In the automotive world, few countries can match the boldness, machismo, and size of American cars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. In the post-WWII era, Americans loved their cars extra big in the United States and it showed in the cars we made and drove, including the Pontiac Tempest GTO, considered a “compact” car at the time but was a boat-like 17-feet+ in length.
Pontiac, now a defunct brand of General Motors since October 2010, was established in 1926 and marketed as the performance brand of the vast GM stable. This is quite ironical considering the unfortunate examples the marque turned out in the last 30 years or so before its demise due to the financial crisis of 2008. Being a child of the 80s, the Pontiacs I know and remember were neither performance oriented, nor pleasing to gaze upon.
But the same could not be said for the GTO. It debuted in 1964 and was produced until 1974. Although it eventually became a distinct model in its own right, in the beginning the GTO was actually an option package for the Tempest model. At the time, GM banned any corporate-sponsored racing and left the marketing department few options but to tout their models’ on-street performance capabilities. This led a trio of engineers named Russell Gee, Bill Collins, and Pontiac chief engineer John DeLorean (he puts the DeLorean in DeLorean Motor Company, who made the iconic car used in 1985’s Back to the Future) to scheme up the GTO.
Thankfully, DeLorean and Co. were not much for rules and directly violated a GM corporate-wide edict to keep engine displacement for all models at 5.5 liters or less. Thus, their shenanigans were thinly cloaked as an “option” package for the Tempest and provided a loophole to enable the GTO to be the tire-smoking machine it is.
In addition to a bigger 6.5 V-8, the GTO package included better suspension, new exhaust, bucket seats up front, wider tires, and the badges to show your friends you were driving something special. Here’s an opportunity to buy a good-looking example of the inaugural model year. Coated in menacing and proper black paint, black interior, and redline tires, this numbers-matching all-original GTO is offered on Craigslist and is a time capsule of better times at Pontiac. It can be yours for $39,000.
Engine: 6.5 V8 (325 hp)
THIS 1964 PONTIAC GTO IN BLACK HAS A TRIPOWER V8 AND A MANUAL TRANS MISSION. THIS CAR IS ALL ORIGINAL AND IS A NUMBERS MATCHING CAR WITH ALL VIN PLATES INTACT. THIS CAR IS A TRUE ORIGINAL TRIPOWER CAR.TRADES ACCEPTED.