Dress Up Kit: 1971 Pontiac GT-37

If you thought that the recent spate of GM products wearing fancy badges like Z24 and GTU was anything new, you’d be mistaken. For years, in the interest of moving inventory and making customers feel like they were driving something that was at least racy on the outside, cars like this Pontiac GT-37 here on craigslist have existed and usually sold quite well. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Olaf E. for sending this one in.

To be fair, though, the GT-37 actually could be optioned as a legitimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. Based on the Tempest, this option package allowed more cost conscious customers to spec out a Tempest as a two-door coupe that could just wear an upgraded cosmetic package or be outfitted with a host of engines, ranging from the standard 350 to a 400 cid with Ram Air, delivering a mighty 345 b.h.p. The best part? Your insurance company still thought it was a Tempest!

Since the engine really is what makes a difference between sleeper or poser, you’d think there would be more details in the listing about the drivertrain. I’m assuming the lack of info means the numbers-matching mill is long gone. Also disappointing is that the stripe kit unique to the GT-37 is missing, and I’m not sure how readily available cosmetic pieces like those are. The car does need new quarters and it sounds like the interior is close to stripped.

Fortunately, the seller claims it has been stored inside for the most part, albeit over what looks like a dirt floor. The $5,000 sale price is firm but will also include a parts car, which also comes without an engine. I don’t know about you, but despite the rarity of the GT-37, I’m not inclined to dragging home two projects that are both lacking engines. However, if you’ve been hunting for one of these and have an engine to drop in, it could be worth it. What do our readers think?

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Comments

  1. Mitch

    A “GT” 37? I’ve heard of the “T-37” option, but not “GT.” In the one trunk shot, the G looks newer than the rest of the badge, like someone took a “G” from a GTO & put it on. I could be wrong though.

    • nessy

      Yep, I think you are correct. It also looks like that G was stuck on later. Either way, I don’t think he is going to get 5000 for this car as neat as the T-37 is. In fact, I’m very sure he is not going to get 5000 the way it is.

      Like 1
      • nessy

        Wait a minute. I think there was both a T 37 which was a low version of this car and a GT 37 which was a sporty version.

        Like 1
    • Olaf E

      Hi Mitch,

      That someone was Pontiac:

      “To create such a budget-priced muscle car, it was decided to dress up the plain-looking coupe with GTO-like extras and call it the GT-37. These cars had GTO fender striping, hood-pins, and GT-37 badging making it stand out above base Tempests in appearance.”

      From https://www.hemmings.com/users/225927/story/678.html

    • Grant Williams

      Yes you would be wrong….1970 and 1971 only. Factory hood pins, Rally wheels, and GTO type stripes are standard on GT-37. 80% of them were 350 auto cars, but a Very few had big engines: 400 Cube in 1970, 400 and 455 available in 1970 but only a handful are around. 1425 units built 1970, and about twice that in 1971…very Rare all in all.

  2. Blindmarc

    A good friend had T-37, a blue one with black interior & black vinyl top. It had the ram air 3, turbo 400 trans, and limited slip rear. Completely stock down to the ralley II wheels and it ran like scalded ape. I christened the interior on the night of my 21 birthday. He wasn’t very happy with me for awhile after…..

  3. Rocco

    Here in Calgary we had a dealer in 1970 offer “The Jury”. It was a ’70 Temest 2dr sedan with a 350 4bbl and 3spd standard trans. They were all silver with blue bench seat interiors. Had a 69 Judge wing, rallye II wheels and jury quarter decals.

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjnw8–_MnRAhXLw1QKHcn1BGUQFggaMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2F118110.activeboard.com%2Ft49542792%2F1970-pontiac-lemans-the-jury%2F&usg=AFQjCNHUmpBNqJ5hm4D3d-8580lttdjasQ&sig2=SHo3DCS5njBHaVWJuU1iEQ

    • Michael V.

      They should’ve made a car called “The Executioner,” to complete the trio.

