10 February 2014

Pontiac GTO 50th Anniversary: Ghost of “The Goat” Still Haunts Detroit – and Stuttgart, Too

Happy 50th anniversary, Pontiac GTO! It’s too bad the Pontiac brand isn’t still around to celebrate, but there are legions of proud GTO owners and muscle car buffs who treasure the model that launched the muscle car genre.

The GTO history has been told too many times to count, so this feature will not add to the pile. Rather, it’s worth looking back at the impact the GTO made, not only on car enthusiasts, but also on the auto industry. The GTO’s influence continues today in ways and on cars that you might not suspect.

Let’s get a key issue out of the way. When discussing the GTO’s place in auto history, it’s safer to say, “Launched the musclecar genre” than “It was the first muscle car.” As Chevy, Ford and Mopar fans could correctly point out, several models that preceded the 1964 GTO offered performance to qualify as a muscle car. All any of those cars would prove, however, is that Detroit had already been catering to the performance enthusiast, albeit in very small numbers, and without crafting specific model identities. (The Chevy Impala Super Sport with one of the 409 V-8’s could certainly be considered an exception.)

What changed in late 1963, when the GTO arrived as a performance option for the 1964 Pontiac Tempest LeMans? That’s the year that the 3.4 million kids born in 1946, the first wave of “baby boomers,” turned 17. Clever marketing would prove every bit as valuable as engineering in reaching this group.

These buyers wanted more than fast quarter-mile times. They wanted to stand out at the drive-in and the burger drive-through. They wanted a car that reflected their self-image, a car with the look and sound of performance, not just impressive acceleration figures.

Pontiac had set the stage for a car to fill that niche, with its racing successes and clever promotion over the previous few years. The challenge was parlaying that into a showroom model that would appeal to young buyers, while still being affordable to them. Engineering was the easy part. Pontiac’s V-8, whether in 326- or 389-cubic-inch displacement, used the same block. So, the “bigger” engine was a bolt-in to the midsize Tempest body.

The ’64 GTO was quick, with mid-15-second quarter-mile times in standard 325-horsepower trim. It was affordable, too, with a starting price of just over $2,800. A choice of post coupe, hardtop coupe or convertible styles ensured wide appeal.

It didn’t take much to create the GTO’s street image – dummy hood scoops, redline tires, and some special exterior and interior trim did the job. Crucially, the GTO could be personalized with a plethora of performance, comfort and appearance options, including the Tri-Power triple-carburetor intake.

Above all, the GTO had a brazen, youthful attitude lacking in other cars. Perhaps most brazen was Pontiac’s “borrowing” the Gran Turismo Omologato name from the renowned Ferrari racecar. It all added up to a virile image that resonated with the car’s primary target buyer group, 18- to 25-year-old men.

Pontiac sold some 32,000 1964 GTOs, three times as many as projected. The instant success for what was a separate option package that first year vindicated Pontiac’s 40-year-old chief engineer, John DeLorean, who just barely pushed the car through corporate approval as a $296 option package. The GTO’s success also boosted the stature of marketing man Jim Wangers, whose clever marketing helped make the GTO more than just a sales success, but a pop culture icon, too.

“Brazen” would describe the marketing tactics Wangers employed to generate buzz for the GTO. Swapping a specially prepared 421-cubic-inch engine into Car & Driver’s road test car to achieve a blistering 12.8-second quarter mile was surely the most audacious. Wangers kept the high-profile GTO promotions and tie-ins coming, helping boost GTO sales to 75,000 for 1965 and higher for several years afterward. It was a harbinger of automotive marketing to come.

The subtext that the GTO could help young men attract attention from young women was ever present in the car’s marketing. Pontiac underscored that message by having America’s most eligible fictitious bachelor, astronaut Anthony Nelson, drive a GTO in TV’s “I Dream of Jeanie,” which debuted in the fall of 1965.

While other GM divisions introduced GTO competitors starting in 1965, Ford didn’t enter the race until the 1966 Fairlane GT. Chrysler was even slower to respond, finally combining high-performance and street image with the 1967 Plymouth GTX and Dodge Coronet R/T and then achieving much more success with the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner.

