Unearthed: 1967 Pontiac GTO


The Pontiac GTO is a classic example of American horsepower and automotive passion.

Perhaps one of the most famous Pontiacs ever built, the GTO started off as the Pontiac Tempest. Many know the story of how Pontiac engineers Russell Gee, Bill Collins, and John DeLorean quietly found a way to sidestep GM's ban on factory-sponsored racing cars by building instead street performance cars. They accomplished this by transplanting the 389 cu in 6.4-liter V8 from the full-size Pontiac Catalina and Bonneville into the smaller, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, and newly redesigned Tempest.

Normally, that car came with a standard 5.3-liter V8. DeLorean came up with the GTO name, taking it directly from the Ferrari 250 GTO. And the rest is history. The owner of this 1967 GTO states that the car has the most sentimental value of his entire collection. His grandmother bought the car new in '67 and it's remained in his family ever since. Although the car was lightly optioned at the time, coming only with the Rally One wheels, automatic transmission with His and Her shifter, and little else. But what makes the car really special is its paint color, as it's a factory Omaha Orange '67 GTO. It was only one of 11 produced in this then experimental paint color.

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So did Grandma fall for the salesman's false claim? Nope. The car has a cowl tag under the hood that provides a lot of information, such as a code for the car's exterior paint color. According to the owner, it has a number '1' listed in the paint code section. After consulting a Pontiac expert not long ago, he was told that this code directly referred to something experimental. Overall, the car is in fantastic shape, even with almost 90,000 miles on the odometer. The engine and transmission have recently been rebuilt and it also received a shift improvement kit and a new torque converter to improve performance.

What's not original is the carburetor which was destroyed in a fire many years ago. Most importantly for the owner, however, is not just the car's rarity, but how it made him interested in cars from an early age. Not only does he receive plenty of attention when driving it, but it's great to see how much of an impact a particular car can have on someone's life. Photos courtesy of chooko