Car and Driver really raised its profile (and notoriety) with its comparison of a Pontiac GTO against a Ferrari GTO. The Pontiac was insanely fast, thanks to lots of prepping by Royal Pontiac. That outfit might as well have been called Scuderia Pontiac, as it was well known that any and every speed secret the Pontiac engineers knew was passed on to Royal Pontiac.
That comparison created massive eye-rolling and an avalanche of mail, but it undoubtedly goosed C&D’s subscriptions and newsstand sales. And of course C&D was ready to do it again, this time with two larger cars; the Pontiac Catalina 2+2 and the Ferrari 330 GT/2+2. And yes, the mechanics from Royal Oak were there to make sure that race car driver Walt Hansgen was able to squeeze the maximum out of the Pontiac, as in a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 13.8 @106 mph. That’s as good or better than a significantly lighter hemi Coronet or Belvedere. But who cares? C&D was for entertainment, not facts.
Those wheels on the Pontiac look suspiciously wider than stock to me.
(If the Pontiac were a woman:) “The Pontiac would have an enormous bosom and the pretty-but-empty face of an airline stewardess. She’d be earnest but uninspired in both kitchen and boudoir, and your friends would think you were the luckiest guy in town”.
“The Pontiac’s best quarter-mile was 106 mph in 13.8o seconds—plenty spectacular for us, but the cause of some headshaking and excuse making from the Royal mechanics, who’d wanted us to use a 4:11 ratio and slick tires.”