1968 Pontiac GTO
8-cyl. 400cid/360hp 4bbl Ram Air
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Pontiac drastically redesigned the Tempest/Le Mans/GTO line for 1968, with a new shorter 112-inch wheelbase for the 2-door models and the fashionable long hood-short deck treatment. The 1968 Pontiac GTO received hidden headlights and an energy absorbing body-colored polyurethane front bumper.
GTO sales rebounded to 87,684 units, with 77,704 Hardtops and 9,980 Convertibles. The two-door post Coupe was dropped. The base engine was the 350 bhp, 400 cid V-8, and although a 255-hp version with a two-barrel was available as a step-down option, few chose it. The 350 bhp four-barrel engine was available with automatic transmission or a 3-speed or 4-speed manual gearbox.
Real die-hards spent $342.29 for the Ram Air cold-air intake engine which was replaced mid-year by the Ram Air II. Ram Air II came with forged pistons, a forged crankshaft and ported cylinder heads. It wasn’t available with air-conditioning, and only a 4.33:1 rear end gear was available. Safe-T-Track was mandatory for an extra $63.19.
The dash was redesigned with three pods. The left gauge showed oil, charging and coolant temperature lights, and the fuel gauge. The speedometer took up the center space, and the right gauge could either be an 8,000 tachometer or a large rally clock. Hood tachometers were also available.
Motor Trend voted the 1968 Pontiac GTO “Car of the Year” and tested a 350 bhp GTO with an automatic transmission. It recorded 0-60 in 7.3 seconds and a 15.93-second quarter-mile at 88.32 mph. A Ram Air I car with a 4-speed cut that to 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, and a quarter mile in 14.45 seconds at 98.2 mph, while Car Life managed 99.7 mph at the end of the drag strip and a top speed of 112 mph.
A total of sixteen exterior paint colors were offered this year: Starlight Black (A), Cameo Ivory (C), Alpine Blue (D), Aegean Blue (E) Nordic Blue (F); ,April Gold (G), Autumn Bronze (I), Median Turquoise (K), Aleutian Blue (L), Flambeau Burgundy (N), Springmist Green (P), Verduro Green (Q) Solar Red (R), Primavera Beige (T), Nightshade Green (V), and Mayfair Maize (Y).
Six interior trim colors included Black, Teal, Turquoise, Gold, Red, and Parchment. Four convertible top colors included Ivory/White, Black, Teal and Gold. Four vinyl top colors were offered, and the choice was Ivory, Black, Teal or Gold.