The Chevelle SS 396 and the Plymouth Road Runner passed the GTO in sales and street image, and Pontiac was rightly accused of allowing its muscle car to atrophy. The defunct division deserves some credit, however, for having fielded a kind of “grown-up” muscle car with the 1973 Grand Am, essentially a more luxurious take on the GTO concept.

The original GTO’s lasting legacy might just be today’s youth-oriented versions of otherwise mundane cars, such as the Volkswagen GTI and Honda Civic Si. Even the $60,000 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG follows the GTO formula: install a bigger, more powerful engine, tweak the chassis, dress up the body and interior with special trim, and market accordingly.

Even if the results are technically superior, the blueprint remains the same as the GTO made famous 50 years ago.

67 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Steve Palm San Antonio,TX February 12, 2014 at 13:27
    See my song, "Goodbye Pontiac, I Miss My G.T.O." (google it on youtube)
  • 2
    Kathie South Carolina February 12, 2014 at 13:54
    I have a 1965 GTO, which was my late husband's dream car. Because of this I will probably keep it in my collection. It is I must say quite a car!!! A little on the scary side if you're not usd to that many horses, but totally worth the ride!! :))
  • 3
    Adrian Curtis Kauai, Hawaii February 12, 2014 at 14:04
    Great article but left out Ronny and the Daytonas "Little GTO". Poor guys had just 1 hit, and it sold a lot of Goats! Also, article mentioned the Tri-carb setup in passing only...marketing-wise, it made the package! Performance-wise, cruising on 2 barrells, hit the 'GO' pedal, the other 4 kicked in, and hang on! Too cool! BTW, that's me: born 1946, Class of '64. We had it all; the Beetles, GTO, and Vietnam Nam...
  • 4
    Oliver Julien Boone, NC February 12, 2014 at 14:42
    You skipped one of the fastest = 428 Cobra Jet!!!!
  • 5
    Sandra Lewis New Jersey February 12, 2014 at 14:46
    Always has been and always will be the most gorgeous car ever. 1966-1967 GTO.
  • 6
    Bob Harla texas February 12, 2014 at 15:21
    I am the proud owner of a 1964 Alamo Beige tri-power 4 speed convertible. I can't believe for the 50th anniversary of the GTO you put another year photo on your cover story.
  • 7
    Dave Iowa February 12, 2014 at 15:33
    Wanted one when I was a senior in High School. Couldn't afford one then. Bought a '66 tripower 31 years ago. Still have it. I consider myself fortunate to be preserving the legacy of this car!
  • 8
    capned pittsburgh February 12, 2014 at 15:35
    the color is linden green
  • 9
    Carl Sikes Mesa az February 12, 2014 at 15:48
    Chevrolet put big motors in FULL SIZE cars. Pontiac put the big motor in a midsize car. Full size cars are performance cars no doubt about it. But not muscle cars. GTO was the first muscle car. No one else, just the 64 GTO. Pretty simple and straight forward. A Pontiac 2+2 421 H.O. is a performance car, not a muscle car. A Chevrolet SS 409 is a performance car, not a muscle car. 64 GTO = MUSCLE CAR. Class dismissed!
  • 10
    Owen United States February 12, 2014 at 15:51
    Let's see a piece on John Z. Delorean's other child, the DMC-12! Many of us drive ours any chance we get.
  • 11
    BHawley NC February 12, 2014 at 15:51
    Couldn't find a pix of a '64?
  • 12
    John fisher Omaha ne February 12, 2014 at 16:10
    I bought my 66 goat in high school and still have it 46years later. I just had it restored last April and she looks great.Hopefully all you other Goat owners are enjoy yours as much as I am enjoy mine . She gets compliments where ever we go.
  • 13
    Bob B New York February 12, 2014 at 16:21
    When did the Olds 442 join this elite group of muscle cars and how did it compare?
  • 14
    Patrick Roy NJ February 12, 2014 at 16:56
    The Pontiac GTO was my first car when I started college in the 60. It was a pleasure to drive it with my wife during our college years.
  • 15
    Bob Denton Bloomfield Hills, MI February 12, 2014 at 16:57
    You forgot one very important element of the GTO story. Pete Estes was the head of Pontiac Division, and not only did he sign off on the concept, he was a very active participant, getting the team everything they needed to get the GTO through..
  • 16
