Howard S 1967 Pontiac GTO 2dr Hardtop Coupe

The little "GOAT" I almost never had!

Growing up in Ohio and West Virginia, my two brothers and I were lucky enough to have been raised around cars. The family had two auto junkyards in Marietta, Ohio from the late 1930's until the original one was closed in the 1960's. My older brother also built up an early speed shop into the original one located overlooking the Ohio River.

I fell in love with Pontiacs because we had them around including in our other businesses, glass and seat cover retailers/installers, also in Marietta. Dad used a 1961 Pontiac Catalina wagon for daily transportation and for use around the two glass stores. I used it on weekends for dates and running around with my "buds". He later had a 1965 Pontiac Catalina wagon which I ended up using sometimes when I returned home from the Navy and was in college. At around 25¢ a gallon for gasoline, gas economy wasn't a big issue.

But, my car "quest" was for a brand new 1967 Pontiac GTO. While on active duty in the Navy in 1965 and 1966, I saved my money to purchase this vehicle when I got home. Every payday, I would mail most of my pay (paid in cash on my ship in those days) home to be put away for my new "Goat" when I got out. I didn't take advantage of tours in foreign ports (except Rio) in order to save for the car. Unfortunately, when I came home in January of 1967 and started back to college, I hadn't saved enough money. Life went on in college and beyond through many, many cars ... marriages (two only!) and four wonderful children (yours, mine, and ours). But, no "Goat".

FINALLY, sometime in 1987, I noticed a GTO stored in my neighbor's garage. We started a conversation for a couple of years. However, I was between jobs with four young kids. As I read lots of car magazines, I noticed that post WWII cars were starting to increase in value. I figured, this was the time to go for it! Our conversations evolved into negotiation. Rob's wife, Laura, wanted to make space in their garage for other "stuff". While it was a lot of money to me in 1989, I took possession of this 100,000 mile GTO brought in from New York when they moved here in the late 1970's. It had a flat tire and hadn't been driven in quite a while. We did get it across the street to my garage after some work.

I've now had the "Goat" for a quarter of a century and it is mine to drive when I want to drive it. Meaning, if I want to go out and spin the tires at midnight, it is mine in which to do it. It is an unrestored example of The Great One. Thank you John DeLorean for busting GM's corporate buns with this winner, the Pontiac GTO. And, thank you, Jim Wangers, the Godfather of the GTO for promoting its success.

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