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The Come Back of The GTO

Pontiac GTO

The Come Back of The GTO

William Jason
January 16, 2011

William Jason

A lot of die-hard car aficionados refer to the Pontiac GTO as the original version of the true muscle car. The reason behind this is that Pontiac did not follow the big-bodied and massive makes of other manufacturers when they designed their muscle cars. This kind was intermediary in size and did not also belong to the heavy weights that curtail the power and speed of a true racing car.

In the 60s, there were the Fords, GMs and Chryslers but the Pontiac GTO quickly rose to the top as one of the premiere cars in its class. Its appearance suggested ultimate comfort and style and many other manufacturers soon found themselves using the GTO as the ultimate benchmark when designing their cars. That is why in the succeeding years, the big-bodied designs were given a total make-over.

The original Pontiac GTO was introduced in 1964 and it went through 6 generations before being retired in 1974. According to legend, the Pontiac stole the name GTO from the Ferrari 250 GTO, which was also a legendary classic car. However, they were soon to make it their own trademark as Pontiac did an outstanding job of making this the type of car that no one would ever forget. In fact, it is considered by many to be the most legendary muscle car of all time, but that is of course up for debate.

When Pontiac designed the Pontiac GTO, it emerged with a 389 V8 engine that had quick steering, dual exhaust and came with premium tires. After a while, the GTO added another model in its category that had a 325 bhp, single 4bbl card. With this in mind, they just projected to sell around 5,000 vehicles but ended selling close to 33,000 units!

After the final GTO was rolled off the assembly line in 1974, it was re-launched 30 years later in 2004. Pontiac had high hopes for this launch, hoping to sell upwards of 17-18,000 units, but the American consumer did not take to the new model like the manufactured had hoped. Over 40,000 GTOs were produced from 2004-06, when production ceased due to declining sales.

While the new GTOs received a lukewarm reception, the older models will always be considered true American muscle that captured both the hearts and minds of millions of Americans from a nostalgic and bygone era that so many can appreciate, even if they did not live in the 1960s.

William Jason has admired classic cars ever since he was a young child and you can read his blog at: http://musclecarmonster.com/

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