No question that this was the first. Jim Wangers, Pontiac ad man, saw the market: nearly 10000 baby boomers were reaching license age every day. He recommended employing “an old hot rodder’s trick…stuff a big engine in a little car”. Pontiac Chief Engineer, John DeLorean, championed the idea, pushed it past a conservative GM management, and christened it the GTO. The Ferraristi were angered but Americans loved it and the muscle car became an American institution. Two Ford divisions, 3 GM divisions, 2 Chrysler divisions and AMC would follow but for the purist the Pontiac GTO would remain the one.
This GTO is said to have undergone a ground up restoration. It maintains a stock appearance but has a replacement powerplant from the era. Performance upgrades include a Mallory Ignition, Holley four barrel carburetor, stainless steel exhaust and an aluminum radiator. The radio has been replaced with a more modern AM/FM unit with no alteration of the dash or speaker mounting.
In 1964 Pontiac shoehorned a big block 389 into a mid sized Tempest, added a host of performance enhancements, and created the GTO option. It was hugely successful and by 1966 it was separate Pontiac model. Nearly 97,000 were sold that year. In 1967 engine displacement increased to 400 cubic inches. Gone was the “three deuces” option but a larger four barrel helped the GTO maintain its 360 hp rating. The two speed automatic transmission was replaced GM’s TH-400 Turbo-Hydramatic 3 speed transmission. Many consider the 1967 model the zenith of GTO styling. Lines were smooth, the coke bottle shape was pleasing to the eye and the stacked headlights, chrome rocker panels and mesh grill were distinctive.
Both VIN and trim plate confirm this as a real GTO. The interior and top colors are original but the trim plate suggests a change from an original fathom blue to its present stunning black paint. The carpets are said to be as new and are covered by Pontiac logo mats. A wood replacement kit accompanies the car and may be used at the discretion of the owner. The Hurst His n Hers shifter offered by Pontiac in 1967 is a valuable and unique feature.
Offered is an excellent example of Pontiac’s muscle car. Tempest based clones abound but VIN and data plate prove this to be the real thing. Its performance upgrades enhance utility and its triple black paint and red lined radials cause it to stand out from the crowd. The GTO is not a trailer queen. This muscle car features top down motoring and historic performance capabilities that can be enjoyed by even the non clutch savvy.
“Take it out to Pomona and let 'em know, yeah, yeah
That I'm the coolest thing around
Little buddy, gonna shut you down
When I turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO”“Little GTO” by Ronny and The Daytonas 1965