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Jackie Stewart tests...
Jackie Stewart at the wheelPontiac's

...and he tests it right up to the limit. He says that during high-speed runs "one of my passengers asked politely to be let out, thank you"
Scotland's 27-year-old Jackie Stewart has zoomed to the top of professional racing in three years. In 1966 he won the New Zealand-Australian championship, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Mount Fiji international race in Japan, was leading at Indy, when his car was forced to "retire" with only ten laps to go

ONTIAC'S NEW FIREBIRD isn't just another entry in the "long-hood, short-deck" class of personal cars that seemingly have caught America's car-buying fancy. To the contrary, it's an interesting car on its own merits, possibly because of several unique design features. But more about these later. Right now, let's talk tests.
      I drove two Firebirds, both convertibles, one powered by a high-performance version of Pontiac's 230-cu.-in., overhead-cam Six, the other by a 400-cu.-in., pushrod V8. The ohc engine is rated at 215 hp at 5200 rpm, the V8 318 hp, also at 5200 rpm. Both engines had single four-barrel carburetors.
      The Six had a fully-synchronized manual four-speed gear-changer, manual steering and manual front disc brakes. The V8 had an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes (also front discs).
      I tested the cars on a hot November day at the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds near Mesa, Ariz. The course set aside for PM included a banked, circular five-mile track (making possible some rather dazzling speeds, by the way), a straightaway ideal for acceleration and braking tests and a "traffic" layout featuring left and right-hand corners typical of both street and highway intersections. So I had ample opportunity to try just about all types of driving during the tests.    >> NEXT >>
High-speed 90-degree turn
TAKING 90° TURN AT HIGH SPEED on GM's Desert Proving Grounds, Stewart says, "There is quite a lot of roll in the corners," but this is something most drivers taking turns around 15 mph never experience. Stewart tested both a Six and Eight
HOOD-MOUNTED TACH made big impression on Stewart, from race-driver's viewpoint. "For most cars," he says, "this is where the speedometer belongs. The driver need not take his eyes from the road to read the dial—an important safety feature."
Jackie Stewart inspects hood tach


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