A tachometer was optional, and was placed in the far right dial on the dash. Most contemporary road tests by the automotive press such as Car Life criticized the slow steering, particularly without power steering , and inadequate drum brakes, which were identical to those of the normal Tempest. Car and Driver incited controversy when it mentioned that a GTO, which had supposedly been tuned with the "Bobcat" kit offered by Ace Wilson's Royal Pontiac of Royal Oak, Michigan , was clocked at a quarter mile time of Since the two engines were difficult to distinguish externally, the subterfuge was not immediately obvious.
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Since the car was damaged during the testing, and Wangers did not want anyone looking under the hood, he used the blue road course GTO to flat tow the red GTO 1, miles back to Detroit. Frank Bridge's initial sales forecast proved inaccurate: the GTO package's total sales amounted to 32, units. The components and instructions could be purchased by mail, as well as installed by the dealer. A majority of the GTO's made available for media testing were equipped with a Bobcat kit.
Milt Schornack joined Royal Pontiac and helped improve the performance enhancement package.
Adhesive "Royal Bobcats" stickers were also included. The Tempest model line up, including the GTO, was restyled for the model year, adding 3. It had Pontiac's characteristic vertically stacked quad headlights. Heavy-duty shocks were standard, as was a stronger front antisway bar. An additional option was a breakerless transistor ignition. The cubic inches engines received revised cylinder heads with re-cored intake passages and high rise intake manifolds, improving airflow to the engine. Transmission and axle ratio choices remained the same.
The three-speed manual was standard, while two four-speed manual transmissions wide or close ratio and a two-speed automatic transmission were optional. The restyled car had a new simulated hood scoop. A seldom seen dealer-installed option consisted of a metal underhood pan and gaskets to open the scoop, making it a cold air intake.
The scoop was low enough that its effectiveness was questionable it was unlikely to pick up anything but boundary layer air , but it allowed an enhanced engine sound. Another exterior change was the black "egg-crate" grille. Car Life tested a GTO with Tri-Power and what they considered the most desirable options close-ratio four-speed manual transmission, power steering, metallic brakes, rally wheels, 4. Major criticisms of the GTO continued to center on its slow steering ratio of Car Life was satisfied with the metallic brakes on its GTO, but Motor Trend and Road Test found the four-wheel drum brakes with organic linings to be alarmingly inadequate in high-speed driving.
Sales of the GTO, abetted by a marketing and promotional campaign that included songs and various merchandise, more than doubled to 75, It spawned many imitators, both within other GM divisions and its competitors. The entire GM "A" body intermediate line was restyled that year, gaining more curvaceous styling with kicked-up rear fender lines for a "Coke-bottle" look , and a slightly "tunneled" backlight. The tail light featured a louvered cover, only seen on the GTO.
Overall length grew only fractionally, to Rear track increased one inch 2. Overall weight remained about the same. The GTO was available as a pillared coupe, a hardtop without B-pillars , and a convertible. Also an automotive industry first, plastic front grilles replaced the pot metal and aluminum versions seen on earlier years. New Strato bucket seats were introduced with higher and thinner seat backs and contoured cushions for added comfort and adjustable headrests were introduced as a new option. Four pod instruments continued, and the GTO's dash was highlighted by walnut veneer trim.
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Engine and carburetor choices remained the same as the previous year, except the Tri-Power option was discontinued mid-model year. A new engine was offered that saw few takers: the XS option consisted of a factory Ram Air set up with a new high lift cam. Approximately 35 factory-installed Ram Air packages are believed to have been built, though dealership installed Ram Air packages are estimated to have been ordered. Sales increased to 96,, the highest production figure for all GTO years. The GTO underwent a few styling changes in The louver-covered taillights were replaced with eight tail lights, four on each side.
Rally II wheels with colored lug nuts were also available in The GTO emblems located on the rear part of the fenders were moved to the chrome rocker panels. The grill was changed from a purely split grill, to one that shared some chrome. The GTO also saw several mechanical changes in The Tri-Power carburetion system was replaced with a single 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor. Emission controls were fitted in GTOs sold in California.
The model year required new safety equipment. A new energy-absorbing steering column was accompanied by an energy-absorbing steering wheel, padded instrument panel, non-protruding control knobs, and four-way emergency flashers. A shoulder belt option was also featured, and the brake master cylinder was now a dual reservoir unit with a backup hydraulic circuit.
Front disc brakes were also an option in General Motors redesigned its A-body line for , with more curvaceous, semi-fastback styling. The wheelbase was shortened to Overall length was reduced 5. Pontiac abandoned the familiar vertically stacked headlights in favor of a horizontal layout, but made hidden headlights available at extra cost. The concealed headlights were a popular option. The signature hood scoop was replaced by dual scoops on either side of a prominent hood bulge extending rearward from the protruding nose.
