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Pontiac GTO

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1965, 1967, 1969, 1970
MPC 1968 GTO Pontiac Convertible
GeeTO Tiger
GTO Heaven
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A muscle car produced by Pontiac from 1964-1974 and again from 2004-2006.  The original 1964 GTO was a higher performance version of the Pontiac Le Mans.

Prominent drag racing GTOs included the GeeTO Tiger and Mystery Tornado.  The car was mentioned in the Brooks & Dunn song Red Dirt Road in the line, "Her daddy didn't like me much, in my shackled-up GTO."

Year-by-Year

1964 Pontiac GTO 1964  The first Pontiac GTO was an option package for the Pontiac LeMans, available with the two-door coupe, hardtop coupe, and convertible body styles. The GTO was basically a violation of GM policy limiting the A-body intermediate line to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cu in (5.4 L). Since the GTO was an option package and not standard equipment, it could be considered to fall into a loophole in the policy. Pontiac General Manager Elliot "Pete" Estes approved the new model, although sales manager Frank Bridge, who did not believe it would find a market, insisted on limiting initial production to no more than 5,000 cars. Had the model been a failure, Estes likely would have been reprimanded. As it turned out, it was a great success.
1965 Pontiac GTO 1965  The Tempest line, including the GTO, was restyled for the 1965 model year, adding 3.1 inches (79 mm) (7.9 cm) to the overall length while retaining the same wheelbase and interior dimensions. It sported Pontiac's characteristic vertically stacked quad headlights. Sales of the GTO more than doubled to 75,342.
1966 Pontiac GTO 1966  Pontiac's intermediate line was restyled again for 1966, gaining more curvaceous styling with kicked-up rear fender lines for a "Coke-bottle" look, and a slightly "tunneled" backlight. The tail light featured a rare louvered cover, only seen on the GTO. Sales increased to 96,946, the highest production figure for all GTO years.
1967 Pontiac GTO 1967  The GTO underwent a few styling changes in 1967. The louver-covered tail lights were replaced with eight tail lights, four on each side. The GTO emblems located on the rear part of the fenders were moved to the chrome rocker panels. Also the grill was changed from a purely split grill, to one that shared some chrome. GTO sales for 1967 remained high at 81,722.
1968 Pontiac GTO 1968  GM redesigned its A-body line for 1968, with more curvaceous, "fastback" styling. Pontiac abandoned the familiar vertically stacked headlights, but made horizontal hidden headlights available at extra cost. The signature hood scoop was replaced by dual scoops on either side of a prominent hood bulge extending rearward from the protruding nose. Now facing serious competition both within GM and from Ford, Dodge, and Plymouth—particularly the low-cost Plymouth Road Runner—the GTO won Motor Trend's Car of the Year award, and sales remained strong at 87,684 (which would ultimately prove to be the second-best sales year for the GTO).
1969 Pontiac GTO 1969  The 1969 model did not have the vent windows, had a slight grille and taillight revision, and the rear quarter-panel mounted side marker lamps changed from a red lens shaped like the Pontiac "V" crest to one shaped like the broad GTO badge. The most significant event of 1969 for the GTO was the launch of a new model called "The Judge." The GTO was surpassed in sales both by the Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 and the Plymouth Road Runner, but 72,287 were sold during the 1969 model year, with 6,833 of them being The Judge.
1970 Pontiac GTO 1970  The Tempest line received another facelift for the 1970 model year. Hidden headlights were deleted in favor of four exposed round headlamps outboard of narrower grille openings. The nose retained the protruding vertical prow theme, although it was less prominent. While the standard Tempest and LeMans had chrome grilles, the GTO retained the Endura urethane cover around the headlamps and grille. A new option was Pontiac's 455 HO engine, available now that GM had rescinded its earlier ban on intermediates with engines larger than 400. The new styling did little to help declining sales, which were now being hit by sagging buyer interest in all musclecars and by the punitive surcharges levied by automobile insurance companies, which sometimes resulted in insurance payments higher than car payments for some drivers. Sales were down to 40,149, of which 3,797 were The Judge.
1971  The 1971 GTO had another modest facelift, this time with wire-mesh grilles, horizontal bumper bars on either side of the grille opening, more closely spaced headlamps, and a new hood with the dual scoops relocated to the leading edge, not far above the grille. Overall length grew slightly to 203.3 inches (516 cm). The Judge returned for a final year, now with the 455 HO as standard equipment. Only 374 were sold before The Judge was discontinued in February 1971. Only 10,532 GTOs were sold in 1971.
1972 Pontiac GTO 1972  In 1972, the GTO reverted from a separate model line to a US$353.88 option package for the LeMans and LeMans Sport coupes. Sales plummeted by 45%, to 5,811.
1973 Pontiac GTO 1973  Once again an option package for the LeMans, the 1973 GTO shared the reskinned A-body with its "Colonnade" hardtop styling, which eliminated true hardtop design because of the addition of a roof pillar but retention of frameless doorwork. New federal laws for 1973 demanded front bumpers capable of withstanding 5 mile per hour impacts with no damage to the body. The result was the use of prominent and heavy chrome bumpers front and rear. The standard 400 CID V8 in the 1973 GTO was further reduced in compression to 8.0:1, dropping it to 230 hp. Sales dropped to 4,806, thanks in part to competition from the new Grand Am and the lack of promotion for the GTO.
1974 Pontiac GTO 1974  Wanting to avoid internal competition with the "Euro-styled" Pontiac Grand Am, and looking for an entry into the compact muscle market, Pontiac moved the 1974 GTO option to the compact Pontiac Ventura, which shared its basic body shell and sheetmetal with the Chevrolet Nova. Sales were an improvement over 1973, at 7,058, but not enough to justify continuing the model.
2004-2006 2004-2006  The Pontiac GTO was relaunched in the United States in 2004, based on the Holden Monaro's V platform. The GTO was produced by GM's Holden subsidiary in the suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia. It was equipped with the Corvette's LS1 ('04) and LS2 ('05-'06) V8 engine with a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. To help squelch comments about the car's appearance, the hood scoops that originally were slated for production in 2004, were pushed into production as part of an over-the-counter Sport Appearance Package. The 2004 Sport Appearance Package also included a taller and more angular rear spoiler as well as deeper inset grilles. Sales were 13,569 of 15,728 cars for 2004. The major change for 2005 was the replacement of the LS1 engine with the LS2 engine. This 364 cu in motor increased power and torque in the GTO to 400 hp with 400 lb·ft torque. Production was scaled back to 11,069, primarily because of a shortened model year. Changes for 2006 included revised blacked-out tail lamps. The final production number of the 2006 Pontiac GTO is 13,948 cars.


