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I always liked the 4speed bench combo, it’s rare but I don’t think super rare.I could have sworn another member had a nice verado green coupe with that combo
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I always liked the 4speed bench combo, it’s rare but I don’t think super rare.I could have sworn another member had a nice verado green coupe with that combo
Oh yeah, if it was just a bench seat and a four speed, big deal, obviously they made those, lots of them. This GTO is a bench seat with a four speed, and air conditioning, but no power steering and no power brakes. Who orders a car like that? It's weird, right? How many could there be? Right now I've got 10 classic cars at my house and all of them are typical classic cars that have lots of identical twins out there. I can find those twins in a few seconds, with a simple google search. Most cars have lots of twins, especially the SS cars, and the GSX, GTX, and GTOs of the world, muscle cars tend to have what muscle car guys want, they tend to fit a certain profile, heavily optioned for showing off, mildly optioned because the guy wasn't rich, or just the best engine and a four speed and nothing else, for racing. Not this GTO, this GTO is just weird. This GTO is so atypical, that I'm guessing that there was never another one like it. An April Gold '68 GTO with A/C, no PS, no PB, Parchment bench seat interior and four-on-the-floor. Why not just get a '68 LeMans and order a four speed and A/C for that? For some reason, my PHS report can't tell me how many were built like my son's GTO. They've got the database, if they put all of their information into a computer, they'd be able to put everyone's car into that database, and the program could spit out exactly how many cars were built exactly like that, computers are great at that sort of thing. PHS is lacking it's full potential without that service. When I got the Marti Report on the '70 Mach 1 I used to own, it broke it down, based on options, telling me exactly how not rare that car was, "one of x number with this, one of x number with that", fun information to have. Seems like if Marti Report can do that, PHS should be able to do it as well. For the money you spend, Marti Report is a much better product than the PHS report. Not sure what's holding PHS back. From what I can tell, they are sitting a bunch of 1960s microfiche that's slowly deteriorating, that's a great wealth of information, that I hope is being preserved somewhere, because that film won't last forever.
 

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I agree it is unusual,I guess he wanted what he wanted when he checked the boxes. Sounds like he wanted all the power he could get. And ac comfort when he was not racing it
 

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Glad you recognize it's not worth anything. I if I had a 1968 GTO with a factory tissue dispenser, would you consider it a 1 of 1 rare car?

Not all cars had PS/PB, so here are some numbers you can use based on the Tempest line to include Lemans & GTO and these do not include many of the other available factory/dealer options:

10.6% had 4-speeds. 37.0 % had A/C. 4.99% had AM/FM. 30.5% had Clocks. 84.3 % had PS. 38.3% had PB/Drums. 3.2% had Disc Brakes. 56.7% had Bucket Seats. 39.7% had Vinyl Tops. 2.7% had Power Side Windows. 32.6% had Tinted Windshield. 33.4% had Tinted Glass. 27.4% had Dual Exhaust. 12.7% had Limited Slip. 77.5% had White Sidewall Tires.

I am sure that you know that you could walk into a dealer back then and sit down with that dealer and run down a list of options, both factory and dealer, that you could add to the car and watch the costs soar. Basiclly, anyone who did this could be potentially building/ordering a 1 of 1 car by checking a box/option that no one else decided to order, or if someone else did, the attrition rate of these cars over the years could make the car a 1 of 1 without any proof ONLY because no one else can prove it wrong - and that is what you are doing - making a claim that you indeed know cannot be proven.

Does it mean the car is worth more? Perhaps, if a buyer is looking for just that. Does it make the car unique? Probably so. But rare? When I see people use this word I cringe because the end game is usually "worth." There is a difference between unique and rare, with the claim of "rare" being typically documented against others of the same make/model.

I like Mustangs and they can be a good entry level & fun car. Have not heard of too many Mustangs exploding or going up in flames from a rear end collision, BUT, I do remember the Ford Pinto's exploding and going up in flames from rear end collisions - which made for a nationwide recall and fix.

Appreciate you sharing, but I don't think it was for the right reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree it is unusual,I guess he wanted what he wanted when he checked the boxes. Sounds like he wanted all the power he could get. And ac comfort when he was not racing it
Even that doesn't make sense, because he's got the 350hp engine. If he wanted the hp, he could have opted for 360hp, HO, ram air, both available at probably a fraction of the cost of A/C. Compared to other options in 1968, air conditioning was crazy expensive on any car, that's why you don't see it on a lot of 60s cars. As for racing it, that bench seat was a bad idea then, I took that thing out to get it reupholstered and it weighs a ton. You're right though, someone knew what he wanted when he checked those boxes, I just wish I could talk to that guy. He was marching to the beat of a different drummer, and I like it. I'd like to know what he was thinking. I'd also like to know what he might have paid for this GTO, and in comparison, what it would have cost for a '68 LeMans, optioned out with the wide-ratio four speed, A/C, and the 350hp 400. I bet someone on this forum can tell me that, and I'm here to learn. I'm no expert, but I'm guessing the GTO would be a lot more expensive than the LeMans, and if that's true, he sure paid a lot of money for some GTO emblems, the Endura bumper, the non-functional hood scoop, and a few other little things that came with the 242 package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Glad you recognize it's not worth anything. I if I had a 1968 GTO with a factory tissue dispenser, would you consider it a 1 of 1 rare car?

