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Pontiac’s Nova: 1975 Pontiac Ventura

The many different flavors of X-bodies did little to distort the reality that these were economy cars built at a time of significant challenges in the U.S. automotive industry, not the least of which was building a legit competitor to Japanese compacts. This 1975 Pontiac Ventura is one of several platform siblings that offered a variety of powerplants with an emphasis on fuel economy over performance. Find this clean example with great colors listed here on craigslist for $6,800.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rocco B. for the find. This Ventura comes with the optional V8 powerplant paired to an automatic transmission. The eight cylinder mills weren’t dramatically more powerful than the six cylinder cars, but some critics would argue they were smoother while still delivering decent fuel economy.

The interior of this car remains quite clean, with an untorn bench seat and carpets free from staining. The steering wheel and dash look quite nice, too. The seller notes the Ventura does have its share of bumps and bruises and is by no means perfect, but I still have to commend whichever owner kept their econobox in such fine shape. It does have A/C but is missing a belt.

The seller believes the 42,000 miles listed to be genuine, and the car’s overall cosmetics seem to support this. The value of a Ventura (or its Nova twin) is ultimately up to scarcity and vehicle condition, and this Ventura is definitely seen less often than a Nova, and the condition seems to be quite solid for an unrestored example. Price? May be a touch high at the moment.


  1. jwzg

    Seat is torn right under the driver.

    Like 2
    • Mitch Ross Member

      I think the Ventura was the best looking of the Nova variants

      Like 1
  2. Stangalang

    Lol..gaseous anomalies wore that hole

    Like 13
    • Tim

      Someone really ripped one…

      Like 9
  3. Bradshaw from Primer

    Was this an X-car? i thought the X-cars were the front wheel drives that came out in 1980 with the iron duke and 2.8 l v-6…..this one was one of the N-O-V-A line named Nova,Omega,Ventura,Apollo……and were largely an follow on of the 1962 Chevy II chassis and engines.

    Like 5
    • SubGothius

      Both were X-cars; GM often used the same platform designation for successive generations in the same market/size segment. The FWD X-bodies replaced these earlier RWD X-bodies (Nova and derivatives).

      Like 3
      • rpol35

        Right! And the RWD X-bodies are really RWD F-bodies (Camaro/Firebird) with a slightly longer wheelbase.

        Like 4
    • Bingo


  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    I think it’s a shame the Nova got all the thunder, and these and Olds and Buick, which I think were nicer optioned cars, got little. It just goes to show, people that wanted a “Nova” type car, went with the Nova, because it was lighter and cheaper, that and I suppose the biggest reason, I don’t think you couldn’t get a big block in these. Nice find, they were great cars.

    Like 3
    • W72

      That Olds 260 V-8 is less than desirable. Looks as if thos had the “Sprint” package or graphics.

      Like 2
      • Country Joe

        But a Olds 350 would be a dirt simple swap. It would make a nice Saturday night cruiser.

        Like 1
  5. Troy s

    Clean example of mid seventies offerings, one look under the hood and it’s an air cleaner and a bunch of hoses and vacuum lines, wires…..leave the hood shut and it’s not a bad looking car.
    Popular body style at the local circle track years ago.

  6. Superdessucke

    Forgive me for not knowing but is that a factory paint job? Doesn’t look like it but it was the 1970s, so you have to ask.

    Like 1
    • Greg

      I’m fairly certain that it is an original paint job,your definitely right about the 70s

  7. rpol35

    Biggest drawback is the 260 CI Oldsmobile engine, it’s a lawnmower motor at best. Probably a little rich on price too.

    Otherwise, pretty nice shape for a seldom seen (or wanted) car from the malaise era.

    Like 5
  8. ACZ

    These RWD X-bodies are great hot rod material. Just about any engine will fit them, plenty of available parts in the aftermarket, and much in common with the F- body. Only thing is that since they’re getting older, price is going up for clean ones.

    Like 1
  9. Larry Wahler

    This is/was NOT an X Body car. Kinda curious too … I had a 74 Ventura and it had an actual Pontiac Engine. Appears this has an Olsdmobile Engine as you can tell by where the Oil Filler is! Something just seems wrong here.

    • ACZ

      I’m afraid you’re wrong, Larry

      Like 6
      • Larry Wahler

        How so? My Ventura had a 400 and it did NOT look at all like this engine. That looks like a typical Olds Engine.

    • ACZ

      This is an X body. Starting with the 1980 model year, the FWD X body replaced the RWD X body. In the 70s, GM started to use engines, that were traditionally used by one division, in multiple divisions products. This is what was once referred to as an Olds engine but the car may have also had a Buick V6 or a Chevy 305/350. A lot depended on what State the new vehicle was destined for and what emissions package was needed. There were a lot of combinations.

      Like 2
    • Jim

      No Larry..just no

      Like 2
  10. TimM

    I had a 72 Ventura and loved it!! It was a hatchback in maroon and it was a fast little car!! I believe if my memory serves me right that this is the same platform that one of the last GTO’s turned into!!!

    Like 3
    • ACZ

      The last GTO, before it’s revival in 2004 as a Holden, was a 1974 Ventura. 73 GTO was an A body.

      Like 1
      • craig sibert sibert Member

        73 gto was from collonade car ie gran prix lemans cutlass etc b body 74 was downsized to x body

      • ACZ

        Craig, a B body in 1973 was an Impala, LeSabre, Olds 88, or Bonneville. The GTO (Lemans based colonnade) was an A body. The Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, etc. were denoted as an A-Special.

        Like 1
  11. Del

    Nice starter car for your son or grand son.

    But do not offer more than 4 grand

    Like 2
    • Tony Primo

      This car is listed for sale in Michigan not California, rust free 44 year old cars don’t grow on trees up here. When people are listing rusty rolling shells of Novas for 10 grand, there is a good chance that he will get his price.

      Like 9
  12. Larry Wahler

    OK Everybody, Here it is, in Black and White!!

    GM X platform (1980) The front-wheel drive X-body was used by General Motors for compact cars from 1980 to 1985. They were among the first mainstream front-wheel drive models introduced into the North American market and initially saw great sales success. They were an alternative to imported front-wheel drive sedans. Vehicles using the X-body included:

    Class: Compact
    Also called: X-body
    Manufacturer: General Motors
    Production: 1979-1985
    Pontiac Phoenix · GM X Platform

    Pontiacs and Novas and others from 73, 74, etc. were NOT X Body!!

    • ACZ

      It’s really a shame that you repeatedly must argue. That statement is true for the FWD X body. It’s predecessor, the RWD X body, was the Ventura, Nova, Omega and Skylark (Apollo). Do some research, you obviously have not.

      Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      And for your further reading pleasure:

      The rear-wheel drive X-body underpinned the Chevrolet Nova and similar cars of the 1960s and 1970s. It was also the basis for the Cadillac Seville’s K platform and many components were shared with the contemporary F platform. Entry level badge engineered luxury coupes and sedans offered in the 1970s by Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile appeared around the same time as the competing Ford Granada and Plymouth Volare.


      Chevrolet Chevy II (1962–1967)
      Chevrolet Nova (1968–1979)
      Buick Apollo (1973–1974; 1975 sedan only)
      Buick Skylark (1975 coupe only; 1976–1979)
      Oldsmobile Omega (1973–1979)
      Pontiac Ventura (1971–1977)
      Pontiac Phoenix (1977–1979)
      Acadian (1962–1971)

      Like 3
      • ACZ

        Thank you.

    • jim’s some more black and white..

      two different version…one that started in 1980…

      Like 2
      • ACZ

        Thank you.

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