1967 Pontiac GTO Ram Air
Pontiac Division’s advertising department was not very successful in its attempt to promote and identify the GTO with a Tiger, but by 1967, the otherwise very successful GTO, had become “the Goat” to a growing number of fans. The GTO is one of the original muscle cars according to many aficionados. This well-designed muscle car was formidable competition to all comers throughout the ’60s and became a yardstick others used to gauge their successes. “The official (sanctioned) highway race vehicle” would be a figurative translation for GTO or “Gran Turismo Omologato,” a term Pontiac borrowed in 1964 from Ferrari for the Pontiac GTO.
There were 81,722 GTO units produced in 1967, of those 65,176 were hardtops, 7,029 Sports coupe style, and the balance convertibles, but there were only 56 units of the convertible with the Ram Air option on the 400-cubic-inch (6.5L) V8, making them very rare original equipment cars today. Eight long, narrow, horizontally oriented rectangular taillights mounted 2×2 on each side replaced the louvered taillights. The grille was now a chrome mesh design and no longer completely split into two pieces; a chrome strip linked the grille inserts.
The GTO emblems moved from the rear fenders to the chromed rocker covers, and there were five-spoke Rally II wheels with colored lug nuts offered as an option. The cabin of the new GTO featured simulated wood grain highlights, four-way flashers, non-protruding knobs, padding around the instruments, energy-absorbing steering column along with an energy-absorbing steering wheel. For an option, the car could also have a shoulder harness for the front seat belts.
Front disk brakes were also an option, but for this year, every GTO had a master cylinder with a dual reservoir, which included separate hydraulic lines to operate the front and rear brakes independently. The ’67 GTO was an attractive car, but not really a lot different looking from its G2 predecessors. The visible changes are slight, and the new safety features somewhat compelling, but the Ram Air and higher horsepower ratings were what made this the most desirable GTO ever made. The “Special Order Engine Options“ on the “Special Equipment” page in the 1967 Tempest-GTO order form was where to check the box to install the L67-400 Ram Air engine. The option did have the same rating as the base, 360 hp (270 kW), but delivered it at a higher 5100 rpm, plus it produced a slightly higher torque peak of 438 lbs.-ft. (594 N-m) at 3600 rpm.
For the ’67 models, Pontiac shelved the tri-power in favor of the Rochester four-barrel “Quadrajet” carburetor. The biggest changes from the H.O. engine to the 400 Ram is the Ram itself, a hotter cam, and stiffer valve springs for the latter, at least initially, although some head upgrades occurred in May ’67. The old 389 block casting was bored-out to 400 cubic inches (6.5L), but does retain many 389 components, including the same carburetion, manifolds, compression, and the older style No. 670 heads used for the engine’s first assemblies. In May ’67, after number 646,616 head was produced, Pontiac upgraded them to “97” heads. According to historian Pete McCarthy, the change was made on the die stamp for the “670” by grinding off the 0 and turning the “6” upside down. In late ’67, casting number 997 heads are installed with the number stamped between number 4 and 5 spark plug holes.
When in production, the 1967 Ram Air option would cost $203.30 with a three-speed transmission, but you also had to order a 4.33 Safe-T-Track rearend for $48.79. The close-ratio M21 four-speed was on the table for an additional $142.31 or the all new three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic was available for $174.84. This automatic came with the Hurst engineered dual-gate shifter, giving the operator a choice of shifting or the automatic mode.
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