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Pontiac GTO



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    People generally also like a certain amount of style in their vehicles, especially when they're paying $30K plus for it... AND, if they're "old timers," they generally have more money to pay for it than "young upstarts" do. There's a market for old styling and for progressive styling, as sales of the PT Cruiser have shown.

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  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    I'm old enough to remember and have driven the old GTO, and other muscle cars... Personally not too many of them had any real appealing style. It was mostly the sheer thrill of driving them in a straight line or at stop lights.
    The new Mustang is retro but clean, but the GTO is nice looking. It all depends on what kind of attention you are looking for.
  • obiwanobiwan Posts: 57
    When it came out, the PT cruiser, the New Beetle, the Plymouth Prowler, the T-bird all had gobs of "style".

    What's happened to them?

    The Prowler was cancelled years ago. The T-bird is on the chopping block. Cruisers and Beetles are piled up on the dealer lots.

    "Style" and "curb appeal" are fleeting. Once the hype dies down, the car better have it where it counts if it wants to last.

    Look at the Porches. They haven't done much to evolve the style but they have it where it counts and so they sell. Ferrari certainly has style but it also has the rest of the package. The Mustang has the style. But it has a lot more under the hood than the recent T-bird did and that will keep it afloat.

    What does the GTO have? The same thing that the original had. A hot engine under the hood of a generic looking midsize coupe. No one will ever convince me that the old GTO had cutting edge style. Sit one next to a Cutlass, Chevelle, Skylark, GS, and most importantly the Tempest/LeMans and try to tell me it was unique.

    The GTO has what it takes under the skin to keep it around for a long time. Let the others show up and look "cool".

    Answer me just this one question: What good is a flashy paint job or gaudy styling when all they see is your tail lites dissapearing over the horizon?
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    Interesting thread....

    When I was much younger, I spent every dime I had for a used (but well cared for) '67 "GOAT" (wish I had it today).

    While it's true that the General had stuffed a big engine in a run of the mill car at the time, it put Pontiac on the map as far as a forward thinking brand with forward thinking styling. Those GTOs of bygone days had hood scoops, dual exhaust pipes and wood dashes/consoles. They definitely didn't have the look of the more mundane cars of the day, even based on the more generic of Pontiacs. Further on in the GTOs development, they also "morphed" into "THE JUDGE" and sported some crazy color schemes, too. Yes, they were considered "unique" at the time.

    If the current GTO is indeed a "limited production" run as GM says it is, I would think that would be all the more reason to give it more "style" than as a thinly disguised Grand Prix.

    The car already has the "steak" with the performance crowd. It just doesn't have the "sizzle" with the current styling.

    Considering what I see on the road today, with big flashy spoilers, big exhaust cans, flashy chrome wheels, etc. I would think the "younger crowd" would like a bit more "flash".

    It would be my guess that the "older" crowd (which I guess I'm now a part of) would prefer more of that type of "sizzle" for their $30K+ large. I would also think that the "younger" crowd would appreciate some of the same. Considering where the GTO is priced, Pontiac is trying to tap into some of that nostalgia since that same "older group" will be the ones most likely to be able to afford it.
    2018 Acura TLX 3.5 SH AWD A-SPEC
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Add to your consideration that the GTO supposedly is VERY comfortable. You read this everywhere. I doubt you can say that about any Mustang. 1 to 2+ hours in a car and that is quite important in the REAL world. Same can be said for the back seat. The GTO has a real one. The Mustang.......? Even if you don't have 3 or more in the car, a real back seat is great for fitting things in the car for "road trips" - especially if you have fishing stuff and/or a guitar or something. LOL.

    As for the Mustang having more low end power - I'd like to see that comparison with actual power curves. Where did that come from? I doubt it. The LS1 is a low end torque monster.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Retro is by definition a doomed philosophy for car design I think, and I'm glad the GTO didn't fall for it.

    The problem is that you cannot develop a strongly retro design. What can you do, make it look OLDER every year?

    So it's an evolutionary dead end and almost guarantees that your product line will not have brand identification year after year, say as BMW or MB does so well.

    Retro can be amusing and fun, but as a major design trend it cannot hold water because it's so hard to get the interpretation right.

    Probably the only viable retro design these days is the new Mustang, but we'll see about that, too.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    While I don't disagree with your argument, I think the same can be said of the GTO's current design.....where can they take it from here?