Summaries are shortened versions of the Wikipedia descriptions found under "History."

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Pontiac GTO page on 30 July 2010, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Pontiac GTO is an automobile built by Pontiac Division of General Motors in the United States from 1964 to 1974, and by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. It is considered an innovative, and now classic muscle car of the 1960s and 1970s. From 1964 until midway through 1973 it was closely related to the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans and for the 1974 model year it was based on the Pontiac Ventura. The 21st century GTO is essentially a left-hand drive Holden Monaro, itself a coupe variant of the Holden Commodore.

Origins

The GTO was the brainchild of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee, an engine specialist; Bill Collins, a chassis engineer; and Pontiac chief engineer John De Lorean. In early 1963, General Motors management issued an edict banning divisions from involvement in auto racing. At the time, Pontiac's advertising and marketing approach was heavily based on performance, and racing was an important component of that strategy. With GM's ban on factory-sponsored racing, Pontiac's young, visionary management turned its attention to emphasizing street performance.

In his autobiography “Glory Days,” Pontiac chief marketing manager Jim Wangers, who worked for the division’s contract advertising and public relations agency, states that John DeLorean, Bill Collins and Russ Gee were indeed responsible for the GTO's creation. It involved transforming the upcoming redesigned Tempest (which was set to revert to a conventional front-engine, front transmission, rear-wheel drive configuration) into a "Super Tempest" with the larger 389 CID (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 engine from the full-sized Pontiac Catalina and Bonneville in place of the standard 326CID (5.3 L) Tempest V8. By promoting the big-engine Tempest as a special high-performance model, they could appeal to the speed-minded youth market (which had also been recognized by Ford Motor Company's Lee Iacocca, who was at that time preparing the Ford Mustang).

The name, which was DeLorean's idea, was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, the highly successful race car. It is an acronym for Gran Turismo Omologato, Italian for homologated for racing in the Grand tourer class. The name drew protest from purists, who considered it close to sacrilege.

The GTO was basically a violation of GM policy limiting the A-body intermediate line to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cu in (5.4 L). Since the GTO was an option package and not standard equipment, it could be considered to fall into a loophole in the policy. Pontiac General Manager Elliot "Pete" Estes approved the new model, although sales manager Frank Bridge, who did not believe it would find a market, insisted on limiting initial production to no more than 5,000 cars. Had the model been a failure, Estes likely would have been reprimanded. As it turned out, it was a great success.

First generation

1964

The first Pontiac GTO was an option package for the Pontiac LeMans, available with the two-door coupe, hardtop coupe, and convertible body styles. Despite rumors, Pontiac never built a GTO station wagon on its assembly lines. The US$ 296, package included a 389 cu in (6.4 L) V8 (rated at 325 bhp (242 kW) at 4800 rpm) with a single Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, 7 blade clutch fan, a floor-shifted three-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter, stiffer springs, larger diameter front sway bar, wider wheels with 7.50 × 14 redline tires, hood scoops, and GTO badges. Optional equipment included a four-speed manual transmission, two-speed automatic transmission, a more powerful "Tri-Power" carburation rated at 348 bhp (260 kW), metallic drum brake linings, limited slip differential, heavy-duty cooling, ride and handling package, and the usual array of power and convenience accessories. With every available option, the GTO cost about US$ 4,500 and weighed around 3,500 lb (1,600 kg).

