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1964 Pontiac GTO
The 1964 Pontiac GTO is considered by many to be the first true muscle car, which started the movement for all the others. It was the idea of John DeLorean, who was at the time the Division Chief Engineer of the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors. His idea was to put large car motors in Pontiac's mid-sized Tempest/LeMans bodies. More horsepower, less weight = great performance! He was able to maneuver this past his bosses by making the GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) an option, rather than a separate line of the Tempest. After it caught on, it became its own model in 1966. By then, DeLorean was heading the entire Pontiac Division.
This particular GTO was originally purchased by Robert Bond Lander, USN who served as a Naval Commander on the USS Ronquil during WWII. It was acquired and restored by the local Armacost Museum. The restoration began with a 56,000 mile car originally sold by John Hine Pontiac (San Diego, CA). It is a post coupe, meaning it has a center post making it more structurally sound with less weight than the hardtop model – a favorite body style of serious drag racers back in the day. Originally a 389 cu. in, 325 horsepower, 4-barrel car, it is now outfitted with factory-correct three-two-barrel carburetors. This brings the horsepower to 348. It has a 4-speed manual transmission, an option over the floor-shifted three-speed manual that came as standard equipment. It also has a console and bucket seats. The restoration was a total frame-off effort done by Armacost's restoration shop. During the process, disc brakes and air conditioning were added, making it a very desirable car to drive. The silver paint and black interior are flawless. Thank you to the Armacost Museum for allowing us the opportunity to display another of their perfectly-restored cars on display in our museum. // #kcautomuseum