    If you start out as a copy of a current car (in this case, the Grand Prix), where can you go except to continue with the same design themes currently in place?
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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, you can evolve that design more readily, although I must admit the GP is not all that inspiring as it sits.

    I wonder if the GTO will face the same fate as Marauder and Impala SS or if it will develop a little niche for itself?

    I was just curious so I went to look at an original GTO coupe the other day and I must say it is still very very "period attractive". Forunately, there were other competing mid 60s cars in the showrrom as well, and the GTO stood out as quite handsome among them. Aside from a '65 Mustang coupe, none of the mid 60s cars on the floor looked anywhere near as good as the GTO. The '64 Chev was a big brick, ditto Ford and Chrysler, but the GTO has a kind of "pouncing" look to it---the skin on the body almost seemed to stretch a bit. Very dynamic styling, good job for the times I thought. No wonder this old restored coupe was selling in the mid $20Ks!

    I'm not sure we could say the same about the new GTO, although it is certainly not an offensive design.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    That's kind of "damning with faint praise"...... that it's "certianly not an offensive design".

    Do agree with you, the cars of the period (mid-'60s) were mostly a "brick", whereas the Pontiacs (in particular, the GTO) were sleek-looking. That is, until they went to the big "endura" bumper period.
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  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    You and the others make solid points on looks, performance and cost, but you really can't put the Impala SS in the same category as the Mercury. GM was selling every SS it was building when it decided to stop making them and the other RWD B-Bodies in order to build more trucks. GM made similar decisions with the G-Bodies and Fiero. So it's not like with the Marauder, an over-hyped car that never delivered on its promises. The Merc was just too much "too":

    Too much $$
    Too little performance
    Too late to market

    I think if the car wasn't called GTO, it wouldn't get as much flack as it does. I don't think the Poncho will have problems selling because of having a limited run, but it still has the front-end of a 97-03 GP. But again, considering GM only spent a short time on the changes it still looks ok, but not to make me want one or rush right out and buy one. Make mine triple-black and 389 Tri-Powered or the sleeper one Wangers & DeLoreon built for the mag reviews with the 421SD.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    It's true that GM brought the GTO to market on a short development schedule. That probably is the main culprit in it's derivative styling. Still, I don't know where the General can go with it. It either has to break clean from the typical Pontiac mold, or continue to look like the rest of the family (not necessarily a good thing).

    Though not in the market, I'd like to slip behind the wheel of one of the new ones, if for no other reason, to see how far the modern muscle car has come.

    My long departed (and still missed) '67 didn't have the "tri-power" (something about GM brass withholding that for only the Corvette at the time), but it did have the 400 c.i.d. with the 4bbl carb. It was Gold with a black covertible top.

    The Marauder was could have been so much more. That's what happens when the car companies only want to stick their toes in the ocean instead of jumping in headfirst. topic but think it's worth mentioning, I just saw a "for sale" sign on a '72 914 with the 1.7. Sign said they'd take the first offer over $3K. It looked to be in dandy shape. You know how that goes, though. You can't tell a book by its cover.
    2018 Acura TLX 3.5 SH AWD A-SPEC
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,571
    for the next gen GTO in CAR that combined
    an edgy look like Caddy's with a really retro
    nose treatment featuring a recessed split grille
    and stacked headlights.

    CAR(UK) seems to have good sources.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Totally agree. I think the GTO shows a rush to market, a good and bad thing. Good that they wanted to tap a market niche and have a product for it, but bad that they didn't develop something with a little more style, a head-turner (in a good way, not like the Aztek where you turned your head AWAY).

    Also agree on the Marauder. Could have been much more than what it was. The wait, due to an improved frame and suspension, didn't really justify the approx. 2 year period for the car.

    I'm curious too as to where the GTO design is going to go. I mean, the shape really wouldn't take too kindly to spoilers and an ground effects kit. It would probably turn out to look like an Opel/Saab or maybe a Beretta Z26 in the front. I wouldn't go beyond maybe a functioning hood scoop.
  • "none of the mid 60s cars on the floor looked anywhere near as good as the GTO"

    WHOA, I can't let that one slip by....the 65 Buick Riviera with the clamshell headlights, the 64 Lincoln with the longer wheelbase, eggcrate grille and suicide doors, the 66 Galaxie 500 XL convertible 7 litre, all gorgeous cars, IMHO.