Most contemporary road tests used the more powerful Tri-Power engine and four-speed. Car Life clocked a GTO so equipped at 0–60 miles per hour (0–97 km/h) in 6.6 seconds, through the standing quarter mile in 14.8 seconds with a quarter mile trap speed of 99 mph (159 km/h). Like most testers, they criticized the slow steering, particularly without power steering, and inadequate drum brakes, which were identical to those of the normal Tempest. Car and Driver incited controversy when it printed that a GTO that had supposedly been tuned with the "Bobcat" kit offered by Ace Wilson's Royal Pontiac of Royal Oak, Michigan, was clocked at a quarter mile time of 12.8 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h) on racing slicks. Later reports strongly suggest that the Car and Driver GTOs were equipped with a 421 cu in (6.9 L) engine that was optional in full-sized Pontiacs. Since the two engines were difficult to distinguish externally, the subterfuge was not immediately obvious. Frank Bridge's sales forecast proved inaccurate: the GTO package had sold 10,000 units before the beginning of the 1964 calendar year, and total sales were 32,450.

Bobcat

Throughout the 1960s, Ace Wilson's Royal Pontiac, a Pontiac car dealer in Royal Oak, Michigan, offered a special tune-up package for Pontiac 389 engines. Many were fitted to GTOs, and the components and instructions could be purchased by mail as well as installed by the dealer. The name "Bobcat" came from the improvised badges created for the modified cars, combining letters from the "Bonneville" and "Catalina" nameplates. Many of the Pontiacs made available for magazine testing were equipped with the Bobcat kit. The GTO Bobcat accelerated 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds (this 0-60 time is now equalled by the factory 2005-06 GTO with automatic transmission, fuel injection, and no modifications).

The precise components of the kit varied but generally included pieces to modify the spark advance of the distributor, limiting spark advance to 34-36° at no more than 3,000 rpm (advancing the timing at high rpm for increased power), a thinner head gasket to raise compression to about 11.23:1, a gasket to block the heat riser of the carburetor (keeping it cooler), larger carburetor jets, high-capacity oil pump, and fiberglass shims with lock nuts to hold the hydraulic valve lifters at their maximum point of adjustment, allowing the engine to rev higher without "floating" the valves. Properly installed, the kit could add between 30 and 50 horsepower (20-40 kW), although it required high-octane superpremium gasoline of over 100 octane to avoid spark knock with the higher compression and advanced timing.

1966

Pontiac's intermediate line was restyled again for 1966, gaining more curvaceous styling with kicked-up rear fender lines for a "Coke-bottle" look, and a slightly "tunneled" backlight. The tail light featured a rare louvered cover, only seen on the GTO. Overall length grew only fractionally, to 206.4 inches (524 cm), still on a 115 inch (292 cm) wheelbase, while width expanded to 74.4 inches (189 cm). Rear track increased one inch (2.5 cm). Overall weight remained about the same. The GTO became a separate model series, rather than an optional performance package, with unique grille and tail lights, available as a pillared sports coupe, a hardtop sans pillars, or a convertible. Also an automotive industry first, plastic front grilles replaced the pot metal and aluminum versions seen on earlier years. New Strato bucket seats were introduced with higher and thinner seat backs and contoured cushions for added comfort and adjustable headrests were introduced as a new option. The instrument panel was redesigned and more integrated than in previous years with the ignition switch moved from the far left of the dash to the right of the steering wheel. Four pod instruments continued, and the GTO's dash was highlighted by walnut veneer trim.

Engine choices remained the same as the previous year. A new rare engine option was offered: the XS engine option consisted of a factory Ram Air set up with a new 744 high lift cam. Approximately 35 factory installed Ram Air packages are believed to have been built, though 300 dealership installed Ram Air packages are estimated to have been ordered. On paper, the package was said to produce the same 360 hp (270 kW) as the non-Ram Air, Tri Power car, though these figures are believed to have been grossly underestimated in order to get past GM mandates.

Sales increased to 96,946, the highest production figure for all GTO years. Although Pontiac had strenuously promoted the GTO in advertising as the "GTO Tiger," it had become known in the youth market as the "Goat." Pontiac management attempted to make use of the new nickname in advertising but were vetoed by upper management, which was dismayed by its irreverent tone.

Second generation

1968

GM redesigned its A-body line for 1968, with more curvaceous, "fastback" styling. The previous 115 inch (292 cm) wheelbase was shortened to 112 inches (284 cm) for all two-door models. Overall length was reduced 5.9 inches (150 mm) and height dropped half an inch (12 mm), but overall weight was up about 75 pounds (34 kg). Pontiac abandoned the familiar vertically stacked headlights, but made horizontal hidden headlights available at extra cost. The concealed headlights were a popular option. The signature hood scoop was replaced by dual scoops on either side of a prominent hood bulge extending rearward from the protruding nose.

A unique feature was the body-color Endura front bumper. It was designed to absorb impact without permanent deformation at low speeds. Pontiac touted this feature heavily in advertising, showing hammering at the bumper to no discernible effect. Though a rare option, a GTO could be ordered with "Endura Delete", in which case the Endura bumper would be replaced by a chrome front bumper and grille from the Pontiac Le Mans. This model year further emphasized the curvacious "coke bottle" styling, as viewed from the side.

