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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had an Aussie friend hounding me to drive a new GTO for a couple years now. I finally did and realized what I'd been missing, so I've got a Torrid Red M6. The last GTO I had before this was a 1970 455 Ragtop that is long sold and is probably worth more than I am. Before that was a 69 RAIV and before that was a 68 400 HO. The GTO's gave way to a number of Trans Ams, including two Super Duty cars that spent most of their life on the drag strip. My last Trans Am was (so GM said) the only 1980 T/A built without air conditioning. A/C was an option then, but while they had no problems with the firewall, they did not have the engine turned aluminum T/A dash without AC vents! So about now, you're probably wondering "who is this guy?". I have to say I don't know a lot about the new ones (yet), but I'm pretty good on the old ones and am happy to share the knowledge.

Go to http://www.pontiacheaven.org/pontiac history.htm
and scroll down to 1973. You'll probably figure out who "kerno" is.
 

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The O in H-O Racing?! Wow! You are definitely being modest when you say "I'm pretty good on the old ones".

I'm kind of in the same boat. I've had my '68 for a number of years and have had my '04 since last December. Still trying to get up to speed on all the technology in the new cars.

I normally frequent the Performance Years boards, but I'll definitely check in here more often now that you're here.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am enjoying it a lot. The instant communicaton and the sheer size of the group makes for a huge increase in the amount of knowledge available. I love the early cars and its great to see so many people cherish them, even with things I don't understand, like $100k musclecar clones! I know if I still owned everything I once had, I'd be stunned by the value. I once traded a 1965 fuel injected Corvette convertible for a 1971 Trans Am! The T/A stayed in my life for many years, but both cars were worth about $5000 at the time of the trade. And there's the problem. I've got this really slick 2006 GTO. It is pretty quick, but I'm already looking at a blower system for it. This series GTO has all the makings of a collectable because they are fairly rare and are soft in the market as a new car. Anyway, I'll be glad to trade info here. You guys tell me the best way to make my new one faster and I'll be happy to help everyone I can.
 

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Welcome aboard. Just bought my GTO last month.
You're post reminded me that my first car was a '66 Pontiac Executive with a big engine a 421 or something like that. Sold it when I joined the Navy right out of high school. That car was huge and it was Great for Dates at the Drive-in. I think the first date me and the wife had was in that Beast.
It had cruise and climate control.
Been a Ford man for the last 25 years or so but this GTO is an interesting car and it pulled me back to Pontiac.
I don't need no stinking mods with 400/400 right out of the box. I plan to spend my mod money on gas.
Don't think those old-school GTO's came with 3/36 warranty.

How do you think this GTO compares overall as far as stock speed, 0-60, ride, handling, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The first thing that suprised me about the new GTO is how small it actually is. As far as the ride and the handling, I find the ride to be somewhat firm, but well controlled. I think it could really make use of a set of Bilsteins, but so far, none are available. The car corners very well, as you'd expect it to with four wheel independent suspension. I've still got a 1970 El Camino in my gararge, so it is not a major problem for me to compare the new and the old. The GTO brakes are smaller than the ones you can by down under, but they are far, far superior to anything the early cars had. My 68 GTO had the fixed four piston calipers, which were replaced by single piston floating calipers on the 1969's. Now, it seems the more pistons the better, with some of the Porsches running six piston calipers. I still needed a tow vehicle, so since you've been a Ford person, you'll probably understand the 2003 Lightning that's also in my garage. A few mods like a ported blower, 6 lb pulley, single blade throttle body and CAI make them run very well. They were priced a bit less than the GTO and as you know, heavily modded ones run in the 9's. For a leaf spring 4900 pound truck to run in the mid 12's with minor mods is, uh, impressive. I thought I'd own it for a long time, but since I got the GTO, you'll find it listed for sale on F-150 online. If you're looking for a quick low mile truck, impressive dyno sheets are available. I love the blower whine and the straight line acceleration of the Lightning, but the GTO makes me grin more. Back to the old stuff......I had a 1966 Catalina 2+2, which was about the same size as your Executive and came with the 421. Every time I see a late sixties "big" car, I am astounded by the size of the quarter panels. They must be 11 feet long. It seemed perfectly normal at the time since those were the big cars and the Tempest/GTO series were the "small" cars. I still have the window sticker for the 2+2 and it continues to amaze me that it didn't come with power brakes! As far as 0-60 and 1320 times for new vs. old, you have to factor in how much tires have changed. If you put a set of PolyGlas F70-14's on your new GTO, you'd be stunned at what it did not do. A 68 GTO in stock trim was good for about 13.9 to 14 flat in street trim. If you'd have tried to get a 2600 stall converter in 68, you'd have had a very interesting search! I remember in 1971 when they dropped the compression and added cat converters. We swore they'd never make cars like the RA IV GTOs again. I knew they were wrong the first time I drove a 455 HO Trans Am. The 2006 GTO only reinforces that position. It also gets mileage that we'd never heard of in the 60's. Do you remember how much gas your 66 held? Everybody was concerned with range, not mileage. 28 Gallon tanks were common. Anything "built" commonly got less than 10 mpg. I remember buying Chevron "White Pump" for 32 cents a gallon! To me, times have gotten better, not worse. I don't miss "the good old days" at all.
 

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Thanks for the evaluation. You're the only one I know that can speak from experience on the subject. Closest to a GTO that I rode in was a friend's mother had a 66 LeMans with maybe a 389 or a 326 and it was scary. He fishtailed a lot in it and often would spin out--not many people would ride with him. But as you mentioned, TIRES back then were not as good as today's tires. My Uncle, who raced chevys on dirt tracks, would take my Executive on the weekends during the hot summer to visit his gf in Dallas and leave me his '69 RR convertible that was pulling 500hp. That's the only muscle car I ever drove and it was the fastest street car in town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The biggest thing you could get in the LeMans that year was the 326. But even with the 326, which was moderately quick for the time, at least 95% of 'em had non-posi rear ends. And with that combo it was nail the throttle and steer for all you're worth, because the car would go any way but straight. Posi's made it harder to light the tires, so they were not as much fun. Those one legged rear ends could be tough on one rear tire and nobody ever fooled their "Old Man" as to why only one tire was bald. I think that's when tire rotation really caught on.
 
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