GTO Genealogy


More GTO based links below



"Mr. GTO" Jim Wangers & Me - His Website link here!


GeeTo Tiger here!


Paul Zazarine's Website


Classic Pontiac GTO's Gulf Coast GTOs


GTOAA's Illustrated ID Guide





1968 GTO - image and text courtesy We Love

1968 GTO GM Photo


World's Wildest Pontiac ARNIE BESWICKS '68 GTO! Super Stock & Drag Illustrated July 1968.

1968 2nd Generation: GTO Motor Trend Car of the Year

  • Car of the Year
    An extensive restyling distinguished the 1968 GTO from the previous models. Most notable was the new Endura color-keyed front bumper. The GTO was the first GM car to use the new flexible polyurethane covering that allowed minor dents to pop out without any permanent damage. Optional hidden headlights combined with the Endura nose made for a very handsome car. The stunning styling, powerful performance, solid engineering, and excellent market timing were all factors that helped the GTO garner the coveted Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

    The new "Coke-Bottle" Body design and Endura Nose on the 1968 Pontiac GTO was the 5th model revison in the series.


    More Power
    More horsepower was on tap for the exciting new '68 body. All engines displaced 400 cubic inches. The standard engine rose to 350 horsepower from 335 horsepower; the no-cost economy two-barrel engine gained 10 horsepower for a 265-horsepower rating; the optional HO engine stayed at 360 horsepower; and the optional Ram Air engine also remained at 360 horsepower until March of '68 when the Ram Air II option was introduced with a 366-horsepower rating. That rating was probably conservative considering the high-performance equipment which included 10.75:1 forged pistons, forged steel crankshaft, new cylinder heads with round exhaust ports, free-flowing exhaust manifolds, a high lift camshaft with the corresponding high-performance valve train components, and a revised distributor curve. The Ram Air II put 445 lb-ft of stump-pulling torque to the pavement via the mandatory limited-slip Safe-T-Track rear end with 4.33:1 gears.

    Hood Mounted Tachometers
    The coupe body style was dropped for '68. Sales were predominantly for hardtops which sold 77,704 units compared to the 9,980 convertibles. Optional hood-mounted tachometers were continued from 1967. The Ram Air cars had 5500-rpm redlines compared to the standard 5200-rpm limit. The external tachs helped the GTO project a powerful performance car image.


    Super Stock & Drag Illustrated July 1968

    The cover reads: World's Wildest Pontiac ARNIE BESWICKS '68 GTO! This issue includes Arnie Beswick's 1968 GTO Funny Car Feature.


1969 GTO - image and text courtesy We Love

Jim Wangers with a 1969 GTO Judge

Jim Wangers with then new 1969 Judge GTO

Jim Wangers next to one of his 1969 GTO Judges


Supercharged 1969 GTO Judge


Jim Wanger's favorite Pontiac: 1969 Carousel Red Judge GTO


Glory Days by Jim Wangers
Read the complete GTO story in Jim Wangers book "Glory Days".




  • Ram Air IV
    GTO engines got even more exciting in 1969 with the introduction of the Ram Air III and Ram Air IV. Considerably under-rated at 370 horsepower, the Ram Air IV was the epitome of GTO engines. The RA IV used many of the high-performance parts introduced on the '68 Ram Air II along with the cold air induction system that came with the Ram Air III. Both RA III and RA IV used driver-controlled flapper doors on the twin hood scoops. As powerful as the Ram Air IV was, it still used hydraulic lifters and was far more tractable in traffic than competitors' solid lifter engines. The RA IV didn't overheat or foul spark plugs. It was only available with either a 3.90:1 or 4.33:1 limited-slip differential.

    The Judge
    A late addition to the 1969 lineup was the GTO Judge. The original intent of The Judge (although it's commonly referred to as the GTO Judge or simply Judge; the fender decals said "The Judge") was to combat the upstart low-price muscle cars like the Plymouth Road Runner.

    ET Calling
    Pontiac's answer to the Road Runner was called "ET" or "E/T" which stood for the drag racing term "elapsed time." The car was to be based on a stripped-down, bench seat, Le Mans coupe with a flat hood and Rally II wheels without the trim rings. The engine was a Pontiac 350 with cylinder heads from the 400 HO engine. Tests of the prototype E/T against 383-powered Road Runners proved that the budget GTO could outrun the Plymouths.



    Most Expensive GTO
    As strong as the 350 was, it wasn't a 400, and DeLorean was adamant about GTO's being powered by 400-cubic-inch engines. He quickly killed the 350 E/T project and requested a car that was up to GTO standards. Ironically, the resulting car turned out to be the most expensive GTO, not the least expensive. The Judge option was available on hardtop and convertible bodies. There weren't any GTO coupes. About the only E/T parts that remained were the Rally II wheels without trim rings.

