Pontiac Laurentian - 1961 - 1964
European Laurentians In Europe the Laurentian came as a 4-door sedan or as a 6 seater "Safari" wagon (not available in the Star Chief Executive range). A full-size Pontiac meant a length of 548 cm, a width of 202 cm and a height of 141 cm. On the European market it was only available with a straight 6 cylinder, 4100cc engine that produced 152 hp @ 4200 rpm, and this was mated to a manual 3-speed transmission - and came without power steering and power assisted brakes. From a design standpoint, the most obvious feature were the stacked headlights were located at each extremity of the extremely wide car frame making for a broad, low rectangle, divided in the middle by a jutting V, that had been a trade mark of Pontiacs since the marque dropped its once-famous ribbon of chromed strips down the centre of the bonnet. To emphasise the breadth of the car, and also to act as a contrast to the perpendicular headlights, were eight narrow steel slats stretching across. In 1963 the slab-sides of previous model were modified by a double bulge - upward and outward - commencing just behind the centre pillar and racing back to provide something like tail-fins at the back and a frame for the gigantic, square boot. The overall effect was probably the best ever from Pontiac. Obviously big and clearly American, it nevertheless was well balanced, lacking in garish and unnecessary ornaments. The most important mechanical change was to the V8 engine. Dimensions of the well-proven 4.6 litre unit were unchanged, but a higher compression ratio and redesigned cylinder heads were added a claimed 25 bhp to the total output. Rear axle ratio was slightly lowered and the overall performance was improved. Top speed was up by five mph. The car had slightly longer legs in the lower of its two automatic transmission ranges and an average of slightly more than a second was sliced off acceleration figures. According to some road testers, this improvement was been accompanied by an increase in engine and transmission smoothness - but we have no real evidence of that. The Pontiac's two-speed Powerflyte automatic box was always a smooth unit, whether fitted to the Pontiac or the Chev, but it seemed better than ever with the extra 25 horses to help kick it from ratio to ratio. But there was one annoying feature of the transmission which some car club members have told us about, but for which we cannot confirm if true or not, and that is that, after running the car in reverse, it is easy to stall the car when you come to a stop. Pontiac Laurentian Quick Specifications: Engine: Cylinders: eight, vee formation; Bore and stroke 98.4 by 76.1 mm; Cubic capacity 4638cc; Compression ratio 9.25 to 1; Valves overhead, pushrod; Carburettor two barrel, downdraught; Power at rpm 195 bhp at 4800; Max torque 285 ft/lb at 2400 Transmission: Powerflyte two-speed automatic Suspension: Front - independent coils; Rear - solid axle, coil springs; Shockers - telescopic Steering: Recirculating ball, power assisted; Turns, 1 to 1 - 51; Circle - 44 ft Brakes: Type - drum, power assisted Dimensions: Wheelbase - 9 ft n in; Track, front - 5 ft 0.3 in; Track, rear - 4 ft 11.3 in; Length - 17 ft 8.1 in; Width - 6 ft 6.8 in; Height (laden) - 4 ft 7.5 in; Weight: Kerb - 33 cwt Tyres: Size - 7.50 by 14 Performance: Top Speed - 98.5 mph; Maximum Speed in Gears: Low 75 mph; Drive 98.9 mph; Standing quarter mile: 18.2 sec; 0 to 30 mph 4.0 sec; 0 to 40 mph 5.9 sec; 0 to 50 mph 8.15 sec; 0 to 60 mph 11.65 sec; 0 to 70 mph 15.5 sec; 0 to 80 mph 21.3 sec; 20 to 40 mph 3.3 sec; 30 to 50 mph 4.0 sec; 40 to 60 mph5.2 sec; 0 to 60 15.8 sec; Fuel Consumption: 13.3 mpg; Price: A£2643 General Motors-Holden's Pty Ltd, Port Melbourne.
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