    Bob Cupery Los Angeles, Ca. February 12, 2014 at 16:57
    How much is my 1964 GTO convertible, black on black on black with tri power and 4 speed worth? Have it pictured in table top book "Pontiacs Great One GTO" six times and was invited to concours de elegance in Palos Verdes this year. Pls give me an idea what to ask for it. I've owned it 35 years. thanks
  • 17
    Randy Cleavenger SW PA February 12, 2014 at 17:24
    I got mine in January of 1964. It was a life changing event that went a long way toward shaping my youth. I still have it. Did a frame-off restoration in 2005-2006. It looks and runs better now than it did in 1964. When I die, they can dig a bigger hole and plant me, still in my car.
  • 18
    Bob Purrier Camano Island, WA February 12, 2014 at 17:26
    We bought a new 1965 GTO hardtop, with tri-power and close ratio 4-speed. We had two sons at that time and the brood grew to four while that car served as family transportation. My wife still tells people how much she loved that car.
  • 19
    Richard Poteracki Mount Prospect Illinois February 12, 2014 at 17:39
    I was 15 years old, and waiting on the driveway was a 66 GTO. This was in 1968. Bought the car from my brother-in-law. The car was driven as a promotion for a local dealership by Chicago Blackhawk Stan Makita. He put on the first 4,000 miles, and then my brother in law bought it. I owned it for the last 3 years I was in high school. I was king until the 396 Camaros and Chevelles started to arrive. Sad to say I went into the army in 1969 after graduation and sold the car. Talked to Stan Makita a few years back, and he wanted to know if I still had the car. He was ready to buy it back from me. Oh! how I wish I still owned it. Now I drive a 1968 Kaiser Jeep 5/4 ton army truck that you have photos of. How times change, but the memories remain alive.
  • 20
    Jeff Micono New Mexico February 12, 2014 at 18:28
    I think an important boost to the GTO's popularity HAD TO BE "Little GTO" by Ronny and the Daytonas. Wouldn't you agree?
  • 21
    Jim Eugene Oregon February 12, 2014 at 19:12
    I thought GTO was the Garbage Truck Option ?
  • 22
    Rich United States February 12, 2014 at 19:12
    Hard to believe it was almost 50 years ago that I bought my 1965 Goat..tri-power, 389 cu in , Muncie 4 speed, no power steering, or brakes. Sold it for $1400 after a few years of hard street use. I was glad that gas was .29 cents per gallon then !
  • 23
    Dan F. Arkansas February 12, 2014 at 19:14
    Kick me! I traded my 1964 GTO in on a 1972 Challenger. Please kick me again.
  • 24
    Jerry Florida February 12, 2014 at 19:58
    The poor man's GTO was the LeMans Sprint, the OHC 6 with the Rochester quadrajet. I still have my convertible, 48 years after we left the showroom.
  • 25
    Arsey Miller Clarkston mi February 12, 2014 at 20:25
    In the late summer of 1967 I bought a new 1967 GTO hardtop 360hp/ 4 speed. Within days I had new A/R wheels, new cam, Sun tach, new carb and a competition plus shifter... it was a Greaaaat car. The tiger's wasn't the only tail in that GTO.. wink, wink.
  • 26
    Mister2 Tim South Florida February 12, 2014 at 20:50
    I was lucky that my Dad bought a red 64 GTO. It was the car he taught me drive with. Needless to say I have been involved in motorsports for 47 years as a result. Oh..BTW guys that's a 1965 in your photo not a 64.
  • 27
    Mike Lovullo Wayne, NJ February 12, 2014 at 22:05
    I'm a C2 'Vette owner but my cousin owned the infamous "Goat" and it's always been my 2nd best loved car. Unfortunately he sold it several years ago. Maybe someday I'll get one to add to my classic car collection.
  • 28
    John Missouri, USA February 12, 2014 at 22:17
    Long live the GTO! www.gtoaa.org
  • 29
    george.szegedy GM February 12, 2014 at 12:41
    Where is a picture of the KOOL 1964 I am working on a resto now Black hard top Love the 64s
  • 30
    Ron Henslee Dalworthington Gardens, TX. February 13, 2014 at 06:57
    Growing up in Ft. Worth, I remember the young guys down the street racing a 64 GTO and a 63 Corvette. I would watch them go by and wait for hours to come back - what a thrill. I am glad to say today I have a 64 GTO that I can make memories for myself my family and all my friends. The GTO will live forever!
  • 31
    Mac Ma. February 13, 2014 at 10:25
