1966 PONTIAC GTO
The First True Muscle Car. Pontiac GTO
Pontiac GTO in General
Pontiac GTO has two generations. The first generation cars were built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974. The second generation of the muscle car was made by General Motors Holden from 2003 to 2007 in Australia.
Though both of the two models have several major differences, the main thing is in the fact that Pontiac GTO by General Motors is actually Holden Monaro, a coupe modification of the Holden Commodore, but with a left hand drive; and the older Pontiac’s cars are very close to Pontiac Tempest and Pontiac Ventura.
1970 Pontiac GTO
The First Generation Models:
During his first period GTO changed its design several times. The very first Pontiac GTO was just an option for the Pontiac LeMans. It was available with hardtop coupe, the two-door sedan, and convertible body styles. Later on they made a few other variants which were available until 1968. All those modifications can be named first generation GTOs.
The Second Generation Models:
Models of the second generation came into the world from General Motors. They restyle their A-body line for 1968 and made it more curvaceous and fastback. Endura front bumper, designed for impact absorption and prevention of permanent deformation at low speed, was a unique feature of these cars. Models of the second generation were built till 1972.
The Final Models:
They came into the world in 1973. The final models of GTO had “Colonnade” hardtop styling. Their rear side windows had fixed design, triangular shape and they couldn’t be opened. Original GTO fans supposed purchasing of the muscle car by a Japanese carmaker to be aweless.
The models of this generation were in existence until 1999. They didn’t have any significant modifications, and by the end of the 20th century their popularity awfully decreased. One of the main reasons is obsolescence of the technology used in their engines. Since then Pontiac GTO’s hard times has begun. The 21st century became a period of this famous car revival. “The first true muscle car” began its new age.
Revival of Pontiac GTO:
The Pontiac GTO was relaunched in the USA in 2003, and it was the best place and the best time that could be imagined. But The Pontiac GTO based on Holden Monaro’s V, a variant of Australian 2 door coupe VT/VX Holden Commodore, which in its turn was an enlarged variant of German Opel Omega B launched in 1994 and being sold in the US in 1997 – 2001 as the Cadillac Catera, wasn’t a great success.
The tries with sports models in 2005 – 2006 also failed to attract attention of motoring fans. So, the great success story of Pontiac GTO’s sports models wasn’t written. Critics again noticed insufficiently powerful engines.
Critics on Pontiac’s GTO:
Since the very first GTO critics have been blaming it. Most of them notice that engines are not up-to-date, and some of them even say that all the GTO’s models are five years back in terms of technology in comparison to any of their peers.
In spite of all these negative criticism, Pontiac’s GTO can be supposed a really good success. Otherwise its history would be much shorter than 35 years. And its future can surely be bright enough because of new markets’ opening up.
For example, now Pontiac GTO’s 6 variants are trying their luck in Australia. The most exciting feature of the models is their colors. GTO adds as much as 2 or 3 new colors in its range per day. The main aim is to attract young people to its models.