Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite GTO?

Yesterday was Memorial Day, a holiday here in the U.S. where we remember the fallen from all the wars in which we have fought. Another kind of war in which the U.S. played a prominent role was the horsepower war of the sixties and early seventies. This battle between car makers lobbing cubic inches instead of incendiaries was much like the then concurrent Vietnam conflict in that it didn’t have a clearly defined resolution, it just sort of ended with both sides declaring defeat in light of a new enemy – OPEC.

But that’s not to say that there were’t victories to be had along the way, or that some notable foot soldiers didn’t rise above and beyond the call of duty. One of the earliest to enlist was the son of one John Z DeLorean, and carried the typically un-American name of Gran Turismo Omologato. Pronouncing furrin’ words has never been one of our strong points so we just called it the GTO, and it was tach on the hood good.

The GTO played big brother to the Firebird, and was so revered a name that when parent Pontiac entered another battle decades later – one for its very existence – the GTO was called out of retirement to once again. This time, instead of a home-grown hero, it was a foreign mercenary – one with an Aussie accent – but still with sufficient American bonafides in the shape of a honkin’-powerful V8, America’s engine. Sadly, one soldier doth not an army make, and even as the GTO was replaced by its younger, more four-doorier progeny, the battle was lost, and with it all future permutations of the hallowed performance car from the arrowhead brand.

That means that all of the GTOs that are going to be, are – those built from 1964 until 1974, and then the short rebirth in 2004 that saw but three years production. That’s still a lot of great cars, as there were numerous permutations over the years, and some were greater than others. You can have your pick of Tri-power 389-powered ’64 -the original sleeper, the 6.0, 400-horse Aussie pavement ripper, or the funky Judge, they’re all cars that have WANT written large upon them. Should the GTO be on your list of revered rides it’s now time to  say which one you pine for the most.  So sound off like you’ve got a pair, what’s your favorite GTO, and why?

Image source: [cartype.com]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

41 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite GTO?”

  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    Crap, you mean I have to choose? It's a toss-up between the '64, the '68, and the '70.

  2. OA5599 Avatar

    <img src="http://mtrcty.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/fonz_big.jpg&quot; width=500>
    The Monkeemobile was so cool, even Fonzie dreamed of it.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      George Barris hardest hit.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        The Monkeemobile was designed and built by Dean Jeffries. Barris bought one of the original cars after production wrapped.

        1. west_coaster Avatar

          I heard a great account of how Barris ended up with everyone giving him credit for building the Monkeemobile.
          In the late '60s, Universal Studios still had the car sitting in their transportation warehouse and needed to make space. They already had a relationship with Barris, and his shop was very close by on Riverside Drive in North Hollywood. So they called him up, gave him the car, and he proceeded to park it in his showroom. He never put up any signage or anything claiming he had built the car (he may have done that years later verbally), but it sat there in the same place, in full view through the window, for something like 30 years.
          Everyone just assumed, naturally, that he had built it.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      And Fonz manages to jump the shark yet again…

    3. Charles_Barrett Avatar

      I hope Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones vehemently bitch-slapped The Fonz for this disrespect (although upon reflection, that might have necessitated the use of time-travel to accomplish… can the Monkee Mobile get up to 88mph…?)

      1. Alff Avatar

        Nah, at that point in their careers, they would have gladly backed up Suzi Quatro.

      2. OA5599 Avatar

        I was thinking about the time travel dilemma as well. I concluded that Fonzie merely dreamed it, long before the Monkees were formed or needed a -mobile for their escapades, or even before the GTO was invented. Years later, Jeffries brought it into being.
        Or were you considering the problem of a 70's TV character designing a car for a show that went off the air at least half a decade earlier? Simple–Fonzie dreamed it sometime before that era, perhaps when he was a kid.

    1. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. Avatar
      Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr.

      <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4621994703_77d1b59565.jpg&quot; width="500" height="404" alt="63 targa florio ferrari gto d.o.t.s.">
      Take two…they're small.

