Cohort poster Chris shot this very pristine 1975 Ventura Sprint in Palm Springs. It was not exactly a very common car in its time, and now it’s quite a find. The Sprint option package, available from 1971 through 1975, was one of so many mostly tape-based packages designed to spiff up what would otherwise be just another economy car. In addition to the tape, there were the Rally II wheels, a choice of bench or bucket seats, and a floor shifter for the standard three-speed manual. Sadly, there was no OHC Sprint six under the hood.
Befitting its Nova origins, standard power was the Chevy 250 CID six, rated at 105 net hp when this ’75 model was built. That year the Olds 260 V8, packing all of 110 hp was the first step-up option. The Pontiac 350 (5.7 L) V8, in either 145 or 165 hp versions, was the only way to make the Sprint live up to its name.
In 1974 only, the Ventura pretended to be a GTO. Despite it being a reasonably brisk car for that year, with its 200 hp Pontiac 350 and shaker hood, it just wasn’t worthy of that storied name, and was given the hook.
The 1975 was substantially revised, with a completely new front end suspension borrowed from the F-Body Camaro and Firebird. Essentially, these were F-Body sedans. That made these X-Bodies, especially with the optional F41 suspension or whatever Pontiac called it the best handling cars of their class, by a healthy margin. Ford may have had the right recipe for massive sales success with its Granada and Monarch, but the difference in handling was day and night. We can only speculate what a four-barrel Sprint OHC six backed by a five-speed transmission would have been like in one of these.
More: 1967 Firebird Sprint