Welcome to our first “About the GTO” post starting with the first year. Known as the first true muscle car, the 1964 Pontiac GTO (Grand Turismo Omologato) was actually a $295.90 extra-cost option for the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans. In 1963, General Motors instituted a corporate ban on all factory-backed racing programs which also meant keeping the power-to-weight ratios among regular production models in check. All new models had to be approved by upper management and large displacement engines were not getting approved for smaller cars, therefore, a compact car like the Tempest with a big cubic inch V8 would’ve never been approved for production. John DeLorean (yes, that John DeLorean), who worked for Pontiac at the time, found a way around this by making the GTO an option since new options on already existing models didn’t require approval above the division level.
The 1964 GTO was available in hardtop, coupe, and convertible models. The engines of choice were a 325 hp four-barrel carbureted 389 V8 or a 348 hp three two-barrel carbureted (Tri-Power) V8.
1964 GTO Production Numbers:
Total Production: 32,450