LS Swap: 1972 Pontiac Ventura II

If you like the Chevrolet Nova, but are into cars a little less mainstream, you’re in luck, because GM offered the X-Body from some of their other manufacturers, including Pontiac. This 1972 Pontiac Ventura II was sent in by Barn Finds reader, Pat L., who found it here on Craigslist in San Jose, California. The seller is asking $17,000, but may consider a trade.

The Ventura II was introduced in 1971 as the first X-Body sibling to the Chevrolet Nova. It dropped the “II” designation after 1972, eventually being renamed Phoenix for the 1978 model year. While Chevrolet was busy building 349,733 Novas in 1972, Pontiac managed to pump out just 72,787 Ventura IIs the same year.

This Ventura is painted in a dark green that looks right. The paint is described as decent, but it’s beginning to peel on the trunk lid. Scratches are noted, the rear bumper is dinged, and the driver rear quarter is said to have been replaced at some point, but the seller says there is absolutely no rust to be found. The seller is giving your choice of one of the two wheels pictured. I’d go for the gloss black steelies, as I’m a big fan of the simple, sleeper look.

If there’s any part of this car that would benefit from immediate attention, it’s the green interior. That, however, would purely be a vanity play as everything appears to be very useable. The seats and carpet are sun faded, the headliner looks like it’s been re-tacked to the roof at some point, and the dash is cracked.

The heart of this Ventura is what really sets it apart from others. The seller has installed a 4.8-litre V8 from a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe and upgraded it – Holley Terminator X engine management system, Summit cam, Hedman headers, Holley oil pan, and 3-core aluminum radiator with electric fan. The original TH350 transmission was re-used, but a B&M transpak, 3500RPM torque converter, and ProSitck shifter were installed. To give it the sound you’d expect from a hopped-up X-Body, the seller has installed 3-inch pipes from the headers that run to Dynomax mufflers and dump under the rear axle.

A popular style classic car with a modern driveline is typically a hot commodity. I’m curious to see if this being a Ventura instead of a Nova hurts it at all, but I’d expect this one to sell quick.

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  1. Moparman Member

    I don’t care for the shifter; I’d prefer to source an OEM type console/shifter for it. Otherwise, it looks good….and I immediately thought of Roy Schieder in “The Seven-Ups”! GLWTA! :-)

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Um, not an auction.

      But in any case, gone, as in the CL ad has been “Deleted by the author.”

      Looks like a clean and tidy car, packing modern punch. Fun for lots of uses, hope it went to a good home.

  2. Bmac777 Member

    Right on moparman , I loved the sound of that car in the movie chasing that Grandville. I liked the grille and tail lights of Roy’s 74 better than this one though.
    I eventually bought a 74 GTO in part because of that chase

  3. Steve R

    Nice looking car with some well thought out upgrades at a reasonable price, no wonder it’s gone.

    Steve R

  4. Dusty Stalz

    It would be pretty silly taking this car with the steel rims. You can get those anywhere pretty cheap. If you liked the look of the black wheels (I don’t) you could switch them after and sell the chrome ones and probably make a few bucks.

  5. Kuzspike

    I agree with Bmac777, starting in 1973 the Ventura had better grill options and more Pontiac style tail lights. Unfortunately, they also got the 5-mph bigger bumpers. And Jonny, the Phoenix was not even close to what this car was. That was a front wheel drive car and should never be referred to as “what this car became”. It may have filled the slot in the GM line-up where the Ventura used to be, but they were considerably different.

    • Jim in FL

      The Phoenix was a renamed Ventura with mild restyle in 77 through 79. Still on the Nova rwd platform until the great front wheel drive GM X car came out in 1980.

      • Kuzspike

        Jim, you are correct. I guess that X-bodied version just left such a bad taste that I had forgotten the 77-79 models.

  6. TimM

    The owner did a nice build and made a very desirable car that could be driven everyday!! It doesn’t surprise me it’s gone!!!

  7. Vince H

    When I this LS I think of the big block.

  8. chrlsfil

    funny when U see cars U had on here. Same color, I guess yr too, when it was 6, 8 yrs old. Same transmission but hada change it almost immediately. Mine was a hatchback. Very convenient. Moved from WV to MA & looked like the Clampits – big pile on the roof, hatch open and horizontal so much stuff crammed. No Plate the whole 10 hrs, may B 600 mi.
    I don’t recommend it (kids R Krazie, even if they R U ! ). B4 I left I asked the staties “Can I take an un-registered car 587 mi and register it when I get to Mass?” they said “Sure son, take this paper from us. It aint legal cept in WVa but if U get stopped show it to’em. May B nxt day when they let U outta jail the judge won’t laugh at U in court.” Did I get stopped once or twice? I remember the smokie in Jersey. Big ol grin “You kiddin me son? Get oudda heah and don’t come back.” Me: “Yes sir, you can count on that!” Lived there for a yr or 2 doz yrs later. Sure never planned on THAT.

    • Bmac777 Member

      It’s funny the stuff we could get away with back then.
      I had a notebook that I used to write out about a dozen Bill Of Sales that were dated 3 days apart so I could keep using my old plates on the next car when I had problems with the Registry
      Then the computers came :(


    Seems like a strange setup. Why buy a cheap 4.8 and add minor upgrades instead of going with a stock 6.0 for less money and more power? And then stick with the old 3 speed auto?

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