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A tremendous amount of free advertising came about when a Top 40 song was written about the GTO. John Wilkin penned the song "GTO" and a group of Nashville session musicians recorded it under the name "Ronny and the Daytona's." The song went as high as No. 4 on the charts during its 17-week stay. Over a million singles and 500,000 albums were sold. The refrain, "three deuces and a four-speed and a 389," played repeatedly to the GTO's key customer group.
The '74 GTO was still pretty good-looking. The unique front grille featured styled parking lights that harkened back to the '66 and '67 GTOs, and the shaker hood scoop swiped from the Trans Am looked cool and opened at full throttle to admit cold air to the engine. Keep in mind that functional hood scoops weren't always a part of the GTO package even in the nameplate's more potent days.
But though it looked handsomely aggressive outside, the GTO's interior was barely changed from the regular Ventura. That meant minimal instrumentation, hard plastic door panels and plain upholstery. That was a definite step down from the relatively luxurious interiors of earlier GTOs.
***** figures for the '74 GTO grew to a modest 7,048 units. Of those, 1,723 were hatchbacks and the other 5,335 were fastback coupes with conventional trunks.
When the restyled GM compacts appeared for 1975, there was no GTO among them. No one cried, no protest marches around GM headquarters were organized and not a single Pontiac dealer complained. The GTO was history. But for the next 30 years the GTO legend — deserved or not — would do nothing but grow.
Every few years Pontiac would put forth a concept car or modified production vehicle under the GTO name. Some of the concepts were ridiculous (a 1991 front-drive Grand Am gussied up with some plastic pieces) and others just hideous (a 1999 concept car that looked like a failed attempt to redesign a meat slicer), but fortunately none of them went into production.
But with the cancellation of the Firebird after the 2002 model year, Pontiac was left with a "we build excitement" marketing theme and a lot of not-very-exciting cars. Down in Australia, though, GM's Holden division was putting a new coupe into production that could fill the Pontiac's performance void — the Holden Monaro.
The Monaro's heritage includes significant racing success Down Under where the name first appeared in 1969. From the beginning, the Monaro was available with a Chevrolet 5.7-liter (350-cubic-inch) V8 as an option. But two-door coupes were never very popular in Australia, and by 1976 the Monaro had vanished.
But much as the GTO developed a cult following in the U.S., the Monaro had its own fans in Australia and though the Monaro was gone, it was hardly forgotten. By the end of the 1990s, engineers within Holden were working on a revival of the Monaro. With the celebration of Holden's 50th anniversary in full swing during 1998, the company debuted the "VT Coupe" concept at the Sydney Motor Show. Observers instantly pegged it as the next Monaro. By late 2001, it was on **** as the 2002 Monaro.
2011 Ferrari 599 GTO First Drive
In April 2009, after GM announced the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010, CEO Fritz Henderson stated that the Solstice would not continue under another GM brand.
Although they considered selling the Wilmington plant and the Solstice/Sky products to an outside business, the Wilmington assembly plant closed in July 2009.In October 2009, the DeLorean Motor Company expressed interest in continuing production of the Solstice, but production has not resumed to date.
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