    2. Feds_II Avatar

      I didn't want to be the one to do it, so thanks for taking the hit. I'm going to have to go with the later, and not the Eh-voh-lute-see-oh-knee.
      <img src="http://images.art.com/images/products/large/10101000/10101176.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. dr zero Avatar
      dr zero

      I once was given a Bridgestone bike by a friend of my Dad's. Dad and I started to put it back together, but then university sucked up my time, followed by me moving overseas, so Dad gave it to a local Bridgestone (tyre) shop. I believe that they were going to put it on display in their showroom, but I've never checked.
      As for GTOs, could I try to sneak an H in there?
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/GT-HO-Phase3-b.jpg"&gt;
      Image from Wiki.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Not familiar with that one, although a lot of people have mentioned an earlier version to me – the one with the "F".

  3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Once again, I'm forced to ask "do I have to drive it, or just look at it?" If I can just park it and gaze, I'll go with the 70 Judge. If I have to drive it regularly, give me the 05 or 06, hands-down.

    1. Feds_II Avatar

      I can't bring myself to type the whole thing, but:
      YO DAWG!

      So you can BLOW while you BLOW!

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        You forgot the picture.
        <img src="http://ultimategto.com/pow/pow0646wa.jpg&quot; width=500>

    2. nofrillls Avatar

      Perfect car for this guy!
      <img src="http://www.piratemerch.com/images/eyepatch.jpg&quot; alt="Pirate" />

  4. Alff Avatar

    … and in order to find a proper champion for Canada's premier sports league …
    <img src="http://www.wallpaperbase.com/wallpapers/sports/NHLbostonbruins/NHL_boston_bruins_1.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Boy, are you trolling the wrong guy with that one…
      …or did they win? I haven't been watching. I would assume that they didn't, because Boston never wins anything, but anything is possible!

      1. topdeadcentre Avatar

        Bah! The Bruins may only have five championship banners compared to the Celtics' seventeen hanging from the rafters of the TD Garden, but I wouldn't go so far to say that Boston teams *never* win anything. They're on their way to the finals, it'd be a distinct pleasure to see them hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.
        Oh yeah, topic, ummm… '66 GTO convertible, marina turquoise blue, white interior, white top, Tri-Power, 4-speed manual, Rally I Wheels, lots of original factory optional goodies, etc etc.
        Exterior appearance kinda like this (credit "Brian from Canada" on ultimategto.com)
        <img src="http://ultimategto.com/1966/66_00247_2.jpg&quot; alt="1966 GTO Convertible" title="1966 GTO Convertible" width="550">

        1. Deartháir Avatar

          Celtics? What do Irishmen have to do with this?Honestly, I don't follow sports at ALL, so I have no idea what any of that means. Seriously, I'm from BC, so we usually stop cheering for Vancouver in the early first round. This is all unfamiliar territory for us.

          1. topdeadcentre Avatar

            Ahh… Here in Boston, where the Bruins play hockey on home ice in the TD Garden, they have to share the building with the Celtics basketball team (which are NOT the Glasgow Celtic Football Club (soccer team)). The current TD Garden replaced the old Boston Garden; the older building was nastier, dirtier, and much better in some ways, and really lousy in others.
            Both teams have a habit of hauling championship banners and retired numbers up to the rafters. The Bruins used to put up conference titles as well as NHL championships, but now the conference titles are on "summary" banners. As of right now, the Celtics have 17 NBA championships, and the Bruins have five NHL championships:
            <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fw7iF68JR8k/R2r_ts9nDhI/AAAAAAAAIpg/z9SiSqeSH4M/s400/800px-TD_Banknorth_Garden_Banners.jpg&quot; title="TD Garden banner collection" alt="TD Garden banner collection">

  5. P161911 Avatar

    <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5043/5268112662_6934fc804f.jpg"width=500&gt;
    I'll take a 1988 IMSA GTO Corvette

  6. Jim-Bob Avatar

    I dunno…. I guess it would be between the 1965 model with the tri power 389 and 4 speed and the 1974 Ventura based GTO with a swap to a SD 455 under the hood.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      You do realize that the '74 Ventura GTO even with the stock 350 was slightly heavier than a '66 or '67 goat, right?