    Wild Names
    DeLorean is credited with naming The Judge. His inspiration was the hit NBC-TV show "Laugh-In" which had a recurring bit with the tag line "Here come de Judge, Here come de Judge." In retrospect, it may seem odd to name a car after a bit on a comedy show, but "Laugh-In" was very hip with a huge audience of young viewers - the exact people DeLorean wanted to reach. This was an era where car companies named models after cartoon characters, came up with names like Boss, Eliminator, Grabber, Rebel, Demon, and Swinger, and painted them outrageous colors such as Panther Pink, Go Mango, Sublime, Banana Yellow, and Plum Crazy. In that light, The Judge wasn't out of place.

    Stunning Color
    The initial Judge color was eye-catchingly wild. Called Carousel Red, it was actually more of an orange. The shade was exclusive to the Judge for the GTO line, but the same color was available on Camaros as Hugger Orange. About the first 2,000 Judges were painted Carousel Red. After February, Judges could be ordered in any GTO color, but approximately 80 percent of the cars were Carousel Red. Besides the wild color, stripes, pop-art graphics, and hood scoops, Judges came with a massive 60-inch-wide rear spoiler or wing.

    Judge Sales Success
    Judge engine choices were limited to the standard Ram Air III or the optional Ram Air IV. Four-speeds and the Turbo Hydra-matic transmission were available. The Judge was most frequently ordered in hardtop form although it could be had as a convertible. Despite a late start, The Judge accounted for 6,833 sales out of the '69 GTO total of 72,287 cars. Judge convertibles are very rare since only 108 were produced in 1969.


    1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible image by Art Fitzpatrick Crystal Turquoise Paint Code 55 with Trim Code 257 Parchment interior


1970 GTO - image and text courtesy We Love

The Real Judge here!


Psychedelic Judge here!


1970 GTO options


1970 GTO Night Stalker - Tiger on the prowl!


1970 GTO Judge


1970 Pontiac GTO The Judge Ram Air IV Orbit Orange

1970 GTO Judge Ram Air Convertible


  • More Inches, More Torque
    The Judge was designed to help boost 1969 GTO sales, and since it proved so popular, it was continued in 1970. Sales figures slid to 3,635 Judge hardtops and 162 convertibles. Total 1970 GTO sales of 40,149 units were down from '69. The '70 GTO was mildly facelifted, and mechanically, they were as strong as ever. The economy two-barrel 400 engine was dropped, but a 360-horsepower 455-cubic-inch with an amazing 500 lb-ft of torque was added. Extra beefy 12-bolt rear ends were mandatory when the 455 was ordered. The 455 wasn't offered on The Judge until late in the model year so only 14 hardtops and three convertible Judges were built with the 455.


    1970 Pontiac GTO "The Humbler" below.
    1970 Pontiac GTO "The Humbler"

    1970 Pontiac GTO "The Humbler".
    The Pontiac ad for the 1970 GTO reads: (We take the fun of driving seriously.)
    The Humbler

    Starting now, a lot of pseudo performers will be wishing they could slither off to a nice, quiet garage.
    The 1970 Pontiac GTO’s in town. New, Down-right dazzling. So we’ve thrown modesty to the wind and dubbed it “The Humbler”.
    You’ll get the message when you hear the new low-restriction, performance exhaust you can order. Kind of like a 30-inch woofer having a field day with a grumbling bass sax.
    Of course, those pipes can’t make with the vibrations on their own. There’s got to be something more than a windup putt-putt up front. Well, The Humbler’s standard is a 400 cube V-8. But what if you order the new 455 V-8? Or one of the Ram Air engines? (370 horses in the Ram Air IV.)
    And what if you specify the Hurst-stirred 4-speed, instead of the standard 3-speed?
    OK, Everybody’s impressed, except a few die-hards. So we’ll point out that those big, back, fiberglass belted boots are not there to polish the pavement. When they get hold of a hunk of road, they hold. And The Humbler’s got two new stabilizer bars, front and rear, just to be sure they do.
    Now about that nice, quiet garage. We couldn’t think of a cozier place for a bunch of performancy upstarts to eat their humble pie. And obviously, desert is served.
    This is The Humbler.

    Move over Mountain. This is the way it is going to be.

    (Image below: Another great Art Fitzpatrick rendering. Note the dual thin stripe white wall tires)

    Move over Mountain.  This is the way it is going to be.


1971 GTO - image and text courtesy We Love

MCE "Color Bind" article about Duncan's 1971 455 Ragtop GTO


October 2004 Muscle Car Enthusiast cover car - Glen Duncan's 1971 Quezal Gold 455 GTO convertible


Glen Duncan's 1971 1-of-43 455 Quezal GTO Convertible on page 78 MuscleCar Enthuisast Magazine


Steve Statham's Pontiac GTO Four Decades of Muscle

1971 455 H.O. 4-speed GTO green interior

Glen Duncans' 1971 455 H.O. 4-speed GTO


  • Lower Compression
    Increased competition, insurance surcharges, and tougher emissions standards hit the muscle car market hard in 1971. The GTO suffered along with all the other muscle cars. Adding to the lackluster sales was the corporate decision to drop compression ratios so all GM engines would be compatible with the new low-lead fuel. The standard GTO 400-cubic-inch V8 compression ratio was dropped to 8.2:1 from 1970's 10.25:1 which itself was down from 10.75:1 in 1969.

