GTO: Pontiac's Great One

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9780760339855: GTO: Pontiac's Great One
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In 1963 Pontiac's Chief Engineer John DeLorean and his two favorite staff engineers, Bill Collins and Russ Gee, came up with an inspired way to keep Pontiac cars in the performance limelight: bolt a big engine into Pontiac's upcoming Tempest intermediate body. Thus was the GTO born. Through cunning, resourcefulness, and outright trickery the minds of Pontiac managed to get this rocket into dealerships and out onto America's highways, and to introduce that most iconic of American automobiles, the muscle car, to the nation’s most discriminating drivers. This is the story of the GTO, of the people who made it a reality and a sales sensation, of those who owned and loved the cars. With color photographs, drawings, and detailed stats, this book is not so much the story of a historic car as an illustrated biography of American muscle. See Motorbooks author David Newhardt interviewed by Jay Leno on JayLenosGarage.com: http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/jays-book-club-david-newhardt/1174466/

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Book Description:

In 1963 Pontiac's Chief Engineer John DeLorean and his two favorite staff engineers came up with an inspired way to keep Pontiac cars in the performance limelight:  bolt a big engine into Pontiac's upcoming Tempest intermediate body.  Thus was the GTO born. Through cunning, resourcefulness, and outright trickery the minds of Pontiac managed to get this rocket into dealerships and out onto America's highways, and to introduce that most iconic of American automobiles, the muscle car, to the nation’s most discriminating drivers.  This is the story of the GTO, of the people who made it a reality and a sales sensation, of those who owned and loved it.

From the Inside Flap:

The birth of the muscle car revolution can be summed up in three simple letters: G-T-O.

 

The release of Pontiac’s GTO rocked the performance car world in 1964. Sure, hot rodders had been dropping large engines in intermediate cars for decades, but never before had an automaker installed such a powerful engine into such a lightweight platform. Even though advertising support was practically nonexistent, the GTO quickly became Pontiac’s hottest seller, and the cars literally flew off the lots.

 

In GTO, Pontiac’s Great One, author Darwin Holmstrom explores the environment that allowed the creation of the prototypical muscle car. He tells the inside story of what happened at Pontiac to change the division’s offerings from stodgy old coots’ pedestrian transports to zoomy, hip factory hot rods. In the process, the division was whisked from the edge of oblivion and propelled to the rank of the nation’s number three automaker.

 

It wasn’t all easy though. As the muscle car wars escalated, Pontiac soon found it challenging to keep pace with other manufacturers’ offerings due to GM’s draconian policies limiting displacement and forbidding factory involvement in racing. By 1974, wheezing under government-mandated pollution control equipment and staggering insurance increases, the writing was on the wall for GTO.

 

GTO, Pontiac’s Great One includes an illustrated, fold-out timeline and photographer David Newhardt’s lavish images, which leave no detail uncaptured.

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