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Matt Minnichsoffer
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The Original Muscle Car1:24 Monogram 1964 Pontiac GTO

November 13, 2020 · in Automotive · · 11 · 2K

Origins (From Wikipedia)

In early 1963, General Motors' management banned divisions from involvement in auto racing. This followed the 1957 voluntary ban on automobile racing that was instituted by the Automobile Manufacturers Association. By the early 1960s, Pontiac's advertising and marketing approach was heavily based on performance. With GM's ban on factory-sponsored racing, Pontiac's managers began to emphasize street performance.

In his autobiography Glory Days, Pontiac chief marketing manager Jim Wangers, who worked for the division's contract advertising and public relations agency, states that John DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee were responsible for the GTO's creation. It involved transforming the upcoming second-generation Pontiac Tempest into a sporty car, with a larger 389 cu in (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 engine from the full-sized Pontiac Catalina and Bonneville in place of the standard 326 cu in (5.3 L) V8. By promoting the big-engine option as a special high-performance model, they could appeal to the speed-minded youth market (which had also been recognized by Ford Motor Company's Lee Iacocca, who was at that time preparing the sporty Ford Mustang variant of the second generation Ford Falcon compact).
The GTO disregarded GM's policy limiting the A-body intermediate line to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cu in (5.4 L). The development team discovered a loophole in the policy which does not restrict large engines to be offered as an option. Pontiac general manager Elliot "Pete" Estes approved the new model, although sales manager Frank Bridge, who did not believe it would find a market, insisted on limiting initial production to 5,000 cars.

The GTO Name

The name, which was DeLorean's idea, was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, the successful race car. It is an Italian abbreviation for Gran Turismo Omologato ("grand tourer homologated"), which means officially certified for racing in the grand tourer class. In reality, the Pontiac GTO was never certified as a Grand Tourer race car. Internally, it was initially called the "Grand Tempest Option", one of many automobiles in the Pontiac line up with a 'Grand' in it. Despite this, the GTO is one of the fastest cars ever manufactured by Pontiac. And the was born…

The Build

When my cousin died from MD back in 1990, this was the last kit in his stash. My Great Uncle gave it to me and it's sat in my stash box ever since. The main reason I hadn't built it until now is that there was a big scratch on the windshield. Noe that my modeling skills and tools have improved, I was able to polish the scratch out and decided this kit needed to be assembled.

It was always a great mold, nice detail for the '80s. I built a couple of them back in during high school, but felt this one needed the best effort I could give it. So I added Model Car Garage PE badges and scale finishes 1964 Regal Red paint. That's about it for the build. It brings a smile to my face remembering the fun times modeling with my dear departed cousin.

Keep modeling and stay safe.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. I like your Pontiac a lot, Matt.
    Nice allover work, nice historical background too! It is amazing to read all those small or not so small details, regarding the history of a model.
    The windshield looks spotless!
    Well done on this model, that brings you a lot of nice memories.

  2. My first car was a '69 Bonneville 2 door, so I've always loved the point-nosed Pontiacs. Nice work on the GTO, Matt!

  3. This one and it's brethren for the next several years were some of my favorite cars. Nice job on the model. BTW, GTO means Gas, Tires and Oil.

  4. Brings back some great memories, my Uncle bought one in 1964, brand new in Yorktown Blue, Blue interior , still remember that white knobbed Hurst shifter. 14" wheels with the spinner full wheel covers. I was only 4 at the time but still vivid in my mind as he showed off the car with my dad that spring day in Whittler, California. Life in the fast lane. Beautiful model of an iconic pony car that started it all, the Mustang soon followed. The Vette has been around but these cars were different. Thanks for sharing Matt.

  5. I really enjoyed this post, Matt, interesting history, I never realised this was the first of the muscle cars. Nice background story of how you came to build this kit, and it looks great. I just wish I could hear the real thing. Definitely liked.

  6. Nice build, and nice narrative, looks great!

  7. Well done Matt and fortunately Pontiac took the original Tempest, which had a 4 banger under the hood , which was a split 326, and presto change o developed the GTO. The beginnings of the GM muscle cars, i.e. Olds 442, and Chevy SS. Owned a white 67 Pontiac LeMans, 2 door hardtop with black interior and bucket seats and man I wish I still had it. Nice trip down memory lane , and really nice job with the 64 GTO.

  8. Looks great! Although not the "sportiest" of the muscle cars, I always liked the GTO - especially the front end - and it's usually what I think of first when "muscle car" is mentioned.

  9. Thanks for the comments my friends. Without this forum we’d be a drift.

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