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1964 Pontiac Firebird Banshee Concept

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1964 Pontiac Firebird Banshee Concept

Post by 69_RAG_TOP on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:05 pm

This is the 1964 Ponitac Banshee concept car. John DeLorean, then head of Pontiac, championed this car which was apparently shot down by GM brass because they were afraid it would take too much market share from the Corvette. Ya think?

Back in GM’s glory days, when John Zachary Delorean assumed the mantle of General Manager at Pontiac Motor Division, the flamboyant engineer had begun work on his own pet sports car project – the XP-833 – designed as an affordable two-seater alternative to the Corvette. Running prototypes were built and the futuristic Banshee almost made it into production, GM pulling the plug at the eleventh hour, just prior to the 1964 New York Auto Show. Though the Banshee never made it to market, Pontiac’s pony car, the 1967 Firebird, adopted elements of the Banshee, as did the “wasp waisted” 1968 Corvette.

In an unusual turn for an experimental car, both Banshee prototypes survived the crusher, winding up in the hands of GM employees and subsequently private collectors. One is currently owned by famed GM dream car collector Joe Bortz, while this, the other, has emerged from the shadows. In what ranks as one of the most highly publicized online auctions of the year, the car is up for grabs on eBay; presenting the chance of a lifetime for one lucky bidder. This particular car, once owned by Bill Killen, is a fully functioning and drivable machine, but one that displays just 1,498 miles on the odometer.

In 1964 Pontiac unveiled their newest concept car, which they dubbed the Banshee. During its development it was called the XP-833 project. This car was a small two-seater with a long, sweeping hood and a short rear deck. Several different versions were constructed, but only two drivable prototypes were ever built. One was a silver hard-top with a inline six engine and the other is a white convertible with a V8. Both survive today and are in the hands of private collectors. The silver hardtop version of the Banshee can be seen in the classic car section of Napoli Indoor Auto, In Milford, CT

The styling on these cars is highly reminiscent of what appeared on third-generation Corvettes in 1968. Another styling cue that made production was the design of the tail lights, which are nearly identical to that found on second-generation Pontiac Firebirds. Indeed, the high performance and sensuous styling of the Banshee may have led to its demise. Head of Pontiac John DeLorean called this car the "Mustang Fighter" and rumor has it he fully intended to bring it to production. However, his bosses at GM felt that it would be a threat to the Chevrolet Corvette in that it would steal sales from the Corvette and also that (if DeLorean had his way) it could out-perform the Corvette as well.

This did not sit well with GM execs who had marketed the Corvette as their top performer; even today, recent models such as the Camaro and Firebird - even though using the same engine as Corvette - have those engines de-tuned slightly so they will not have as high a horsepower rating as a Corvette. The Banshee would have had equivalent horsepower, yet weighed 500 lb (227 kg) less than the Corvette and so would have been a potent package. It was able to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in second gear. GM executives instructed DeLorean to cease further development in 1966.

source eBay, Wikipedia and and richard owens

Get your motor runnin'. Head out on the highway Lookin' for adventure. And whatever comes our way. 1978 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, W72 Engine. bored .030 over Coded WC, 4-speed, Forged rods, pistons, 6X Heads Hays performance clutch, Flowmaster 40 Series 3" stainless dual exhaust, Hooker super competition, Ceramic coated long tube headers, 4 core HD radiator, Edelbrock Performer Series Carb
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