PONTIAC 2+2  continued

      As with any performance automobile, gas mileage wasn't anything to shout about. Our best was 13 mpg on super premium, and in-city driving gave nine mpg. But driving a car that's fun usually results in lower figures.
      The 2+2 is one of those rare machines that ask to be driven fast and well. A good driver can get a lot out of a car like this a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment in addition to performance. It's definitely an enthusiast's automobile, and the wife won't be at all happy driving it unless it has the automatic transmission.
      Although smooth, precise, and sure, the four-speed with its sturdy Hurst linkage takes a bit of muscle and skill to wring out the 2+2's best performance. We would've appreciated the optional limited-slip differential, because the "421" had a wheelspin problem when it came off the line.
      Not a high-revver, our test car had a habit of tossing its fanbelt and power-steering belt when run over 5500 rpm. Best acceleration times came using a 4800-rpm shift point during our testing, but 16.4 seconds and 88 mph through the quarter-mile traps isn't to be sneezed at from a fully equipped five-passenger automobile.
      With Pontiac's standard, 11-inch, finned cast-iron brake drums, our 2+2 proved a better stopper than similarly equipped Pontiacs. First, the others were quite a bit heavier with air conditioning and other extras. Second, we stopped the 2+2 at Riverside Raceway, which has an excellent surface. Our personal preference would still be Pontiac's finned aluminum hub and drum brake assembly with metallic linings. A car that goes this strongly deserves the best stoppers available.
      With heavy-duty springs and shocks fitted, our 2+2 sports coupe handled better and showed less nose dive, squat, and body lean than our standard-suspension Pontiacs. We thought the ride was as good as the rest, possibly better, since most of the leaning and bouncing on rough, winding roads was eliminated. The stiffer suspension gave us much better control, plus a feeling of safety at higher speeds that the standard cars lacked.
      Two improvements we'd suggest are these: 4.2 turns between locks might be acceptable for family sedans, but we felt it too slow for this high-performance coupe. And, unless exhaust extensions are fitted, owners will soon find themselves with discolored rear bumpers.
      A real he-man's personal transportation car, the 2+2 combines muscle and grace in huge proportions. It'll bring home the groceries or cart junior off to school, but it's much happier charging over interesting roads with a man who enjoys driving behind the wheel. Like its little brother, the GTO Tempest, the 2+2 is a driver's automobile.     /MT
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February, 1965