Not all cars had PS/PB, so here are some numbers you can use based on the Tempest line to include Lemans & GTO and these do not include many of the other available factory/dealer options:

10.6% had 4-speeds. 37.0 % had A/C. 4.99% had AM/FM. 30.5% had Clocks. 84.3 % had PS. 38.3% had PB/Drums. 3.2% had Disc Brakes. 56.7% had Bucket Seats. 39.7% had Vinyl Tops. 2.7% had Power Side Windows. 32.6% had Tinted Windshield. 33.4% had Tinted Glass. 27.4% had Dual Exhaust. 12.7% had Limited Slip. 77.5% had White Sidewall Tires.

I am sure that you know that you could walk into a dealer back then and sit down with that dealer and run down a list of options, both factory and dealer, that you could add to the car and watch the costs soar. Basiclly, anyone who did this could be potentially building/ordering a 1 of 1 car by checking a box/option that no one else decided to order, or if someone else did, the attrition rate of these cars over the years could make the car a 1 of 1 without any proof ONLY because no one else can prove it wrong - and that is what you are doing - making a claim that you indeed know cannot be proven.

Does it mean the car is worth more? Perhaps, if a buyer is looking for just that. Does it make the car unique? Probably so. But rare? When I see people use this word I cringe because the end game is usually "worth." There is a difference between unique and rare, with the claim of "rare" being typically documented against others of the same make/model.

I like Mustangs and they can be a good entry level & fun car. Have not heard of too many Mustangs exploding or going up in flames from a rear end collision, BUT, I do remember the Ford Pinto's exploding and going up in flames from rear end collisions - which made for a nationwide recall and fix.

Appreciate you sharing, but I don't think it was for the right reasons.
Yeah, there it is, people get all pissed off when you say 1 of 1. Love it! Thanks for that! I was just looking for GTO numbers, I'm not looking for Tempest and Lemans stats that include 242 cars, but I'll play your game. Let's have some helpful information. Tell me what percentage of the Tempest line was optioned with A/C, but no power steering and no power brakes? That's what I want to know. You told me that not all cars have PS and PB. I actually knew that. I've owned nothing but classic cars since I was 15, I've never owned a car built after 1975, and it's been my experience that the cars with no power steering and no power brakes, also have no air conditioning (usually). Sure it happened, just not a lot.

If my son's GTO had A/C without PS and PB, I wouldn't be here talking about it, because just that alone isn't very interesting. I've heard that only 1% of GTOs have bench seats. Do I like bench seats? No. Are buckets better? Yes. Do I think a bench seat GTO with a four speed is interesting? Yes. Are you welcome to disagree with me? Yes, but give me more than some generic stats that apply to the Tempest line, and probably also apply pretty closely to just about every car built by the Big Three in the 1960s. How is that helpful? Also, I agree that a tissue dispenser isn't an interesting option. If my son's '68 GTO was a bench seat four-speed car with A/C and no PS or PB, AND a tissue dispenser, I wouldn't have even mentioned the tissue dispenser. I wouldn't be asking myself, why did he want a tissue dispenser. Because who cares? It's tissue paper.

I agree that 60s Mustangs are fun, and I mentioned that in my video. Fact is that they are cheaply built cars with poor suspensions, and the first one with a decent suspension was built on the Pinto platform. So that's a shame. GTO is a better built car, I'm comparing apples and oranges, but it's still a fact, two cars, one is better. Back in the 60s, Mustang was way cheaper than GTO, so there was strong incentive to buy the Mustang. Today, most 60s Mustangs sell for what a lot of 60s GTOs sell for, as if the two cars are equal. To me that's strong incentive to buy the GTO. As for safety, I've got a '65 Mustang fastback, and the only thing between the driver and the fuel tank in that car is the trunk mat. It was designed that way, and that isn't normal. Even with lax 60's safety standards, no one else was building cars like that. Oh well, I still like that fastback Mustang, it's a fun car, and none of these old cars are all that safe, I still haven't installed seat belts in my '55 Chieftain. I just like attacking Mustang, because I know a lot of Mustang fans, they are good friends of mine, I love them, but Mustang guys are the worst. A lot of them can't appreciate anything that isn't a Mustang. Chevy guys are almost as bad. Mopar guys are just nuts. I'm just getting to know the Pontiac and Studebaker crowd, but so far, I like you guys a lot.