Powertrain options remained substantially the same as in 1967, but the standard GTO engine's power rating rose to 350 hp (260 kW) at 5,000 rpm. At mid-year, a new Ram Air package, known as Ram Air II, became available. It included freer-breathing cylinder heads, round port exhaust and the 041 cam. 'Official' power rating was not changed, although actual output was likely much higher. Another carry-over from 1967 was the 4-piston caliper disc brake option. While most 1968 models had drum brakes all around, this rare option provided greater stopping power and could be found on other GM A-Body vehicles of the same period. 1968 was also the last year the GTOs offered separate vent, or "wing", windows—and the only year for crank-operated vent windows.

Another feature was concealed windshield wipers, hidden below the rear edge of the hood. They presented a cleaner appearance and were a North American first, following British Leyland's earlier debut on Austin and Triumph models. Another popular option, actually introduced during the 1967 model year, was a hood-mounted tachometer, located in front of the windshield and lighted for visibility at night. An in-dash tachometer was also available.

Redline bias-ply tires continued as standard equipment on the 1968 GTO, though they could be replaced by whitewall tires at no extra cost. A new option was radial tires for improved ride and handling. However, very few were delivered with the radial tires because of manufacturing problems encountered by supplier B.F. Goodrich. The radial tire option was discontinued after 1968. Pontiac did not offer radial tires as a factory option on the GTO again until the 1974 model.

Hot Rod tested a four-speed GTO equipped with the standard engine and obtained a quarter mile reading of 14.7 seconds at 97 mph (156 km/h) in pure stock form. Motor Trend clocked a four-speed Ram Air with 4.33 rear differential at 14.45 seconds at 98.2 mph (158.0 km/h) and a standard GTO with Turbo-Hydramatic and a 3.23 rear axle ratio at 15.93 seconds at 88.3 mph (142.1 km/h) . Testers were split about handling, with Hot Rod calling it "the best-balanced car [Pontiac] ever built," but Car Life chiding its excessive nose heaviness, understeer, and inadequate damping.

Like all 1968 passenger vehicles sold in the United States, GTOs now featured front outboard shoulder belts (cars built after January 1, 1968) and side marker lights.

Now facing serious competition both within GM and from Ford, Dodge, and Plymouth—particularly the low-cost Plymouth Road Runner—the GTO won Motor Trend's Car of the Year award, and sales remained strong at 87,684 (which would ultimately prove to be the second-best sales year for the GTO).

1971

The 1971 GTO had another modest facelift, this time with wire-mesh grilles, horizontal bumper bars on either side of the grille opening, more closely spaced headlamps, and a new hood with the dual scoops relocated to the leading edge, not far above the grille. Overall length grew slightly to 203.3 inches (516 cm).

A new corporate edict, aimed at preparing GM for no-lead gasoline, forced an across-the-board reduction in compression ratios. The Ram Air engines did not return for 1971. The standard GTO engine was still the 400 CID V8, but now with 8.2:1 compression. Power was rated at 300 hp (220 kW) at 4,800 rpm and torque at 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) at 3,600 rpm. An engine option was the 455 CID V8 with four-barrel carburetor, 8.4 to 1 compression ratio and 325 hp (242 kW), only available with the automatic transmission. The top GTO engine for 1971 was the new 455 HO with 8.4 compression, rated at 335 hp (250 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 480 lb·ft (651 N·m) at 3,600 rpm.

Motor Trend tested a 1971 GTO with the 455, four-speed transmission, and 3.90 axle, and obtained a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds and a quarter mile acceleration of 13.4 seconds at 102 mph (164 km/h).

The Judge returned for a final year, now with the 455 HO as standard equipment. Only 374 were sold before The Judge was discontinued in February 1971, including 17 convertibles—today the rarest of all GTOs.

Only 10,532 GTOs were sold in 1971.

1972

In 1972, the GTO reverted from a separate model line to a US$353.88 option package for the LeMans and LeMans Sport coupes. On the base LeMans line, the GTO package could be had with either the low-priced pillared coupe or hardtop coupe. Both models came standard with cloth and vinyl or all-vinyl bench seats and rubber floor mats on the pillared coupe and carpeting on the hardtop, creating a lower-priced GTO. The LeMans Sport, offered only as a hardtop coupe, came with Strato bucket seats upholstered in vinyl, along with carpeting on floor and lower door panels, vinyl door-pull straps, custom pedal trim and cushioned steering wheel, much like GTOs of previous years. Other optional equipment was similar to 1971 and earlier models. Planned for 1972 as a GTO option was the ducktail rear spoiler from the Pontiac Firebird, but after a few cars were built with that option, the mold used to produce the spoiler broke, and it was cancelled. Rally II and honeycomb wheels were optional on all GTOs, with the honeycombs now featuring red Pontiac arrowhead emblems on the center caps, while the Rally IIs continued with the same caps as before, with the letters "PMD" (for Pontiac Motor Division).

Power, now rated in SAE net hp terms, was down further, to 250 hp (190 kW) at 4,400 rpm and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) at 3,200 rpm torque for the base 400 engine. The optional 455 had the same rated power (although at a peak of 3,600 rpm), but substantially more torque. Most of the drop was attributable to the new rating system (which now reflected an engine in as-installed condition with mufflers, accessories, and standard intake). The engines were relatively little changed from 1971.