      • Mark-A

        Was thinking exactly the same thing! 😊

  4. grant

    I remember Z24 and GTU models from GM in the ’80’s. Not sure who thought this was a recent thing.

    • Vin in NJ

      Cavalier Z24, Lumina Z34 Beretta GTU and Beretta GTZ,

  5. Phil

    as an owner of a t-37 i can tell you the gt-37 was a real car. usually with a 400, but it could have been ordered with six different engine options, including the 455…..if its a rust bucket without its original engine 5k is way too high

  6. Vin in NJ

    The GT-37 did exist

    • Blindmarc

      My friends had the same front end. Is this a 71′?! If it is, his might have had a 455 in it. I do remember that traction was a problem in it, when punched.

  7. Ray

    AMEN GUYS !
    Asking and getting are often two different things !
    Two cars or not,
    sorry to maybe be offensive to the seller.
    But reality will set the real selling price.
    Sorry . . .
    Hope not hurting any feelings.

  8. Rocco

    I’ve seen these in the past.

  9. gbvette62

    The de-contented GTO, the Judge, was Pontiac’s original answer to Plymouth’s economy muscle car, the Road Runner. By 1970, the Judge had gone more upscale, so Pontiac added the GT-37 as their lower priced muscle car.

    There was a very nice 400 4bbl, 3 speed, green, GT-37 for sale at GM Carlisle about 5-6 years ago.

    • Steven Visek

      The original idea of what became the Judge was a de-contented GTO, origianlly to be called the E.T., equipped with the Pontiac 350. However, DeLorean said no GTO would have less than 400 cubes, so that idea died. They ultimately went up-scale instead and the Judges were always extra cost packages on the GTO with higher performance engines standard.

      Like 1
  10. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    A guy I went to high school with had one of these in the color of you guessed it, dark green. I doubt if this project is going anywhere at this Seller’s asking price.

  11. Rich

    Yes they remanufacture the stripe kit. I added the rear duck tail spoiler which was only available in 1972 discontinued mid year due to molding imperfections. I may have added some other things like ls1 with 6 speed manual, shaker scoop, 4 wheel disks, QA1 coil overs rear brake duct cooling, and Year one 17 x 9 just to name a few. Started life a plain Jane Lemans so calm down Pontiac Fanatics.

  12. Josh M

    Hahaha the GTU and Z34 recent??

    That was 25 years ago!

  13. Stroker

    For $5000 it should at least come with PHS documenting.

  14. smittydog

    What? No engines. How am I going to brake torque the crap out of it. Too much $

  15. smittydog

    Oh ya, Tempest. My neighbor had a ’64 4 cylinder, sounded like a coffee grinder!

  16. Joe

    This “Captain” is selling 2 heavy anchors without motorboats. Just parts cars at this point.

  17. Rustytech Member

    I can think of better places to spend $5000. I’d use it as a down payment and buy a nice one for $12 to $15k and be ahead in the long run.

  18. Jack

    Insurance rates on the GTO in 1971 were very high. Pontiac offered a lesser known package that the insurance mafia companies didn’t know about. So Pontiac dreams up a GT-37 with GTO performance.

  19. erikj

    I worked in a wrecking yard back in 1979 and a T-37,complete and driving showed up. Somebody drove it the yard and turned it in. I tried to get the yard owner to sell it to me, but he would not. A week later it was torn down and put out in the yard. Even then I thought ,what a waste. At least I tried to save it, I was only 18 then!!

  20. Jack

    1971 GT-37 with LS5 455 HO option
    (Only 69 made out of 5,802 total production)
    A four-barrel 455 HO with 335 hp was a $358.09 option.
    Wish I could have ordered this new!!