    Great article! Just one minor error.....Olds was the first follow up on the success of the GTO and actually did not wait for 1965. They released the 442 in '64' as a 3/4-year model. Thanks Pontiac for getting the ball rolling!
  • 32
    J.D. Hill Country, TX February 13, 2014 at 10:52
    The article is focused on the '64 GTO but the photo is of a '66 or '67. How hard would it have been to come up with a photo of the original?
  • 33
    Carl NH February 13, 2014 at 11:12
    Too bad you couldnt have used a 64 for that photo instead of a 500 pound heavier sled. With considerable rework my 64 turned 11.97 at the strip, just a few hundredths off the B/FX record.
  • 34
    chauncey Johnsatone manalapan FL February 13, 2014 at 11:21
    I purchased one of the first GTOs in Jacksonville FL. It was a convertible with the tri carb, 4 speed, no power steering,positraction etc.. The first cars off the line had a vacuum system to open the two out outside carbs when you "Got on it"... The system would make the engine over rev when you accelerated up to the red line. Pontiac called the cars back to the dealers and installed a mechanical linkage which solved the problem.I do not know how many of those first cars had the problem. Traded that car for a 67 Firebird 400, ram air, four speed etc. Wish I still had them, it would help retirement.
  • 35
    Edward Restivo Spencerport, N.Y. February 13, 2014 at 11:22
    I still feel the thrills of my first '64 Tri-Power GTO. At 21 years old we drove 'em hard and they came back for more. Now at 70 years old I drive another restored '64 GTO which I have had for ten years. She's my baby now, I don't push her too often, but the temptation lives on......
  • 36
    Dan Dickey Shelton, Washington February 13, 2014 at 11:50
    Had a brand new 64 GTO when I was seventeen. 389, tri-power, 4-spd 3.23 rear, parchment interior, exterior was 1956 Packard Naples Orange. Absolutely stunning car
  • 37
    Kenn Wisconsin February 13, 2014 at 12:00
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GTO !! Does anyone know how many 1966 GTO convertibles remain out of the roughly 12000 produced ? One part of your article states "Tri-Power triple- carburetor"; to gear heads this is redundant it's like saying "Tri-Power, Tri-Power" or "triple carburetor, triple carburetor,", since 1957 we all say "Tri-Power" and know that it means three two-barrel carbs. One last remark. It's too bad that the latest GTO came to market looking like a cousin to the Chevy Cobalt, if the would have made it to resemble the earlier GTOs (64 to 72) as they did with the Camaro, Mustang, & Challenger, they would have had a monster seller and I would have been first in line to buy one!
  • 38
    Malik Newton Jonesboro Ga. February 13, 2014 at 00:02
    I'd rather have me a 64-67 Goat than a Mustang any day plus those were my only favorite body styles they fast & stylish always look good has a hard top or convertible 50th ANNIVERSARY that is amazing for these cars.
  • 39
    Bruce O. United States February 14, 2014 at 16:56
    I know it's heresy, but my 2006 GTO is a far faster and more comfortable car than its namesake. It's not nearly as pretty, but still looks mean. Kids know what it is while old guys growl, "That's no GTO." Contrary to the early ones, Bob Lutz's Holden was a muscle car bargain that was hard to beat. For a new one I paid $66/bhp. Calculate it for your Bimmer. I got a killer deal with a stock qtr. mile of 13.3 secs, at 106 mph, and top speed of 159. Not bad at all.
  • 40
    Jim Looney Dallas, TX February 14, 2014 at 17:04
    Having turned 16 in 1966, my first car was a new burgundy GTO with four speed. High school friends still talk about that car. For me it was truly "The Great One". I own a couple of '67 442's now but no other image transports me back in time like seeing that classic '66 GTO. What a lucky guy.
  • 41
    Duane M. Georgia February 15, 2014 at 14:36
