Most of us have already read that GM has axed the Pontiac automobile. I just have one question. Why Pontiac? Pontiac has always represented the ‘sport element’ of GM, a distinction that started with the GTO. I remember seeing my first ‘Goat’ as we called them when I was in high school. Damn fine machine with a HO 389 engine, 3 dueces [that is 3, 2 barrel carbs], and a 4 speed. There was even a song about the car from Ronnie and the Daytonas which was their first and only hit record.
But for a generation of boomers, cars were more than just a hunk of metal that transported you somewhere. Cars were an expression of who you were, or more aptly put, who you wanted to be. The GTO belted out 360 horsepower and did 0-60 m.p.h. in about 6 seconds. This was a breed of car that came straight from the factory and was ready for race day right out of the crate.
Safety features? Yeah right! The only safety feature I recall was padded dashboards that replaced the metal ones that would crack your skull open like a grapefruit. Belted ply tires, drum brakes all around and stoping was about the same as a freight train. LOL But they were fast machines meant to be driven in one direction only. Straight. None of the muscle cars were engineered for cornering.
Here is a look at a GTO:
PS The last time I was in the Bay Area I rented a Grand Prix. I’m glad I did. It was a blast to drive.