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28/09/2010 1661

Pontiac [4] - Banshee XP-833

Two examples of the XP-833 Banshee have been built in total: one is a hard-top coupe and the other is convertible. Both cars still exist.


A vehicle design that challenged the limits of American engineering and thinking. John DeLorean's vision for a Pontiac 2-seat sports car, with long sweeping hood and short rear deck styling, screamed speed. This all original Grey hardtop, with Red interior, and Pontiac Overhead Cam six cylinder engine weighed in at only 2200 pounds and utilized a unique solid-body construction of exterior fiberglass and steel underbody. The Banshee had all the elements of an awesome performer. General Motors executives viewed the concept to be too much of a threat to the Corvette and as a result instructed DeLorean to cease additional development. Only two runable prototypes were built. The car's influence on future GM products spanned decades, with some of the styling cues seen on vehicles such as the 1968 Corvette. Vehicle documentation includes original bill of sale from Pontiac Motors and a description of the XP-833 project. As part of automotive history, this specific Banshee was invited to be displayed at the 2001 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance.



In 1964 Pontiac unveiled their newest concept car, which they dubbed the Banshee. During its development it was called the XP-833 project. This car was a small two-seater with a long, sweeping hood and a short rear deck. Several different versions were constructed, but only two drivable prototypes were ever built. One was a silver hard-top with a straight six engine and the other is a white convertible with a V-8 . Both survive today and are in the hands of private collectors. The silver hardtop verson of the Banshee can be seen in the classic car section of Napoli Indoor Auto, In Milford, CT.

The styling on these cars is highly reminiscent of what appeared on third-generation Corvettes in 1968. Another styling cue that made production was the design of the tail lights, which are nearly identical to that found on second-generation Pontiac Firebirds. Indeed, the high performance and sensuous styling of the Banshee may have led to its demise. Head of Pontiac John DeLorean called this car the "Mustang Fighter" and rumor has it he fully intended to bring it to production. However, his bosses at GM felt that it would be a threat to the Chevrolet Corvette in that it would steal sales from the Corvette and also that (if DeLorean had his way) it could out-perform the Corvette as well.

This did not sit well with GM execs who had marketed the Corvette as their top performer; even today, recent models such as the Camaro and Firebird - even though using the same engine as Corvette - have those engines de-tuned slightly so they will not have as high a horsepower rating as a Corvette. The Banshee would have had equivalent horsepower, yet weighed 500 lb (227 kg) less than the Corvette and so would have been a potent package. It was able to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in second gear. GM executives instructed DeLorean to cease further development in 1966.

source: Wikipedia


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