Minor updates 11/20/99 I have always been interested in cars, and particularly powerful cars. However, I completed high school and college with cars powered by six cylinder engines. Although this was easier on the pocket book, and more practical, it was tough on the ego. As my January '64 graduation from college approached reality, my fianc»e and I began window shopping for cars. I was settling on a 427 fast back '63 Ford until I was spectating at the drag strip in San Fernando where I saw something I really liked. In the parking lot was a new silver two door hardtop that looked great. The problem was I couldn't figure what a GTO was (the only place that Pontiac is indicated is on the gas door). Within a few weeks the famous articles on the GTO started appearing. Not only did the car look nice but it also had good performance, and now I knew where to go to see it, and take a test ride. I ordered the car from A. E. England Pontiac in Hollywood where I got a no hassle price of $3236, $3416 out the door. The car was ordered about the first week in February, and my wedding was going to be on April 4. The stated lead time was 8-9 weeks. I wasn't too keen on driving my '52 Ford on my honeymoon. Fortunately the car came in a little early and I picked it up on March 28. Now my only problem was not getting it decorated (read that sabotaged) by my friends. Fortunately our reception was at a ranch that had a barn. I negotiated with the manager to have the car locked up in the barn so no one could touch it. At the end of he reception the new bride and groom took off for Santa Barbara and Monterey in their new muscle car. Incidentally, I still have the same bride and the same car, and both have improved with age. The car originally came equipped as follows: 4 speed with center console, tri-power, 3.23:1 posi Heavy duty suspension Courtesy lights, back-up lights Tachometer Custom wheel disks (spinners) After the car was a about a year old I started taking it to the drag strips. First I had just the stock UniRoyal Red Line tires. Getting traction with these tires was a joke. At San Fernando it ran 14.90 at about 96 MPH. Then I borrowed someone's cheater slicks and ran about 14.30 at 98+. About this time I moved to be closer to my work, and I ended up close to the Long Beach drag strip, AKA Lions or LADS. By then I replaced the stock tires with cheater slicks and ran 13.90 and 101.01. The performance improvement was primarily the better air at Lions. The car had absolutely no modifications except the cheater slicks, removing the hubcaps, and cutouts bypassing the stock exhaust system and mufflers. For the first eight years I couldn't afford to do much to it because of both money and the car was still the "reliable" family car. I did do a valve job, cam and carburetion change and I succeeded in slowing it down by about 0.4 seconds and 3 MPH. In 1970 my job moved to San Diego where I soon met a Pontiac aficionado who helped me understand Pontiacs better. Since that time the car has migrated from being the family car to a very high performance street machine. The last time it was at the drag strip it ran the quarter mile in 10.80 seconds at 129.31 MPH. That is a big leap, but it was done in reasonably small steps. In the future I will post a progression of the major changes I made over time, and the performance impacts they had. Additional details and history can be found on Bill Boyle's web page, http://www.boyleworks.com/ta400/musclecar.html

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