A very rare option was the 455 HO engine, essentially similar to that used in the Trans Am. It was rated at 300 hp (220 kW) at 4,000 rpm and 415 lb·ft (563 N·m) at 3,200 rpm, also in the new SAE net figures. Despite its modest 8.4:1 compression, it was as strong as many earlier engines with higher gross power ratings; yet like all other 1972-model engines, it could perform on low-octane regular leaded, low-lead or unleaded gasolines. Only 646 cars with this engine were sold.

Sales plummeted by 45%, to 5,811. (Some sources discount the single convertible and the three anomalous wagons, listing the total as 5,807.) Although Pontiac did not offer a production GTO convertible in 1972, a buyer could order a LeMans Sport convertible with either of the three GTO engines and other sporty/performance options to create a GTO in all but name. Even the GTO's Endura bumper was offered as an option on LeMans/Sport models, with "PONTIAC" spelled out on the driver's side grille rather than "GTO."

1973

Once again an option package for the LeMans, the 1973 GTO shared the reskinned A-body with its "Colonnade" hardtop styling, which eliminated true hardtop design because of the addition of a roof pillar but retention of frameless doorwork. Rear side windows were now of a fixed design that could not be opened and in a triangular shape. New federal laws for 1973 demanded front bumpers capable of withstanding 5 mile per hour (8 km/h) impacts with no damage to the body (5 mph rear bumpers became standard in 1974). The result was the use of prominent and heavy chrome bumpers front and rear. The overall styling of the 1973 Pontiac A-body intermediates (LeMans, Luxury LeMans, GTO and Grand Am) was generally not well received by the car buying public.

In contrast, the Pontiac Grand Prix and Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which were also derived from the intermediate A-body, were much better received because of their squared-off styling and formal rooflines with vertical windows. Pontiac's sister division, Oldsmobile, received better reviews from the automotive press and the car-buying public with the similar-bodied Cutlass.

Again, the 1973 GTO option was offered on two models including the base LeMans coupe or the LeMans Sport Coupe. The base LeMans coupe featured a cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl bench seat while the more lavish LeMans Sport Coupe had all-vinyl interiors with Strato bucket seats or a notchback bench seat with folding armrest. The LeMans Sport Coupe also had louvered rear side windows from the Grand Am in place of the standard triangular windows of the base LeMans.

The standard 400 CID V8 in the 1973 GTO was further reduced in compression to 8.0:1, dropping it to 230 hp (170 kW). The 400 engine was available with any of the three transmissions including the standard three-speed manual, or optional four-speed or Turbo Hydra-Matic. The 455 CID V8 remained optional but was dropped to 250 hp (186 kW) and available only with the Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. The 455 HO engine did not reappear, but GM initially announced the availability of a Super Duty 455 engine (shared with the contemporary Pontiac Trans Am SD455), and several such cars were made available for testing, impressing reviewers with their power and flexibility. Nevertheless, the Super Duty was never actually offered for public sale in the GTO. Also, eight (8) 455SD Grand Ams were also built for testing, and eventually all were destroyed as well.

Sales dropped to 4,806, thanks in part to competition from the new Grand Am and the lack of promotion for the GTO. By the end of the model year an emerging energy crisis quashed consumer interest in muscle cars.

1974

Wanting to avoid internal competition with the "Euro-styled" Pontiac Grand Am, and looking for an entry into the compact muscle market populated by the Plymouth Duster 360, Ford Maverick Grabber and AMC Hornet X, Pontiac moved the 1974 GTO option to the compact Pontiac Ventura, which shared its basic body shell and sheetmetal with the Chevrolet Nova. Critics dubbed it "a Chevy Nova in drag."

The US$461 GTO package (Code WW3)included a three-speed manual transmission with Hurst floor shifter, heavy-duty suspension with front and rear anti-roll bars, a shaker hood, special grille, mirrors, and wheels, and various GTO emblems. The only engine was the 350 CID (5.7 L) V8 with 7.6:1 compression and a single four-barrel carburetor. It was rated at 200 hp (150 kW) at 4,400 rpm and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) at 2,800 rpm. Optional transmissions included a wide-ratio four-speed with Hurst shifter $207(Code M20) or the three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic. Power Steering was a $104 option (Code N41) as well as Power front disc brakes $71 (Code JL2).

The GTO option was available in both the base Ventura and Ventura Custom lines as either a two-door sedan or hatchback coupe. The base Ventura interior consisted of bench seats and rubber floor mats, Bucket seats could be added for $132 (Code A51), while the Ventura Custom had upgraded bench seats or optional Strato bucket seats along with carpeting, cushioned steering wheel, and custom pedal trim.

Bias-belted tires were standard equipment, but a radial tuned suspension option added radial tires along with upgraded suspension tuning for improved ride and handling.

Cars Magazine tested a 1974 GTO with the optional four-speed and obtained a 0-60 mph time of 7.7 seconds and a quarter mile reading of 15.72 seconds at 88 mph (142 km/h).

Sales were an improvement over 1973, at 7,058, but not enough to justify continuing the model.

