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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 19th – 22nd, 2017 at Russo and Steele’s 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information.
Having risen from near-extinction during the mid-1950s, GM’s Pontiac Motor Division rose to America’s third-best selling marque by the early 1960s, a position it would hold to 1969. Sizing up the growing performance-minded youth market of the early ’60s, Pontiac engineers Russ Gee, Bill Collins, and John DeLorean considered the potential of Pontiac’s 389 V-8 combined with the lightweight, mid-size Tempest body and chassis. While GM’s corporate policies limited engine displacement for its intermediate models, the 389 was cunningly slipped past the GM brass as the basis of a new high-performance option package for Pontiac’s Tempest Le Mans, thereby not requiring corporate approval. Rather, the GTO was green-lighted at the divisional level by PMD General Manager Elliott Pete Estes.
Named ‘GTO’ denoting Gran Turismo Omologato, a cheeky swipe at Ferrari’s megabuck GT racer of the time, the GTO option was a comprehensive package and a startling value, endowing the 389 V-8 with free-flowing 421 HO cylinder heads, a high-lift cam and supporting valvetrain, Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor, 10.751 compression ratio, and chrome accents. Tri-Power induction with three two-barrel carbs was optional. Far more than the sum of its parts, the GTO option was a well-integrated package of engine, braking, drivetrain, suspension, and appearance/image features.
Sales totals were surprisingly high for 1964 versus the most optimistic forecasts. Mild styling updates for 1965 included aggressively stacked headlights and crisply restyled bodylines, which developed into the definitive Coke bottle body style of 1966-1967. The GTO’s popularity was so great that it spurred product planners to list the GTO as a separate Pontiac model series beginning in 1966. Revisions to the grille and tail lamps, a bump in engine displacement to 400 cubic inches, a new energy-absorbing steering column, and dual-circuit brakes made the 1967 GTO even better than before. It remains an undisputed collector favorite today.
Powered by the original 335-horsepower 400 cubic-inch engine and original 4-speed manual transmission, this 3-owner GTO from Portland, Oregon is a photo-documented ground-up restoration accompanied by thousands of dollars in receipts. Refinished in the original Signet Gold Metallic paint, the GTO is equipped with a Safe-T-Track rear end, air conditioning, power disc brakes, bucket seats with console, a black vinyl top, black vinyl upholstery, and chrome Rally II wheels with T/A radials. Power steering was installed and the original steering gear is included with the sale of the car. Also included is a period-correct headliner. Copies of the original build sheet and factory option list were provided by Pontiac Historical Services PHS. Finished in great colors, very well equipped, and retaining the original 400 V-8 and 4-speed manual transmission, this 1967 Pontiac GTO is simply an outstanding example of Pontiac’s legendary Great One.