AJ’s Car of the Day: 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible

Car: Pontiac GTO Convertible

Year: 1969

What makes it special: GTO was manufactured by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974. For the 1964 and 1965 model years, the GTO was an optional package on the intermediate-sized Tempest, VIN 237…. GTO became a separate model from 1966 to 1971, VIN 242…. It became an optional package again for the 1972 and 1973 intermediate LeMans.

What made it famous: General Motors redesigned its A-body line beginning in 1968, with more curvaceous, semi-fastback styling. Pontiac abandoned the familiar vertically stacked headlights in favor of a horizontal layout, but made hidden headlights available at extra cost. The concealed headlights were a popular option. The signature hood scoop was replaced by dual scoops on either side of a prominent hood bulge extending rearward from the protruding nose. A unique feature was the body-color Endura front bumper. It was designed to absorb impact without permanent deformation at low speeds. The 1969 model eliminated the front door vent windows, had a slight grille and taillight revision, the rear quarter-panel mounted side marker lamps changed from a red lens shaped like the Pontiac “arrowhead” emblem to one shaped like the broad GTO badge. The previous economy engine and standard 350 hp 400 cu in V8 engine remained, while the 360 hp 400HO was upgraded to the Ram Air III, rated at 366 hp. The top option was the Ram Air IV rated at 370 bhp, which featured special header-like high-flow exhaust manifolds, high-flow cylinder heads, a specific high-rise aluminum intake manifold, larger Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor, high-lift/long-duration camshaft, plus various internal components capable of withstanding higher engine speeds and power output. In addition, the Ram Air IV utilized hydraulic lifters.

Why I would want one: Love the GTO throughout the years. In this case, I like the overall sportiness of this generation of GTO.

Fun fact: A matte black GTO played a role in the action movie “The Punisher.”

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