The Original GOAT

Trevor Guernsey

More stories from Trevor Guernsey


 The Pontiac GTO is the original GOAT. The history of the GTO is quite interesting.

It came out in 1964 and was produced through 1972 in the gm A body platform. I will touch on the different years of the GTO. The GTO was originally marketed in the early years of production as a “tiger,” then later started to be called a Goat. 

The GTO had its introduction in 1964 as a Pontiac version of the GM A-Body. The GOAT became a midsized dragstip brawler, but still a sophisticated beauty. It came out in 1964 and was produced through 1972 in the GM A body.

The 1964 GTO came out at the same time as its big brother competition, the Chevelle. Along with the Chevelle, Buick and Oldsmobile were stiff in company competition.  

In 1965, the GTO received minor changes including stacked headlights opposed to side by side. The body was slightly lengthened and minor parts of the interior changed. 

The 1966 model was a separate model from the Lemans, which the GTO used to be an options package for the Lemans. The whole G.M. A-body lineup was given a facelift with a sleeker, curved look. Again, with minor interior changes.

The 1967 GTO was updated with a new larger displacement motor, going from a 389ci to a 400ci Pontiac purebred. This high output version made 438 tire melting torques and 360 horsies, creating mind-bending acceleration.

The 1968 was yet another beautiful iteration of the GTO that was completely redesigned for the signature “Coke-bottle look;’’ therefore, it had a lot more curved bodylines. Pontiac also implemented an enduro rubber bumper; therefore, it did not dent from low speed impact.

The 1969 GTO  was the first year of the legendary GTO Judge. Other changes included the wing window being discontinued, slight interior modifications, different grill, improved rear bumper and the introduction of the phenomenal Ram Air VI. The Ram Air IV is a motor-mount-breaking monster on the street and the dragstrip.

Pontiac released the next GTO in 1970, again revised with a totally different front bumper and transformed body lines, giving it a fresh new look. Another exciting performance change is the brand new 455ci high-output street stomper. You could, at this time,  still order a savage Ram Air III or VI like the previous model year.

The 1971 GTOs sported a new super-slick front clip with two huge scoops on the hood to feed fresh air to the monster under the hood. Unfortunately, this was the last year of the Judge. Very few Judges were made in 1971, making them ultra rare. 

In 1972 the GTO was virtually the same to the 1971 year; however, super low sales again with less than 6,000 units sold. A slight change was an innovative small vent at the bottom of the front fenders. 






Pontiac produced a 1973 GTO that was totally restyled but not a very popular iteration.

The 1974 GTO switched from the G.M. A-body to the X-body platform. This was also not a very popular year. I personally think it is better than 1973 though.

Note, the GTO was the highest trim level of the Pontiac A-body platform. The Lemans sport, Lemans, Tempest custom and the Tempest were the lower trim levels.

My second favorite would be a 1968 with slick, shiny black paint with black interior that is a quarter mile king.

My favorite GTO is a 1972 in the beautiful color of sundance orange with a red interior. I really like the 1972 GTO for it has gigantic hood scoops and the little vents behind the front tires on the fenders. The front end design gives the GTO a really mean look.The 1972 is the GTO most worthy of the goat title!


Photo credits: 1969