1975 to 1999

Pontiac had planned to offer a 1975 GTO, again based on the compact Ventura and powered by a Pontiac-built 350 CID V8. The Ventura and other GM compacts underwent substantial styling and engineering changes, the latter including front and rear suspensions similar to the sporty Firebird. In the end, however, the GTO was discontinued following a corporate decision to switch to Buick V8 engines on the 1975 Ventura line, though Pontiac V8s were continued in all other division models. GM management decided that the GTO must end its production run.

In 1975, an enterprising Pontiac dealer in the Eastern United States reportedly decided to "create" a new GTO. Sensing that the 1974 GTO should have continued on the intermediate LeMans platform rather than downsized to the Ventura line, this dealer advertised and sold an undetermined number of 1975 Pontiac GTOs. These cars were factory-ordered by the dealer as LeMans Sport Coupes equipped with the 400 or 455 CID V8s with four-barrel carburetors, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions, Strato bucket seats and console, power steering, power disc brakes, Rally II or Honeycomb wheels, and Radial Tuned Suspension with whitewall or white-lettered radial tires. The dealer replaced the Pontiac and LeMans nameplates with "GTO" badges inside and out. This dealer-made 1975 GTO could be ordered with any LeMans exterior/interior combination along with any other extra-cost options available on the regular LeMans.

In 1976, Jim Wangers reportedly presented a LeMans Sport Coupe as a new GTO Judge prototype with a 400 CID V8 that was painted Carousel Red to Pontiac division officials as a possible GTO revival to supplement dramatic sales increases for the Firebird Trans Am (now accounting for 50% of Firebird sales) for those buyers who wanted a sporty performance car but needed a roomier back seat and larger trunk. However, division officials turned down the idea of an intermediate-sized GTO, but the concept was considered and approved for production; not as a GTO revival, but as the 1977 Pontiac Can Am.

During the subsequent 30 years, Pontiac considered several plans to revive the GTO nameplate, but none came to fruition. In 1988, when Oldsmobile planned to create a 442 based on the Cutlass Calais, Pontiac built a prototype GTO based on the Grand Am, equipped with a Quad 4 engine. The revived 442, introduced for the 1990 model year, proved to be a low seller, leading Pontiac to quietly cancel the GTO revival.

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi marketed a GTO coupe, although it was sold in U.S. and Canada as the Mitsubishi 3000GT to avoid legal conflicts with Pontiac. Fans of the original GTO considered the appropriation of a famous muscle car by a Japanese automaker to be sacrilegious, much as sports car fans of the 1960s had been infuriated by Pontiac borrowing the name of the Ferrari racer.

1999 concept car

During the 1999 Detroit Auto Show, a GTO concept car with a heritage-inspired Coke-bottle shape, grille, and hood scoop, was introduced to the world. It was only a design experiment and had no engine. The concept never made it into production, but created its own unique following at the time.

Revival

2004

The Pontiac GTO was relaunched in the United States in 2004, based on the Holden Monaro's V platform. The Monaro is a 2-door coupe variant of the Australian developed VT/VX Holden Commodore. The Commodore was in turn developed by enlarging the European designed 1994 Opel Omega B, which was marketed in its original form in the U.S. from 1997 to 2001 as the Cadillac Catera. The revival was prompted by former GM chairman Bob Lutz, who drove a Holden Monaro while on a business trip in Australia. It was also Pontiac's first American import since the 1993 Pontiac LeMans.

The GTO was produced by GM's Holden subsidiary in the suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia. It was equipped with the Corvette's LS1 ('04) and LS2 ('05-'06) V8 engine with a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. The same model was sold in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Monaro and in the Middle East as a Chevrolet Lumina SS. GM North America made a deal with Holden to produce a maximum of 18,000 vehicles per year starting in late 2003 and going through to the end of the 2006 model year. The 18,000 units was the production limit for the model at the Australian assembly plant.

Initially in 2004, the car was offered in several colors. These being Barbados Blue Metallic, Cosmos Purple Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Phantom Black Metallic, Impulse Blue Metallic, Torrid Red, and Yellow Jacket.

GM had high expectations to sell 18,000 units, but the Monaro-based GTO received a lukewarm reception in the U.S. The styling was frequently derided by critics as being too "conservative" and "anonymous" to befit either the GTO heritage or the current car's performance. In addition, the GTO faithful felt further insulted by GM's failure to present a U.S.-built car that incorporated any design lineage from the muscular icons of the 1960s and 1970s. Given the newly revived muscle car climate, it was also overshadowed by the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum and the new Ford Mustang, which all featured more traditional "muscle" aesthetics. Sales were also limited because of dealer tactics, such as initially charging large markups and denying requests for test drives of the vehicle. By the end of the year, the 2004 vehicles were selling with significant discounts. Sales were 13,569 of 15,728 cars for 2004.

To help squelch comments about the car's appearance, the hood scoops that originally were slated for production in 2004, were pushed into production as part of an over-the-counter Sport Appearance Package. The 2004 Sport Appearance Package also included a taller and more angular rear spoiler as well as deeper inset grilles.

Closing out the 2004 model year was the W40 package. Rumored to be a stillborn 40th anniversary package, it gave the buyer an exclusive paint color called Pulse Red, red GTO embroidery on the seats, and a grey colored gauge cluster. The last 794 of the 2004 model year GTOs were built with the W40 package.

