Pontiac GTO
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Pontiac
Model: GTO
Pontiac GTO

The GTO was more or less a violation of GM previous policy that limited the A-body intermediate line to a max engine displacement of 5.4 L. However, the GTO was an option package and was not standard equipment, thus it could be taken to fall within a loophole in the policy. As it tuned out, Pontiac General Manager Elliot "Pete" Estes approved the new model, while the sales manager Frank Bridge apposed on the grounds that he did not believe it would find a market. So, he insisted on limiting the initial production to no more than 5,000 cars. As it turned out, the model was a great success. It was built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974, and by General Motors Holden in Australia from 2003 to 2006. Some consider it the first true muscle car however that could be debated. From 1964 until 1973, it was much like the Pontiac Tempest, although for its final year it was mostly like the Pontiac Ventura. The latest version is essentially a left hand drive Holden Monaro, which itself is a coupe version of the Holden Commodore. In early 1963, General Motors issued a memo banning divisions from being involved in auto racing. At the time, Pontiac's marketing approach was based on performance, and racing was an important part of that strategy. Jim Wangers proposed a way to retain the racing image with a new focus on street performance. This meant transforming the redesigned Tempest into a Super Tempest with the larger 6.5 L Pontiac V8 engine. By promoting the big-engine Tempest as a special high-performance model, they would then appeal to the youth market, which was being taken by Ford. The plan seemed to work as performance and style were combined in the GTO street car. Pontiac was on the cusp of missing this market had they not acted when they did.

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