Cohort Classic: 1970 Pontiac Le Mans Sport – The Insurance Special

Perhaps the single biggest factor in the death of the golden era of muscle cars was the explosive rise of insurance rates for anything deemed to fall into that evil category. That helps to explain cars like this hood-scooped Le Mans Sport: Someone got cold feet when they found out what it would take to insure that GTO apple of their eye.

The bright orange color and styled road wheels (what did Pontiac call theirs?) all scream GTO, but under the hood there’s probably a 350 two-barrel, or even a Chevy 250 cu in six. Unless one was well-heeled, the heady days were indeed drawing to a close as insurance premiums for certain models sometimes exceeded the monthly car payment.

BigOldChryslers shot this one in Toronto, so excuse my ignorance: Since the big Pontiacs used Chevy engines, why didn’t the Le Mans and GTO (except six-cylinder versions)? Were they imported from the U.S., unlike the big cars?