It is somewhat ironic that less than a week after I posted about how rare it was to see 1970s GM intermediate cars in Australia, that I saw this 1973 Pontiac. Identifying the car threw me a bit, because of the “Luxury LeMans GTO” badging on the front fender. Wait a minute…there was never a four door GTO, right? The GTO package was available in 1973 on either the base LeMans coupe or the LeMans Sport Coupe, but certainly not on the LeMans Luxury four door sedan. Someone’s messing with our heads here. But since only some 9,377 of these were made in 1973, it is still something of a rarity.
I’m not sure whether it had the 350 V8 or one of the optional 400s, but either way performance should be ample and fuel economy… shall we say, is suitable for hobby car usage? In front of the Pontiac is a well-preserved 1975-ish Toyota Crown, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 1979-81 Ford Fairlane ZJ model.
My grandmother used to own a metallic brown Fairlane of this model, with the unique-to-Australia 302 Cleveland V8. I would assume this one also has a V8 (302 or 351) rather than the 4.1-litre crossflow six, but the layout of the plastic fuel tank means that it is difficult to fit dual exhaust pipes, so no clues available there.
The Chev was imported about half a dozen years ago, and usually wears the original wheels and trims with crossply tyres but the owner recently got this set of Cragars with radials for longer drives; it makes quite a difference.
To make up for this find being a bit of a cheat, at a car club outing, here are a few of the other cars present as a bonus: an E-Type Jag and Datsun 260Z 2+2 (in front of a steam roller, the site hosts a steam rally each year).
A 1938 Pontiac 6 sedan;
A 1954 Ford Crestline and a 1964 Thunderbird;
And finally a 1980s pairing of Mitsubishi Scorpion and Toyota Celica (with a Rover 3-litre Coupe ahead of them).