The 1974 GTO was end of an era for Pontiac. It would be the last GTO in the spirit of a traditional American Muscle Car. The GTO would reappear in 2004, as a rebadged Holden Monaro, but it wasn’t the same.
1974 Ponitac GTO
The 1974 GTO was still an option package instead of a separate make. But the GTO package was moved from the intermediate Pontiac Lemans (A-body) to the compact Pontiac Ventura (X-body). By switching to the Ventura, the GTO would avoid competition with the A-body Pontiac Grand Am. The compact platform also put the GTO in the same space as the popular Plymouth Duster. However, the X-body was also used by the Chevrolet Nova, which caused the GTO to be criticized as a “a Nova in drag.”
The GTO package included a three-speed manual transmission with Hurst floor shifter, heavy-duty suspension with front and rear anti-roll bars, a shaker hood, special grille, mirrors, and wheels, and various GTO emblems. The GTO came with a 350 cubic inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor as the sole power plant. The V8 was rated at 200 hp at 4,400 rpm and 295 lb·ft at 2,800 rpm. Transmissions choices included a wide-ratio four-speed with Hurst shifter or the three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic.
The GTO package was available in both in base and custom Venturas as either a two-door sedan or hatchback coupé. The base interior consisted of bench seats or optional bucket seats. The Ventura Custom had upgraded bench seats or optional Strato bucket seats along with carpeting, padded steering wheel, and custom pedal trim.
The GTO was initially planned to carry over into 1975. However, the Ventura was heavily revised in 1975. Sales of the GTO did not justify the cost of adding the package to the new Ventura. As result, the 1975 GTO was canceled. The GTO would reappear in 2004, but that is a different story.
For information on other classic Pontiacs. see the post on the 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird or the the 1971-1974 Pontiac Ventura. To find you own Classic Car or to Sell your Classic Car, see the listings in Classics for Sale.