Bring Back the GTO! An
appeal to Pontiac to manufacture a modern GTO
Okay, it's been quite long enough.
The original GTO came out in 1964 and had an eleven-year run. The last one was built about 28 years ago. Why not plan to release another GTO for the 2004 model year? The timing would be perfect, on the 40th anniversary of the 1964 introduction of the car.
Yeah, it would be great to have a new GTO, but what will it look like? In 1999, Pontiac flirted with the idea of introducing a comeback GTO. But for some reason, they showed off a wild orange concept car that got much negative comments initially. Since then, many people have re-thought their feelings on the 1999 concept GTO. After getting used to the radical styling, one can draw many favorable parallels between the concept GTO and the GTOs we know and love. Maybe it's not so bad after all? Gosh, they kept the split grille similar to the 1966/67 models.
Here is a collection of passionate pleas to make another GTO.
The first is from Edward Merica (Edward.Merica@cmet.af.mil). He
I have made several inquries to Pontiac through dealerships and the Internet, trying to get a firm handle on the story behind the concept GTO that debuted in 1999. As great as that concept was, however, the likelihood of its creation is grim. I am thoroughly saddened by this, but there is hope.
I have started trying to get Pontiac (snowball in hell) to create a new GTO option package and add it to the Grand AM coupe. Yes, there is a GT, but it's not the same. My reasoning is such:
1. The GTO and LeMans were born from the Tempest. The Grand AM was born of the LeMans. They're related by blood (transmission fluid?).
2. "GT" is not "GTO."
3. Nostrils. A GTO must have nostrils, plain and simple. Even though there is Ram Air on the Grand AM GT1, there are no nostrils to let it breathe.
4. 2004 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Tempest GTO. Can you think of a better time to reintroduce a GTO package than that?
5. I want it, and I want it BAD. I'm willing to bet other people will want it too. And lastly...
6. I'm tired of seeing these little punks running around in souped-up rice rockets thinking that because they've seen "The Fast and the Furious" a few times they're now drag kings. That crap has to stop!
The Mustang and T-Bird got re-invented, and they're very popular now. The Camaro and Firebird are going bye-bye, leaving what to take their place? The Monte Carlo? The Impala? The Grand Am and Grand Prix? The only original GM muscle car left it seems is the Corvette, and though it still kicks major heinie, it's not the GTO. With the economy heading the way it is, GM needs to get folks buying American mid-sized screaming monsters instead of Japanese screaming monsters. The Grand AM GTO is just the way to do it.
And in 2009 they can come back with "The Judge!"
Thanks for your time and attention paid to my little rant.
If you too feel that this is a noteworthy matter, I'm sure that there are
other visitors to this site that would also like to pester Pontiac into
building a GTO, maybe this could find its way onto your site. Maybe
if there was a "Bring back the GTO!" movement, then maybe we'd see some
action! Wouldn't that be something? Signed, Edward "Goatboy"
CLICK-> 1999 GTO CONCEPT CAR left front view.
CLICK-> 1999 GTO CONCEPT CAR photo was altered to look like a "The Jury" car by Dave Jeffries (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CLICK-> GTO CONCEPT CAR press package can be found for sale on ebay.com sometimes.
CLICK->LARGE IMAGE GTO concept car post card parked next to a 1969 Judge.
Tom Somerville emailed to say this in support of a new GTO:
I would love to see a new GTO but it must be RWD, have a V8 and manual transmission available. The Grand Am, or any other FWD just won't cut it. I will be in market for a new car around 2003/2004 and am watching to see what happens to the Camaro and Firebird and if the GTO ever makes it. Pontiac is in a dry spell and I hope that recent changes in GM management bring about some desperately needed new products.
Stephen Amadei supports the introduction of the Holden car into this
country using the beloved GTO name:
If GM brought the Holden GTO over here ... I'd buy one. The Holden GTO is not doing the GTO any injustice using the name. The GTO name had a certain mystique to it, an attitude. I think the Holden can do the same... both are based on midsized cars, perform great and are RWD. With a few Pontiac styling changes (no cladding!), it would be _exactly_ what the GTO was 40 years ago. And remember, Pontiac stole the name from Ferrari, so it's not like our beloved old GTOs have a monopoly on the name.
