GTO: Pontiac's Great One

by Darwin Holmstrom, David Newhardt

Motorbooks | May 17, 2009 | Hardcover |

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In 1963 Pontiac ''s Chief Engineer John DeLorean and his two favorite staff engineers, Bill Collins and Russ Gee, came up with an inspired way to keep Pontiac cars in the performance limelight: bolt a big engine into Pontiac ''s upcoming Tempest intermediate body. Thus was the GTO born. Through cunning, resourcefulness, and outright trickery the minds of Pontiac managed to get this rocket into dealerships and out onto America''s highways, and to introduce that most iconic of American automobiles, the muscle car, to the nation’s most discriminating drivers. This is the story of the GTO, of the people who made it a reality and a sales sensation, of those who owned and loved the cars. And it is, above all, a story of the cars themselves, from the initial option package offered for the 1964 model year through the high-performance late-model standouts. With color photographs, drawings, and detailed stats, this book is not so much the story of a historic car as an illustrated biography of American muscle.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 10.24 × 11.81 × 1.18 in

Published: May 17, 2009

Publisher: Motorbooks

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 076033515X

ISBN - 13: 9780760335154

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GTO: Pontiac's Great One

GTO: Pontiac's Great One

by Darwin Holmstrom, David Newhardt

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 10.24 × 11.81 × 1.18 in

Published: May 17, 2009

Publisher: Motorbooks

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 076033515X

ISBN - 13: 9780760335154

About the Book

The illustrated story of the GTO--and the birth of American muscle--those who designed it, marketed it, drove, and loved it.

From the Publisher

In 1963 Pontiac ''s Chief Engineer John DeLorean and his two favorite staff engineers, Bill Collins and Russ Gee, came up with an inspired way to keep Pontiac cars in the performance limelight: bolt a big engine into Pontiac ''s upcoming Tempest intermediate body. Thus was the GTO born. Through cunning, resourcefulness, and outright trickery the minds of Pontiac managed to get this rocket into dealerships and out onto America''s highways, and to introduce that most iconic of American automobiles, the muscle car, to the nation’s most discriminating drivers. This is the story of the GTO, of the people who made it a reality and a sales sensation, of those who owned and loved the cars. And it is, above all, a story of the cars themselves, from the initial option package offered for the 1964 model year through the high-performance late-model standouts. With color photographs, drawings, and detailed stats, this book is not so much the story of a historic car as an illustrated biography of American muscle.

From the Jacket

What do you do when you've created an overwhelmingly successful new genre of automobile?  If you're General Motors and Pontiac, you bungle it of course!

 

Riding high on the success of their new GTO, the overlords at GM did everything in their power to sabotage their hot-selling new muscle car. And the car succeeded, in the showroom and on the racetrack, in spite of their best efforts to kill it. Starting with a  zero-exposure marketing effort and then pulling the rug from beneath the racing effort just as it was gaining traction with enthusiasts, the GTO quickly established itself as The Great One, the car by which all other muscle cars were judged.

 

Never one to sugarcoat, in GTO, Pontiac's Great One, author Darwin Holmstrom tells the backstory that led to the creation of Pontiac's most successful nameplate. He delves into the division's inner turmoil and struggle to stay with the competition while being hamstrung by the corporation's timid policies. GTO's long, slow fade into mediocrity (and worse) is chronicled, along with its brief, ill-fated return as a rebadged car with Australian roots.

 

David Newhardt's brilliant photography highlights the purposeful design and beautiful styling in sharp, dramatic settings. GTO, Pontiac's Great One tells the story of the birth, life, and death of America's greatest muscle car, and pulls no punches along the way.

About the Author

Darwin Holmstrom is the author or co-author of numerous car and motorcycle books, including the best-selling Camaro: Forty Years, Muscle: America's Legendary Performance Cars, and Top Muscle. He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, metro area.

David Newhardt is one of the best automobile photographers working today and has provided photography for best-selling Motorbooks titles Muscle: America's Legendary Performance Cars, Corvette: Fifty Years, Mustang: Forty Years, Mopar Muscle: Fifty Years, and Shelby Mustang: Racer for the Street. He lives in Walworth, Wisconsin.

Editorial Reviews

Review from Peter Lorenzo, Autoextremist.com
"A new and very large (10.5" x 12") coffee table book about the Pontiac GTO is making its debut this month, and I will warn enthusiasts right now: It''s a must-have book, no matter what your particular auto passion is. Written by Darwin Holmstrom with photography by David Newhardt, GTO: Pontiac''s Great One is the definitive record of how the legendary Pontiac GTO came about, complete with anecdotes by the people who were there and who made it happen. Holmstrom''s entertaining, informative and appropriately irreverent writing style captures GM''s "maverick" division well and gives one of the all-time great American cars ever built its proper due, and David Newhardt''s beautiful images of famous GTOs completes the impact of the book. GTO: Pontiac''s Great One is jam-packed with information, but as with any great automotive story it''s the people who make the legend of the GTO that much more special. Given the death knell of Pontiac, the remembrances and stories of those times brought to life by Holmstrom are especially poignant. I highly recommend it."
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