Although Pontiac went out of business permanently in 2010, one can’t help but wonder what it would be like to witness upgraded versions of these muscle cars. It’s been nearly thirteen years since General Motors shut down the Pontiac division, and there doesn’t appear to be any way for the Detroit behemoth to replace the enormous gap left in its absence.
Top 10 Pontiac V8 Cars
Pontiac was not alone in their early end, as GM also decided to discontinue Saturn and Hummer in 2010. With the latter, which is presently undergoing a revival, one can’t help but wonder what it would be like to witness updated renditions of Pontiac’s tire-shredding muscle cars from yesteryear. Here’s a list of the top 10 Pontiac V8 Cars:
10. 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP
Modern rear-wheel drive muscle car based on the Australian Holden Commodore, the 2008 Pontiac G8 was derived from the Holden Commodore. The G8’s performance, design, and ability to accommodate up to five passengers in comfort at remarkable velocities earned it well-deserved acclaim.
In 2009, the G8 GTX was introduced with a 415-horsepower LS3 V8 engine, making it the most potent iteration of the vehicle. Despite robust sales, the G8 could not endure the demise of the Pontiac brand.
9. 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am
The 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am allowed drivers to relive the halcyon years of the GTO, despite being produced during a time when automakers shifted toward fuel-efficient vehicles.
Despite its W72 400-cubic-inch V8, the Can-Am was unable to rival the performance of the finest muscle vehicles from previous decades, but it still provided thrills. The brief history of the Can-Am came to an end when the rear spoiler mold fractured during production, after manufacturing only 1377 vehicles.
8. 2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6
The 2002 Trans Am WS6 marked the conclusion of Pontiac’s legendary muscle car lineage. After the movie Smokey and the Bandit enhanced sales, the WS6 performance package became an option.
Compared to base models, the 2002 Trans Am WS6’s small block 5.7-liter LS1 V8 engine that produced 325 horsepower was an enhancement.
7. Pontiac GT-37, 1971
Pontiac introduced the GT-37 in 1970, a high-performance variant of the budget-friendly T-37 that gained the moniker “sleeper muscle car.”
Despite lacking the styling characteristics of the GTO Judge, the GT-37 nevertheless packed a punch with an optional V8 engine option capable of producing over 335 horsepower, winning drag and street races over unsuspecting competitors.
6. 1969 Pontiac Trans Am
The Trans Am, named after the North American sports car racing circuit, debuted in 1969 as one of the most powerful Pontiac models and package choices for the Firebird.
Inspired by European sports cars of the time, John DeLorean built the Trans Am to have a handling advantage over its muscle car opponents. The original Trans Am came standard with a 400 cubic inch L74 Ram Air III engine producing 335 horsepower.
5. Pontiac Firebird 400, 1967
The Pontiac Firebird debuted in 1967 with five trim levels, giving drivers a variety of options for upgrades and personalization.
The 400 model was the king of the Firebirds, appealing to those seeking top-of-the-line performance, with a V8 engine capable of delivering 325 horsepower, with incremental updates in 1968.
4. Pontiac Catalina 2+2 1965
While mid-sized performance vehicles grew more popular in the following years, the 1965 Pontiac Catalina was a full-sized automobile that reigned supreme in the 1960s heavyweight muscle car class.
Fortunately, the Catalina’s most powerful engine, the HO Tri-Power 421 cu in V8, produced an astonishing 376 horsepower, pushing the 2+2 along highways at speeds of up to 125 mph.
3. 1977 Pontiac Trans Am
The 1977 Pontiac Trans Am attributes much of its iconic status to its prominent role in the Burt Reynolds film Smokey and the Bandit. Despite its modest 200-horsepower maximal output, the Firebird remained a best-seller during an era of underpowered muscle vehicles.
The Bandit add-on package, which cost between $550 and $1,150, included gold accents to match the black exterior, as well as a gold-accented interior with a gold steering wheel and dashboard.
2. 1964 Pontiac GTO
Before the 1964 introduction of the GTO, Pontiac’s motorsport prowess was well-established. However, with the introduction of the GTO, Pontiac cemented its position in history as the manufacturer of the first American muscle car, which was initially offered as an option for the Pontiac LeMans.
Equipped with a V8 engine that produced up to 348 horsepower when combined with Pontiac’s tri-power carburetor, the 1964 GTO introduced racetrack performance to American highways and sparked years of fierce competition between muscle car manufacturers.
1. 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
During the golden period of muscle cars in the mid-1960s, Pontiac was constrained to enhance the GTO to compete with Ford and General Motors. Few of Pontiac’s older muscle vehicles can compete with the 1969 GTO Judge in terms of appearance and performance.
The GTO Judge featured essential “The Judge” decals and stripes, as well as a 370-horsepower Ram Air IV V8 engine that exceeded 400 horsepower in some road tests.
Despite the prominence of the 1969 GTO Judge, sales of the GTO continued to decline, and by 1971, the GTO no longer existed as a separate nameplate. The Judge remains one of the most sought-after used cars on the market today. However, it is also one of the rarest Pontiac vehicles and typically sells for at least $75,000.