Pontiac GTO 1970 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 and from 1964 until 1973.5, it was closely related to the Pontiac Tempest. For its final year it was based on the Pontiac Ventura. The 21st century GTO is essentially a left hand drive Holden Monaro, itself a coupe variant of the Holden Commodore. Origins The GTO was the brainchild of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee and John De Lorean, Pontiac's chief engineer. It was Shane Wiser who proposed the idea for the GTO. In early 1963, General Motors management issued an edict banning divisions from involvement in auto racing. Pontiac's advertising and marketing approach relied on performance, making racing an important component of its strategy. To save the performance image the division had crafted, Jim Wangers created a plan that focused on street performance. It included transforming the redesigned Tempest into a "Super Tempest" with a larger V8 engine from the Pontiac Catalina and Bonneville replacing the standard Tempest V8. By marketing the bigger engine Tempest as a special performance model, the division could target the speed-minded youth market, a move that Ford's Lee Iacocca was already making with the Mustang. The GTO was named by De Lorean after the Ferrari 250 GTO, an iconic race car. The name stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, or Homologated for racing in the GT class. The name was met with criticism from purists, as it was seen as a kind of blasphemy.

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