A little background on what may soon be the most coveted award in special interest motoring. The Golden Smog Pump. Imagine if you will, a small group of malaise motoring fanatics gathered in a California mountain town, their prized chariots glistening (or not) in the sun. The anticipation is palpable, everyone has written their choice for the most superior car present and everyone wonders who will take the prize. The car that receives the lion’s share of votes shall be held Best in Show. Obviously, such an august gathering, such a landmark occasion requires a trophy that symbolizes all that makes the Malaise Era worth remembering, fondly or otherwise. There will be other honors and awards presented that day, to be sure, but one must encapsulate the spirit of the Malaise Era and the spirit of the first annual Malaise Daze meet in a single iconic object. Arguably, the malaise era is the direct result of the first government mandated safety and emissions legislation. Now, safety equipment was not new having existed in one form or another since early in days of motoring, even if it wasn’t a legal requirement and was as often as not just experimental. But, mechanical addenda to alter what comes out the tailpipe were a new beast in the late sixties and early 70’s. A “smog pump” is power sapping piece of ancillary equipment that, theoretically, reduces emissions by injecting oxygen rich fresh air into the exhaust manifold to more completely burn raw fuel that remains after each combustion cycle. Catalytic converters and exhaust reactors came later. The smog pump was on the vanguard of pollution control equipment fitted to production cars and remained a feature of the underhood landscape until sophisticated fuel injection systems and engine management computers rendered them unnecessary. Air injection was a feature of nearly every Malaise Era car, and, other than emissions reduction they do nothing but reduce power and add complication and weight. So, finished in gold and mounted on a stately plinth, what could possibly say performance stifled, malaise motoring more than the parasitic pump strapped to your lump ? I say nothing, which is why the Golden Smog Pump was created.