1971 Pontiac Ventura II Coupe Is a Beautiful Sleeper, Full of Surprises Too

The Pontiac Ventura II was built between 1971 and 1977 as a sister model to the Chevrolet Nova. Unlike the first Pontiac Ventura, this one was more successful. We found a great-looking Ventura II for sale at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona, and it also hides some interesting secrets.

The Ventura nameplate had a relatively short and troubled life. It started back in 1960, with the Pontiac Ventura built on top of GM’s B-body full-sized platform, only to be reduced to a trim name two years later for the Pontiac Catalina.

In 1965 it was completely retired and reappeared briefly in 1970, again as a custom trim option for the Catalina. But its second life that started in 1971 was more promising, the nameplate being used for the Pontiac version of the Chevrolet Nova.

Unlike the original Ventura, which was a full-size car, the Ventura II was a compact model built on top of GM’s new semi-unibody rear-wheel-drive X-body platform. The engine choice wasn’t great in the first year, with either a 250 cubic-inch (4.1 liters) six-cylinder engine or a 307 cubic-inch (5.0 liters) Small Block V8 (in the sportier Sprint trim) available.

The example for sale at Mecum began a modest life as the economy trim level, but it gained a powerful 4.8-liter (293 cu-in) LS V8 at some point in life. Not only that but it was also boosted by a Holley Sniper electronic fuel injection system combined with other tuning bits that pushed the power to a respectable 305 horsepower. The transmission was also replaced with a trusty 4L80 four-speed automatic. As it needed more stopping power, this Ventura II got Leed disc brakes in all corners.

Even though the performance has been spiced up quite a bit, the car has kept its stock look, so it’s a proper sleeper. At the exterior, you’ll be amazed by how good the radiant green metallic paint looks, although this car is more than just looks. Inside, everything is largely original, although the stock gauges have been replaced by Dakota Digital VHX gauges.

This beautiful Ventura II will cross the auction block on March 18 at the Mecum auction event in Glendale, Arizona. We don’t know how much it will fetch, but we expect a six-figure amount, even though the car is being sold with no reserve. 

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