I think I've made a good argument that this car is rare, it has to be, or unique if you like that word better. Heaven forbid I get cancelled for using the word rare. I'm not about value, I never have been. I've got 10 classic cars at my house right now, and none of them are for sale until I die. And when I die in 50 years or so, they aren't worth anything then anyway, because I'm 51, and I'm practically the youngest guy I know in this hobby. I'm pretty sure the hobby as I know it dies with my generation, tons of prized 60s classics locked away in garages, just waiting for their aging owners to die, and a bunch of kids that don't want anything to do with them. Tons of supply, and a massive drop in demand, then where's the value? This hobby isn't about value, it's about cars, and our love for them, at least it should be. When I say rare, I'm not saying valuable, I think I made that clear. When I say rare, I'm saying that for reasons larger than a tissue dispenser, I think this car doesn't have a twin. I wouldn't dare make that claim about any of my other cars that I've ever owned. And i just looked up the word rare, and I'm using it correctly. I get you though, I knew my post would piss people off, so really I'm the bad guy here.

You don't think I'm sharing for the right reasons? Well I'm not sharing for a lecture on using the "R" word, that's for sure. Why not just ask me why I'm sharing? Well, here's why I'm sharing. I'm sharing, and I was deliberately controversial, because I'm not a life-long Pontiac guy (I was a Ford guy for way too long, and now I'm a Chevy, Mopar, Sunbeam, Pontiac, and Studebaker guy). I'm just a guy that likes old cars, and I'm here because this is where the life-long Pontiac guys hang out. I'm here because I'm hoping that some life-long Pontiac guy knows of a GTO very much like my son's '68 GTO. I'm here because that's a story I'd like to hear all about, especially from a guy that knew that car when it was brand new. And I'll tell you what, if anyone has that story, I'd love for them to share it, and the first thing I'll say is, wow, thanks for that, you are so much more helpful than Pontiac Jim. No offense.

Like you said, anyone could order anything they wanted back then. What interests me is when someone orders something that no one wants. There's a story there, and it bugs me that I don't know that story. You aren't interested in that story, and that's totally understandable, and I still welcome your comments. Or not, either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PJ has a wealth of information on these cars and is the one of the one’s to ask on this forum.But he gives it to you straight with no b.s.You either love or hate him. I’m a fan of his because I believe he would help you out no matter what
Oh, I like him, but his information wasn't helpful. I'm on a GTO forum, and I'm looking for GTO information. Tempest stats with GTO lumped in, are less than worthless.

10.6% had 4-speeds (okay but that percentage among GTOs only, is no where close to 10%, it's way higher for obvious reasons, meaning that the 4 speed LeMans numbers have to be much lower, so everyone loses, and we haven't learned anything). 37.0 % had A/C. 4.99% had AM/FM. 30.5% had Clocks. 84.3 % had PS. 38.3% had PB/Drums. 3.2% had Disc Brakes. 56.7% had Bucket Seats (okay but that percentage among only GTOs is way higher for obvious reasons). 39.7% had Vinyl Tops. 2.7% had Power Side Windows. 32.6% had Tinted Windshield. 33.4% had Tinted Glass. 27.4% had Dual Exhaust (okay but that percentage among only GTOs is way higher for obvious reasons). 12.7% had Limited Slip (okay but that percentage among only GTOs is way higher for obvious reasons, but I suppose if you know that almost all GTOs had posi, and you know what percentage of the Tempest line was GTO, then you can do some math and figure out roughly how many non-GTOs came with posi, and that's a lot of work, so I think we need a better set of stats). 77.5% had White Sidewall Tires.

You don't have to explain grumpy old men to me, I'm one of them, and I'm not new to this hobby. I knew what I was doing, I knew I was rocking the boat. I like to rock the boat. I'll give it to you straight as well, no bs. Here it is straight. Someone needs to separate the GTO stats from the Tempest / LeMans stats. The GTO stats are seriously skewing the LeMans stats, so the LeMans numbers are way off. And the Tempest / LeMans stats are poisoning the GTO stats, so that almost none of those percentages apply to GTO at all. GTO is a different ballgame, it can't be lumped in with the others, it's too unique......and that's where I use the word unique. I'm positive that everything I'm saying is obvious to everyone here, and I'm not trying to talk down to anyone, but if those are the stats you use for GTO, you're wrong.

Someone should fix it, PHS has all the raw data, why aren't they building a massive searchable database? There's money in it. They don't need to share the searchable database, they could hold onto to it the way they've been holding onto the raw data for all of our cars. If they advertised tomorrow that their new PHS Report would include information like "Your GTO is one of x% so equipped", they'd make a fortune. A lot of us would fork over good money for that. Even the guys that already paid $75 for their old PHS report. It would be a game changer, and a lot of us would share what we learned from the report, on the forums, so we'd all learn a lot more about how many GTOs came with what. And still PHS would continue to make money, because they'd still be the only ones with all of the data.