    I was a young engineer at Pontiac Engineering responsible for suspension design and development, which included developing the ride and handling for all Pontiac models. In the early spring of 1963 we had one each of all of the Pontiac prototype models from Bonnevilles to Tempests at the GM Proving Grounds in Mesa, AZ. Several engineers from all areas of the car were there working together "on the last minute" plan to develop the 1964 GTO. We were keeping the plan a secret from Chevy, Olds, and Buick, which was a challenge within itsself, because our work station hoists were next to those of the other divisions and it was hard to keep other engineers from looking over to see what we were doing. Developing he ride and handling for the GTO was a fun change for me since up to then, the challenge was to see how soft and quiet we could make the Pontiacs ride with just a little of the "big car float." The GTO was to have the so called European feel with a "firm and flat" ride without too much harshness. On one of the days, John Seaton, Ron Rogers, and I were carrying large diameter front stabilizer (roll) bars to the prototype GTO to evaluate the effect on handling, when an Olds engineer happened to be walking by and noticed what we were carrying. "What are you doing with that?" says he. For a moment I didn't know what to say, but quickly came up with the answer, "The supplier screwed up and sent several way out of spec.- too stiff." We're repackaging them to send back. Fortunately, he bought the story, and we were able to keep the GTO secret for a few more weeks until it was too late to stop SOP (start of production).
  • 42
    Dominic carini south east wisconsin February 15, 2014 at 14:55
    I bought a 1966 le mans when I went to pick it up there in the showroom sat a new 66 G.T.O. I knew I bought the wrong car. It wasn't till 1987 I found a solid Texas G.T.O.4 speed try power, have owned since ,and I have already willed to my son,and grandson..... What a ride!
  • 43
    mike USA February 15, 2014 at 15:11
    Why didn't you put a picture of a 1964 GTO ... Or do you know what one looks like?
  • 44
    EDDY D NEW JERSEY February 15, 2014 at 20:13
    My first car was the 1964 Pontiac Tempest auto with 215cid 6cyl. It was no GOAT but its little brother.
  • 45
    Brian Poffenberger Freeport, Il February 15, 2014 at 20:16
    Great article. A 1967 GTO is my dream car and maybe one day I will be able to afford a fully restored dark blue or red one.
  • 46
    Vic Breithaupt SE Michigan February 15, 2014 at 09:26
    I get as much pleasure driving my convertible 64 Goat as hearing my elder generation come up and smile, then tell me a GTO story from their younger years. Take the time to hear all the stories!
  • 47
    Tom Spokane, WA February 17, 2014 at 13:02
    My first car was a '68 GTO that my older brother gave to me when he went into the AirForce. It was 1978, and I was 15. The engine block was cracked, brakes and electrical system were shot and it needed some body work. Over the next couple of years, I managed to find another 400 engine from a '68 Goat, and slowly put the car back together again. I'll never forget the day I finally started the engine with no exhaust attached. Flames shot out of the manifolds when it came to life, and made the most glorious sound that I'd ever heard. It got about 8 mpg, and after a couple of wrecks and tickets in different cars, the insurance became a fortune for a teenager. I cried when I sold it.
  • 48
    Denise L. Clumpner United States February 18, 2014 at 13:19
    I bought my 1969 GTO when I was barely 16 with my own money back in 1979. It was a running, driving car and I was in love with it at first sight! Despite being mocked a bit by the "new car crowd" at school, the pack of guys I hung around with all drove older cars and treated me as their equal even though I was the only girl around with a muscle car. Today, I am nearing 51 years old, and my GTO is still my dream car, and still with me. I have taken the car to a level I never thought possible and made wonderful friends with it. I even met my husband because of it! I am honored to be the caretaker of such a great piece of automotive art and history, and enjoy showing my car several times a week during the car show season at cruises and shows. Life is DEFINITELY more fun with a GTO.........Happy Birthday GTO! Those of us who love you will make sure you live forever.
  • 49
    Gary Marion, Ohio February 18, 2014 at 11:28
