Car: Pontiac GTO Convertible
What makes it special: GTO was manufactured by Pontiac for the 1964 to 1974 model years, and by GM’s subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006 model years. The first generation of the GTO was a muscle car produced in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Although there were muscle cars introduced earlier than the GTO, it’s considered by some to have started the trend with all four domestic automakers offering a variety of competing models. The GTO became a separate model from 1966 to 1971.
What made it famous: General Motors redesigned its A-body line for 1968, with more curvaceous, semi-fastback styling. Pontiac gave up 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. Pontiac touted this feature heavily in advertising, showing hammering at the bumper to no discernible effect. A GTO could be ordered with “Endura delete”, in which case the Endura bumper would be replaced by a chrome front bumper and grille from the Pontiac Le Mans. The standard GTO engine’s power rating rose to 350 hp t 5,000 rpm. At mid-year, a new Ram Air package, known as Ram Air II, became available. It included freer-breathing cylinder heads, round port exhaust, and the 041 cam. The ‘official’ power rating was not changed. A carry-over from 1967 was the four-piston caliper disc brake option, but most 1968 models had drum brakes all around as this seldom ordered option provided greater stopping power. The 1968 model year was also the last year the GTO’s offered separate crank operated front door vents.
Why I would want one: It’s a GTO. I think I would enjoy any GTO up to the 1974 model year.
Fun fact: The GTO was selected as the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1968.