Readers Rides

The 1969 Pontiac GTO

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The “Goat” as it was called started out in the early 1960’s and was a power house of an automobile. Later in its life it drifted away until they reintroduced the car in 2004 to boring reviews. We will touch on that sad tale later. For now, I want to talk to you about the Goat.

Look how this car developed from a Pontiac Tempest to the GTO and of course “The Judge”. We all know the Judge was the king of that line up. I loved that pointy nose and paint schemes.
Most of us remember the car being featured on TV’s Laugh In Comedy show. Great, free publicity but this car was such a great car to begin with I doubt it needed that nudge. I happen to really like the GTO from about 68 to 71. They built monster engines, great interiors, and at the time really cool exterior paint schemes.
Funny, if you go to a car show and ask “where are the goats”? You are not pointed to a farm. Everyone knows what a Goat is and for good reason. Stang for Mustang, Vette for the Corvette, a bug is a VW beetle, and lastly a beep beep is a Roadrunner. I am sure you have your own list as well.

This GTO is the first time I ever heard the term “tri power”. I never knew what that meant until big brother pulled me a side and gave me an education. Luckily, one of his friends had a orange GTO with the pointy front end and we all drooled all over it. Some prefer the first green color with the green stripes but if you want to stand out, always buy the brightest color you can order I guess. Anyway, it had a black interior with a great dash set up. As I stated we had all kinds of cars over at the house and even though it was loud and rowdy at times I guess the parents all knew were the boys were. Then, someone discovered that if we went out to the street and poured white bleach on the rear ties and on the pavement we were in for a show. Sure enough, pour the liquid everywhere and do your standard burnout and you will get white billowing clouds of smoke. I mean white smoke filled half of the city block. What a sight to see and all the Mothers I am sure wondered how they were using so much bleach In the laundry room! That fun lasted until we ran the tires down or finally an adult told us we could not do this all the time.

The GTO was and is a classic car. I believe GM knew it right away and they took that first GTO and kept improving on it until of course the government came in and ruined the fun. Emission systems choked the cars off and the insurance companies wised up and the fun at the dance was over. Sure Pontiac stuck the GTO on later cars but it was a joke. A really bad joke for those of us who witnessed the real deal years earlier.

Then, about 2004 before Pontiac took its last breath, they reintroduced a car that was selling in Austraila and badged it a GTO here. It did not look like a GTO of the past, like what the Mustang folks did and later what the Camaro and Challenger did. It was a mid sized oval shaped car without any badging. My neighbor bought a yellow one that he liked but nobody ever thought of it as a Goat.

People asked him all the time what kind of car did he have? When he told them they all raised one eye brow as in disbelief. He said it had power and he loved shifting it so I asked if he wanted to take on my Mustang. He declined either because he knew I would smoke him or that he was now too darn old to race. I was confident I would leave him in my dust and was quite taken a back that the GTO had come to this.
What a disgrace and after a couple of years they pulled the plug on the sluggish sales car. Even today, ten plus years later you do not see many of them for sale or at auction. When you do they do not demand big money. It’s sorta a lose, lose deal for the 2004 and 2005 cars. But, drag out a 69 GTO like the one pictured here and watch the numbers roar. They should as the cars of this era were all muscle and could back it up.

No fluff here as the GTO back in the day was a winner and remains so.

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The 1969 Pontiac GTO, 6.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings


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