    I owned a '64 GTO when in college in the late 60s. White coupe with a black vinyl top, 389, 3-2 barrel Carbs, 4-speed. Wow....what a car! One memory I do have is watching the needle on the round speedometer gauge go past 120-MPH to zero again. After I got married in 1969, I sold it for $900 so that I could get more of a "family car". I bought a 69 Chevy Nova SS. How is that for a "family car"? My Goat was one of those cars that you wish you could get back. It was my all-time favorite car I ever owned.
  • 50
    Keith United States February 19, 2014 at 17:07
    I was more a fan of the 442's and of course my all time fave, the '69 Camaro. That said, GTO's were never taken lightly in my circle of 'race buddies'. Oh, and what's all this nonsense about tri-power? Back in the day nobody called 'em that.. we all called that the 6 pack. Maybe it was just a regional (Southern US) thing?
  • 51
    David Eyre Boron , California February 19, 2014 at 22:27
    I still have my 1966 GTO, The car I drove in High School. Dated my wife in that car , Got married in that car ,Honeymooned in that car and both my boys came home from the hospital in that car. It still holds a high place in the family. Has its 421, put that in in high school, tri power and 4 speed... I still drive it every Monday.....
  • 52
    Mickey Georgia February 19, 2014 at 11:03
    I graduated from High School in 1966, always loved cars but couldn't purchase one. Got married, years passed and three years ago finally purchased my dream car. A very nice, ready to drive 1966 GTO! It only took 43 years to get it! Wow, 50 years for the Beatles and GTO.
  • 53
    Natalie Syracuse NY February 20, 2014 at 19:27
    Happy 50th Birthday to The Great One Great article Grew up a "car girl" my Dad had a service station where i worked from the age of 12 growing up. My Dad 7 brothers always had muscle cars. I dreamed of having a 1969 red gto convertible. Got my license at 16. I've had 4 GTO's so far, but when I was 19,in 1980 I found a red 1968 converible with a black top & I fell in love. When I hear people say I wish I kept my GTO I say I did! It has sure gone through alot of changes, colors, tire wheels & engines, now it has a 455 I will never get rid of it . I belong to the Six Nations Pontiac Oakland Club Int'l we have a blast at all the shows & cruises, you just gotta drive them!!
  • 54
    phil indiana February 20, 2014 at 09:03
    i love the gto i cant wait till i get my 1968 gto happy 50 years
  • 55
    Richard South Carolina February 23, 2014 at 15:06
    Bought my first 1967 GTO in September 1967at the age of 20. Traded a 1966 Nova SS in on it! Eloped in it about a month later. Sad to say had to trade it off for a gas saver. 46 years later, same wife and another 1967 GTO. Both still are Classy Ladies. God has been good to me!
  • 56
    Tim Chardon, Ohio February 23, 2014 at 17:45
    Bought my first new Pontiac in 1963, a Catalina convertible. Kept it for ten years (unheard of in those days). It was the best car I had ever owned. Well, almost 30 years passed when I had found a 1967 GTO for sale at a BOP car show in Atlanta. It was from Chattanooga, Tn., Regimental Red, Parchment interior and loaded with options. It still had the factory original power train having the 400 cu. in. engine, Rochester Quadrajet and Turbo 400 His/Hers Hurst automatic transmission. In the eleventh year of ownership I reluctantly sold this beautiful car. I've regretted that decision ever sinc.
  • 57
    Jim South Carolina February 26, 2014 at 08:23
    Had a 6 Cylinder '67 Camaro in high school, but always coveted the GTO owned by my Chemistry teacher. You could hear him coming a block away. Forty years later a bought a fully restored '66 Black w/Parchment interior convertible. Four speed and tri-power and boy does it scream. The looks and stares I get when I take it out are unbelievable. Almost embarrassing. Living the dream !!!
  • 58
    Jose C Gonzalez Jr Bronx, New York March 2, 2014 at 17:04
    Thank you HAGERTY & staff for keeping the BEST American muscle car ALIVE! I've owned a 1974 Pontiac Ventura Custom GTO for the last 35 years and I am proud and very thankful to your Editor for publishing my GTO in your Spring Issue this year!!! Can't top that!!! I am very grateful and glad I chose HAGERTY to insure my baby 8 years ago!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! Jose (NY)
  • 59
    Vinny DiStasio Watertown, Ct March 5, 2014 at 01:11