Someone here posted that only 1% of GTOs had bench seats. Is that number even accurate? Where did that number come from? Is it just an educated guess? That's fine if it is, but my big claim about my son's GTO is mostly based on that 1% stat, and that stat may have been pulled out of thin air, for all I know. None of this really matters, they're just old cars, and I'm really not here to just complain. I really do want to talk about cars. I'm just wondering what PHS is doing with all that microfiche they're sitting on, and I'm guessing someone here knows. I don't know, I'm just asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I take it as unique with those options regardless hope you will get your answer. Just tell your son to avoid parallel parking
Ha! I think that car was built for parallel parking. Massive rear bumper and that Endura is famously indestructible. I think it's the other cars that need to look out. :)
 

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1968 GTO - Base Factory Price - $3,101
Shipping Weight - 3,506 Lbs
Curb Weight - 3,654 Lbs
Production - 77, 704 HT Body "37" Conv. 9,980 Body "67".
36,299 GTO's had manual transmissions
51,385 GTO's had automatics
72, 793 GTO's had 350HP 400CI engines
28,487 GTO's had 4 bbl 350HP & manual trans

Standard Features on the 1968 GTO are:

All GM Safety Features
350HP 400CI OR 2 Bbl Regular Fuel 400CI
GTO Hood
Badging
Pontiac Arrowhead Nose Emblem
Bucket Seats OR Notchback Armrest Seats (LOOK At THAT - Factory on the GTO)
3-Speed Manual Transmission w/Hurst Shifter
Cigar Lighter
Ashtray Lamp
Glove Box Light
Panel Courtesy Lights
Deluxe Steering Wheel
Ignition Alarm
Carpeting
Disappearing Wipers
Sports-type Springs and Shocks
Dual Exhaust
Redline Tires


Option Prices:
354- 4-Speed with Floor Shift- $184.31 (No Console)
582 - A/C - $360.20
572 - Front Bench Seat - $42.13 (Not the same as factory installed Notchback w/armrest - this would be an extra cost option)
453 - Rally II Rims - $84.26

A few other option prices for comparison if ordered.

502- Power Brakes - $42.13
501 - Power Steering - $94.79
472 -Manual Trans Console - $52.66
444- Rally Gauge Cluster/Tach - $84.26
484 - Rally Gauge Cluster/Clock - $50.55
414 - Retractable Headlamp Covers - $52.66
434 - Hood Tach - $63.19

You can also find more at these links:




Stick with the descriptive word "Unique" which will go over better than the word "Rare" which runs on the lines of boasting and braggadocious. Turned me off, just like LS engines in a 1st Gen GTO and clones.
 

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I have an 'unique' car too. Three options on my 68; AM radio, remote mirror, and Goodyear radial tires.
Car was sold in a small ranching community in far Northern California. As such people didn't have a lot of money to buy expensive cars. Even though summertime temperatures often reached 110*, very few cars had A/C. Just too much money. Majority of cars such as mine, were ordered by the dealers based on what they thought they could sell.

The radial tires were very unusual at the time. Nobody had radials back in the 60s and dad wasn't to sure about them. But after driving the car for awhile he was sold on them and for the next thirty years or so it only had Michelins.

In defense of PHS, they only have invoices and are basically a one man operation. The owner, Jim Mattison, has stated he doesn't have the time or staff to breakdown every single invoice to create a 'Marti' type of report.
Following thread (#17) has details of the history of PHS

Some models have very detailed records of their different options. Primarily the RA/SD/HO cars. Various people within Pontiac management kept detailed records of these 'unique' cars for their own personal use and now share their knowledge and records.

At least we Pontiac people have some records to fall back on. The Chevy guys (with exception of Corvette) have absolutely nothing except a birth certificate for their cars. All they can do is speculate.

06EB9BB2-F0FB-48A6-A2A3-6C88F9248014_1_201_a.jpeg
 

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I had the opportunity to buy 68 Cougar documented one and only the factory. What made it one and only was the options that were deleted. It was an oddity not rare. No one wanted it. It ended up being parted out. Who would order a GT then option it as a bad base model.
In 1970s I sat in a Olds dealership with order sheets making crazy combinations and asking the sales guy if they ever saw one like the one I made and they all had stories. People would order packages and have options deleted even if it cost them more to get it removed the the package, But hey you buy a new car get what you want not what the factory gives you.
 

