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Why The Pontiac GTO Was Discontinued
By ALEX HEVESY
Originally, the GTO was not its own dedicated model but an option package for the 1964 Pontiac Tempest, which included a GTO badge, all manner of hood scoops and cosmetic upgrades, and dual exhaust pipes. However, the real draw of the GTO package was the 389 cubic-inch V8 that made it one of the first ever cars to earn the "muscle car" moniker.
By 1969, the GTO was its own Pontiac model and firmly part of muscle car royalty, earning the nickname “The Goat,” but the car went into hibernation in 1974. When it awoke in 2004, the new GTO, based on the Australian Holden Monaro, looked more like a two-door version of the Pontiac Grand Prix driven by a high school guidance counselor than a serious muscle car.
Reviews of its newest iteration were polarizing: Although it housed a 5.7 liter V8 from a Corvette that put out 350 horsepower initially, some critics thought the more sedated and smoothed out appearance betrayed its wild-eyed past. According to MotorTrend, sales were much less than Pontiac expected, and the last GTO only hung around until the 2006 model year.