  7. tonyola Avatar

    My favorite? 1967 GTO – last year for the clean, classic A-body styling.
    <img src="http://www.carsfocus.info/images/1967-pontiac-gto.jpg&quot; width=400>
    Once upon a time, the Japanese thought this was a GTO…
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Mitsubishi_Galant_GTO-MR_001.JPG/800px-Mitsubishi_Galant_GTO-MR_001.JPG&quot; width=400>

    1. dragon951 Avatar

      They also seem to think this qualifies:
      <img src="http://www.thaimokit.com/photo/Poster/Anime/PP-093M-bi-Onizuka-GTO.jpg&quot; width=300>

  8. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I have an uncle who ran a small used car lot back in the 70's specializing in musclecars when they were just cool used cars. He himself collected Pontiac GTOs, and always showed up to family events in a different car. I can remember riding in the back of some really wild and cool machines.
    My personal favorites were always the Judges because the stripes and wings appealed to my 10 year old mind. My second favorite would have to be the '69 in the lead photo.
    However NOTHING quite makes me weak in the knees as a 70 convertible. There was a red convertible with tan interior that parked just outside the window near a grassy field the year I was imprisoned for sumer-school. I spent a huge amount of time daydreaming about being free, driving along in that red GTO with a certain hot-chick's hair blowing in the wind next to me.
    To this day when I need to get away with a mini vacation, I can close my eyes and imagine this car…
    <img src="http://www.extravaganzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/1970-Pontiac-GTO-Judge-Ram-Air-IV-Convertible.jpg&quot; />
    And imagine this song
    [youtube Y0MEtBQb2yM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0MEtBQb2yM youtube]

  9. RichardKopf Avatar

    Well, since you asked…
    <img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j129/hoopd87/a3db4513.jpg"width="500&quot; >

  10. Alff Avatar

    So fast it would blow your toupee right off.

      1. nitroracer Avatar

        I approve.
        That man also has the modern equivalent of a fun gm wagon sitting in the background too.

  11. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    Fantasy Garage entries, ranked by 'If I had to choose one':
    Pontiac GTO 6.0 '6 (V body(VZ)/MkIV: '4-'6, LS2: '5-) +Guldstrand Motorsports suspension
    Ferrari 599 GTO ('10-?) (/599) +Edo Competition Level 2 (FXX engine)
    Mitsubishi GTO '94 (tunable exhaust: -'94, ECS: '95, active aero: -'96)
    Ferrari 288 GTO ('84-'86) (/272) (~=F40 Mk0/308 MkIII)
    Pontiac GTO Ram Air V '69 (B body/MkII: '68-'73) +'70: 455 (/w ram air bits), Vacum operated exhaust (Waldron Antique Exhaust, 134 real ones), handling/steering
    Mitsubishi Galant GTO GS-R '74 (MkI: '69-'73, GTO: '70-'75, GS-R: '72-, facelift: '74-)
    Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione (/5; 3 Tipo F114 CK eng (650hp) (The Sultan's, and two others). F40 test cars: 1 F114 CR (530hp), 1 GTO eng)
    Ferrari 250GTO ('62-'64) (/42 or /32)

  12. Lotte Avatar

    I find that, for me at least, awesome new cars take time to sink in. It's like I'm conditioned to think that every company is losing their way and will pump out beigemobiles, or use a legendary nameplate on some new car that's just doesn't deserve it. After a couple years, though, I *get* it and some become really appealing.
    Racing them (especially the 599GTO!) would help, methinks. We don't have enough of that.

  13. Alff Avatar

    It's too bad that these have moved beyond the realm of cheap used cars. This would be fun to replicate with a sawzall and a big tub of Bondo.

  14. ptschett Avatar

    My dad's convertible is my favorite, but in general I like the '70's best.
    <img src="http://i50.tinypic.com/6ht6o0.jpg"&gt;
    In original form it'd be one of just 158 '70 455 4-speed convertibles; however it's had a 400 under the hood for the last 25 years. It's a dark green with a green interior and a black top, and Dad put Cragar S/S's on it a few years ago.
    A close second is my dad's other GTO, the beige/black '67 hardtop he picked up at an estate sale recently.