Text by Joe Babiasz
It's hard to imagine that the Pontiac GTO might never have made it into production. Had it not been for a small group of managers at Pontiac who were also car enthusiasts and visionaries, the GTO might not have been. This small group was prepared to fight the battle on three unique fronts.
The first and perhaps most important battle was with the United States Justice Department. During the early 1960s, General Motors was so large it captured nearly 60 percent of the domestic car market. Just as they did with the Standard Oil Company, the Justice Department was prepared to break up The General if their market share exceeded 60 percent. Incredible as it may seem, GM was purposely trying to slow down vehicle sales in an effort to thwart such an action. The second front occurred on January 24, 1963 with the killing of the Super Duty Group that was responsible for Pontiac's dominance in both NASCAR and drag racing. The third front was getting the car approved by corporate bean counters, and the legal staff who initiated a policy that limited GM cars to ten pounds per cubic inch.
Pete Estes, Divisional Manager of Pontiac, and John Z. DeLorean, Pontiac's Chief Engineer, were devising their own plans to get the car launched
Published Oct 9th, 2017
More Related Vehicles
More Classic Car News & Article Categories:
From around 1956 until the mid 1980s, Dodge, Plymouth and even Chrysler squads were the most ubiquitous police cars in North America. In fact, the biggest department, the NYPD, used Plymouth and Dodge squads almost exclusively until the rear-drive M body car was finally axed in 1989.
The no-frills Savoy two-door sedan was home to another engine of considerable repute, the infamous 413 Max Wedge, a Super Stock monster block Chrysler introduced in the spring of 1962.