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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Pontiac GTO Convertible
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Car: Pontiac GTO Convertible

Year: 1970

What makes it special: Pontiac called it The Humbler. Few would argue that the Pontiac GTO had been a trend-setter for the muscle-car era. Yet back in the day, few people realized that 1970 would become the high water mark performance-wise for the street legend. Hindered by vastly higher insurance rates, 1970 would be the lowest production year for the popular youth-market model since its 1964 introduction.

What made it famous: Hidden headlights were deleted in favor of four exposed round headlamps outboard of narrower grille openings. The nose retained the protruding vertical prow theme, although it was less prominent. While the Tempest and Le Mans models had chrome grilles, the GTO retained the Endura urethane cover around the headlamps and grille. The base engine was unchanged for 1970, but the low-compression economy engine was deleted and the Ram Air III and Ram Air IV remained available, although the latter was now a special-order option. A new option was Pontiac's 455 HO engine available now that GM had rescinded its earlier ban on intermediates with engines larger than 400. The 455, a long-stroke engine was dubiously rated by Pontiac as only moderately stronger than the base 350hp 400 cu in and less powerful than the 366 hp Ram Air III. The Pontiac brochure indicated the same 455 installed in the Grand Prix model was rated at 370 horsepower. The camshafts used in the Ram Air III and the GTO 455 HO were the same.

Why I would want one: It's a Goat. And a convertible. That's reason enough for me.

Fun fact: A new and short-lived option for 1970 was the vacuum operated exhaust (VOE), which was vacuum actuated via an underdash lever marked "exhaust". The VOE was designed to reduce exhaust backpressure and to increase power and performance, but it also substantially increased exhaust noise. The VOE option was offered from November 1969 to January 1970.

  • On Air Chaz & AJ 5:30-10am

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