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The Kellogg's GTOs

Last updated 12/15/06

written by Sean Mattingly, owner of The Ultimate GTO Picture Site at http://UltimateGTO.com As featured in GOATFINDER GTO CLASSIFIEDS February 1998, March 1998.

This is info on two of the 16 Kellogg's contest cars. The first one described here was won by Leisa Hurley.

Imagine this:  You're in 8th grade.  You enter a contest on the back
of a cereal box and win a car.   That would be a kid's dream come true!
It happened to Leisa Hurley way back in 1968.

Leisa is awarded the keys by the dealer!   
Photocopy of the glossy which appeared in the newspaper

In 1968, Leisa saw the contest described on the back of Rice Krispies
picturing the Monkees, a popular singing group.   Top prize was a brand
new GTO convertible and an appearance on the Monkees TV show.  There
were 15 First Prizes of hardtop GTOs to be awarded as well.   

Magazine ad showing a GTO and The Monkees 

Leisa fills us in:
I won the first prize, which was this car.   I was only in the eighth
grade.   If you look carefully at (one of the magazine ads), you will
notice that the convertible was only for the Grand Prize Winner, who
also got to appear on the Monkees TV Show.  The other 15 cars given away
were hardtops.

Framed cereal boxes 

I've located all of the memorabilia associated with my winning the car.
I have the letter (dated June 10, 1968), informing me that my entry in
their "TV Screen-Stakes" was among those chosen as a winner of a 1968
Pontiac GTO Hardtop.  It is signed by R.L. Nichols, General Sales
Manager and Vice President of Kellogg Sales Company.

Congratulations letter from 1968

With the initial letter, came a form that called our attention to the
"certain stipulations" listed in the rules.  (I think it was regarding age
requirements, and Federeal/State Gift Tax requirements).  My Father
signed the paper and returned it by June 24, 1968, as was requested by the
original letter.  The Kellogg Company was then to make arrangements with
GM Corp for delivery.
I have a second letter, dated July 2, 1968, stating that they had
received the signed certificate and had turned them over to the Pontiac
Company.   The Pontiac Company was then to notify the local Pontiac dealer,
who would then contact us and process the necessary paperwork for ordering. 
The letter also listed the features of the car I won.  It is signed by D.H.
Keaton, Assistant to the Advertising Manager.

July letter from Kellogg's 

By the time we heard from the San Jose dealer (All-American Pontiac), the 1969
models were due out, so they allowed my Father to order a 1969 with any
of the features he desired, giving him credit for the (1968) car features
I actually won.

So my Father converted the souped up version I actually won to
this version which was more functional for our family.   My Father was
not a "Hot Rod" type, so he ordered a more economical family type car.
Since my Mother was to be the principal driver, she wanted air con-
ditioning and automatic transmission.  Hence, the car I got has the
features that were cited in the letter from Mike Davis of All-
American Pontiac.  (It also has a list of the equipment awarded for
comparison).  It was given to my Father when he placed his order.

Handwritten letter from the dealer

What Miss Hurley ended up with was a Verdoro Green hardtop with gold
interior, automatic transmission, 400 cid engine, and other options.

The firewall data plate reads:

          BODY  BY   FISHER
ST  69 - 24237     BF 00234  BDY
TR  252    B80      73   73  PNT
        022656    120459

The VIN number is  242379Z100894

The Kellogg car was driven for many years, then was left sitting 
in California in about 1980.  By the late 1990's, the GTO was 
non-running because it had been parked for 20 years.  Of course, 
Miss Hurley (now Mrs. Richardson) is the original owner.  She 
says the car has all original parts.  
Mrs. Richardson says:
I also have all the original literature that came with the car -
even the Victor Tag that came on the keys!!   The Mileage is
95,406.  It was rebuilt around 90,000.   Interior is in excellent
condition - one small split in seat of drivers side bucket, and
shelf covering behind back seat is rippled.  Smells somewhat musty.
Exterior easily restorable.  Paint is oxidized, but buffable.
Paint has small chips above left rear wheel well where snow chain
broke which has rusted.  Trunk, below lock has a 6" line of chips
that has rusted.  Minor damage to right front bumper/parking lamp

Here are some photos of the car while Leisa still had it...

