In the late 1940s and early 1950s, many American G.I.s returning from Europe didn’t come back empty handed. Americans fell in love with small European sports cars that were agile, lightweight, and fun. By the 1960s though all America wanted was big, powerful muscle cars, and the Big Three delivered.
But don’t let it ever be said that muscle cars can’t handle. Thanks to major advances in automotive technology, even a 40-year old Pontiac Trans-Am can handle like a nimble Jaguar. This video has a clone of Jerry Titus’s 1970 Pontiac Trans Am carving out the corners of the Histo Cup Austria. Who says American muscle can’t handle?
Certainly not the driver, Swissman Roger Bolliger, who races his historic Pontiac Trans Am all over Europe. That sweet, sweet sound that European ears are unused comes from an all-aluminum 496 cubic-inch Pontiac engine built by Butler Performance. This wicked engine makes 730 horsepower on pump gas, which goes for about $8.00 a gallon in Austria.
There’s something special about watching a big American muscle car, from a time when no engine was too big and no performance package too wild, carving up the narrow mountain roads of the European countryside. That deep, unmuffled big-block sound must echo across the Austrian countryside for miles and miles, filling villagers with fear that some medieval beast has risen from its slumber with revenge on its wicked mind.
Nope, that’s just the sound of American muscle.