1968 Pontiac GTO Hardtop Coupe / Photos, Specs, Model History

The iconic 1968 Pontiac GTO Hardtop Coupe, one of the most popular muscle cars from the late 1960’s. The GTO was one of the great automobiles that came out in 1964 at the beginning of the 60’s muscle car revolution that began in earnest during the middle 1960’s. It’s been said that the Pontiac GTO was born when General Motors engineers at the GM Proving Grounds outside Detroit fitted a Pontiac LeMans with a more powerful engine.

The 1968 GTO’s

The 1968 Pontiac GTO was produced as a hardtop coupe and a convertible. The coupe with a pillar was discontinued after 1967.

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1968 Pontiac GTO Hardtop Coupe

1968 Restyling

Pontiac redesigned the A-body as part of  their 1968 restyling. This new A-body had fastback styling. The wheelbase was 112.0 inches, three inches shorter than the 67 models, for all two-door automobiles. Also, the car’s overall length for 1968 was reduced 5.9 inches and the height was shorter one-half inch. Although the 1968 GTO had a smaller body the overall weight was up about 75 pounds.

In general, the 1968 GTO had clean lines with bulged bodysides. 1968 styling changes also included hidden headlights instead of the stacked headlights. The signature single hood scoop was replaced by dual scoops on either side of a large hood bulge extending from the protruding nose. Another new item were concealed windshield wipers which were hidden under the rear edge of the hood. From 1964-1972 GTO styling was never stale. Every model year featured some of the most attractive styling of any American made automobile with aggressive styling and great lines.

Pontiac’s Ram Air Power

The GTO always featured some pretty powerful engines. Ram Air was part of a package offered by Pontiac in 1965 for buyers wanting to increase the performance of their GTO. The package could be added to four barrel and tri-power optioned automobiles.

For 1968 the Ram Air option was the highest performance engine offered with the GTO.  These were basically the same as the Pontiac 400 H.O. engine from 1967. Pontiac would go on and build two updated versions of the Ram Air engine for the 1969 GTO.

1968 Pontiac GTO Specifications

The 1968 GTO offered the buyer several engine options, more than with the previous model year. These were all V-8’s and packed plenty of power. These included 350, 400 and 428 cubic inch displacements. The 350 V-8 delivered 265 HP (this engine was available only with an automatic trans), the 400 V-8’s ranged between 335-366 HP, .The 428 cubic inch V-8’s ranged from 375-390 HP. Most of the engines came with four barrel carburetors.

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Transmission choices were also many. These included a three and four speed manual  with the four speed being a heavy duty floor shifter. Automatics included a two speed along with a three speed Hydra-Matic Turbo.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums. Power assist and front discs were an option.

Front suspension included upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, hydraulic shocks and an anti-roll bar. Rear suspension included four-link coil springs.

Dimensions included a wheelbase of 112.0 inches, overall length 200.7 inches, width 74.8 inches. Curb weight 3,350 lbs.

Total 1968 Pontiac GTO production was 88,680 vehicles. From that number 78,600 were Hardtop Coupes. Total 1968 Pontiac production including all models and styles was 943,200 units.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are…

1970 Pontiac GTO Convertible

1968 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible

Reference material for this article includes…Pontiac GTO 50 Years: The Original Muscle Car by author Darwin Holmstrom…Collector’s Originality Guide Pontiac GTO 1964-1974The All-American Muscle Car: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of Detroit’s Greatest Performance Cars by John Oldham. The Big ‘Little GTO Book by Motorbooks International.

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The 1968 GTO Collector Car

Late 1960’s Pontiac GTO’s have been and remain very popular collector cars. These are models built in the midst of the high performance wars and prior to the federal safety and emission regulations of the early 70’s. Examples in original and excellent condition are generally found in a range from about $55,000 to $85,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)