Leisa's shiny GTO on a trailer
Look through the windshield into interior
Top left view over hood
Look through back window

AN UPDATE added 5/99...
Mrs. Richardson sold this valuable piece of history in March 1999. The asking price 
was $5,500.  She gives us this update...
"I placed an ad in the local paper and sold the car to a man from Southern California 
who was up for vacation.  I sold it for $4500.  (He) had never heard of the contest by Kelloggs. 
If you want to keep track of the car, it was sold to: Todd Harding, Sylmar, CA.  Thanks for all 
your help and information. - Leisa K. Richardson (imrich@vibetech.com)"
Herb Dierking (daherbster@worldnet.att.net) writes:
I am 25 years old and recently purchased Leisa Hurley's 1969 GTO from Todd Harding for $7500. I have all of the original documentation as well as the original engine which had some main bearing/oil pressure problems. Before I purchased the car, Todd put a 1969 WT code Pontiac 400 engine in it for me which was bored .030 over by a previous owner. I also have a set of #48 heads which came with it. Todd had the car repainted and color sanded during his ownership of the vehicle, as well as having it refitted with a new endura bumper. The body now appears to be virtually flawless. I intend to keep the vehicle in nearly original condition.

Herb Dierking had the car for sale. He sent some pictures:
Front view
Right front
Interior as seen from the left
Interior as seen from the right
Herb says the car has an entirely new brake system, plus a freshened-up engine which now has hardened valve seats so it can run unleaded pump gas. The car comes with an extra complete engine and all of the original paperwork that define this as a special car. Herb eventually sold the car.  Herb's email address is herbster@sega.net and his phone number is (714) 663-8227.

The Hurley car was featured in the April 2005 issue of Pontiac Enthusiast Magazine.  The cover reads “FOUND!  1 of 15 GTO HARDTOP CEREAL CONTEST WINNERS.”  The spread within the magazine says "There's a GTO in my cereal!".

AN UPDATE ADDED April, 2006...
The car was seen on ebay, listed by a John Lind at a Jaguar dealership in Sarasota, Florida.  There was only one bid of $18,000 and the reserve was not met at that price.  The auction closed on April 29th, 2006.

The car is for sale at Universal Auto Sales and Classic Cars in Linthicum, Maryland at their indoor showroom.  The car is listed for sale at $35,900.  The company's website is http://www.universalautosalesandclassiccars.com

The car will be up for bids yet again.  On January 25th-27th, 2007 it will be among 302 other cars at the Mecum High Performance Auction in Kissimmee, Florida.  The auction website is www.mecumauction.com

DISCOVERY! - - - A second Kellogg's GTO contest car has been found!

John Ulrich (gtonut@ptd.net) says: "I also own a similar piece of history - I am the second owner of a well documented car that is also a 1969. My car was won under similar circumstances - a 13 year old entered the sweepstakes on a Raisin Bran box, could not get the '68 delivered, and then went to the '69. Reportedly, the winner's car was to be a loaded Ram Air II car, with the runnerups to be a "stripper" Ram Air II. If you check the historical time, there was a major problem late in the '68 model year with the '68 RAII heads, which caused many cars to be delayed till '69. What most people did not realize was the "square/round" port differences between the RA II and RA III cars (among other things) and the cars were not a better-faster GTO. Too bad for the people who did not know at the time.
I have owned my car for 12 years, am the second owner, and have the car under a full restoration at this time. It is blue with a white interior and is very plain - no options other than the RAIII engine and minor stuff, Car has manual steering/brakes, etc. Car was in #3 condition with 72K and was driven about 1000 miles since I owned it. Great car, great history!"

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