Ron Cozzo helps us think about what might happen to the current GTO's
if Pontiac introduces a new GTO:
There was speculation that the new T-Bird would cause classic T-Bird prices to fall. That didn't happen. I think the biggest risk for us as GTO owners is rising classic GTO prices due to more interest/publicity. Can't you see the magazine comparison tests now! 2005 Pontiac GTO Motor Trend Car of the Year vs. 1968 Pontiac GTO Motor Trend Car of the Year.
Karl Emerick seems to be a potential buyer of a new car bearing the
I'll vote for a new GTO. I would like to daily drive a modern muscle car with a Pontiac nameplate. Would be great to be tempted and move the Impala SS daily driver down the line. Put a GTO in it's place in the garage. Probably look nice next to the other Pontiacs.
Mike Brown seemed concerned that Pontiac should at least put the GTO
nameplate on a worthy car. He says:
I dont think there is anything GM can do to diminish the GTO name. If they put out some Sunbird/GTO piece of crap it will only make me love my original 1967 GTO even more and it will make people even more envious of my car. If GM made a rear wheel, V8 powered, manual trans new GTO that looked cool and was fast and unique it would not make me love my old GTO less. I would buy it and have the best of both worlds! I feel its a win win situation! As far as a couple thousand people changing Pontiacs mind about building a GTO......Every vote counts and every email counts.
Freddy Lally thinks we need a performance car to go up against what
are sometimes called "Rice Burners":
Hi! It's Freddy "I want a GTO" Lalli again. You are absolutely right in starting a nationwide campaign to revive the Pontiac GTO. I have already e-mailed Pontiac expressing my opinion. The concept cars are really nice looking. Pontiac should take the idea of a GTO and make it a reality. There would be a market for the new GTO because us "baby boomers" are now in a position to buy "new toys". Those foreign cars that think they're "fast and furious" wouldn't stand a chance with a GTO. I hope one day GM will take this idea and make it a reality and then we can all say "HERE COME THE JUDGE!!!"
Frank Behie wants any new GTO to be a badass car:
If Pontiac would produce a RWD, V8, stick shift performance car worthy of the GTO heritage, people will buy it!
I have been a loyal Pontiac driver since learning to drive my father's 1964 Parisienne. My daily driver now is a
'99 Grand Prix. A very nice car, but there is nothing out there from GM that compares to the classic GTO.
Anyone who thinks we baby boomers have moved on to Cadillacs and wouldn't buy a 2-door sports car is
mistaken. I hope that the decision makers at PMD will consider bringing back the goat... and doing it in a way worthy of the name.
Ron Sells from Dexter Missouri is ready to buy one right away:
I'm a 56 year old business guy who couldn't afford a 69 GTO in 69. Now I have a beautiful 69 Convt. I would love to have a 2004 [if they will do it]. I could drive the 2004 daily and also enjoy my 69 for cruizes and shows. I would almost guarantee it would not only appeal to us baby boomers but the younger crowd would jump all over it.
Bill Longmire thinks Pontiac should consult with us GTO fans before
cranking out a new design:
I advocate a "Retro GTO". The lines should be clean and uncrowded - with no flared fenders, bulges and or weird angles. No space ships allowed. The orange concept car already conceived and built is the wrong direction - and in my opinion is really ugly. Yes, convertible should be offered. More importantly, the GTO community should be consulted - at the concept stage. After all, we are the ones that have an emotional tie to the original car.
N E W S !
Holden in Australia (an overseas division of GM) has gained some attention
with their introduction of a GTO and a GTS model of their 2-door sports
coupes. Their car has a 5.7 litre Ram Air V8 engine. You can
get a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. They
have a very nice web site at http://www.hsv.com.au/cars/vx2/coupe/coupemenu.html
On it, you can sample the colors and options. A car like that could get me revved up.
My brother emailed Holden on February 8, 2002. He asked Holden
the following question about their Australian version of the car:
|When will the Holden GTO be available for sale in the USA?
Here is the answer that was emailed back to him:
We wish to advise that Holden do not currently export our vehicles in
any form to the US, nor do we have any future plans to do so.
