Brand new 2004 GTO's have landed on the USA shore and we have the photos to prove it. Not that there's any doubt that Pontiac is really bringing Australian-made cars into the country. But customers who ordered their cars months ago are getting that itchy anxious feeling. They picked out a color, they picked out their choice of transmission, and they began the "waiting game". Maybe some will find relief in seeing photos of the cars before they make their way to a local Pontiac dealership.
Larry works in the railyard where many GTOs are now being stored. He's seen the cars up close and has provided photos of them on 12/5/03. He is a member of the Golden Gate Goats Club. I had a chance to ask him several questions about the parking lot full of 2004 GTOs he observed. Below, the Q's are me and the A's are Larry...
Q: We saw your
photos of a hundred GTO's parked in the lot with the protective stickers
on the paint in various places. Did you get to drive one or more
A: I can't say that I drove one (as they are not to be joyridden in the facility) but if I had, I would say WOW! Nice tight acceleration and smooth braking. I am a car collector mostly Pontiac's and mostly GTO and Trans Am's. I am currently in the middle of a frame-off on a '65 post coupe.
Q: What is your
impression of the cars?
A: Photos do not do it justice. With a $35,000 up price tag, it looked like a cross between a Grand Am and a Grand Prix. However, I did like the idea of resurrecting a classic that died badly. My fear was that the name could be ruined as the LeMans name was ruined in the late 80's by a poor version of the Korean import with a 4 bangor. Seeing this 2004 GTO I know that GM has done the name Justice, you need only to look at the vehicle with modern eyes. It represents the same thing the first one did in 1964 modern power and performance in a mid sized vehicle. The only obvious hint of the past are the emblems on the fenders and deck lid which as before still warn the pending doom if harassed. The overall look is clean with nice lines and contours by today's standards. The interior is great with a great feel and fit does not look cheap and plastic. Controls have a good feel and are tight. Independent suspension and the 5.7 mill show clearly this vehicle has not been skimped on. I am impressed after having seen them in person and I am sure anyone who drives one will want one. Just as a note - if there was one thing I could change I would recess the grilles, not as aerodynamic but it is a trademark.
UltimateGTO.com featured photos of new GTO's coming off a cargo ship at
a San Francisco area port. How did they get from the cargo
ship to this railyard?
A: The port is about a half mile away, so they are driven to the railyard for distribution.
Q: Who put the
spoilers on? Did you see that?
A: At the port, some of the protective plastic is removed and the spoilers are attached.
Q: Were there
any problems with the cars?
A: There was a problem that held them up for over 2 weeks I can't say. It was not major but it is a problem Holden has had before.
Q: Are they
guarded in any way?
A: The entire facility is gate guarded.
Q: Were there
any people trying to get a closer look at these cars?
A: Nobody really knows they are here. You would have to stake out the road between the port and the railyard. They can't be seen from the street.
Q: How did you
A: I was informed before the ship docked. I wanted to see them offloaded from the ship, but could not get away.
Q: Did you get
more photos / can you get more?
A: I took all the photos and have 20 or so more right now and will be taking more when the weather clears up. There should be about 500 more coming in within the next 10 days. I can send more photos. How many do you want?
Gee, some of the customers who have ordered new GTO's have been waiting a while. Most of them are impatient to see one in their driveway. So we'll take all the photos you can snap!
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Here's a comment from a recent visitor...
Says Darren Snow (rocket88.@marz.com) from St. Louis -"All those photos of GTO models has got us in the mood for building one! Keep up the good work."