Pontiac GTO 1972 to 1974
Pontiac GTO for 1972 was no longer a separate model it became an option for the Le Mans. While the pillar coupe the basic option came with rubber mats the deluxe hard top coupe style came with carpet. Either one came with cloth and vinyl or all vinyl bench seats with an additional option of bucket seats. A convertible with the Le Mans logo was available with all the GTO options, including the three GTO engine choices, but did not sport any GTO logo or name. The Endura bumper, a GTO item, now came on the Le Mans model with the Pontiac name. One option rarely seen is a rear duck tail style spoiler special for the GTO option but the mold broke; so was put on a very few cars. Rally honey comb wheels were an option as well and came with either the Pontiac arrow head emblem or PMD (Pontiac Motor Division) on the dust cap.
© Swtrekker | Dreamstime.com – 1972 Pontiac GTO Photo
There was a large power drop in the output of all the engines in 1972 although the engines did not change in size. The basic 400 engine puts out 250 hp (190 kW) at 4,400 rpm. The optional 455 had the same rated horse power at a lower 3,200 rpm but a lot more torque. A very rare 455 engine was available that put out 300 hp at 4,000 rpm and could perform equally well on low lead gasoline or no lead gasoline as well as low octane regular gas. There were only 646 cars sold with this engine.
The 1973 GTO once again shared the stage with the redesigned Le Mans as its option package a “Colonnade” hard top. The GTO was not a true hard top in that it has a roof pillar but keeps the frame-less window in the doors. The rear side windows in the 1973 GTO do not open. Similar options for seating were offered as in last year’s models but with the addition of a notch back bench seat that had an armrest. Due to new regulations on 5 mph or less collisions leaving no damage; most cars were equipped with heavy chrome front and rear bumpers which were poorly received by the public. The basic 400 CID V8 engine was available but the horse power was dropped to 230 (170 kW) with the choice of the three speed manual, or the optional four speed and Turbo Hydra-Matic. The optional 455 CID V8 and put out 250 hp (186 kW) but only the Turbo Hydra-Matic was available for this engine.
© Kasiden | Dreamstime.com – 1960\’s Pontiac GTO Engine Photo
The fourth and last generation for the GTO is 1974 and has again taken on a styling change. So it does not compete with Pontiac “Euro” Grand Am and to compete with the new smaller cars from the competition the GTO is an option package for the Ventura. It was referred to as a “Chevy Nova in drag” – at least by some critics. The Ventura GTO package was on the market as a two door sedan or hatchback coupe. It came with the GTO emblems, a “shaker hood”, special grill, special mirrors, and fancy wheels. The only power available is the 350 CID (5.7 L) engine rated at 200 hp at 4,400 rpm and was available with a three speed manual transmission mounted on the floor with a Hurst shift kit, a four speed floor mount, or the Turbo Hydra-Matic three speed. Heavy duty suspension, as well as front and rear anti-roll bar is also included with the package. If you wanted power steering and front disk brakes they were both optional. Bias ply tires were basic but if you ordered the radial tuned suspension package – that came with radial tires. A 1974 GTO with a four speed could do 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.72 seconds reaching 88 mph (142 km/h).