  21. Jack
  22. rando

    Another write up. the T-37 is covered elsewhere on this site as well. GT-37 was supposed to be a RoadRunner type car. http://www.curbsideclassic.com/automotive-histories/top-10-obscure-special-editions-and-forgotten-limited-run-models-pontiac-edition-part-ii/

  23. whippeteer

    “5000.00 firm. Or 69 Camargo parts or projects.” I wonder how many Camargos were produced by Chevy. If you want a rare car…

    • Steven Visek

      The mythical Camargo was a prototype featuring the front half of a Camaro and the back half of a Chevy Cargo van. The prototype was powered by a revolutionary one-of-a-kind hybrid Alcubierre metric/quark-gluon plasma conjoiner drive. On its first run the throttle controller failed; the prototype accelerated beyond the speed of light and vanished from our space/time continuum. Use any Camargo parts at your own risk.

      Like 1
      • Rocco

        Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are.

        Like 1
  24. 68 custom

    a friend had one of these in black and I think it had the same wing as a judge, it was black and looked very sporty but the 350/2barrel and 3 speed manual kept it from actually being fast. still a cool car I would love to own today.

  25. Wm Lawrence

    I owned a GT-37 from new. It was basically a trim option, and I bought it for my wife when I got orders for Vietnam. It had a 350 2 barrel and a 3 speed with a floor shift. On reflection I wish I had spent the extra money to buy the GTO sitting next to it. It was red and had some pretty flashy paint stripes, but its performance pretty mundane.

    • Robert

      I currently am doing a frame off on a real nice 90% rust free 1970 and a half GT-37 Its phs documented .
      I purchased the car from the original owner roughly 5 yrs ago.
      The thing is Pontiac only made the gt37 mid yr 1970 till the end of 71.. 1419 made in 1970 and a half and roughly 5008 made in 1971 .. How many are still left around that havent been cloned into a gto or wrecked or rusted into the ground???
      Its a supply and demand thing .. If one wants a real gt37 than good luck finding it .
      One can find base model gto’s all day long everyday same goes for the clones but how often does one see a real phs documented gt37??

  26. Pete

    In 1978 me and my buddy test drove a 1970 GT-37 it had a 350 with a 4 speed. OMG that car was so fun to drive. It was Blue with a black interior. I have been looking for one off and on ever since. It even had Keystone mags on it. LOL. I have only seen 3 of them for sale in the last 10 years. This one being the 4th. The last I saw was in NJ, white and it had been wrecked and rebuilt and not that well as the paint didn’t match on all panels. The guy was trying to get 12K for it. I would happy to find a solid GT-37. This one isn’t it though. If this was a real Judge he could get that kind of money.

  27. George

    Poor Old Nicky Thinks It’s A Classic! My friend Nick had a gold 71 with the flip flop stripe and a 350 2 barrel! Bought it from a little old lady who had owned it since new for $1000, then he wrecked it and it turned to dust on the side of his house before he scrapped it.

  28. Ryan

    Let’s take it easy on the Z24 badge. I had A 91 in high school with the 3.1 liter six. The car was pretty quick for what it was and mine saw 120mph.

  29. Jr

    I have just bought a 1971 gt37 but wont know till i recieve documentation from phs cant wait till next weeks mail has a rare pontiac 428 with holley 4 barrel 3 speed auto its missing some badging has the wrong wheels a bench seat but has the notches in rear valance for the factory dual exhaust so now its a waiting game oh original color. Canyon copper

  30. Robert Miller

    I would forsure look the PHS over as a 428 is an awsome motor but not correct for a GT-37 . they originally came with either a 350 400 or a 455 . the 455’s were only available in the 71 model year as GT-37’s were only manufactured in 1970 and a half thru 1971.
    The bench seat would be correct as buckets were not an option on the GT-37.
    The 3 speed automatic could be correct as they only came with either a 3 speed 350 or 400 turbohrydromatic or a 3 speed manual on the floor the four speed manual was not an option on either year.
    Some folks would buy the 3 speed manual and swap it out for a 4 speed manual which was easy to do. As for rims both years came stock with the Rally 2 wheels and center caps but trim rings were not an option but many people installed the trim rings after purchasing.
    I have owned a phs documented 1970 and a half for 10yrs now that was stored in a barn for nearly 30yrs. It didnt need it but i still did a complete frame off on it . although the paint is faded it still has the original light green paint and stripes.
    Good luck hope it all works out for you.

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