Pontiac first unleashed its popular GTO as an option package for the relatively lightweight Pontiac Tempest. The package brought, among other things, a 389-cid V8 engine rated at 325 hp with a single-four-barrel carburetor or 365 hp with Pontiac’s “Tri-Power” induction, consisting of three Rochester 2BBL carburetors. The formula was good enough for many to argue it was the first muscle car.
By 1970, the GTO had hit its second generation, and it became its own model. Now more of a near-luxury cruiser, the GTO gained some weight, but that was offset by a bigger 400-cid engine. It was also slapped with a catchphrase from the variety show “Laugh-In” as a trim package.
This particular GTO, “The Judge,” is owned by Wade Kawasaki of Coker Tire, and it’s a well-preserved, mostly original example of a 1970 Pontiac GTO. The car sports a new Coker Tire product: a modern radial version of the famous Firestone Wide Oval tires. Originally found in bias-ply construction only, these new tires should give muscle-car enthusiasts a more sure-footed feel without completely sacrificing a period look.
Despite the driving taking place during Southern California’s rainy season, Leno and Kawasaki take the GTO out for a spin and wonder if the car merely strokes the strings of nostalgia or if it’s actually fun to drive. We weren’t there, but we imagine that it’s the latter.
Published at Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:18:45 +0000