1967 Pontiac GTO History and Specs

The Pontiac GTO was one of the most popular cars during the 1960′s. At that time it would have been unlikely that anyone would have thought the Pontiac marquee name would eventually fade into history. The Pontiac automobile which was created by General Motors in 1925 as part of their Oakland automobile division, would cease to exist by the end of 2010, a victim of the financial crises of 2008 and the bankruptcy of General Motors.

1967 GTO

1967 GTO

What “GTO” Means

The 1967 Pontiac GTO like the one featured in this article came out with a 400 cubic inch V-8 delivering 335 horsepower. There were very few first generation automobiles that experienced the acceptance the GTO attained. The GTO was certainly a “history making” car. The car still remains one of the most popular muscle cars of all time and some say the introduction of the GTO was also the start of the muscle car era. The GTO’s V-8′s were bigger and the hood scoop and dual exhausts plus a name taken from a Ferrari racer made this a very special car.

The meaning of the letters GTO reportedly stand for  “Gran Turismo Omologato“. What this phrase denotes is that the car is eligible to be entered in races like the LeMans and stock car races. In essence, the term refers to the car’s approval for such events. This translation leaves little doubt that the Pontiac GTO was created with racing in mind. Surprisingly, the GTO was the idea of a GM advertising agency executive and John DeLorean, one time Pontiac chief engineer and later an automaker himself. It’s said that DeLorean came up with the GTO designation based on the Ferrari 250 GTO which didn’t sit too well at the time with GT Class followers.

1967 Pontiac GTO

1967 Pontiac GTO

General Motors and Racing

Believe it or not but General Motors had an edict which barred their automotive divisions from being involved in auto racing. The real fact of the matter was that, at the time of the edict, while officially “GM’s management” was not involved in automobile racing, this was all about direct factory support.

Most everyone knows how involved automakers were in competitive racing during the industry’s infancy when public acceptance and needed publicity was important. It’s really always been important.

Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO

The reason the edict from GM was issued goes back to a tragedy at the 24 hours of LaMans race in 1955 when an out of control car exploded and ran into the crowd killing eighty-three spectators. The Automobile Manufacturers Association, a group representing all American automakers, decided among it’s members in 1957 to pull their support from auto racing and any and all motorsports. Supposedly this was an unwritten agreement and only a mutual understanding among the members and it didn’t take long for each automaker to figure a way around it. This is why at the time of the creation of the Pontiac GTO and it’s super performance attributes, direct factory support was still a no-no for official involvement. At the same time GM was unofficially involved in auto racing.

For Pontiac in particular, the marquee based a lot of what it built and advertised even before 1963 on it’s performance attributes therefore racing and motorsports in general was something they stayed with officially or non officially.

GTO rear window design

GTO rear window design

Three Types of 1967 Pontiac GTO’s

The 1967 GTO was built in three different models. There was the 2 door coupe, the two door hardtop and the 2 door convertible.

The 1967 Pontiac GTO’s body was very much like the 1966 model although the 1966 GTO did have a new body design from the previous year. The 1966 models had a new grille design and a tunneled rear window. The biggest change in the 1967 models were mechanical. On the body there was a side trim change, new tail lights and a chrome wire mesh on the grille.

While the Pontiac GTO was considered a muscle car with a lot of muscle, the automobile was also considered one of the best looking mid-size cars of the mid 1960′s.

Production totals for the 1967 model year were as follows…

GTO Coupe           7,029

GTO Hardtop       65,176

GTO Convertible    9,517

Pontiac GTO Logo

Pontiac GTO Logo

Ram Air Engine

An option on the 1967 Pontiac GTO was the first Ram Air engine. The Ram Air I was the most advanced 400 cubic inch engine Pontiac had at the time and pushed the horsepower up to 360. The Ram Air II came out in 1968 as a 400 cubic inch powerhouse that delivered 366 horsepower.The Ram Air engine could achieve zero to sixty in 5.2 seconds.

The Pontiac GTO came upon the scene in 1963 as an option package for the LeMans model. This option came with a 325 horsepower, 389 V-8 with a stiffer suspension and a Hurst-shifted three-speed manual transmission. Another option offered was a four speed manual transmission with a 348 horsepower engine.

1967 Pontiac GTO Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1967 Pontiac GTO came standard with a 400 cubic inch V-8 delivering 335 horsepower with options available for more horsepower with the first Ram Jet Engine.

In addition to an automatic transmission, buyers could choose either a three or four speed manual.

The car’s wheelbase was 115.0 inches and it’s overall length was 206.6 inches. The 67 GTO’s hardtop and sports coupe had a width of 74.7 inches and the convertible 74.4 inches. The GTO’s height was 53.6 inches.

New car prices for the 1967 Pontiac GTO averaged about $3,000. The convertible model was priced about $200 more.

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67 Pontiac GTO

67 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO’s Make Great Collector’s Cars

The 1967 Pontiac GTO which cost around $3,000 new, today has attractive auction car prices. The GTO’s are popular with collector’s and are about as popular today, if not more so, than they were during the 1960′s and 1970′s.

