Absolutely Original: 1971 Pontiac Ventura II

This 1971 Pontiac Ventura II is an unassuming looking vehicle, but it is a really original car that would seem to need very little work to return it to its best. It has some minor rust issues, but with those addressed, this could be quite an engaging car to own and drive. Located in Bedford, Ohio, the Pontiac is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Ventura has reached $5,999, but the reserve hasn’t been met at this point.

While extrovert styling, brute muscle, or mechanical sophistication are very attractive characteristics to find in a classic car, there really is something to be said for these more basic vehicles when searching the market to find something to park in your garage or driveway. Cardinal Red is a nice color, and it suits this car very well. However, these more basic models generated less and less excitement as years passed, and that is why so many good cars eventually (and needlessly) found their way to the crusher when they were less than 10-years-old. Thankfully, that fate hasn’t befallen this car, and someone is set to benefit from that. The paint itself actually doesn’t look bad, although there are a few dings and dents present. The owner does state that these should be able to be removed by one of those paintless dent removal companies, but I have the feeling that he might be a touch optimistic with a couple of them. Rust is not a huge issue, with some visible in the lower body areas such as the bottoms of the fenders. The owner provides no information on the state of the Pontiac’s underside, but since he does place an emphasis on the rust that I’ve already mentioned, that would seem to suggest that things might be fairly clean under the car. The exterior trim and chrome are in really good condition, so everything to this point would tend to suggest that some minor dent and rust repairs and a fresh coat of paint should return the Ventura to its best.

The cheap-and-cheerful theme continues inside the Ventura, and I’m really glad to see that no-one has taken an opportunity at any point over the past 48-years to change the interior in any way. There are no aftermarket additions, and the Sandalwood Cloth trim on the seats is in near perfect condition. The same can be said of the door trims and dash, while the condition of the original rubber floor-mat is nothing short of amazing. The color of the mat leaves it wide open to becoming dirty and stained as the years pass. However, this one looks in extremely impressive condition for its age. It isn’t perfect, but then very few floor coveings tend to be after 48-years under-foot. Throwing a carpet set in the car would have been a fairly cheap and easy option to follow in a bid to make the interior feel more luxurious, and it would have had a profound impact on the appearance of the interior. Leaving it original has been the right move, and if you doubt that, just consider how many Venturas you have seen in recent years with a basic interior as nice as this one is. What this car has is a point of difference, and that is worth preserving. When it comes to comfort and luxury, beyond the cloth seat trim, you get a cigar lighter, and a push-button AM radio.

When you pop the hood, you find that the original owner may not have been willing to splash his cash on luxury items, but he was happy to have a decent piece of iron powering his Pontiac. What we get here is a 307ci V8, producing 200hp. Backing that is a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, while power steering would make light work of the twisty stuff. Not only is this a numbers-matching car, but it is said to run and drive nicely. It wears good tires, and the owner is including the original Bill of Sale, Owner’s Manual, and a partial Window Sticker with the car.

I really like this Ventura II. I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that it is unsophisticated basic transport that has managed to survive in an unmolested state for the past 48-years. It doesn’t have the brute horsepower of a muscle car, nor does it have the elegance and equipment of a luxury car. It is good, basic transport that has retained its originality. You don’t see that with many similar cars from this era, and to my way of thinking, that makes it a great project car to own and enjoy.


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  1. Boatman Member

    I don’t get the PCV hose and another vacuum hose going over to the inner fender. Any thoughts?

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      Its probably going to a charcoal canister.

      Steve R

      Like 5
    • Dave

      The PCV is on the right side valvecover. The hose coming out of the left must be a remote breather (guessing) to keep the oil off the motor.

  2. local_sheriff

    Not the biggest fan of this body style however I find this one appealing indeed. Such an unmolested example – it’s a sleeper already!

    If I were to do anything about it the 307 would make way for a spiffier SB – how about building a z/28 inspired crossram 302…? Apart from some highly recommended improvements in the suspension and brake departments I would leave it just as it sits – there’s something about cheap-skate sleepers

    Like 5
  3. Todd Fitch Staff

    I used to cut grass for an elderly woman with the all-green version of this car. She had me back it out of the tiny garage so I could get her mower out, and it had 17,000 miles and change on it in the early ’80s. It was the straight six, though, or I’d have really been drooling.

    Like 4
    • Shedworld

      Pontiac had available a belt driven overhead cam inline 6 back then that was a very good performer. Sprint versions even had a 4 bbl carb. That 6 cyl was better than Chevy’s 230/250.

  4. Will Fox

    Pure and simple; a very nice example of the “other” Nova that Pontiac sold! You don’t see these in any condition anymore; most succumbed to the tin worm. I’d patch the small rust spots, make sure it’s mechanically sound, and use it as my “driveable collector car”. Bidding is at $6K and reserve not met yet? Hope it isn’t too high.

    Like 2
  5. redwagon

    $7,000 and the reserve is not met. Pass.

    Like 2
  6. Mikey8

    Makes me think of Roy Scheider slamming into the back of that tractor trailer. Or was that a Buick :-)

    Like 3
    • Gransedan

      That’s a powerful image from the movie “The Seven Ups”. Scheider is driving a ’73 Ascot Silver Ventura with factory baby moon caps. I believe that the bad guys were in a ’73 Grand Ville four door.

      Like 3
  7. Comet

    Comparable Nova prices are through the roof. This car has Nova bones. It’s begging for a BBC and four speed! What a fun project.

    Like 2
  8. JoeNYWF64

    This may have been the 1st year a non Canadian GM car got a V8 from another division!
    Odd pontiac waited till next model year to offer their 350 v8.

    Like 1
  9. lc

    Unique and Stylish! would make a great Ventura Ram Air IV in sheep’s clothing –

    Like 2
  10. Del

    Neat unmolested car.

    Hagerty says 8500 dollar car.

    Nice to see a V8 in one.

    Well worth buying if reserve not ridiculous

    Like 3
  11. Tort Member

    My favorite style of ” Nova’s” are the 66 and 67’s but these have grown on me and have come to like them. Being a Pontiac in this case makes it more appealing because its rarity over the Chevys. Nice car and would be a great sleeper with performance upgrades.

    Like 1
  12. drdata

    It amazes me how some of the cars many of us considered less worthy of ownership 40 years ago are now sought after classics

    Like 2
  13. Bhowe Member

    Absolutely love these untouched basic non special edition vehicles that have somehow survived.

    Like 3
  14. PatrickM

    I agree with most of the comments. But, I would also like to have power steering. It makes a huge difference….for me. Nice car. If only I had the…well, you know.

  15. ctmphrs

    It’s got power steering.

    Like 1
  16. jerry z

    I like this car since it already has a Chevy engine! Less BS involved when swapping for a 350 and install a 4L60E with 3.73 posi and have fun!

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