HPP readers. His exploits at the Division, on the racetrack, and after he left GM have been covered in HPP on various occasions. This month as part of a multi-installment article called “Transcendent American Supercar,” he will provide insider information on how the ’69 Trans Am was born. That story can only begin with the Pontiac Firebird Sprint Turismo aka PFST.
Since HPP is owned by Source Interlink Media, the same company that owns Motor Trend, we have access and permission to include a reprint of the road test of said Pontiac that ran in the MT’s July ’67 issue. Not only does it provide the elements desired for instant time travel, but your narrator is Adams, one of the engineers who built the car, and he drove it for Motor Trend’s cameras.
What would be the best complement to a story like this? How about a significant cache of additional photos, which were never published with that Motor Trend story? In fact, some of these photos were most likely never published in any other magazine back in the day.
Driving your Pontiac and/or immersing yourself in the reading of Pontiac stories are great ways to break away from the pressures of everyday life
Thanks to the efforts of Thomas Voehringer and other members of the Source Interlink Media Archives, a substantial amount of the photography from various publications that Source now owns has been made accessible to the current Source magazine editors. Diligent searching through this archive by the HPP staff has resulted in the additional photos that accompany the story, and they are really cool images. (An interesting aside to the Motor Trend PFST test is that the lead photo in it isn’t of the PFST. It’s a ’67 OHC-6 Firebird Sprint, which Motor Trend also drove during the trip to Michigan.)
If your tastes gravitate more toward other Pontiac models, there’s still the opportunity for time travel in your immediate future. Simply check out the other feature stories in this issue—you can land in 1979 in a Solar Gold one-owner T/A, or 2002 in a GMMG/Carl Black 35th Anniversary Edition Fourth-Gen. You can even visit the recent past to see how show participants fared at the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals in 2012, or how our HPP Pavement Pounders Shootout contestants ran the day before that event.
If you own a Pontiac that is road-ready, all the better. This issue nearly coincides with the arrival of spring, and if you live in the colder climates, you’re probably itching to awaken your Pontiac from a long winter’s slumber—especially after the harsh season we just had. So wake up your Pontiac, clean it, inspect every inch of it for proper and safe operation, tune it, and take a test drive back to your favorite year, as you watch the flora and fauna zip past the windows at ever increasing legal speed.
Though time is moving ever forward, it’s more fun for us Pontiac owners to move backward when we can. Driving your Pontiac and/or immersing yourself in the reading of Pontiac stories are great ways to break away from the pressures of everyday life. I guess Pontiac already realized that in 1969 when the ad men came up with the “Breakaway Squad” to help us all “breakaway from the hum-drum and into a Wide-Track.” Little did they know that concept would take on even greater importance 44 years later.