    My brother Tom and I own, what we think might be the last 64 GTO to roll off the assembly line. Our 1964 build sheet indicates it was produced on 6-29-64 in Pontiac Mich. which was the last day of the production year, because on 6-30-64 begins the set up of the 1965 models.It's a 389,4 speed, 4bbl Hardtop Coupe, Gulfstream Aqua, black interior.It was sold new at Rudy Pontiac in Norwalk Ct.Sticker price was $3,313.60
  • 60
    gary christensen United States March 7, 2014 at 09:12
    What do you mean 'Ford didn’t enter the race until the 1966 Fairlane GT'. I had a '64 K code Mustang in '66 and '67 that would regularly beat GTO's on the street. I love GTO's however, and have a gorgeous '68 in the garage
  • 61
    Tommy Fox,Brenda,Robbie Lake Norman.NC May 5, 2014 at 10:57
    Been a Pontiac nut for ever and lucky enough to still have a few.1965 GTO, 1968 Firebird, 1967 Firebird, 1969 T/A, 2006 GTO.What great cars.
  • 62
    James Eley Corpus Christi, Texas May 7, 2014 at 17:19
    I just saw the Hagarty magazine issue about the 50 year Anniv of the GTO. While never owning one I did own a 1968 Firebird 400. Just this last Saturday I purchased a beautiful like new 2005 GTO with the LS2 400 horsepower Corvette engine. Its color is Yellow Jacket or a sort of golden yellow. The car I bought from the original owner and it only had 25,932 miles on it. Been putting some miles on it. I realize this car was built in Australia and is really a Holden Monero but they did ship a few thousand of them to the USA with Pontiac GTO trim. Very fast car!!
  • 63
    Jeff Waterman Fairfield, California June 12, 2014 at 13:53
    Upon graduating as engineer from Purdue, for $3,240 I bought a 1965 GTO 360 HP convertible with tri-power, 4 speed muncie, no power steering, no power brakes, maroon with black upholstery - girl magnet car, and headed west to California. Loved the car. Got married, put power steering in the car for my new wife. We were headed north to Redding, pre 4 lane, wife driving. Needed to pass slow truck on two lane. I said "Shift down to third and punch it". She zoomed around truck. I said " you can slow down now." She said "Why ?". I said "Because you're going 105." Two kids later, 110K miles, car needed engine rebuild, traded in - For $400 !!! (idiot)for station wagon. But I did still have my 1932 Plymouth coupe with Dodge hemi, 3 stromberg 97's. Wife and I on 48th year, grandkids, building 1023 Bucket T with BBC (sorry). Life is good.
  • 64
    John Cadenhead Guthrie Oklahoma February 8, 2015 at 02:19
    I have a 1973 Pontiac Ventura custom looks like 1974 gto I guess it's a pore mans gto
  • 65
    John Ocala, Fla. and Western Maryland July 12, 2015 at 14:51
    Hi All GTO lovers, I hire in to PMD (Pontiac Motors Div. of G. M.) May 1968 in the Engine Plant for a Summer Job, after 36 years I retired. Looking back now it was a great place to work. But I never thought there would be the day that there was not be a PONTIAC. I had a 66 GTO for the past 26 years now and it still runs great. The changes that happen there over the years was many, but when I started in 1968 there was 18,500 hourly employees, when I retired in 2004 there ws down to around 3,000. Today there is under 1,000 employees there. Most of the plant has been torn down and just Plant #14 a large press plant is the only building left as part of the old Pontiac Car Plant. But there is many ROBOTS doing the jobs the human use to do. All the Best & Drive Safe.
  • 66
    John Madia Parsippany,NJ July 12, 2015 at 23:02
    Bought my first 1967 GTO Linden Green convertible brand new when I was 18. After we had a baby I sold it. We always thought we would be able to get another one at anytime. Didn't happen. Took 30 years but now have a 1967 Tyrol Blue GTO convertible with white top and interior. The first one was an automatic, this one is a 4 speed. It's so much fun driving in this car and going to car shows. It takes me back in time.
  • 67
    Ron Sandusky, Michigan August 6, 2015 at 15:10
    Finally , after 10 long years & 2700 hours, got'er done, a 64 Flame Red hdtp, nuts & bolt restoration, partially modified, fr disc, new air cond system, air shocks, tran & engine (76- 400 ) overhaul, undercoating etc. , all lines , near perfecto , a clear 10 ftr or less , but I'm driving it. My 1st new car was a 64 GTO. Neat e-mail comments !!!

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