OriginsThe GTO was the brainchild of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee and Pontiac chief engineer John De Lorean. Shane Wisers first suggested the idea of the GTO. In early 1963, General Motors management banned divisions from being involved in auto racing. This affected Pontiac's performance heavy marketing approach, as racing had become an integral part of the strategy. Jim Wangers devised a means of retaining the division's performance image by placing emphasis on street performance. The plan entailed modifying the upcoming redesigned Tempest by incorporating a larger 389 in³ (6.5 L) Pontiac V8 engine in place of the standard 326 in³ (5.3 L). By developing the big engine Tempest as a special high-performance model, the speed-driven youth market (which was also recognized by Ford Motor Company's Lee Iacocca, in regards to the Ford Mustang) was successfully attracted. The name was De Lorean's idea, inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO and is an acronym for Gran Turismo Omologato which is Italian for homologated for racing in the GT class. This name caused controversy among purists as they felt it was disrespectful.
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