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Yes that what I think Owen winded up with a check box odd ball. But at least it will be interesting subject at car shows. And the most important thing it is a GTO 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1968 GTO - Base Factory Price - $3,101
Shipping Weight - 3,506 Lbs
Curb Weight - 3,654 Lbs
Production - 77, 704 HT Body "37" Conv. 9,980 Body "67".
36,299 GTO's had manual transmissions
51,385 GTO's had automatics
72, 793 GTO's had 350HP 400CI engines
28,487 GTO's had 4 bbl 350HP & manual trans

Standard Features on the 1968 GTO are:

All GM Safety Features
350HP 400CI OR 2 Bbl Regular Fuel 400CI
GTO Hood
Badging
Pontiac Arrowhead Nose Emblem
Bucket Seats OR Notchback Armrest Seats (LOOK At THAT - Factory on the GTO)
3-Speed Manual Transmission w/Hurst Shifter
Cigar Lighter
Ashtray Lamp
Glove Box Light
Panel Courtesy Lights
Deluxe Steering Wheel
Ignition Alarm
Carpeting
Disappearing Wipers
Sports-type Springs and Shocks
Dual Exhaust
Redline Tires


Option Prices:
354- 4-Speed with Floor Shift- $184.31 (No Console)
582 - A/C - $360.20
572 - Front Bench Seat - $42.13 (Not the same as factory installed Notchback w/armrest - this would be an extra cost option)
453 - Rally II Rims - $84.26

A few other option prices for comparison if ordered.

502- Power Brakes - $42.13
501 - Power Steering - $94.79
472 -Manual Trans Console - $52.66
444- Rally Gauge Cluster/Tach - $84.26
484 - Rally Gauge Cluster/Clock - $50.55
414 - Retractable Headlamp Covers - $52.66
434 - Hood Tach - $63.19

You can also find more at these links:




Stick with the descriptive word "Unique" which will go over better than the word "Rare" which runs on the lines of boasting and braggadocious. Turned me off, just like LS engines in a 1st Gen GTO and clones.
There's some valuable information there, thanks for that Jim!

Notchback Armrest Seats (LOOK At THAT - Factory on the GTO)

My PHS report mentions a notchback front bench seat, with center armrest as well, fast forward to 11:01, it's the page of my PHS report that says "Additional no extra cost equipment distinctive to each 1968 series". Hit pause and zoom in. It mentions it at the bottom of the page, left hand side, under things that come free with the '68 GTO package. Well this GTO's front bench seat has the center armrest, but "notchback"? What's that? Nothing looks notched in the back of that bench to me. It's very plain and straight. Am I missing something?

I had no idea that the 572 front bench was 42 bucks. Good number, but big money back in '68, using an online calculator, that's $322 in today's money. Here's the thing though, my PHS report doesn't say 572 front bench. It says option 236 front bench, and the only other front bench option is 235 for the same bench in black. So I'm confused, is that a deluxe upholstery bench, and that's why the 42 bucks, you'd think bench would be free? Did they really charge this guy $42 to put a bench in his GTO? He's already paying for the GTO package, cut him some slack. You'd think they'd give him the bench for free, after all, Pontiac gets to keep their buckets. I'm guessing he got the notchback bench for free, and that's what's in the car, I just can't figure out what they mean by notchback, not without seeing photos of the 572 bench for comparison. So that's interesting.

Okay, so I remember getting the Marti Report on my '70 Mach 1, and I remember that A/C was like $300 and it listed PS and PB as 40 or 50 dollar options. My Mach 1 had A/C, PS, PB, 351C and an FMX automatic. My Marti Report broke it all down, told me exactly how many were optioned just like it, and it told me what those options cost, and their information matched up perfectly with what was on my Mach 1's factory invoice dated 1969. A secretary at Ford started saving those factory invoices instead of shredding them after six years like she was supposed to. Then she started selling them. Fun invoices, they showed what the dealer paid, and what Ford suggested as the dealer's mark up. Lois Emminger I think her name was, smart lady, I hope that venture made her a lot of money. Anyway, I knew that A/C was an expensive option, and I knew PS and PB were cheap by comparison, I remember thinking that someone could have saved their money on that Mach 1's A/C and optioned a 428 SCJ instead, and a four speed, and still saved on the bottom line. That's how I would have ordered it. Well I say that, but I'm not the kind of guy that forks over big money for a new car ever, I'm more the kind of guy that pays $500 for a barely running '70 Mach 1 in 1989. So if I was 30 years old in 1969, I suppose I wouldn't be ordering a four speed 428 SCJ Mach 1 or a Boss Mustang, or even a brand new Judge. Knowing me, in 1969, I'd probably be looking for a good deal on a nice deuce coupe. Back in '69, my dad bought a 1932 V12 Cadillac, beautiful car. My only point here is that A/C in 60s cars was crazy expensive, normally way more expensive than optioning the best engine. According to your numbers, this guy paid $360 for A/C in the GTO, that's $2,766 in today's money. Vintage Air will set you back what today? $800 or a grand. Something like that, I've never looked much into it.

