Pontiac club magazine salutes options and odd ducks
A square peg in a round hole:Maybe you have seen cars like this at a car show. Those vehicles stick out from the main for reasons that set them apart visually. Mike Noun mentions this in his article “Pontiac Odd Ducks” appearing in the January 2019 issue of Smoke Signals (Pontiac-Oakland Club International, P.O. Box 421, Long Lake, Minn., 55356; editor, Tim Dye).
“Who would have ordered a Goldenrod Yellow 1969 Firebird 400 withgreen convertible top and green interior?” He wondered. After some checking, he discovered it truly WAS an optional factory combo. He further discovered there were 33 options on this particular car, from Ram Air IV engine to folding rear seat.
Why have special features? Individualism, for one. Ownership of something unique, for another. Eccentricities?Perhaps, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that! Noun adds that the color green was typical of interior color usage for houses back then. I’ll add that early color TV programs in the 1960s most always seem to show green in each scene. If you knew the set of “Bonanza” had a green area, you knew your set needed manual adjustment when it showed that area as blue. Green had its place in the 1960s and 1970s. Yellow cars with green interiors were common in the ’50s as well.
Noun’s many points are well taken. He lists a variety of options and combinations that pleased the imagination of nearly every new-car buyer, especially in the 1960s and later. “Unless it was a pink with purple roof and a blue interior, the plant would usually accept the order, no questions asked, as long as the required two-tone paint option price ($40 or so) was paid.” One such example was Carousel Red, which was not ordinarily offered for the 1969 Grand Prix “but a buyer could request it and pay a hefty $115.85 premium.”
The article sallies forth to show and explain seven well-packed pages of unusually optioned Pontiacs. Past the era of custom-designed “one-off” cars, options usually made mass produced cars stand out. Example: One 1963 Bonneville Custom Safari carried 40 options and a sticker price of more than $6,200. In comparison, a mere $5,590 could have bought a 1963 Cadillac 62 convertible.
Noun’s article is a standout and well worth preserving for future reference!