Contrary to the old adage, "It ain't easy being green," we have a group of Pontiacs in this shootout at Norwalk Raceway Park who prove green is the color of quick. All four Ponchos wear that envious hue in one form or another, and though one is Teal Turquoise, we say close enough. What's even more surprising is that none of these machines is Verdoro Green, which is quite possibly Pontiac's most popular rendition of this color.
Of course, green is also the color of money, and as you may know if you've ever raced a Pontiac, it can take plenty of greenbacks to go fast as well. Just who in the hobby decided that green is the color of choice with potent race cars and street cars? While the factory decided for a few of our participants, beneath the verdant shade lies powertrain combinations that are truly the brainchilds of their owners. So let's get to the introductions.
Rick and Walter Lucas from Columbia Station, Ohio, came to play with their Forest Green '79 Trans Am. Featuring a worked 455, a Turbo 400, and a 3.73 rear, the duo is hunting for low 11-second timeslips. But what will it take to get there?
Rick Holladay of Virginia Beach, Virginia, rolled into Norwalk with his heavy Teal Turquoise '65 GTO convertible. Though it first appears to be a nice cruiser, the 0.060-over Tri-Powered 421 under the hood reveals other intentions. Add in a slick-shifted M22, 3.73 gears, and its ex-Pro-Stock driver/owner at the controls, and this Goat is sure to raise some eyebrows with its performance.
Larry Vartanian of Westland, Michigan, arrived with his '71 Grand Prix, replete with Laurentian Green paint and green pearl flames. Outfitted with a 0.060-over 455 he built himself, the potent plant is backed by a Turbo 400 and a deep 4.10 rear to get the heavy GP up and moving, hopefully to the tune of 11-second timeslips.
Michael Leech of Howell, Michigan, came to race with a serious 488-cubed IA II block-equipped '68 Firebird sporting its original and rarely seen color of Nightshade Green. Capable of low 9-second passes, thanks to its stout engine, a 3,240 race weight, a built Turbo 400, and 4.10 gears, will the spry Bird put down the numbers on this hot day?
Speaking of hot, it reached 92 degrees during the shootout, and relative humidity was 47 percent. Effective elevation was 3,900 feet, so a correction factor of 0.9523 for e.t.'s and 1.0507 for trap speed is employed. Check the Strip Tuning Log for the correction on the best pass only (based on e.t.'s). If you want to convert the other runs, multiply the e.t. or mph by its factor.
How will Norwalk Raceway Park's normally excellent starting line hold up under the wilting weather? Well, now that the niceties are out of the way, let's find out!