2005

The 2005 model year continued with the addition of standard hood scoops, split rear exhaust, and late in the year, optional 18 inch (45.7 cm) wheels. The major change for 2005 was the replacement of the LS1 engine with the LS2 engine. This 5,967 cc (364.1 cu in) motor increased power and torque in the GTO to 400 hp (300 kW) with 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) torque. With this improved powerplant, Pontiac claimed the car capable of 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.7 seconds and a 13.0 second quarter mile at 105 mph (169 km/h) (automatic transmission). Car and Driver magazine tested the car at 4.6 seconds 0-60 mph and 13.0 seconds at 106 mph (171 km/h) for the quarter mile, so the claims seem justified. Dashboard gauge graphics were also revised. The optional dealer installed Sport Appearance Package became available and differed visually by having a different lower rear fascia that sported quad chrome exhaust tips, louder aggressive sounding mufflers, a modified spoiler, a modified front lower fascia extension, recessed SAP Grilles, and modified rocker panels. This package was available from GM as an accessory in red, silver, black, or primer for other color cars. Nonetheless, production was scaled back to 11,069, primarily because of a shortened model year. Barbados Blue and Cosmos Purple were dropped this year, but Cyclone Grey and Midnight Blue Metallic were added. Customers had the option to order their GTO without hood scoops, though only 24 were produced this way.

2006

For 2006, two additional colors were added to the line up, Spice Red Metallic and Brazen Orange Metallic, while Midnight Blue Metallic and Yellow Jacket were dropped. Changes for 2006 included revised blacked-out tail lamps, illuminated steering wheel radio controls and an interior power door lock switch. The climate control button for the A/C also had the word "Defog" added to it for the 2006 model year. Along with the 2005 model, the 2006 GTO was equipped with the 400 hp (300 kW), 6.0L engine.

On February 21, 2006, General Motors reportedly told dealers that it would halt imports of the GTO in September, making 2006 the last model year for the current GTO generation. This should have come as no surprise since this generation GTO was only intended to be produced for those 3 years from the beginning of the program.

The final production numbers of the 2006 Pontiac GTO are 13,948 cars, an increase from 11,069 from the previous model year.

The last Pontiac GTO, which was also the very last Monaro-based coupe produced, came off the assembly line in Australia on June 14, 2006. Total production for all three years was 40,808 vehicles.

Copyright (c) 2010 Wikipedia.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Original document with more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_gto



Video

1966 Pontiac GTO Commercial
Duration: 1:00

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Download 1966 Pontiac GTO Commercial from The Internet Archive
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Photographs

1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO Engine 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO Carburetors 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO Headlights 1964
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1964 Pontiac GTO Model Car 1964
"Grey Ghost"

Built by Frank LuQue
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1966 Pontiac GTO Tigers 1966
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1966 Pontiac GTO Custom Custom 1966
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1966 Pontiac GTO Model 1966
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Dennis Vito Pontiac GTO Drag Race Car Dennis Vito's Drag Race Car
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Dennis Vito Pontiac GTO Drag Race Car Dennis Vito's Drag Race Car
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Dennis Vito Pontiac GTO Drag Race Car Dennis Vito's Drag Race Car
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Dennis Vito Pontiac GTO Drag Race Car Dennis Vito's Drag Race Car
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1968 Pontiac GTO 1968
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1968 Pontiac GTO 1968
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1968 Pontiac GTO 1968
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1968 Pontiac GTO 1968
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1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 1971 Judge
for $44,500
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1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 1971 Judge
for $44,500
2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
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1971 Pontiac GTO Judge 1971 Judge
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1972 Pontiac GTO 1972
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1972 Pontiac GTO 1972
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1972 Pontiac GTO Ram Air Hood 1972
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1972 Pontiac GTO Dashboard 1972
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1972 Pontiac GTO 1972
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1972 Pontiac GTO Hurst Equipped Badge 1972
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Pontiac GTO Model Diorama GTO Garage Diorama
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Rusted Pontiac GTO Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1973 Pontiac GTO 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Hood Scoops 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Engine 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Wheel 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Interior 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Dashboard 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO 8-Track Player 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Tachometer 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO Speedometer 1973
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1973 Pontiac GTO 1973
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO Wheel 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO Interior 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO Dashboard 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO Dashboard 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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1974 Pontiac GTO 1974
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Modified 1974 Pontiac GTO Modified 1974
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Modified 1974 Pontiac GTO Modified 1974
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2004 Pontiac GTO Modified 2004
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2005 Pontiac GTO 2005
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2005 Pontiac GTO 2005
Show Registrant #400

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2006 Pontiac GTO Judge 2006 "Judge"
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2006 Pontiac GTO Judge 2006 "Judge"
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2006 Pontiac GTO Judge 2006 "Judge"
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2006 Pontiac GTO Judge 2006 "Judge"
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2nd Gen Pontiac GTO Chicago Blackhawks License Plate Second Generation with Chicago Blackhawks License Plate
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2nd Gen Pontiac GTO Chicago Blackhawks License Plate Second Generation with Chicago Blackhawks License Plate
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2006 Pontiac GTO.R at Daytona International Speedway Art Pontiac GTO Race Car at Daytona
Artist: Ken Eberts
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2004 Specifications

