I really dig Pontiacs. I grew up with a dad who liked them and there’s something that the brand really captured in the 1960s that still speaks to me today. Jim Wangers was one of the guys instrumental in taking the performance ethos of Pontiac to the masses and up until his very recent passing he was a tireless cheerleader for all the great stuff that the brand did 50+ years ago. In fact, he stars in this video, sharing the story of the famed “Royal Bobcat” package that was offered by Michigan dealer Royal Pontiac back in the day. There’s some neat stuff in the video, mainly that the dealer was closely tied to the factory and its engineers when they actually developed the package.
Really, the Royal Bobcat package was a set of established hot rodding tweaks. More timing, re-jetted carbs, fresh air intake, thinner head gaskets for more compression, etc. The beauty of it was that the engineering connection to Pontiac meant that the package was “factory approved” and did not mangle the warranty. It woke these things up for sure and on the streets and strip a Royal Bobcat package car could do some damage against the other muscle bound competition of the day.
We’ll let Wangers do the talking below. Fun insight into one of the neater aspects of Pontiac performance history here!