1964
Pontiac GTO

History
 


The success of Pontiac's GTO lit a fire under U.S Auto manufacturers. Suddenly everyone wanted to jump into the muscle car game and get as many baby-boomer dollars as possible. The GTO might have been a cash cow for Pontiac but it also became a target at which every automaker in the United States was about to take aim at.

At GM, corporate policy prohibited any intermediate size car from having engines greater than 330 cid. The engineers at Pontiac had a different idea. They boldly made their 389 cid engine an option on the midsize Tempest and called the option package GTO, which copied Ferrari's GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) model. The GTO package included the 389 V8, quick steering, dual exhaust, and premium tires, a bargain at just $300. The 389 cid engine came with 325bhp with a single 4bbl carb or 348bhp with the optional Tri-Power setup, 3 2bbl carbs.

Other goodies you could order were a 4-speed transmission, a brace of rear axle gears, optional suspension stuff on top of the already stiffer standard GTO setup, and all the other comfort, convenience and performance options that had made Pontiac's option list the envy of the Industry.

t together quite like Pontiac hoped to sell 5,000 copies, they ended up selling 32,450. The car that was marketed under a Tiger motiff but soon became known as the "Goat" would stand the automobile industry on end and lead to a host of imitators.