The first generation of the GTO was a muscle car produced in the 1960s and the 1970s. Although there were muscle cars introduced earlier than the GTO, the Pontiac GTO is considered by some to have started the trend with all four domestic automakers offering a variety of competing models.
For the 1964 and 1965 model years, the GTO was an optional package on the intermediate-sized Pontiac Lemans. The GTO became a separate model from 1966 to 1971. It became an optional package again for the 1972 and 1973 intermediate Le Mans. For 1974, the GTO optional package was offered on the compact-sized Ventura.
The GTO was selected as the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1968
The name, which was DeLorean's idea, was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO. It is an Italian abbreviation for Gran Turismo Omologato or "grand tourer homologated", which means officially certified for racing in the grand tourer class. The Pontiac GTO was never really a certified Grand Tourer race car. Internally, it was initially called the "Grand Tempest Option", one of many automobiles in the Pontiac line up with a 'Grand' in it. Despite these things, the GTO is one of the fastest cars ever manufactured by Pontiac.
The second generation GTO was introduced in 1968 and GM redesigned its A-body line with more curvaceous, semi-fastback styling. The wheelbase was shortened to 112.0 in on all two-door models. Overall length was reduced 5.9 inches and height dropped half an inch. Pontiac abandoned the familiar vertically stacked headlights in favor of a horizontal layout, but made hidden headlights available at extra cost. The concealed headlights were a popular option. The 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. 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.
The 1968 model year was also the last year the GTOs offered separate crank operated front door vents.
Concealed windshield wipers, which presented a cleaner appearance hidden below the rear edge of the hood, were standard on the GTO and other 1968 GM products after having been originally introduced on the 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix
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 in pure stock form. Motor Trend clocked a four-speed Ram Air GTO with 4.33 rear differential at 14.45 seconds at 98.2 mph and a standard GTO with Turbo-Hydramatic and a 3.23 rear axle ratio at 15.93 seconds at 88.3 mph. Testers were split about handling, with Hot Rod calling it "the best-balanced car Pontiac ever built," but Car Life chided its excessive nose heaviness, understeer, and inadequate damping.
Now facing competition both within GM and from Ford, Dodge, and Plymouth—particularly the low-cost Plymouth Road Runner—the GTO won the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. Sales reached 87,684 units, which would ultimately prove to be the second-best sales year for the GTO.
This GTO Convertible is like no other and has been heavily invested into so that it provides the legendary look of the GTO with modern drivability and power. This legendary brute is truly stunning!
- Build Sheet
- 400ci Engine balanced & blueprinted (.030 over) with all forged components
- 4spd M-21 Transmission
- Rust Free AZ/UT Car
- PHS Documented
- Fresh Body off-frame, glass out, documented nut & bolt restoration
- Frame blasted and powder coated
- Body stripped to bare metal, epoxy primer
- All original sheet metal!
- Edelbrock Performer RPM polished intake
- Edelbrock 750 CFM electric choke carb
- March performance serpentine pulley system, polished
- Rear: 12-bolt 3.55 Posi
- Global west tubular control arms
- All new suspension
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- 17” Pontiac Rally PHD wheels with low profile tires
- New fuel lines & gas tank
- New brake lines
- Custom painted engine bay
- 4-core aluminum radiator
- Complete new wire harnesses
- 100amp Alternator
- Flowmaster stainless steel exhaust
- Legendary Auto interior, convertible top and boot
- Dynamat thermal protection on floors
- New Glass
- New dash gauges & console
- Over 100k in Fresh Receipts
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