Trying to stir up some controversy, I'll just drop this right here and run for cover:
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.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
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.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
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.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.
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.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
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.Well I take it as unique with those options regardless hope you will get your answer. Just tell your son to avoid parallel parking
There's some valuable information there, thanks for that Jim!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
Pontiac Arrowhead Nose Emblem
Bucket Seats OR Notchback Armrest Seats (LOOK At THAT - Factory on the GTO)
3-Speed Manual Transmission w/Hurst Shifter
Glove Box Light
Panel Courtesy Lights
Deluxe Steering Wheel
Sports-type Springs and Shocks
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:
Any other members on here with a bench seat in thier GTO's? Mines a 69 with a 4 speed, but I've seen auto/column shift too. I'm just curious if anyone has any more details. I know they were available in black or white only (seems kinda odd they would limit the colors). Were buckets standard on...www.gtoforum.com
Hi Guys, Just a couple words to introduce myself and my ride. I've always been a avid Pontiac admirer and hope to enjoy this one in the good company of others. It needs a restoration and is certainly deserving. Anyone else here with a bench seat stick car? From what I can gather it's a fairly...www.gtoforum.com
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.
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.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.
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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.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.
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".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 👍