    The Last Judge
    The Judge option barely made it into 1971. Production was halted in January after 357 hardtops and 17 convertibles were built. All '71 Judges were 455-powered and today they're some of the rarest, most desirable GTO's as far as collectors are concerned. 1971 was also the last year for any GTO convertibles. Including the 17 Judges, a mere 678 GTO convertibles were produced. Poor sales in '71 have translated to high collector interest today. The convertible shown below is documented as 1-of-43 built with the 455 H.O. drivetrain.

    October 2004 Muscle Car Enthusiast cover car: Glen Duncan's 1971 455 GTO convertible

    PPG paint code #2339 Quezal Gold GTO on the cover of October 2004 MCE

    Glen Duncan's 1971 455 Automatic 1-of-43 Quetzal Gold GTO Convertible

    October 2004 Muscle Car Enthusiast cover car - Glen Duncan's 1971 Quezal Gold 455 GTO convertible

    Glen Duncan's 1971 1-of-43 455 Quezal GTO Convertible on page 78 MuscleCar Enthuisast Magazine

    Pontiac GTO Four Decades of Muscle
    The Pontiac GTO Four Decades of Muscle Book by Steve Statham displays the 1971 455 H.O. 4-speed GTO owned by Gulf Coast GTO Vice President Glen Duncan on its cover. This PPG paint code #2334 Tropical Lime GTO was also used by Georgia Marketing & Promotions, Co. Inc. - GMP - to model a fine detailed replica of this GTO in 1:18 scale. On the GMP box bottom, GMP thanks Glen and Joan Duncan for their contributions to this project, and Eric Stevens and the 1971 GTO Judge Convertible Registry for the research assistance.

    (GMP Model Image below right:)
    71 455 HO 4-speed GTO and Trans Am at the strip 1971 455 HO GMP 1:18 scale model

    (Image above left:) Frank Johengen driving Glen Duncan's Green GOAT gets a holeshot on the T/A . Glen's 1st time at the strip with the restored 1971 455 H.O. 4-spd T/A & 1971 455 H.O. 4-spd GTO at the 1998 Pontiac Southern Nationals. Needless to say: A great Pontiac time was had by all!


1972 GTO - image and text courtesy We Love









  • Option Status Again
    A new Le Mans/GTO body was supposed to have been ready for 1972, but a strike put it back a year. So, the previous body was mildly restyled and used again. Since the GTO had been relegated to option status on the Le Mans, it was available as both a hardtop and a two-door, pillared coupe. The GTO coupe production was very limited accounting for only 134 cars out of the year's 5,807 total. The 455 HO engine was still available and ten coupes received it. Five more coupes were fitted with the standard 455 V8. A Ram Air system was available with the 455 HO engine which was rated at 300 net horsepower. Customers could still get a Pontiac Big-Cubic-Inch Block, Ram Air, four-speed GTO.

    Mr. Copley's 1972 455 H.O. GTO restored by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff

    HR&CS writes: "Born in October 1963 as a $295 option package, the Pontiac GTO put a 389-cubic-inch V8 in a Pontiac Tempest/LeMans body, and is considered to be the first factory-built "Muscle Car." The GTO was produced from 1964 through 1974, when high insurance rates and emmisions regulations forced the dropping of its legendary horsepower down to a meager 200 h.p.

    "John Z. DeLorean, then a Pontiac chief engineer, gave the GTO its name by appropriating the Italian racing designation Gran Turisimo Omologato, a name associated with Ferrari. Pontiac expected to sell 5,000 1964 GTOs, but demand skyrocketed and GM built 32,540. Sales reached a high of 96,946 GTOs in 1966.

    "Starting in 1966 the GTO went from being a package option to its own model and remained that way until 1971. In 1970 the GTO underwent a major design change that stayed with until 1973 when the front end was changed due to government safety regs concerning bumpers. In 1972, due to declining sales, the GTO reverted back to being an option package on the LeMans and Lemans Sport, costing just $353.88. The most noticable change was in the engine power ratings, which dropped dramatically. This difference reflected the industry switch from an engine's gross output (power with no accessories) to its SAE Net output (power with accessories attached). This was supposed to be more representative of the actual power delivered to the wheels -- although that didn't really ease the pain for performance seekers. The 400 V8 was now rated at 250 bhp (net) while the 455 was available in either 250 or 300 bhp versions. The model shown here depicts the later. In 72 this model's performance was rated @ 1/4 mile in 14.6 seconds @ 95.2 mph." (source:



GTO Main 1st Gen 2nd Gen 3rd Gen 4th Gen

Some image and text content courtesy We Love


Click here for main page. 1967 GTO 400 4SPD

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