The Genesis of the GTO

The Pontiac GTO, often credited with kickstarting the muscle car phenomenon, emerged in 1963 for the 1964 model year. While its role in pioneering the segment is debated, the consensus is that the GTO played a pivotal role in popularizing it. However, the roots of the muscle car concept can be traced back to the 1950s.

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The original Pontiac GTO, in production until 1967, underwent a significant restyling in 1967. Despite being less aggressive in design compared to its successor, the first-generation GTO boasts a unique charm, particularly the 1964 version with its unassuming appearance and exclusive horizontal quad-headlamp layout.

Rarity of the First-Year GTO

The inaugural year of the GTO, 1964, stands out not only for its distinctive design but also for its rarity. Only 32,450 units were manufactured that year, a fraction of the total 286,470 GTOs sold through 1967. Among them, the convertible variant, like the black drop-top featured here, is especially uncommon, with only 6,644 units produced.

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Beyond its initial rarity, this particular GTO distinguishes itself further. Sporting a 3×2-barrel setup of the 389-cubic-inch V8, only about 25% of GTOs were equipped with this configuration. The uniqueness extends to the transmission, as this model features the rare three-speed manual gearbox. However, what truly makes it exceptional is its status as a one-of-one gem – the sole known example with its specific color combination and options.

# FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

## Q1: How many first-generation GTOs were produced in 1964?

A1: In 1964, Pontiac manufactured 32,450 first-generation GTOs.

## Q2: What makes the featured GTO unique?

A2: The highlighted GTO is distinctive due to its convertible layout (one of 6,644 units), the 3×2-barrel setup of the 389-cubic-inch V8, and its status as the only known example with its specific color combination and options.

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## Q3: What were the engine options for the 1964 GTO?

A3: The 1964 GTO featured a 389-cubic-inch V8 as the sole engine option. The base version had a single four-barrel carburetor, producing 325 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. The optional Tri-Power version, featured in this car, boasted three two-barrel carburetors and delivered 348 horsepower.

## Q4: How rare is the three-speed manual gearbox in the 1964 GTO?

A4: The three-speed manual gearbox is a rare feature, making this GTO even more unique among its counterparts.

## Q5: What awards has this GTO received?

A5: The GTO has undergone a comprehensive restoration and garnered several Concours awards for its authenticity and quality.

## Q6: What is the record auction price for this GTO?

A6: At the Kissimmee 2024 auction, this 1964 GTO set a record as the most expensive 1964-1967 GTO, fetching $176,000.

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