Because A/C was expensive, you don't see A/C on a lot of 60s cars. Now if you take a quick look at my youtube channel, you'll see that I'm not about flipping cars, I'm not about establishing value, I just like historical documentation, and hell, I care more about the three dollar 8 tracks I buy, than I care about what any of my cars are worth in today's market. I don't watch the market because i don't care, and I don't care because none of my cars are for sale. When I do look at the market, it's just for one car, the next car I want to buy, and the next car I want to buy is a '68 Coronet R/T, and in today's market, they are way too expensive, so I'm waiting it out on that one. When people see me around town, and ask if they can buy my car, I politely say no. When they ask my son that question about his GTO, he politely says no. Do they want that GTO because it's a four speed car with bench and A/C but no PS or PB? No, of course not, they want it because it's a real GTO and it's got a four speed in it. Only weirdos like me, care about the oddball stuff, but I've met weirdos like me, so I'm not embarrassed to out myself here, because I know I'm not the only one.

So, yeah, we tell people politely that the GTO isn't for sale, but really I'm thinking, yeah right, I flew to St Louis, bought this GTO for my son, got it running in St Louis, and then drove it all the way to South Carolina, just so I could hand deliver it to you? I'm a nice guy, but I'm not that nice. Also, people want to buy my cars and also the GTO, because they all need body and paint work, so they figure I'm broke, and I need money, and they can get a good deal. So just to be clear, I'm not about the money, and my cars aren't for sale, and I'm not trying to be boasting or braggadocios, and I'm not suggesting that '68 GTOs with four speeds and bench seats and A/C, but no power brakes or power steering are good GTOs, and all the other GTOs are bad GTOs, hell '68 isn't even my favorite looking GTO, I guess it's tied with '69 as my fourth favorite, I like '64, and '65 - '67, and '70 - '72 better, super cool hood on the 71 and 72, it's my favorite GTO hood, I only bought this '68 because I like four speed cars and the price was right, so don't cringe, and don't get turned off, and just think about this for a minute....

When I bought this GTO in 2017, I figured that it was an A/C and PS car, but someone converted it to non-power steering. From my experience with old cars, that seemed most likely. It wasn't until I got the PHS report that I realized that it was an A/C car, and that's it, no PS and no PB. And no, I wasn't thinking, jackpot! I'm not an idiot. I was thinking, that's weird, and that's when I really started thinking about it. Now guys like us, we've seen thousands of 60s cars with their hoods up, our cars, our friend's cars, cars at shows, cars in magazines, or tv, or movies, or the internet. We've seen a lot of 60s cars. Now obviously, I was never checking to see what percentage of those 60s cars with their hoods up had factory A/C but no PS, PB. But now it's bugging me, so I start thinking about the 60s cars that I do know, and those are the ones that I've owned, and 60s cars owned by friends of mine, and the cars that I've worked on. Going back to high school, that's hundreds of cars, that I know fairly well, I can remember what most of them had under the hood. So now I'm thinking, how many of them had factory A/C, but no power steering and no power brakes? There had to be some, but I can't think of any. I'm talking any '60s car, any make, any model. You just don't see that very often, I think you'd agree.

As for GTOs with bench seats and four speeds? That's easy, google bench seat GTO, and see how many of them have four speeds. I think we can both agree that you don't see that very often either.

Here's what bugs me, let's say you've got a twin brother that you never knew about. Then you do a DNA test (yeah, I know, I wouldn't do one either, but stick with me, and we'll get back to cars). They load your name and your DNA into the searchable DNA database, that has all the other names and all the other DNA data safely filed away (from the people that didn't mind sharing with the database already). The computer spits out 10 near matches, so you get a report, and you've got 10 cousins that you never knew about. Also, there's a twin, a perfect match. The database was sitting on this guy's DNA for years, with no idea that this guy had a twin.........until it got your DNA swab. Now I don't know about you, but if I found out I had an identical twin brother, I'd be mildly interested. And if I found out my son's '68 GTO had a twin, I'd be very interested. So you see where I'm going with this. PHS doesn't need people to send them their VINs, the way the DNA database needs our spit. PHS already has the VINs, and all the raw data to go with each VIN, well not for my '55 Pontiac, but for the '68 GTO they had it. I'm being told now that PHS is a one man operation, and I didn't know that, and that's a shame, because he's sitting on a gold mine of raw data. If he had the resources to build a database, rather than just sell it bit by bit, he could make a lot of money. Or not, maybe there aren't enough guys like me willing to pay for historical data like that. Marti Report is doing it though, and I think they are making money. Still, way more Mustang guys than Pontiac guys, so I might be way off base here. Maybe that microfiche isn't worth much at all, and we should just let it rot away with time, like so many classic cars are doing right now. I'm allowed wishful thinking though, and I really wish PHS could put every VIN into a database, then the computer knows every VIN and the options that go along with it. And then when you paid for your PHS, you'd get all the normal stuff, plus you'd see exactly how many twins your car has and how many cousins as well, just like a DNA report.

As for offending each other. I knew people would cringe when I said "1 of 1" and "rare". Duh, look up top at my original post.