As of this writing, one immaculate 1967 Pontiac GTO hardtop with the Ram Air engine and full documentation sold for $106,000 at auction.. Some additional 1967 GTO convertibles were also listed for sale at $40,000, $60,000 and yet another for $70,000. The 1960 GTO’s command good prices today.

A few excellent books on the subject of the GTO include GTO:Pontiac’s Great One by authors Darwin Holmstrom and David Newhardt…..GTO Red Book: Pontiac GTO, 1964-1974 by author Peter C. Sessler….Illustrated G T O Buyer’s Guide by author Paul Zazarine.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

1966 Studebaker Wagonaire

The 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire featured in this article is very significant because it was in this year that Studebaker ceased production of automobiles. The Studebaker Wagonaire was designed with clean lines and some

1966 Studebaker Wagonaire

1966 Studebaker Wagonaire

Sales during the early 1960′s had been declining steadily and the company’s president was ousted. The fiscal situation was getting dire.

The company closed it’s factory in South Bend Indiana in 1963 and eventually closed it’s plant in Hamilton Ontario Canada in 1966. The car marquee had quite a long run with the company’s founding in 1852 by the Studebaker brothers. The original company was a popular builder of wagons for pioneers, farmers and the military. Studebaker had a lucrative wagon contract with the federal government during the Civil War.

The 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire was built by the company from 1963 until the company’s shut down in 1966. This was a brief time so the Studebaker Wagonaires are somewhat rare. The Wagonaire was based on Studebaker’s popular Lark model.

1966 Studebaker grille

1966 Studebaker grille

The Studeabker Wagonaire was a six passenger station wagon. Buyers could also buy an optional rear facing third row of seats.

The first Wagonaires built had a sliding roof but there were problems with the mechanism that caused water to leak in and the automaker eventually offered both a fixed roof model and a sliding roof model. The fixed roof model reportedly cost $100 less.

The 1963 to 1966 Wagonaires also had a drop-down tailgate. That feature plus the sliding roof gave the vehicle cargo hauling attributes of a pickup.

Production in 1963 was actually stopped for a while for the roof problem to be corrected. This was a retractable roof panel that was over the car’s cargo area which would slide under the forward roof panel. Apparently the drainage tubes had a tendency to clog resulting in water getting into the cabin section.

Studebaker Wagonaire

Studebaker Wagonaire

The sliding roof design was the creation of designer Brooks Stevens who was asked by Studebaker’s president to create something new without spending a lot of money.

Studebaker needed a new model but really didn’t have adequate funds in the early 1960′s.  It was said that Stevens based the sliding roof on one of his 1959 concept cars. Some have said that the sliding glass sunroofs of today’s automobiles were inspired by what Studebaker and Stevens did back in 1963.

Studebaker promoted the new Wagonaire extensively. The company called the car three vehicles in one. They contended that the Studebaker Wagonaire was a cargo hauler, a passenger sedan and with the sliding rear roof, a convertible as well.

About 12,000 Studebaker Wagonaires were built during the first 1963 model year but during it’s last year of production, and the company’s last year in business, only about 600 were produced. A total of 19,500 Studebaker Wagonaires were built over it’s three year life span.

1966 Studebaker

1966 Studebaker

1966 Studebaker Wagonair Specifications

The standard engine with this vehicle was a 170 cubic inch inline six cylinder. For those wanting more power, there were two V-8′s offered as options.

One was a 259 cubic inch and the other a 289 cubic inch. It was said there actually was a third engine option available which was a high performance 289 cubic inch V-8 that could deliver 240 horsepower and with a super charger added could put out over 280 horsepower. These high performance engines were the Avanti R Series. The Studebaker Wagonaire with a four speed manual transmission and an R2 Super Charger could move.

Transmission choices included a three or four speed manual and a three speed automatic.

The Wagonaire’s wheelbase was 113.0 inches, length 194.0 inches, width 71.5 inches and height 54.8 inches.

1966 Wagonaire

1966 Wagonaire

Front suspension was Independent ball joint with coil springs. Rear suspension were longitudinal leaf springs.

Brakes on the 1966 model were hydraulic.

The new car base price for the 1966 Studebaker Wagonaire was a bit over $2,800.

 

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Studebaker Wagonaire Logo

Studebaker Wagonaire Logo

The Studebaker Wagonaire is a Rare Automobile

As mentioned above, there were only 19,500 Studeabaker Wagonaire’s built during it’s three year run.

Probably the rarest of these would be a 1963 Wagonaire with the rear sliding roof and a R2 Super Charger. While the Wagonaire is fairly rare it hasn’t been on collector’s radar screens like some other 1960′s cars. Because of this the selling prices for restored Wagonaires are relatively low considering the car’s classic attributes and it’s short production run.

Prices for restored Studebaker Wagonaires have been in the range of $10,000 to $15,000. The vehicle makes a good restoration project and some totally non restored Wagonaires have sold for a few thousand dollars, and that’s even for one in running condition. The trick of course is to locate one.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)