1974 was the beginning as well as the end of the third generation of GTOs. Considered the last year that the model was available until 2004. By the mid 1970s, in fact, most car manufactures had completely abandoned their respective muscle car lines. Most experts attributed this to skyrocketing gas. Also insurance prices that forced consumers to purchase cars that offered more bang for their buck. The result was a dismal production run of GTOs in ’74, with numbers so low as to make this one of the rarest muscle car restoration options today. This particular year is so hard to come by that many auto restoration mechanics haven’t actually seen one in person!
The GTO was based on the Ventura body and, despite its’ poor sales figures. The car was actually a really well built car. On the outside, Pontiac added a cool (see what I did there?!) feature called the ‘Shaker Scoop’, which was a hood scoop that was faced towards the windshield in order to scoop the cold air reflected from the glass. Other upgrades included a special grille, new mirrors and rear anti roll bars.
Under the Hood
There was only one engine option for the ’74 GTO and it was a nice one. Pontiac offered a 350 cubic inch V8 with a four barrel carburetor that was rated for 200 horse power during its’ dyno runs. It did the quarter mile in 15.72 seconds and 0-60 in 7.7.
In 1974 you could upgrade your Ventura to the GTO package for close to $500. Today, at internet auction they’re going for anywhere from $15K to $25K, which seems low considering their rarity!
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