The Pontiac GTO was a two-door muscle car from the 60's/70's era meant to compete with other pony cars" like the Plymouth Barracuda and Ford Mustang. The Goat, as it became known, was originally an option for the A-body Tempest. It later lost the Tempest moniker and stood on its own. Designed in part by engineer John DeLorean, it was a street performance vehicle named after the Ferrari 250 GTO, a renowned Italian race car. Purists decried the GTO name, asserting that it wasn't a true Grand Tourer.
General Motors made the Pontiac GTO automobile from 1964 to 1974 in Detroit, Michigan for the U.S., Mexican and Canadian markets. Holden of Australia, a GM subsidiary, produced the car during its short-lived 2004 to 2006 comeback. That version was actually a left-handed take on their Commodore. During 1974, the final production year, it was based on the Pontiac Ventura. An experimental throw-back model with Coke bottle grill was shown in 1999 but never produced. It didn't even have an engine at the show.
The GTO came in convertible, hardtop and coupe models equipped with either a 89 cubic inch, 6.4 liter V-8 or a 400 cubic inch 6.6 liter V-8. Four transmissions were offered, a 2 or 3 speed automatic, or a 3 or 4 speed manual. Chrome valve covers, dual exhaust, four-barrel carburetors, Hurst shifter and hood scoops were all part of the package. Critics complained about the heavy steering and insufficient braking.
The 1966 model sported a Coke bottle look, featuring a mildly tunneled backlight as well as kicked-up rear fender profile. The tail light boasted a unique, GTO-only louvered cover. In 1968, the body was redesigned to further accentuate the fastback styling. Ace Wilson's Royal Pontiac offered a special so-called "Bobcat" tune-up that increased horsepower and pushed the GTO to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. A later version was called "The Judge" based on a popular comedy routine on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In television show.
In 2004, Pontiac released a new GTO, based on the Holden Monaro's V-body platform. This version had two huge V-8 enginesone of 350 cubic inches and one of 400 cubic inches sporting a 6-speed manual or a four speed automatic transmission. It came in numerous colors like Torrid Red, Quicksilver Metallic, Barbados Blue Metallic and Yellow Jacket, to name a few. Slow sales ended the new GTO's production during 2006 with just under 41,000 cars made.
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