The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Definintive GM Performance Car List Part II: 1973-1985

This is a copy of a list compiled a few months back. See the original list with photos here:

The Definintive GM Performance Car List Part II: 1973-1985
Composed by Ming - with help from 87aero, MCGARRETT, EGG, T-Type, & More!

1973-1985 The Forgotten Years of GM Performance

With the 1973 Oil Crisis, Disco Vans, dramatic downsizing of cars and horsepower, and the generally accepted "End of the Muscle Car Era", the casual (or younger) GM fan might ask if there was anything worth noting from GM's performance stables during this time aside from the obvious pop-icons like "The Bandit" Trans Am. We decided to tackle this question, and hope you enjoy this flashback as much as we did!

This is the second in a series of lists that cover performance cars of note from GM within a certain timeframe. Initially the list grew out of a concern of mine that Japanese and European cars seemed to dominate video games such as Gran Turismo with an array of choices in several car classes for cars produced in the last two to three decades. GM's offerings in such games were (and still are) often limited to muscle cars from the 1960's and mostly Camaros and Corvettes since, with a smattering of concept cars that never made it to production. Most conspicuous is the dead gap of virtually no other performance-trim cars from GM from the 1970's until 2000. This has only recently begun to change in respect to newer cars like the Cobalt, GTO and some Cadillacs getting in to games, but the 1970-2000 GM cars (aside from 'Vettes and Camaros) remain mostly lost to the past.

This list is also an attempt to expand the conciousness of what was "GM Performance", and I'd like to include your suggestions, including GM's close-to-stock racing efforts, and "tuner house" developed models during these model years.

It's also a challenge to the gaming industry, Hollywood, and GM's own Marketing & PR people to not forget these cars to the mists of time. Even the not-so-famous and not-so-powerful models. After all, if such "beasts" as the 1972 Honda Life Step Van, or 1985 Honda TODAY can make it into the mega-selling game Gran Turismo 4, surely the capable and sporty (if not rip-snorting) Chevrolet Spirit of America Vega Coupe, or the Buick Nighthawk deserve to pop up as obscure vehicle choices in some game somewhere, someday? When presented with 10 or more in-game cars from Toyota from the 1980's and virtually nothing from GM, what will young minds conclude? My guess? That GM had nothing to offer back then, and has always been a one-trick 1960's muscle car pony, thus the hype about the return of the Camaro. Last but not least, one must not forget that Japan Domestic Market cars like the Nissan Skyline and the 1980's Corolla Trueno Sprinter AE86 only became household names for GenY largely because of exposure from video games and anime.

Well, I think this list and the FIRST LIST prove that GM has had far more than Camarovette going for it from the early 70's to 2000. And I hope you'll agree!

Note:While "definitive" it is by no means "complete". Please feel free to suggest more, but keep in mind I am not trying to "fill out" the list with every possible variation and model year of a particular car. It's more of a short and sweet list of the hot stuff from GM. The original idea of this list was to not have much redundancy among model years (little change between years) and between brands (rebadges), and no concept cars or trucks (to be covered in other lists). If you have something very different from what's listed here, though, by all means let us know! There are a few brands below that could use some more models to flesh them out. I'll update it over time with your suggestions as they fit. See the original discussion that built this list HERE.

Enough talk, on to the Cars!


1973 Monte Carlo 454
1973 Scuncio Chevrolet Vega +
1973 Yenko Stinger Vega
1973 Chevelle SS
1974 Vega Coupe w/ Spirit of America Package
1974 Nova Hatchback Coupe w/ Spirit of America Package
1974 454 Baldwin Motion Super Vega +
1974 Impala 454 V8 w/ Spirit of America Package
1974 Cosworth Vega +
1974 Chevelle Laguna S3
1974 Camaro Z/28 w/ D88 stripes
1975 Corvette Convertible
1976 Cosworth Vega 5 speed +
1976 Allan Moffat Monza IMSA GT-Class *
1976 Camaro LT Rally Sport
1976 Chevette Rally 1.6
1977 Nova Rally Coupe LM1 350
1977 Camaro Z/28
1977 Vega GT
1977 Monza Mirage
1978 El Camino SS LM1 350/4-speed
1979 Monte Carlo V8
1979 Monza Spyder
1979 Malibu M80 +
1980 Monte Carlo Turbo
1980 Camaro Z/28
1980 Monte Carlo Sport Coupe w/Turbo
1981 X11
1982 Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car
1981 Citation 660 Turbo +
1983 Malibu 9C1
1983 Monte Carlo SS
1984 Camaro Z/28 L69 H.O.
1985 Cavalier Z24 Hatchback
1985 Corvette TPI 350
1985 Camaro IROC-Z28
1985 X11 2.8 MPFI
1985 Monte Carlo SS Turbo


1973 Century GS
1977 Nighthawk
1978 Regal Sport Coupe
1979 LeSabre Sport Coupe
1979 Century Turbo Coupe
1979 Riviera S-Type
1982 Grand National w/Turbo option
1983 T-Type
1984 Grand National T-Type
1984 Regal T-Type
1985 Riviera T-Type


1973 Cutlass 4-4-2
1979 Cutlass Hurst/Olds 350 W-30 +
1980 Ken Snyder Racing Starfire GT Solo II "G" Stock *
1980 Cutlass Calais 4-4-2 W-30
1983 Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary +


1973 Trans Am SD
1973 Grand Am 455
1973 GTO
1974 Firebird Formula SD
1974 Ventura GTO
1975 Grandville 455
1977 Trans Am W72
1977 Cam Am W72 400
1977 Special Edition Trans Am L78 400
1979 Phoenix LJ Coupe
1980 Trans Am Turbo
1980 Grand Am Coupe
1981 Trans Am H.O. 5.0 litre
1981 Trans Am "Bandit" 462 V8
1983 Trans Am Daytona 500 Pace Car 5-SPD
1983 6000 STE
1984 Fiero
1984 Trans Am 15th Anniversary Edition
1984 Sunbird GT Turbo
1985 Fiero 2.8L V6 GT Notchback
1985 Trans Am TPI LB9 V8


1985 Eldorado Touring Coupe


1973 HQ Monaro GTS 308ci/350ci Coupe
1974 HJ Monaro GTS 308ci Sedan
1973 LJ Torana GTR-XU1 "Bathurst Edition"
1973 HQ GTS Monaro 350 Chevy V8 Coupe
1974 LH Torana SLR-5000 'L34' 308ci
1975 LJ Torana GTR-XU1 202ci
1976 HZ GTS Sedan 308ci
1976 HX Monaro GTS 4-door
1977 HX Monaro Limited Edition Coupe
1977 LX Torana SS 'A9X' 308ci
1979 Peter Brock A9X Torana (Bathurst Winner) *
1980 HDT VC Commodore SL/E 308ci + +
1982 HDT VH Commodore Group 3 308ci +
1983 Gemini TG S/LX
1984 VK Commodore 5.0L
1985 VK Commodore HDT Brock SS group A +


1973 GT
1973 Bitter CD +
1974 Gianni Mussato GT Gruppe 4 *
1977 Manta Irmscher 2800
1982 Manta GT/E
1984 Manta I 240
1984 Manta GSI Exklusiv
1985 Manta i300
1985 Bitter SC Coupe +


1973 HP Firenza
1974 Gerry Marshall DTV Firenza *
1975 Heikki Haaksiala Magnum Rally Coupé *
1976 Magnum Sportshatch
1978 Risto Virtanen Chevette Rally 2300 HS *
1980 Chevette HSR

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