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Bring Back the GTO!  An appeal to Pontiac to manufacture a modern GTO
Posted 3/25/02

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.

Concept GTOConcept GTO
Look, it has the Judge-like orange paint.   From the rear, it has the upswept look on the top edge of the trunkline like the 1966/67 cars had.   Heck, they even added a hood tach to the concept car to please the old GTO fans.   The hood scoops are even there.   Pontiac really went the extra mile to give the concept car some of the neat features we liked about the original car.
CLICK->Concept GTO and old Judge The GTO concept car was our Picture Of The Week for 2/7/99. We like it because it has radical styling features borrowed from the original without being a direct copy.

Here is a collection of passionate pleas to make another GTO.

The first is from Edward Merica (Edward.Merica@cmet.af.mil).  He says:
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" Merica
CLICK->1999 Concept GTO 1999 GTO CONCEPT CAR left front view.
CLICK->Concept GTO Jury 1999 GTO CONCEPT CAR photo was altered to look like a "The Jury" car by Dave Jeffries (ten@skylink.net)
CLICK->Concept GTO Press Package GTO CONCEPT CAR press package can be found for sale on ebay.com sometimes.
CLICK->Concept GTO and old JudgeLARGE 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 GTO nameplate:
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.
In fact, Holden as a GM Subsidiary are only allowed to sell our vehicles in Australia unless a specific export is requested by another GM Subsidiary, which has not occurred in this instance.

If you choose to import one of our vehicles to the US, it must be done
independently of General Motors.  Further, there are a number of factors 
that you must consider when doing this such as:-
- there is not direct parts supply to the US
- there is no servicing information available in the US
- there would be no warranty on the vehicle outside of Australia
- we can not guarantee that our vehicle would comply with the relevant US regulations and therefore be registered in the US.

We trust that the above has addressed your query.

Yours Sincerely

Karl Parsons
Holden Customer Assistance
 

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:
 http://www.pontiac.com

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.

Poll Question #2: Would you consider purchasing a GTO if Pontiac ever produced them again?

768 responses collected


yes   95%  
no   5%  

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.
 

Poll Question #1: If you've seen Pontiac's "concept GTO" from 1999, what do you like best about it?

209 responses collected


The wild styling   19%  
The orange color   9%  
The name   17%  
Nothing about it   35%  
Everything about it   20%  

OTHER CONCEPTS

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.

Grand Am GTO?????

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...
 http://UltimateGTO.com/cgi-bin/showcar.cgi?type=show&pic=/2004/04_00102_1

FURTHER READING ON THE SUBJECT
The Monaro gets the green light to come to the U.S.   March 6th, 2002 story and some others...
http://goauto.carsales.com.au

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 "GTO" appears...
http://motortrend.com

A previous October 2001 Motor Trend article on the Monaro...
http://www.motortrend.com

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...
http://www.forbes.com/2002/03/27/0327gto.html

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 for "GTO"...
http://autoweek.com/search.cms


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