Pontiac GTO: The Classic Muscle Car
March 13, 2011
The famous Pontiac GTO has invaded the entertainment scene for a moment or two by means of movies and music. In 2002, Vin Diesel's Triple X movie showcased a purple GTO, complete with the classic split grill front-end design and two-door component. The surf rock group, Ronny & the Daytonas even made a song out of this car that was included in the Billboard Hot 100 sometime in 1964.
The original GTO was in fact a redesign of the the Tempest model, but it was given a much bigger engine, the 389 CID. The model name for this car was drummed up by John DeLorean who took it from the Ferrari 250 GTO. The letters stood for Gran Turismo Omologato an Italian term. However, there was dissension among the executives at Pontiac, who believed that the bigger engine in a smaller car would not sell very well.
When Pontiac's new car was released, there was a lot of tension among the executives at the manufacture, specifically Elliot Estes who approved the model designs. Since the GTO was so overwhelmingly successful, we may never know what would have happened if it had failed. Estes may have lost his job, as well as other chief designers and executives. Of course as we all know, they really had nothing to fear as this car became a legend. Thankfully, they were rewarded for thinking outside the box.
The Pontiac GTO was one of the best selling muscle cars from the mid-60s until the decline of these type of cars in the mid-70s. The entire muscle car industry was hit badly and several factors lead to the death of this era. This included environmental regulations placed on all car manufacturers to lower emissions, rising insurance prices for these types of cars, and possibly the worst being the rise in gas cost.
If you are just learning about muscle cars, I suggest you start with the Pontiac GTO. This car alone has created more fans of this hobby, then any I know of besides perhaps the Mustang and almost every model made before 1972 can fetch upwards of $35,000 or more when it is in great condition and most espeically has all the original numbers. I suggest that you see one of these cars in person by either going to a car auction or to a car show. You truly mustsee one of these cars in mint condition to truly appreciate its beauty.
William Jason has admired classic cars ever since he was a young child and you can read his blog at: http://musclecarmonster.com/
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|