The Pontiac GTO: A Legend of Speed and Muscle

The Pontiac GTO holds a hallowed place in automotive history as one of the pioneering muscle cars that captured the hearts of driving enthusiasts. Launched in 1964, this iconic vehicle redefined the American automobile landscape, blending power, style, and performance into a winning formula. In this article, we delve into the rich history of the Pontiac GTO, exploring its origins, notable milestones, and its current status in the automotive world. Then we will watch as Gene Fetty, owner and operator of Dent Repair Now repairs a dent in the hood of a 1969 Pontiac GTO that had previously been restored.  He will remove the dent using the paintless dent repair process.  If you’re not familiar with that, you can read this article explaining the process. How Do You Repair Dents?

The birth of the Pontiac GTO can be traced back to the mid-1960s, when General Motors, Pontiac’s parent company, saw a growing demand for high-performance vehicles. Seeking to tap into this emerging market, Pontiac engineers and designers secretly worked on transforming the Tempest into a high-performance machine. The result was the Pontiac GTO, which debuted in 1964 as an optional package for the Tempest model.

“At the time General Motors had a rule that didn’t allow engines over 330 cubic inches in midsize cars, but that didn’t stop the Pontiac guys from building a few test mules based on the new 1964 Tempest. The subterfuge was made easier by the fact that all Pontiac V8s had the same dimensions and fitment regardless of their displacement. Stuffed with the larger 389 cubic inch V8 from Pontiac’s full size line, the guys knew they had something special on their hands. Eventually they got the go-ahead to produce the GTO — starting out as an option box on the standard Tempest rather than its own model.”  Written by Mike Garrett at

You can read the full article here: The First Muscle Car:  Pontiac GTO Through The Years

The Pontiac GTO quickly gained a cult following and became synonymous with speed and power. Its success can be attributed to its potent V8 engines, aggressive styling, and an affordable price tag. Throughout the 1960s, the GTO underwent several notable upgrades, including the introduction of the iconic “Judge” package in 1969, which added unique graphics and performance enhancements.

Unfortunately, the energy crisis of the 1970s took a toll on the performance car segment, and the GTO experienced a decline. The production of the original GTO ceased in 1974, leaving a significant void in the automotive world.

Pontiac attempted to revive the GTO nameplate in the early 2000s. The 2004 GTO was a collaboration between GM’s Australian division, Holden, and Pontiac. Although the revival captured the essence of the original GTO, it received mixed reviews due to its departure from the classic styling cues. Despite its initial reception, the revival continued until 2006 before production ceased once again.

Today, the Pontiac GTO continues to be a sought-after classic car, cherished by collectors and muscle car enthusiasts worldwide. Its timeless design, impressive power, and historical significance ensure its place as a symbol of American automotive excellence.

That brings us to our own story!  Our customer called in to see if we could fix the “dent” in the hood of his restored 1969 Pontiac GTO.  The damage happened when the fan broke, and the blade came up and smacked the underside of the hood causing a high spot.  Unfortunately, when the fan blade hit the hood, it also damaged the paint.  Now, the customer did not want to have any of the car repainted, and that’s how he found us!  You can watch the video to see Gene work on the GTO.


  1.  The “GTO” got its name from the Italian made Ferrari known as the Gran Turismo Omologato
  2. The Pontiac GTO was developed during the time when the 1957 AMA racing ban was in effect. The “rule” prohibited official corporate support for racing, which meant high-performance production cars with big engines in smaller bodies were not permitted.
  3. Pontiac engineers John Z. DeLorean, Bill Collins, and Russ Gee found a way to get around the ban by making it an optional package for the Tempest. Presenting the Pontiac GTO as a low-volume “production” optional package, Pontiac was able to keep the GTO’s development a secret from the higher-ups at GM. (
  4. The highest GTO purchase price on record was a 1969 GTO Judge. The car was sold at Mecum Auctions’ recent Kissimmee sales event, trading hands for a remarkable $1.1 million. (
  5. GM completely ended the Pontiac brand in 2009. The last and final Pontiac came off the line in January of 2010.
  6. In the beginning, the GTO was only available in Carousel Red!
  7.  ‘The Judge’ was a nickname adopted from the “Here Comes the Judge” made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. on the popular comedy television show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. (Yahoo Cars)
  8. The option package for a high-powered Tempest LeMans was the brainchild of Pontiac boss John DeLorean, a legend in his own right. (
  9. Ferrari 250 GTO, (The name “borrowed” for the Pontiac GTO) is the world’s most valuable classic car, selling for nearly $50 million in 2018.
  10.  While filming Trouble with the Curve, Justin Timberlake drove a 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible in the movie and fell so much in love with it that he immediately bought it after the shooting wrapped up.

The Pontiac GTO stands as a testament to the golden age of American muscle cars. From its humble beginnings as a secret project to becoming an icon of the open road, the GTO left an indelible mark on automotive history. While production may have ceased, its legacy lives on through the passion of its loyal fan base. The Pontiac GTO remains a revered symbol of speed, power, and a bygone era of automotive design, and its place in the hearts of car enthusiasts will endure for generations to come.

If you enjoyed this article, you can read more about cars, trucks, and paintless dent repair on our blog.  If you have a dent or ding on your vehicle, we are here to help!  You can call or text us at 724-554-1756.  The information we need to provide you with an estimate is pretty simple:

  1. Your Name
  2. Year and model of your vehicle
  3. On what panel (door, hood, liftgate etc.) is the damage located?
  4. Size of damage

Numbers 3 and 4 can be shown in pictures you can text to us, email to us at, or add to an estimate request form on our website.

You can also stop in and see us in person at our shop located in Robinson.  Our address is 4699 Campbells Run Road Pittsburgh Pa 15205.  You do not need an appointment to stop in, however, we do recommend calling first so as to be sure there is an available technician to give you the attention you deserve!


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