The GTO really came into its own in 1966, and was designated as its own model after being an option package for its first two years. There was intense competition for domestic youth market share, especially within GM. The result would be some of the most creative marketing ever to come out of Detroit.Pontiac knew that even though GM banned sanctioned racing, many young men were driving their GTOs to drag strips to see the wild altered-wheelbase Mopars and over-the-top Fords. The answer? The GeeTo Tiger campaign!Using a pair of ‘modified’ Tiger Gold GTOs and a challenge to race the famed Tiger, fans packed the stands to see the pair of GTO’s race at tracks nationwide. To say the campaign was a success is an understatement, and when final numbers were tallied, the GTO garnered record sales with nearly 96,946 sold, representing over 11 percent of Pontiac’s total units for the model year.
This GTO was built with an eye on straight-line performance. Starting with the lighter post body, it is powered by its original, numbers-matching 389 Tri-Power V8 engine.
Purchased by the current owner in 1976, it was parked in the late 1980s for over 20 years. In 2011, the decision was made to return it to its former glory, and a full Concours restoration was performed by Magnum Auto Restorations of LaSalle, IL.