Australian For Bowtie
As the year of 1972 was drawing to a close, my father had finally saved up enough money to buy himself his first new car, and his heart was set on a Chevrolet Chevelle SS. And no wonder – the midsize Chevy Super Sport had earned a reputation for performance with rugged good looks to match. Its twin stripes and domed hood hid a 402-cubic-inch V8 engine (though Chevy still called it a 396, owing to that mill's muscle car heritage), and, though down on power from the horsepower heyday of 1970, it sent tons of American grunt to the rear wheels in the very best tire-melting fashion.
Then 1973 rolled around, and General Motors
completely remade its midsize offerings, eschewing the chiseled good looks of past models for what many, including my father, thought was a bloated, squared-off design that didn't look very muscular. Good old Dad did the right thing – he bought a '73 Firebird, and thus became a Pontiac
man for life. And that's how my family grew up with a long slew of Pontiac machinery that included a Grand Prix or three, several Trans Am models and a barn full of GTO convertibles in various states of repair and disrepair.
While the Pontiac nameplate has since ascended to the great automotive graveyard in the sky
, there's a direct link between the old Chevelle of yesteryear through the last Pontiac GTO and its spiritual successor, the G8
, and the brand-spankin'-new 2014 Chevy SS
that is today's subject du jour
. And, somewhat surprisingly, that link has long since left North America, diverting its way through Australia instead. Allow us to explain.