"Trying to stir up some controversy, I'll just drop this right here and run for cover"

Clearly I knew what I was doing. I'm not new to this hobby. I know how it works. Still, I like to break the rules. There's a name for guys like me, and I'm not offended by it one bit. I was looking for a reaction. I was trying to be cringeworthy, and I figured if I turned enough guys off, at least a few of them would look extra hard for a car like my son's car, just to prove me wrong and shut me up. Really I'm just scouting information for my son. I want him to know as much as possible about his car. That way it's more than just an old car for him. I say all the time, "it's just an old car", that's what I said when vandals burned down my '66 Bronco. I never mean it though, they are never just old cars, they have stories to tell, and we love them. I've got the PHS and that helped, and the information I just got from you helped as well, but what I really need is a more complete PHS that doesn't exist and probably never will, so the next best thing is to come here and stir the pot with some provocative words, just to see what comes from it. It'll be one of three things, someone will know of a car just like my son's, and just like me, the owner of that car has got a youtube video or webpage on it, and here's the link, and that would be ideal. Or someone will see my post or youtube video and they knew a guy once, that had a car just like it, or similar to it, and here's what they remember.............or nothing will come from it, and no one knows of any GTO like this one, and that's telling as well, but only if a lot of people see this post, or my youtube video, which they won't, and now we're back to needing a better PHS report. Oh well, I'll take what I can get, and be happy, at least we have the PHS report that we have, like someone stated here already, the Chevy guys don't have much of anything.


And If you don't like the word rare, that's your hangup, not mine. I looked it up again:

Definition of rare
(Entry 1 of 2)


1 : seldom occurring or found : uncommon



2a : marked by unusual quality, merit, or appeal : distinctive

b : superlative or extreme of its kind



3 : marked by wide separation of component particles : thin


So just to be clear, I'm using Webster's Dictionary, and I'm using definition #1, and none of the other definitions. And rare works, and it works better than unique, and I don't like the word unique anyway, and if you look up Webster's definition of unique, I don't think you'll like their #1 definition for unique much either. You know what I really don't like? I really don't like when one grown man, tells another grown man, what words to use, and what words not to use, like I'm your four year old child. Good luck with that. You can give up on that idea right now. Tell me a hundred times to use the word unique and not the word rare, and I'll tell you a hundred times to shove off. Hopefully we can both agree that there aren't a lot of '68 GTOs like my son's '68 GTO. You can call that whatever you want, it's a free country. I'll call it rare. I'll call it rare here on the GTO forum. I'll call it rare on youtube. And I'll continue to tell people that surely, this has to be a 1 of 1 car, until someone can show me, or explain rationally, why logically, it can't possibly be a 1 of 1 car. And if people don't like that, then they can report me to the internet police for using cringeworthy language that turned them off. Or they can go volunteer at PHS and help build a database, hard work, but not impossible, look what wikipedia did with just volunteers.

I'd volunteer some of my free time for PHS. I'm not good with computers, but if someone set up the program, I'd be willing to plug in VINs and the list of codes to go with each VIN. I guess you'd just be plugging in numbers, the program would know what number is what option. It would be time consuming, but with enough volunteers working from home, it wouldn't be too bad. Just like the DNA reports, as the program gets more and more VINs, it can give you more and more information, and not just what your car has, but also the other cars like yours that have also been loaded into the program. Looking at the raw data for the '68 GTO, from PHS (10:40 in my video), it looks like about 37 blocks to fill in with numbers, and that car would be done and loaded into the searchable database forever. You could probably knock out that one car in five minutes, and get quicker with time, especially if the database you were plugging into looked just like the scan from the microfiche. It would be as easy as finding an online body tag decoder, the one that looks just like your body tag, and all you have to do it plug your body tag's numbers into the website's body tag. And that isn't hard. Well optioned cars would take longer to load into the system than bare bones cars, but not that much longer. Someone would have to scan all of the microfiche that hasn't been scanned yet, and that's a lot of work, but honestly that should be happening right now anyway, if not done already, if they really want to preserve the history, because that film won't last forever. PHS would still be the only ones to profit, as the only holder of all the raw data, and they'd be the only ones that ever have access to the whole database, since each volunteer would only have a small percentage of it. Volunteers would get scans of the billing papers, one for each car, and they'd plug that information in, and send it back to PHS. Then PHS would load it into their big database, and that would take a few seconds, then PHS sends the volunteer some more scans. Something like that. Like I said, I'm not a computer guy, I just know it could be done. I don't know how many other people would be willing to volunteer their time, though. I think it would be great. Seems like something we could have started 10 years ago. If we had that database built, then we'd all know what's what, and no one would ever have to call anyone braggadocios. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have an 'unique' car too. Three options on my 68; AM radio, remote mirror, and Goodyear radial tires.
Car was sold in a small ranching community in far Northern California. As such people didn't have a lot of money to buy expensive cars. Even though summertime temperatures often reached 110*, very few cars had A/C. Just too much money. Majority of cars such as mine, were ordered by the dealers based on what they thought they could sell.

