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Pontiac GTO 1965 posters

Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO was an automobile built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974, and by General Motors Holden in Australia from 2003 to 2006. It is often considered the first true muscle car, as it was closely related to the Pontiac Tempest from 1964 until 1973.5. Its final year was based on the Pontiac Ventura. In the 21st century, the GTO is essentially a left-hand drive Holden Monaro, itself a coupe variant of the Holden Commodore.


The 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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