The Pontiac division of General Motors introduced the GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) in 1964. The GTO survived a relatively brief but eventful span that included 11 model years and 3 vehicle generations. GM did eventually manage to re-launch the Pontiac GTO in 2004 through Holden, an Australian subsidiary, but that amounted to an uninspired three-year period that failed to capture the public’s imagination.
The original 1964 GTO was an option package on the Pontiac LeMans, available as either a convertible, hardtop coupe, or a 2-door coupe. The Tempest line, which included the GTO, was restyled for 1965 so that the car was longer and produced more power. In 1966, the intermediate line underwent a redesign again. Pontiac gave the Tempest the Coke-bottle body shape that was sweeping the American automotive landscape at the time.
The 1967 GTO for sale marked the final model year of that first generation, and this important because the differences between the first and second generations would be dramatic. The following year the Pontiac GTO would adopt the A-body that would serve as the basis for other notable GM muscle cars, such as the Chevrolet Chevelle and El Camino. GM would also use a variation of the A-body as the basis for the Monte Carlo introduced in 1970.
The 1967 GTO for sale came available in three body styles. Pontiac sold 65,000+ hardtops, 9,500+ convertibles, and 7,000+ sport coupes. Visually, Pontiac made the 1967 GTO for sale distinct from its predecessors by replacing the louver-covered taillights with eight separate taillights, four on each side. In addition, the grille now contained chrome, Pontiac had moved the GTO emblems to the chrome rocker panels, and Rally II wheels with colored lug nuts were available as an option.
The 1967 GTO for sale also underwent mechanical changes that stood it apart. Pontiac replaced the Tri-Power carburetion system with an all-new four-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. The 389 V8 that was available the three previous years got a wider cylinder bore so that the displacement was now 400 cubic-inches (6.6 L). This new engine was available in three configurations: economy, standard, and high output.
The economy edition used a two-barrel carburetor instead of the Rochester Quadrajet, which limited it to 255 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. The standard version of the engine, which did use the Rochester Quadrajet, produced 335 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 441 pound-feet at 3400 rpm. The high output engine traded a minute amount of torque for a great deal of power. It hammered out 360 horsepower at 5100 rpm and 438 pound-feet of torque at 3600 rpm.
Emission controls are present on the engines of GTOs that GM sold in California. In addition, like all vehicles at that time, the GTO received new safety equipment, which a recent federal law had mandated. This new equipment included four-way emergency flashers, an energy-absorbing steering wheel and steering column, a padded instrumentation panel, and non-protruding control knobs.
In addition, Pontiac replaced the two-speed automatic transmission with the TH-400, a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. This new transmission included the Hurst Performance Dual-Gate shifter, which allowed for either automatic or manual shifting. Front disc brakes were available as an option for the first time.
Like all cars of this time, the Pontiac GTO is prone to rust, so the enthusiast in the market for a 1964 GTO for sale should pay particular attention to this aspect. However, purchasing a GTO at or around $10,000 will likely involve purchasing a GTO that requires substantial bodywork.