Yesterday was Memorial Day, a holiday here in the U.S. where we remember the fallen from all the wars in which we have fought. Another kind of war in which the U.S. played a prominent role was the horsepower war of the sixties and early seventies. This battle between car makers lobbing cubic inches instead of incendiaries was much like the then concurrent Vietnam conflict in that it didn’t have a clearly defined resolution, it just sort of ended with both sides declaring defeat in light of a new enemy – OPEC.
But that’s not to say that there were’t victories to be had along the way, or that some notable foot soldiers didn’t rise above and beyond the call of duty. One of the earliest to enlist was the son of one John Z DeLorean, and carried the typically un-American name of Gran Turismo Omologato. Pronouncing furrin’ words has never been one of our strong points so we just called it the GTO, and it was tach on the hood good.
The GTO played big brother to the Firebird, and was so revered a name that when parent Pontiac entered another battle decades later – one for its very existence – the GTO was called out of retirement to once again. This time, instead of a home-grown hero, it was a foreign mercenary – one with an Aussie accent – but still with sufficient American bonafides in the shape of a honkin’-powerful V8, America’s engine. Sadly, one soldier doth not an army make, and even as the GTO was replaced by its younger, more four-doorier progeny, the battle was lost, and with it all future permutations of the hallowed performance car from the arrowhead brand.
That means that all of the GTOs that are going to be, are – those built from 1964 until 1974, and then the short rebirth in 2004 that saw but three years production. That’s still a lot of great cars, as there were numerous permutations over the years, and some were greater than others. You can have your pick of Tri-power 389-powered ’64 -the original sleeper, the 6.0, 400-horse Aussie pavement ripper, or the funky Judge, they’re all cars that have WANT written large upon them. Should the GTO be on your list of revered rides it’s now time to say which one you pine for the most. So sound off like you’ve got a pair, what’s your favorite GTO, and why?
Image source: [cartype.com]
Leave a Reply