    Sure the GTO was a knockout, but it wasn't alone.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, "eyes of the beholder" I guess is the watchword in this discussion. A '63 Riv is not bad, not bad at all, but the Fords of that era were just plain dated. How many times can you build a '62 Nova and inflate it?

    I have rarely seen a GM design improve with age, with some rare exceptions (Corvette and
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    As the former owner of a black over red 67 GTO convertible, to hear you guys say it was run of the mill or mundane is ludicrous. The chrome grill, amber parking lamps, scoop, wood dash, slotted tail lamps, ralley one wheels... they truly don't make em like that anymore, and never will. Those late 60's SS, 442, Z/28's defined style. Opening the hood on a 427 or 454 SS at a service station was an event. With very few exceptions, I think automotive styling peaked many years ago... but then again, so did I.
  • obiwanobiwan Posts: 57
    Sure, they aren't making them like they used to. Compared to cars from the 60's, today's cars look like used bars of soap. I love the looks of 60's cars. But it wasn't just the muscle cars that looked good. Every car back then had style and character. Many cars back then had chrome grill, amber parking lamps, wood dash, etc. However, if you didn't see the hood, you may not be able to tell if it has a scoop and was therefore a "performance version" of the car. Heck, 90% of the GTO's sheet metal was shared with the LeMans. A 6 cyl Chevelle could be mistaken for an SS454 unless you knew what you were looking for.

    Compared to today, cars back then looked great. But the muscle cars didn't really stand out all that much from the coupes and sedans of the day. Sure, the enthusiasts could tell at a glance but they were the only ones.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    you could tell with your EARS---lol!
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    ...through one could argue that without a hood scoop or chrome grill, cars from the 60's look like un-used bars of soap. lol
  • The GTO back in the day are cool, but I love my new GTO. I plan on pulling off all the GTO bandage. I like the element of surprise. Whats better than pulling up to a Mustang in your look alike of the cavalier, and blowing there doors off. Maybe get a sticker on the back saying "yea its a Goat"
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    Shame on me....I did forget about cars like the Riv, Camaros, Mustangs.....I guess I was more in "tune" with what my Father was driving at the time....boxy Fords, Mopars and Oldmobiles...those were rather non-descript.

    In addition to being able to tell what kind of car it was by the sound of the "rumble" coming from under the hood and out the back, it was very easy to spot a performance car....even ones based on their more mundane and vanilla counterparts. There was no mistaking a plain jane LeMans for a GTO....or a Cobrajet from a 6 cyl Mustang. Even with my ears covered, I could tell the difference in a heartbeat. Hood scoops (most of the time functional), different front/rear treatments, Chevy "cowl induction" hoods, etc. There was plenty to tell a muscle car from it's more sedate cousins.
    2018 Acura TLX 3.5 SH AWD A-SPEC
  • For the mustang Lovers I hear that the 05 is going to be a little more than the Goat. Were talking at least 2000 dollars more.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,571
    until about 1968 Muscle cars were near twins to their more sedate cousins. For example '64 - '65 GTOs had only small hood scoops, exhaust tips and
    small badging to distinguish them from their ?LeMans siblings. If a Goat went by you at WOT or you were standing right next to it, you could tell it from a 326 LM but a non-enthusiast wouldn't know the Goat from a glasspack equipped 326.

    Similar principles apply to pony cars and other factory hot rods until they started really setting them apart in the late '60s.

    BTW there was a period when you could get
    4-speed, 427 powered big Chevies and Fords in plain Jane pillared sedan (Biscaynes and Customs)bodies with dog-dish hubcaps. Talk about sleepers
    Only small fender badges gave these away visually.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Some of those muscle cars were barely driveable---the street Hemis for instance.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    I was so busy remembering my old gto I forgot the other guys. Chargers, Super Bees, Daytonas, Hemi Cudas, 440 6 pack Challengers, Boss 302, and yes, the Rambler Scrambler, AMX, and Javelins. All of these beasts had less powerful siblings, but there was always a scoop, a pair of crossed flags, a shaker hood, bumble bee stripes, wider tires or some other visible cue to the casual fan that gave away the secret. Maybe it was the gleam in the eye of the driver; the same gleam I have right now remebering these works of art from days gone by. On the style side. I fully agree, even the old man's car was cool. We had a fast back 63 Galaxy 500 was that cool. Electra 225, the Rivs, the early gran prix, catalina 2+2 (421), Imala SS, cougars, firebird 400's, Shelby's, and so many more. Those were the days gentlemen(and ladies).
    We still have stylistic cars today, but not the giant shopping list of yore!!!
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    Dunno'...maybe I was more in tune with what the "hot" cars were back then. Didn't have a license, yet as I was way too young.