If you choose to import one of our vehicles to the US, it must be done
We trust that the above has addressed your query.
In the summer of 2001, GM brought one of these Holden GTS-R cars to
the USA from Australia. Holden makes a GTO
model too. Anyway, GM had a testing company called AMCI test it out. AMCI tests cars for everybody. They have a general web site at http://www.amcitesting.com GTO marketing guy Jim Wangers heads the AMCI company.
Maybe they're thinking about bringing the GTO back after all? Jim's name and Bio appear on the AMCI web site.
A guy named "Wangers" runs AMCI too. It's Jim's nephew.
This link has exciting new news about Holden from January 2002. http://c6firebird.freeservers.com/aussie.html
Let's hear more well-reasoned pleas to bring back the GTO. Please email me your thoughts at Sean@UltimateGTO.com .
Or - better yet - Email Pontiac Motor Division. You may
want to express your enthusiasm about buying a new GTO here:
LET'S EXAMINE THE NEGATIVE THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID
Some people have come up with reasons NOT to manufacture a new GTO.
They seem to be in the minority, although they are steadfast in their resolve.
Some of the reasons they give the thumbs-down are:
OBJECTION: Leave the Great One as it is...a Legend.
I SAY: The legend lives on, man! When Ford made the decision to restyle their Mustang for its 30th anniversary, they sparked a renewed enthusiasm for the Mustang hobby. Enthusiasts began buying the cars in large numbers. The aftermarket business for Mustang performance parts started booming. A new generation discovered a fun hobby. Local and national Mustang car clubs saw their membership numbers growing. That's a good thing. The same thing could happen to the GTO if we are lucky.
OBJECTION: The last time GM decided to resurrect the goat....a FWD econobox with decals.....this was and still is NOT acceptable.
I SAY: That's right. The new GTO should not be a sham. GM would be foolish to try and pass off a "normal" car with stickers as something special. Us GTO enthusiasts have high expectations and are vocal about what we like. We really, really don't want a "normal" car with a GTO nameplate on it.
OBJECTION: If GM brings back the GTO, there will certainly be a large number of GTO fans that will never accept it. These folks will not want to hear anything about the new GTO.
That's only partly true. But I feel the people who won't like the idea of a new GTO are in the minority. Besides, old fans of the GTO are probably too OLD to be attracted to a new 2-door performance car. They're now out of the target market; an exciting mode of transportation appealing to youth.
THE SURVEY SAYS
Check out the results of a survey conducted on this website back in January of 2001.
768 responses collected
People in general had a very favorable attitude toward a new GTO.
But, specifically talking about the 1999 concept GTO, people were not as
favorable toward that design. In January 2002, the weekly poll
question centered on that particular design.
209 responses collected
Back in about 1985, there was talk of a future GTO based on the Pontiac Grand Am. The idea made some of the car magazines at the time. If you have a better scan of these pages, please email them to me.
I'd like to see drawings of what you think the next GTO should look
like. Email your GTO concepts to me!
My brother Pat Mattingly drew this GTO concept car...
FURTHER READING ON THE SUBJECT
The Monaro gets the green light to come to the U.S. March 6th, 2002 story and some others...
2004 GTO as dreamed up by Motor Trend. See their "image enhancement"
which is an ugly fabrication by them and them alone. It appeared
in the February 2002 issue. Here's a link to all their articles where
A previous October 2001 Motor Trend article on the Monaro...
Feb 24, 2002 GM executive Bob Lutz was interviewed on a show called
"CBS News Sunday Morning".
Anyone got a transcript of the feature?
March 27, 2002 article from Forbes covers Bob Lutz...
Feb 14, 2002 article from AutoWeek.com. They keep moving the link
for the story. So you might just want to go here and do a search
Attention GTO newsletter editors! Go ahead and reprint any of these Text Topics articles. Just give me credit as Sean Mattingly (Sean@UltimateGTO.com) at The Ultimate GTO Picture Site located at http://UltimateGTO.com
Here's a comment from a recent visitor...
Says Paul Wake (paulwake2004.@yahoo.com) - "There is none better. As soon as I get done paying alimony to the ex I'll click."