The radial tires were very unusual at the time. Nobody had radials back in the 60s and dad wasn't to sure about them. But after driving the car for awhile he was sold on them and for the next thirty years or so it only had Michelins.

In defense of PHS, they only have invoices and are basically a one man operation. The owner, Jim Mattison, has stated he doesn't have the time or staff to breakdown every single invoice to create a 'Marti' type of report.
Following thread (#17) has details of the history of PHS

Some models have very detailed records of their different options. Primarily the RA/SD/HO cars. Various people within Pontiac management kept detailed records of these 'unique' cars for their own personal use and now share their knowledge and records.

At least we Pontiac people have some records to fall back on. The Chevy guys (with exception of Corvette) have absolutely nothing except a birth certificate for their cars. All they can do is speculate.

View attachment 142450
I like the oddball cars, I'm in SC now, but I grew up in central CA and I know all about that 110 degree heat, and yeah, when I was a kid in the 70s we didn't have A/C, just rolled down the windows. Jim was saying that Pontiac charged $360 for A/C in 1968, that's big money back then, so no wonder so few cars had it, even in CA, where we were hitting 110 in the shade. We didn't have real A/C for the house either, but we had two swamp coolers. I'm from Madera, CA, where are you from? I didn't know that about PHS, that's too bad. I was disappointed with my PHS report, but I still learned a lot from it, and like you said, it sure is better than nothing. I wonder if people in the Pontiac community would volunteer their time to help build a searchable database? Volunteers working from home, plugging numbers into a small piece of the database, then PHS puts it all together and PHS profits from having a searchable database with all their cars in it. I know I'd help out. Look what wiki did with just volunteers. Do you know if all of the microfiche has been scanned? That should happen regardless, because that film is already deteriorating. It's a lot of work, but it's worth doing, if people are willing to help out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had the opportunity to buy 68 Cougar documented one and only the factory. What made it one and only was the options that were deleted. It was an oddity not rare. No one wanted it. It ended up being parted out. Who would order a GT then option it as a bad base model.
In 1970s I sat in a Olds dealership with order sheets making crazy combinations and asking the sales guy if they ever saw one like the one I made and they all had stories. People would order packages and have options deleted even if it cost them more to get it removed the the package, But hey you buy a new car get what you want not what the factory gives you.
I like stories like that. It's funny, because I've never shopped for a new car for myself, and I avoid dealerships, but I like talking about what guys were ordering back in the 60s before I was born. And I like shopping for 60s cars because I like old stuff way more than new stuff. I'm a big fan of 8 tracks right now. I think they're making a comeback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes that what I think Owen winded up with a check box odd ball. But at least it will be interesting subject at car shows. And the most important thing it is a GTO 👍
No doubt, I also think it's a check box oddball. I don't think Pontiac made that thing on purpose. I like the weird stuff, so it's a good fit for me. To be honest, I already owned a bench seat four speed Road Runner with no A/C, no PS, and no P/B, so when I saw a bench seat four speed '68 GTO for sale, I figured that like Mopar, that was just normal for GTO. Now I started out with 60s Mustangs, and knew a guy with a bench seat '65 Mustang, super rare to see that. Worth anything? No, just super rare. Rare meaning "seldom occurring or found".

Anyway, a month after I bought the GTO, I showed up here at this forum and I posted in the "GTOs with bench seats" discussion that Jim linked above. That was back in August of 2017, and that was way before I got the PHS report. It wasn't until I read the other posts in that discussion, that I realized there aren't many bench seat four speed GTOs. When I got the report I realized that it was never a PS car. To me that's odd, I figured it was an A/C PS car, because I've seen plenty of cars with A/C and PS, but no PB. I figured someone ditched the PS and went non-power with it. I'm thinking of all the 60s cars that I know well, because they belonged to friends and family, and I started to ask myself how many of those cars had factory A/C, but no PS or PB? None of them, I can't think of one. And going back to high school, I can think of a lot of 60s cars that I knew well. So I'll ask you the same thing, of the 60s cars that you know well, how many had factory A/C, but no power steering and no power brakes? It's not something you normally think about, but when you think about it, I think you come to the same conclusion as me, for whatever reason, you just don't see it very often. Not saying it's fantastic, just saying it's seldom occurring. At least it seems to be.

I just think that sort of thing is fun to talk about, I'm not brokering peace in the middle east, just talking cars, and to be honest the only reason I bought that '68 is because it was a cool car with a four speed. It's my first Pontiac, and I wasn't even shopping for a Pontiac. It was just a decent car at the time, and it was priced right, and I figured my son would be driving soon, so that worked out nicely as well.
 
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