The Pontiac GTO is an automobile that was manufactured by American automaker Pontiac from 1963 to 1974 for the 1964 to 1974 model years, and by GM's subsidiary Holden in Australia for the 2004 to 2006 model years.
The first generation of the GTO is credited as popularizing the muscle car market segment in the 1960s. The Pontiac GTO is considered by some to have started the trend with all four domestic automakers offering a variety of competing models.
For the 1964 and 1965 model years, the GTO was an optional package on the intermediate-sized Pontiac LeMans. The 1964 GTO vehicle identification number (VIN) started with 82, while the 1965 GTO VIN started with 237. The GTO became a separate model from 1966 to 1971 (VIN 242...). It became an optional package again for the 1972 and 1973 intermediate LeMans. For 1974, the GTO was an optional trim package on the compact-sized Ventura.
The first Pontiac GTO was available as an option package for the Pontiac LeMans, available in coupé, hardtop, and convertible body styles. The US$295 package included a 389 cu in (6.4 L) V8 rated at 325 hp (242 kW) at 4,800 rpm with a single Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust pipes, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, seven-blade clutch fan, a floor-shifted three-speed manual transmission with a Hurst shifter, stiffer springs, larger diameter front sway bar, wider wheels with 7.50 × 14 redline tires, hood scoops, and GTO badges. Optional equipment included a four-speed manual transmission, Super Turbine 300 two-speed automatic transmission, a more powerful engine with "Tri-Power" carburetion (three two-barrel Rochester 2G carburetors) rated at 348 bhp (260 kW), metallic drum brake linings, limited-slip differential, heavy-duty cooling, ride and handling package as well as a tachometer mounted in the far right dial on the dash. Some limited power features were available, as well as other accessories. With every available option, the GTO cost about $4,500 and weighed around 3,500 lb (1,600 kg).
Most contemporary road tests by the automotive press such as Car Life criticized the slow steering, particularly without power steering, and inadequate drum brakes, which were identical to those of the normal Tempest. Frank Bridge's initial sales forecast proved inaccurate: the GTO package's total sales amounted to 32,450 units.