    That said, I can remember as a "tot" riding around with my Father and immediately being able to distinguish a Chevelle SS 396 from a regular 'ol Chevelle....or a GTO from a LeMans....or a "Super BEE" from a regular Charger....or a Mustang GT from a plain Jane Mustang....or a Road Runner from a its Plymouth bretheren.
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  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    I still have never gotten used to the 10 foot spoiler on the "Superbird".
    First car I bought with my pennies, was a used 68 Polara Sport w/383 HO. I still have fond memories of stomping the floor peddle and hanging on for dear life. Most of the rigs were awesome off the line and down the straight. Handling and cornering generally required rebuilding the suspension, springs, shocks, roll bars....
    I'm looking forward to driving a new GTO, not only for the deja vu, but for the thrill of winding it through twisty roads and touring that wasn't possible back then. (well it was, but it was very tiring work)
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,571
    Obviously you were a budding car nut back in the day which meant you looked for the subtle cues that separated the hot cars from their ordinary brethren.

    I recall making a "GTO" out of the 1/25 scale AMT '64 LeMans kit. It was easy enought to do. I took a 389 from a Grand Prix kit. Painted the grilles black added small badges and splitter exhausts.

    The only thing I couldn't duplicate were the hood scoops

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • obiwanobiwan Posts: 57
    ... I wasn't a car guy until well after I hit puberty. My father views cars as nothing more than a necessary expense for family transportation, an expense which needs to be optimized in ways that remove everything that makes driving a real pleasure.

    When I was a kid, I'm sure I could tell a louder car from one that was more sedate. But to me they were just cars. Two cars with small visual cues like hood scoops or rally wheels, while noticable to the enthusiast, were barely visible to me. They sparked no interest in me as I sat around with the baseball cards, comic books and candy cigarettes, or even as I grew older and was more focused on finding "dirty" magazines and beer.

    I'm sure many who read this and other car message boards would be in the class of people who can identify early muscle cars from ordinary cars merely at a glance. But the world is primarily composed of people like my parents. People concerned merely with transporting the family tribe from point A to point B than with the journey between. Or, worse yet, people who, when asked, only know that they want a "pretty red one". To them terms like SS396, Hemi, Fastback, etc. may as well be in greek.

    Car enthusiasts are a rare breed. That's worth remembering when you try to comprehend why the GTO is the car it is today.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 11,544
    You may be right...I never thought of myself as an auto enthusiast when I was still intensely eyeballing cars from my Dad's rear window. There was a point where I could pick out the manufacturer just by lisenting to the unique sounds the starter motors made from each manufacturer. As I look back and as I look at what I've done since I was a "youn'un", one of my interests was always cars....not "reglar ole cars", but real driver's cars. That could explain my foilbes with some fairly unpredictable iron (for a teen in the late '70s, at any rate) when I got my driver's license (Fiats, MGs). I did have my "testosterone fueled period" when I had a string of muscle cars (a GTO, Trans AM, Torino GT and a Mustang GT). I was something of an anomally since I wasn't squarely in the General's camp, not the MOPAR camp, nor the FORD camp. I really sent my friends into a frenzy when I began my love affair with those "foreign" cars. And I always bought cars that were well used...usually 7, 8 even 10 years old. At the time, the U.S. was firmly entrenched in the "bogus" oil crisis and buying Diesel VW Rabits. No one could understand why I loved those big V8 dinosaurs, or the small, great handling (generally finicky and bought more to see if I could keep them running from week to week) European marks. When they ran, they ran well. When they didn't run....well, I'd better have plenty of LAVA soap on hand.

    The GTOs gave birth to my early interest in those types of cars (and, as some say, the birth of the muscle car era).

    While it may be a bit of wishful thinking on my part, it was my hope that the General would have done something a bit more to make the return of the GTO something with more "panache" in the looks department.

    As it stands, at least on paper, it looks like the performance of the "new" GTO will carry on as a worthy succssor to those fire breathers of yore.

    Perhaps the next generation will bring back some of the style of the originals...not retro, per se, but something more recognizeable as a purely American performance icon.
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