DrivetrainFR
EngineGen III LS1
Engine TypeV8
Engine Displacement5.7L
Horsepower350
Torque365 lb.-ft.
ExhaustDual w/chrome tips
Standard TransmissionHydra-Matic 4L60-E (performance tuned)
Optional TransmissionTremec 6-speed close-ratio manual
Length189.8
Wheelbase109.8"
Width72.5"
Height54.9"
Front Track64.1"
Rear Track62.1"
Front SuspensionIndependent MacPherson struts, progressive-rate springs, 28mm stabilizer bar
SteeringPower variable rack-and-pinion
Rear SuspensionSemi-trailing control-link, gas pressure dampers, 16mm direct-acting stabilizer bar
Traction ControlBosch (throttle, spark, fuel)
Brakes4-wheel disc
ABSBosch 4-channel
Rear AxleLimited Slip
Axle Ratio3.46:1
Seating2 + 2 perforated leather bucket seats
Front Seats8-way power adjustable and manual lumbar adjustment
Steering WheelLeather-wrapped rim adjustable (angle and telescoping) with radio controls
Head Room (front and rear)37.3"
Leg Room (front/rear)42.2"/37.1"
Shoulder Room (front/rear)59.7"/51.6"
Hip Room (front/rear)58.0"/50.2"
Trunk CapacityApproximately 9 cu. ft.
Door LocksPower w/lockout protection and programmable keyless entry
AudioBlaupunkt 200-watt with 6-disc in-dash CD changer, auto tone control and 10 speakers
Fuel Tank CapacityApproximately 18 gallons
Wheels17" five-spoke satin silver painted alloy
TiresP225/50-R17 W
Weight Distribution55/45
Exterior ColorsBarbados Blue Metallic (matching gauges), Cosmos Purple Metallic (matching interior and gauges), Impulse Blue Metallic (matching gauges and black/blue interior), Phantom Black Metallic (red gauges and black/red interior), Quicksilver Metallic (red gauges and black/red interior), Torrid Red (matching gauges and black/red interior), Yellow Jacket (matching gauges)

Other 2004 features include:

  • Accessory power outlet
  • Air conditioning
  • Antenna in rear window glass
  • Cruise control (included instrument panel light)
  • Cupholders (2)
  • Electric rear window defogger
  • Driver Information Center (average fuel economy, average speed, current fuel economy, fuel used, overspeed, range, season odometer, stop watch, trip distance remaining, trip odometer, trip time remaining)
  • Floor mats
  • Fog lamps
  • Power release fuel filler door
  • Map pockets
  • Leather trim shift knob
  • Visors with illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Power windows

    2005 Dyno Tests

    2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test 2005 Dyno Test
    Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
    2010 Indian Uprising
    View photo of 2005 Pontiac GTO - 3,655KB
    2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test 2005 Dyno Test
    Result:  275 horsepower at the wheels
    Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
    2010 Indian Uprising
    View video of 2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test - 48.3MB
    2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test 2005 Dyno Test
    Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
    2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
    View photo of 2005 Pontiac GTO - 2.7MB
    2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test 2005 Dyno Test
    Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
    2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
    View photo of 2005 Pontiac GTO - 2.3MB
    2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test 2005 Dyno Test
    Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
    2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
    View photo of 2005 Pontiac GTO - 2.2MB
    2005 Dyno Test
    Photo ©2012 Bill Crittenden
    2012 Nostalgia Auto Show
    Download video of 2005 Pontiac GTO Dyno Test in Windows Media format - 38.1MB


    Article Index

    DateArticleAuthor/Source
    3 March 2006Pontiac to Pull the Plug on the GTOBill Crittenden
    5 February 2007Resurfacing of the Pontiac GTO, TheJoe Thompson
    17 January 2011Come Back of The GTO, TheWilliam Jason
    5 March 2011The GTO Was The Benchmark Muscle CarWilliam Jason
    13 March 2011Pontiac GTO: The Classic Muscle CarWilliam Jason
    14 September 2011Little GTO ... go... Gus Philpott, The Woodstock Advocate
    7 May 20143 GTOs Illustrate Differences in Automotive MarketsBill Crittenden


    Model Kits & Die Cast Cars


    Kay-Bee Special Value Tri-Pack
    TypeManufacturerItem #SeriesNameScaleNotes
    Die CastHot WheelsN8533-0910Clover Cars'64 Pontiac GTOSmallOlive green w/black stripes
    Model KitMonogram2714'64 Pontiac GTO1:24
    3 Model KitsMonogram6241Pontiac Muscle Cars (Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac GTO, Pro-Street Firebird)1:241978 Trans Am
    1964 Pontiac GTO
    1980's Firebird Pro Street
    Die CastHot WheelsM6891-0918LTeam: Muscle ManiaPontiac GTO JudgeSmallSilver w/dark grey stripe
    Model KitRevell85-2873Revell Muscle'66 Pontiac GTO1:25
    Model KitRevell85-4167Royal Pontiac '66 GTO1:25GeeTO Tiger
    Model KitRevell85-2985'68 GTO Street Machine1:24
    Model KitAMT38162Street Customs1972 Pontiac GTO1:25




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