Extraordinarily Ordinary: 1973 Pontiac Ventura

This 1973 Pontiac Ventura Custom is extraordinary simply because it’s ordinary. And by “ordinary”, I mean it’s not modified, it’s still wearing most of it’s original paint, and the interior is what it left the factory with. This clean survivor is located in Maartensdijk, Netherlands (I wonder how it got there?) and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding has risen to just over $4,000 but has not yet met the reserve.

As you can tell from this picture, two sets of wheel covers come with the car, including this original set. The only repainted portion is said to be one rear quarter panel. The ad states that the car has always been garaged, and I can believe it from the pictures. If you are wondering about repatriating this Pontiac, it does come with a clear US title.

By 1973, the Ventura nameplate was on Pontiac’s version of the Chevrolet Nova. Versions ranged all the way from economy specifications to the Ventura Sprint and in 1974, the fabled GTO moniker. As a Custom model, this one did not have the performance features of the Sprint. While you are looking at this picture, the seller does point out that the rear bumper, while shiny, has a dent.

While the interior is plain, apart from a few rips it looks pretty nice. I’m wondering how close you could get with a vinyl match to just replace the damaged panels? I’ve done that before on a Peugeot 505 with some success (how many strange cars has Jamie owned? A lot…) but I can imagine aged white vinyl will be hard to match.

Apart from the spliced leads around the alternator, this looks incredibly stock under here. This is a 350 V8, and at this point it was still a Pontiac V8, if that matters to you. We aren’t told if the air conditioning works or not, but the brake master cylinder is said to be new (evidently they reused the old cap) and apart from the gas gauge not working, the car appears ready to drive anywhere. Anyone for a European vacation and bringing a car back?


  1. bill

    “This clean survivor is located in Maartensdijk, Netherlands (I wonder how it got there?) ”

    Umm.. probably they put it on a boat and floated it to there…

    Like 1
  2. Al

    Could be Ex-Serviceman

    Like 1
  3. Sukey

    Did anyone notice the fire fighters association sticker in the back window ?
    Perhaps it belonged to an American armed forces fire fighter ?

  4. Sukey

    The ultimate sleeper
    Yank the engine
    Replace with new Ls engine
    Surprise everyone who thought they had a fast car
    Only on the track though
    As only fools race on the street

    • bil

      “Replace with new Ls engine”
      generic response there
      id thumb it down but I cant because they chopped off our thumbs

    • Glen Riddle

      LS? Unless it’s out of a 2004-2006 Goat or Gen4 ‘bird, no way.

      This car is a perfect candidate for a 455 torque monster…same external dimensions as the Pontiac 350 mill. Even a pretty mild 455-based build will yield great power. Backed with a THM400 and 12-bolt Safe-t-Track rear, this could be a great street sleeper.

      Like 1
    • JaxPontiacs

      I like your style!

      Like 1
  5. Peter B.

    When I saw this car, the first thing I thought of was the 7 Ups. What a great chase, and what a crash at the end, I think it was on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in New Jersey.

    • JW

      Good movie but hard for me to watch, my grandparents and 2 uncles were killed on route 66 like that, hitting the back of a 18 wheeler at 70 mph, his trailer lights had went out and he was in the passing lane at night waiting to turn left across traffic in to a truck stop to get them fixed and my uncle didn’t see him in time to stop. Sorry to bring this up but that movie always makes me think back to 1962 when it happened.

      • Glen

        That’s a really sad story, I’m sorry to hear that.

    • Ck

      Lol Peter B I said the same thing ,great movie.

    • mark

      My thoughts exactly!!

    • Michael

      Great movie. The actual crash scene was on the Taconic Parkway in NY. Just a few miles from where I grew up.

      • Peter B.

        As is usual, movie makers take great license, as trucks are prohibited on both the Palisades Parkway and the Taconic. I love the Taconic, especially the old sections before widening between Bear Mtn and Rte 84.

  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    But it was a chev sheriff Brody was driving

    • Peter B.

      Good morning Luke, I just watched the chase scene on u-tube and it’s a Ventura, not a Nova.

      • mark

        You are correct!! It’s a 1972 or 1973 Pontiac Ventura.

  7. Tonyf

    This car hasn’t been in the Netherlands that long it seems. Check the windshield registration and inspection stickers. The regi expired in 2015 but the inspection is current and valid till looks like June of this year in New York. Gotta wonder why they’re selling it after buying from ny and shipping to the Netherlands .

    • Al

      Somebody wanted to purchase a Merican car, and thought any Pontiac was a Firebird or a Solstice.
      Yup, Pontiac Ventura sounds Merican, lets get it.

