How Muscle Cars Began

The Pontiac GTO was introduced in 1964 as a mid-sized muscle car manufactured by Pontiac, a division of General Motors. The GTO is widely regarded as the first true muscle car. The Pontiac GTO was inspired by the success of the original two-seat, high-performance Pontiac Tempest. It included a strong motor and a heavy-duty suspension that allowed for high-speed driving and cornering. The GTO was the first production car to feature a “Ram Air” induction hood scoop that directed air directly into the engine, allowing for higher horse power. The 1964 Pontiac GTO was powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 engine and could reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. It also included a three-speed manual transmission, four-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust. The GTO was available in a variety of exterior colors and with a range of interior options. The Pontiac GTO was so popular in its first year that its production increased by 500 percent in the next few years. It was also named “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend magazine in 1964. The GTO was an instant hit with car enthusiasts and it quickly became an icon of the muscle car era. The Pontiac GTO was discontinued in 1974, but returned in 2004 with the release of the fifth-generation GTO. Today, original Pontiac GTOs are highly sought after by collectors, and continue to be a popular choice among car enthusiasts.

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