1967 Pontiac GTO

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1967 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO 1967 red

1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible

Most automotive enthusiasts would agree, the 1967 Pontiac GTO is possibly one of the most famous muscle cars ever built and it may just be worthy of the title, “best old school muscle car” ever. Ask any true automotive historian which classic muscle car is tops and there is little doubt the Pontiac GTO will come up somewhere in the discussion.

Iconic Muscle Car

Pontiac_GTO_emblem

The Pontiac GTO may just be most iconic muscle car ever built.

The typical definition of a Muscle Car is one that has 2 doors, a V8 engine, a performance transmission, a cool look and impressive acceleration. A few famous examples are the 1969 Camaro, the 1970 Dodge Challenger and the early Shelby GT Mustang. However, what better example could there possibly be other than the 1967 Pontiac GTO?

1967 Pontiac GTO Interior

Pontiac GTO 1967 interior black

Typical GTO Interior

The interior was utilitarian and no-nonsense, however, one complaint we had was vinyl was used to simulate wood on the dash. It looked good for a short time but soon began to peel and appear worn especially in the convertible models where the sun would play havoc with the vinyl. The radio availability was cool with an available stereo 8-track player that was mounted under the dash beneath the radio. The steering wheel was redesigned as well. The standard wheel had the horn buttons on the spokes. and was smaller in diameter than the 1966 steering wheel.

Early on, the GTO earned a now famous nickname “GOAT” and many folks consider it to be one of the first true genuine muscle cars ever offered. The uniqueness of the front end, the aggressive exterior styling and the over-the-top  performance of the car make it one of the most recognizable classics on the road today. We see these cars regularly at any of the dozens of shows we host annually with our Horsepower for an Hour team and every time is equally memorable.

John DeLorean’s Masterpiece

Pontiac GTO 1967 interiorThe 1967 Pontiac GTO was created by one of our favorite car guys (and my former boss) John DeLorean. The car was built between 1964 and 1974 and was an instant hit with the American public. It was originally intended for racing and was inspired by the Ferrari GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato), and the car performed exceptionally well.
Soon after it’s release, the car began to appeal to younger buyers, who considered looks and performance to be paramount. Because of that, all marketing efforts including movie appearances, were geared toward a younger crowd.
The 1967 model was available in three different styles ranging from a hardtop, a convertible or a sports coupe and of the 82,000 (or so) GTO’s built in 1967, only about 14,000 of them had the Pontiac 400 HO engine rated at 365 Horsepower.
* 65,500 Hardtops
* 9,500 Convertibles
* 7,000 Sports Coupes
(Numbers are approximate)

1967 Pontiac GTO Engine and Powertrain

Pontiac GTO 1967 engine

Typical Pontiac 400cid V8

For 1967 the focus for improvement was centered toward performance. The 389 that was used heavily in earlier models now began being replaced by the 400 which had better acceleration response and was far more reliable, and it came with two (2) options: Economy and High Output. The economy package had a two (2) barrel carburetor that limited performance to about 265 horsepower. The High Output had a four (4) barrel carburetor and kicked the power up to about 360 horsepower. Along with the Hurst floor shifters used on the manual transmissions, there was also a Hurst Dual Gate shifter that allowed the driver to manually shift through the gears on GTOs equipped with the new 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission. The Turbo Hydramatic replaced the two-speed Powerglide automatic.The car was clocked accelerating from 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds. It was so impressive for the time period that Motor Trend released this statement:
“They’re housebroken Tigers, but they can revert to the jungle whenever you give the word” (Motor Trend January 1967 Highlights).

Horsepower for an Hour is a Nationally Syndicated Automotive Talk Radio Show heard on over 140 radio stations across America and in more than 182 Countries World Wide

Horsepower for an Hour is a Nationally Syndicated Automotive Talk Radio Show heard on over 150 radio stations across America and in more than 182 Countries World Wide

 

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About Author

Donny is a Southern California specialty shop owner with primary emphasis on transmission and differential systems. He is an automotive technology graduate with over 30 years of experience. He and his wife own DMC Transmission outside of Los Angeles and were awarded “Shop of the Year” honors in 2010 and 2011.

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