The First True Muscle Car – Pontiac’s 1964 GTO


1964 Pontiac GTO pic

1964 Pontiac GTO

A New Hampshire-based senior financial consultant, Edward (“Ed”) Marsi is responsible for providing numerous services that help clients meet their financial goals. In his free time, Edward Marsi maintains an interest in muscle cars.

According to many, the first true muscle car was the 1964 Pontiac GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato), which was designed by Russell Gee, an engine specialist; chassis engineer Bill Collins; and John DeLorean, Pontiac’s chief engineer. These engineers took a block 389 engine from the Pontiac Bonneville/Catalina line and put it inside of a Pontiac Tempest. On top of that, they upgraded the Tempest’s wheels, tires, and suspension.

The vehicle was a hit right away, in part due to Jim Wangers’ idea to market the car based heavily on racing and performance. Pontiac sold it as an option package for the Pontiac Tempest, which normally had a 326 engine. Car owners could also have additional features installed in the GTO, including a two-speed automatic transmission and heavy-duty cooling. With all the accessories added, upgrading to the GTO cost about $4,500 more.