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One-Year-Only Ventura Package: 1974 Pontiac GTO

The 1974 Pontiac GTO was the last one before the car took a lengthy hiatus, with the name not revived again until it made a brief comeback nearly 30 years later, but the fifth-generation Goat didn’t stick around for long, as it was discontinued in 2006, not long before the entire Pontiac brand stopped hitting showrooms in 2010.  The mid-seventies were not the brightest of days for muscle offerings, and in ’74 the GTO package was moved to the more compact Ventura, but Pontiac managed to sell over 7,000 of them, which was better numbers than the previous 2 years.  If you like the Nova-looking body style, perhaps this 1974 GTO may be a good match for your tastes.  The car is located in Melbourne, Florida, and can be seen here on eBay, with the opening bid of $12,000 yet to be placed.

I feel sorry for and can relate to the seller’s woes, as this is the third time he’s listed the GTO, with the first 2 efforts ending with non-paying bidders.  Not only that, but they didn’t even look at the car or ask any questions, so hopefully, the third time’s the charm and this Pontiac will find a new home.  Overall, the body appears to be in nice shape, with the owner stating that the passenger side quarter panel was replaced just last year.  No specifics are given about the paint, but the finish looks pretty good to me and the stripes by Phoenix Graphics have been recently added, plus those American Racing wheels are also new and blend in well with the rest of the car’s personality.

For ’74, the only engine available was a 350, with a factory horsepower rating of 200.  However, that’s not what you’ll find under the hood here, as way back in 1976 a previous owner swapped it out for a 400, which we don’t get a whole lot of details about.  But the seller does mention that the Quadrajet is new, along with a new timing chain and thermostat.  A new water pump and aluminum radiator are also said to be in place.  The GTO is claimed to start right up, run, and shift well.

Things inside are looking really good overall, thanks to new upholstery, door panels, and carpeting.  The car also received new floor pans last year, with the parts we’re able to see down below appearing to be reasonably solid.  While not perfect, it’s claimed to be a nice drive-around-town car, but with not much effort the seller thinks his GTO could be of show quality.  I kind of like the idea of just driving and enjoying it like it is, at least for now.  What are your thoughts on this 1974 Pontiac GTO?


  1. Frank

    I liked the looks of these better than the Nova. I’d pull and store the 350 for a later resto, put a monster 455 in it along with a tranny and rear axle and drive it.

    Like 7

      That’s a good idea, I’d want a manual transmission if I were to buy one but these cars were pretty lightweight and anything over 300 horsepower would make it fun to drive. I’d probably restomod it with at least a 400, a FAST EFI system and a 6 speed manual. Then some modern suspension and disc brakes at all 4 wheels. You’d definitely be the only one at any shows or car’s & coffee and you’d for sure surprise a lot of “real” muscle cars if they wanted to test you. I like the looks of the ‘74 GTO a lot more than the colonnade cars, maybe because I love Novas and these are built on the same platform with similar design.

      Like 4
    • Steve

      From what I read it now has a 400 in it. should be plenty of power.

      Like 11
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Ad says that the 350 has already been pulled and replaced with a ’76 400.

      Pontiac should have put that engine in it in the first place.

      Like 9
    • David Michael Carroll

      The 350 is already out of it!

      Like 1
  2. TorinoSCJ69

    Shortcuts like Intake paint oversprayed on line of sight items like radiator hose should have been avoided.

    Looks good overall.

    Like 3
  3. Maggy

    My buddy took a 74 Ventura and luckily as even 35 years ago they were hard to find got a gto hood and shaker from a junkyard and made his own gto.Reminds me of the 7 ups but Rob Schneiders was only a 74 Ventura.

    Like 4
    • Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

      Rob Schneider? :)

      Like 2
      • maggy

        ok guys I ‘m off by a letter it’s been a long day.lol.

        Like 1
    • DaveGeiss

      Muggy, Rob Schneider was only 10 years old when Roy Scheider appeared in the movie, “The Seven UPS”. Cool movie!!

      Like 3
  4. CCFisher

    Why add aftermarket wheels when Pontiac’s Rally Its were just about perfect?

    Like 11
  5. Lance

    I agree with CCFisher that Rally II wheels are the way to go with this Pontiac. I love the Nova body style and its” not too big, not too small” size to quote a 1971 Chevy commercial. Going from the LeMans body in 1973 to the Ventura body in 1974 made a lot of sense as the GTO had already been relegated to an option and customers were concerned after model year introduction about the gas crisis. The original 1964 GTO married a V8 with the lightest Pontiac Tempest body so the formula should have worked in 1974. But GTO purists were outraged and sales did not take off. Same thing almost happened with the downsized 1974 Mustang II; fans hated it but it was a sales success as an economy 4 and 6 cylinder car. The seller fixed alot of the mechanicals which is great. The engine is a crap shoot..not an original 350 and little information about the 400 so the seller should be flexible on the price to get genuine bids.

    Like 2
  6. Jackie Hollingsworth

    GTO……Are you kidding me…..A disgrace to put that name on a car like this.

    Like 3
  7. Big C

    The floor pans rotted out? What else did the tin worm eat?

    Like 0
  8. ACZ


    Like 0
  9. Goz

    I like it. The Ventura was the right size and looked better than most other cars that year and it’s already got a 400 in it. As far as being a GTO, it’s not, but still a fun classic car that still looks great. I’d drive it anywhere with pride.

    Like 5
  10. David Willis


    Like 1
  11. CenturyTurbo Coupe

    Good thing it is a sticker package GTO. You can peel these off and have a crappy nova back!

    Like 0
  12. scottymac

    And to think I traded a ’68 Mustang fastback on one of these! Today the Ford is worth $35,000 plus, this “specimen” might bring $10K?

    Like 0
    • DLO

      Ha!! I’ve got you beat. I traded a 73 240z in to buy one of these new. Not one of my finer moments.

      Like 0

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