While in the beginning was just a package for the Tempest, the Pontiac GTO became one of the most notorious cars built by the GM-owned brand and a famed muscle car. Some would say that it was the first muscle car.
The Tempest LeMans GTO was available in thee body options and, while the hero’s of the drag-strips were the closed body ones, the convertible was also a star on the streets. It could race or cruise with ease or kick hard thanks to its powerful engine. It could beat a Ferrari GTO on a drag-strip, even though it couldn’t match the Italian stallion on a road circuit.
In 1964, Pontiac tried a different approach and used horizontally-mounted dual headlamps at the front instead of the vertically-mounted ones. Later on, it reconsidered that decision, but the ’64 model-year came with that setup. That allowed the carmaker to install a traditional grille, but with the unique Pontiac vertical slat in the middle. Its straight lines followed a different design language, with flat areas and angular shapes. The roof-top was completely retractable behind the rear bench, taking some space from the trunk, which was big enough anyway.
Inside, the GTO owners had an option for a standard dashboard or an enhanced one with a larger tachometer and an oil-pressure gauge. While it was designed for performance, GM’s managers knew the importance of those dials. At the front, it was available with two bucket seats, while the rear passengers could sit on a vinyl-covered bench.
Under the hood, the carmaker stuck a 6.4-liter fed by three carburetors. It was paired as standard with a three-speed manual gearbox and an option for a four-speed. For lazy ones, Pontiac included a two-speed automatic on the list. Regardless of the transmission, all versions receive a limited-slip differential.
ENGINE SPECS - 6.4L V8 3MT (330 HP)
|Power:||243 KW @ 4800 RPM|
330 HP @ 4800 RPM
326 BHP @ 4800 RPM
|Torque:||428 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM|
580 Nm @ 3200 RPM
|Top Speed:||122 mph (196 km/h)|
|Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph):||6.9 s|
|Drive Type:||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Length:||203 in (5156 mm)|
|Width:||73.3 in (1862 mm)|
|Height:||54 in (1372 mm)|
|Front/rear Track:||58/58 in (1,473/1,473 mm)|
|Wheelbase:||115 in (2921 mm)|
|Unladen Weight:||3400 lbs (1542 kg)|