  8. Bob Hess

    My father bought one of these in ’73 with the 400 engine, big automatic and limited slip rear. Hauled his boat parts in it… really quick!

    • z28th1s

      You couldn’t get a 400 engine in a ’73 Ventura from the factory.

  9. Sukey

    The ls might be generic but it works and it works well.
    Why go with yesterdays technology
    The future is here and it’s easily adjustable and adaptable

    • Glen Riddle

      “Why go with yesterdays technology”
      OK, then why bother with a ’73 Pontiac Ventura at all?

      • JW454


        I agree. LS this, and 455 that…. Just drive it the way it is. If you want a LS3 buy a car with one in it.

  10. Bob C.

    In The Seven Ups they used the same engine noises as in Bullitt with Steve McQueen s Mustang. That Ventura held its own pretty well against the 455 Grand Ville it was chasing.

  11. chad

    hummm, I thought my olds had that model name. Same color and body style (or profile or ‘generation’). May B I had a pontiac after all (1982, in WV). That motor is plenty! It wuz a ‘hatchback’! & moved me from there to MA all loaded down (the ‘hatch’ stuck straight out almost level w/the top).
    Just bought it and No Plate…I called the state cops B4 leaving, said I wanted to wait, register it in MA, “Is it alright if I do that?” They said “Yes, come down here & get a %#*! document to carry with you.” All that way & only got stopped once (in Jersey) and it wuz fine w/him…
    Now wuz it an Omega, a Ophine, a, a, a …?

    Like 1
  12. Adam T45 Staff

    I think this car is really “Ace”. Get it….Ace Ventura! Well I thought it was funny!!!

  13. Moparman Member

    IMO, all it needs is a set of Rally II’s…(I never cared for hubcaps, LOL!) :-)

  14. JD

    My first car was a yellow 73 Pontiac Ventura. Bought in 86 from an old lady, only had 18k miles on it. Drove it until the auto trans gave out. I think someone turned it into a drag racer. Not a bad pony car with a few mods!

  15. Michael thomas

    used to see Novas in the movies that became Venturas when they went over the cliff or blew up. I had one that the motor froze and busted. I really liked it. My neighbor had a good late model motor he sold me cheep. I replaced it and it ran like a scalded dog. I had one of my mechanics look at it and it was a 4 barell where mine was a two but it was also a 455 ho motor. Bolted right in and talk about a sleeper. I loved that car

    • Glen Riddle

      Do you know what year the 455 HO was? The ’71-’72 was perhaps the best Pontiac mill of all time; great power with those oval port heads, basically the successor to the Ram Air IV but without that motor’s stouter bottom end. If your engine was a ’70 455 HO, that’s a D-port motor, basically what was in station wagons and other full-size Pontiacs, not a hot motor but still a very good engine with a mountain of torque. I hope the rest of your drive train was upgraded to handle it.

  16. al

    …more than likely a scam, with the NYS current registration….yup, send the money and kiss it goodbye (money and car)…

  17. Dan

    Looks recently shipped over to Europe by the NY State Registration and Inspection stickers.

    April 2018 Reg
    Aug 2017 Inspect sticker.

  18. Bill

    My grandmother, yes my grandmother, traded in her Olds F-85 for one of these. Orange. The first time she drove it off the dealership’s lot, it almost got away from her. 350 engine in a car that never went over 35 mph, except when me or my brother drove it.

  19. Marc NYC

    Hello everyone I’m a long-time listener, first-time caller…(thanks for adding me!)
    Has anyone else noticed the car was purchased new in Westport CT? (Based on the owners manual stamp)…basically a suburb of NYC.. :)
    If it was still in Westport, I’d grab it!
    Keep up the great work, Jamie, Jesse, Josh, and everyone who contributes to this great site…
    Oh yeah, thumbs up :)

  20. JC

    My aunt and uncle had a 1973, same color but with a black interior. Had the 350 with the full wheel hubcaps shown in the pictures, A/C, AM radio, but it wasn’t a “Custom” and didn’t have the vinyl top. Still, this is the closest I’ve seen to theirs. They bought it new The car was my aunt’s but my uncle kept it meticulously clean. He would only live in a house with a 2 car garage and his cars always looked showroom new. They traded it in 1988 for a new Camry when the Ventura had only about 41,000 miles. The service manager at the Toyota dealer kept it for himself as he was thrilled with its condition and that it had a 350 V8. When my uncle took the Camry back for dealer service a few months later, the service manager told him that the Ventura was totaled in an accident. Sad ending to that story.

  21. theodore sandberg

    Were all 2 door 73-74 ventura hatchbacks? Could you get it as a 2 door sedan?

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