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A unique feature was the body-color Endura front bumper. It was designed to absorb impact without permanent deformation at low speeds. Pontiac touted this feature heavily in advertising, showing hammering at the bumper to no discernible effect. It included freer-breathing cylinder heads, round port exhaust, and the cam. The 'official' power rating was not changed. Another carry-over from was the four-piston caliper disc brake option. However, most models had drum brakes all around as this seldom ordered option provided greater stopping power.
The model year was also the last year the GTOs offered separate crank-operated front door vents. Concealed windshield wipers, which presented a cleaner appearance hidden below the rear edge of the hood, were standard on the GTO and other GM products after having been originally introduced on the Pontiac Grand Prix.
A popular option, actually introduced during the model year, was a hood-mounted tachometer, located in front of the windshield and lit for visibility at night. An in-dash tachometer was also available.
Redline bias-ply tires continued as standard equipment on the GTO, though they could be replaced by whitewall tires at no extra cost. A new option was radial tires for improved ride and handling. However, very few were delivered with the radial tires because of manufacturing problems encountered by supplier B. The radial tire option was discontinued after Pontiac did not offer radial tires as a factory option on the GTO again until the model.
Hot Rod tested a four-speed GTO equipped with the standard engine and obtained a quarter mile reading of Testers were split about handling, with Hot Rod calling it "the best-balanced car [Pontiac] ever built," but Car Life chided its excessive nose heaviness, understeer, and inadequate damping. The CI engine was disassembled and blueprinted to produce more than the advertised factory horsepower and easily spinning to RPM.
It could do 0—60 MPH in 5. Car and Driver wrote that the CI powered car was "a fine, exciting car for either touring or tooting around in traffic. Not overly fussy. Not difficult to drive—-up to a point. Too much throttle at the wrong time will spin the car, or send it rocketing off the road and into the farmer's field.
You can light up the car's tires like it was an AA-fueler anytime the notion seizes your fancy. Below 3,, the GTO ran flat and a bit rough. Part-throttle driving at 2, RPM around town was difficult and unpleasant. Freeway cruising at 4, RPM is anything but pleasant and promises short life for hard-working engine components.
Also, driving the GTO on wet roads with this deep geared axle was thrilling. Rear tire breakaway could be provoked by a slight jab at the accelerator, sending the car into a minor skid that usually used up more than one lane of space. Like all passenger vehicles sold in the United States, GTOs now featured front outboard shoulder belts cars built after January 1, and side marker lights. To comply with the new federal vehicle emissions standards, the GTO was now equipped with emissions controls. Sales reached 87, units, which would ultimately prove to be the second-best sales year for the GTO.
The model eliminated the front door vent windows, had a slight grille and taillight revision, moved the ignition key from the dashboard to the steering column which locked the steering wheel when the key was removed, a federal requirement installed one year ahead of schedule , and the gauge face was changed from steel blue to black. In addition, the rear quarter-panel mounted side marker lamps changed from a red lens shaped like the Pontiac "arrowhead" emblem to one shaped like the broad GTO badge.
Front outboard headrests were made standard equipment on all cars built for A new model called "The Judge" was introduced. The Judge routine, made popular by comedian Flip Wilson, was borrowed from the act of long-time burlesque entertainer Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham. Advertisements used slogans like "All rise for the Judge" and "The Judge can be bought". As originally conceived, the Judge was to be a low-cost GTO, stripped of features to make it competitive with the Plymouth Road Runner.
Pontiac claimed that the spoiler had some functional effect at higher speeds, producing a small but measurable downforce , but it was of little value at legal speeds. The Judge was initially offered only in Carousel Red, but midway into the model year, a variety of other colors became available. A matte black car played a role in the action movie The Punisher. The Tempest model line received another facelift for the model year. Hidden headlights were deleted in favor of four exposed round headlamps outboard of narrower grille openings. The nose retained the protruding vertical prow theme, although it was less prominent.bubmawontens.tk
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The suspension was upgraded with the addition of a rear anti-roll bar, essentially the same bar as used on the Oldsmobile and Buick Gran Sport. The front anti-roll bar was slightly stiffer. The result was a useful reduction in body lean in turns and a modest reduction of understeer. Another handling-related improvement was optional variable-ratio power steering.
Rather than a fixed ratio of Turning diameter was reduced from The base engine was unchanged for , but the low-compression economy engine was deleted and the Ram Air III and Ram Air IV remained available, although the latter was now a special-order option. A new option was Pontiac's HO engine different from the round-port offerings of the —72 cars , available now that GM had rescinded its earlier ban on intermediates with engines larger than HO. A functional Ram Air scoop was available.
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