One Year Weirdo: 1973 GTO 4 Speed

The 1973 GTO was a one year only car based on the completely restyled A body. In 1974 the GTO was based on the smaller X body car, the Tempest. By 1973 muscle cars were pretty much a memory. In 1973 the GTO’s 400 CID engine was good for just 230 horsepower, the 455 CID put out only 20 horsepower more. Pontiac built less than 5,000 GTOs in 1973. Patrick S found this one listed on eBay in Logan, Ohio. Thanks for the interesting find! This GTO appears complete and mostly original. This is another example of  rare not meaning valuable, even with the 4 speed transmission.

The dash actually looks pretty good. The driver’s seat is going to need some attention. It might not be a ’60s GTO, but this actually looks like a fun place to be.

The engine runs but the carb needs work. Perhaps that screwdriver is helping in some way. This is not the original engine, but a warranty replacement engine. I wonder how much power could be extracted from this engine without a full rebuild?

The NACA scoops are original and a little ugly. At $4,400, bidding is already over what this car is probably worth in its present state. Nice examples sell for only about $20,000 but they are hard to find, especially with a 4 speed. The 1973 GTO does have better brakes and suspension than previous versions, though, and it wouldn’t take much to liven up the engine. Perhaps if the rust isn’t too bad it would be worth repairing and repainting if one wanted a rare and unusual car. Hopefully the new owner will preserve and enjoy this GTO.

Fast Finds


  1. sir mike

    This is starting to be ugly car Tuesday..

    Like 2
  2. Jeff

    Ventura, not Tempest.

    Like 2
  3. Scot Douglas

    Screwdriver – holding open choke plate. :)

    Like 4
  4. PaulG

    Seller has an additional eBay ad with the car listed at over 22K…

    Like 1
  5. flmikey

    I betcha nearly everyone who visits this site has put a screwdriver down the carb to keep the choke open at least once…nice unusual find…the listing on ebay is a hoot to read….

    Like 6
  6. Alan Stroh

    I actually owned one of these in the 70’s. It was a beauty…Admirality Blue with a black interior. A bit rarer than this one as it had the 455 with the 4 speed. It’s one of the few I wish I had back. I have since moved on to restoring Cadillacs so although this is interesting and somewhat nostalgic…..gotta pass.

    Like 1
    • JK of Miami

      455 only came in automatic.

      I own one of these red/red, 400 w/ 4 speed. Great car.

      Like 2
  7. Gunner

    Very unique Pontiac. I like these Colonnade bodys. Yes, lots of interesting reading in the listing. I have not ever seen this year of GTO around. I think they are overlooked and people just go to the smaller Nova style body of 74. It will be interesting to see what it sells for. I would like to see a functional air induction setup on these. Nice find.

    Like 1
    • Jack

      A functional ram induction NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) hood is extremely rare. Only 10 were supposedly sold in 1973. Good luck finding one.

      Like 1
      • gto-joe

        Just saw one in a Pontiac forum last year for around $450. I almost bought it since it seemed like a screaming deal, even though I don’t have the car it goes on.

        Like 1
  8. M/K

    my favorite gto

  9. 68 custom

    a 73 like this would be the ultimate cruiser and the four speed is so nice. but comments like’ I have not pulled the carpet’ plus all the visible rust means you better have a donor car cause this one will need a lot of metal work. plus the non matching engine make the current price of about 6k all shes worth IMO.

  10. Steve

    I saw one of these a few years ago in hot rod magazine same color same interior but with a sd 455. The owner modeled it after the performance car of the year 1973. A car being most notable for having never beem put into production.


    This car is so cool and has all the right stuff. Super rare like Who’s ever seen one before? It’s already over 5k but i think 8k is the number.

  12. JW

    After owning 4 previous GTOs by the time these came out I had lost interest.

    Like 1
  13. nessy

    I had a 74 Grand Am which looks close to this but many people thought the Grand Am was a better looking car at the time. Mine had every option including the 455 automatic, power windows, locks, seats, trunk, tilt, cruise, rare cornering lamps, track master and the factory power sunroof. It was fast. Mine needed to be restored but was a strong runner. I sold it to a guy in the Pontiac club for 5000 a little while back. He was going to restore it because he had one like it back in the day. Maybe I should have kept that one….

    Like 1
  14. jtnc

    I believe the last Tempest was in 1968. This “one year only” 73 GTO was based on the LeMans and the 74 GTO was based on the (ugh) Ventura, itself a badge-engineered Nova. As pointed out by Nessy above, the 73-75? GrandAm was still an “executive muscle car” of sorts, much fancier than the GTO or LeMans. I never see any of these at shows but I think the GrandAm still could be a minor collectible.

    Like 1
    • jtnc

      A small correction to my previous post, I now think the last Tempest was in 1970. It was just a LeMans with a center pillar, window frames, and a cheaper interior.

  15. Rock On

    Years ago my buddy purchased a 400/4 speed one of these, minus any emblems. I pulled up beside him in my 350 Chevelle that had headers and Holley 4 barrel. He totally smoked me 3 out of 3 tries. When I finally caught up to him and asked him what the heck he had under the hood, he couldn’t stop laughing when he told me 400/4 speed!

  16. Vern

    Why is it weird? I think its a alternative body style that offers good bang for the buck. Any Pontiac with a V8 stick and bucket seats can be cool. Done right these cars are very cool. My stable is full but I would consider buying one like that.

    Like 1
  17. DRV

    There was one that looked like this that tried to imitate a foreign sports car with a funny horn and a decal package…it escapes me…does anybody know the name they gave that LeMans?

    Like 1
    • Steve Visek

      Are you referring to the 1977 Can Am?

      Like 2
  18. gbvette62

    I kind of like those 73-74 LeMans’, GTO’s and Grand Am’s. It might be because a number of my friends had them.

    Among the guys I hung around with in the 70’s, one had a silver 73 LeMans GT (350 2bbl, 3 speed floor shift), another had a green 74 LeMans GT (350 2bbl, column shift automatic), a third had a white 73 Grand Am (400 2bbl, automatic) and the best was a blue 73 Grand Am with 400 4bbl and a 4 speed. The guy with the white Grand Am, traded it in on a Can Am in 77.

  19. RJ

    Pontiac was really flogging those Colonnade cars. The Lemans, GTO, Grand Am and Grand Prix. Though the colonnade style from Pontiac, Olds and Buick are some of my favorite cars of the 70s. The only Chevy colonnade that does anything for me is the 73-77 Monte Carlo.

    • Jack

      I love all the Colonnade cars as well!!

      Like 1
  20. DG

    For some strange reason I liked the ’77 Can Am more than the ’73-75 Grand Am and ’73 GTO. But, the 4 speed is what makes this GTO cool. Is it a collectable? Just about anything old is these days. Desirable? No, not really.

    Like 1
  21. angliagt

    I don’t remember ever seeing a GTO in that body style.
    I think it’s cool,partly because I don’t think that the prices on these
    would be anywhere near the earlier ones.
    Plus,this looks much nicer than a ’73 Chevelle.

  22. Rolf Poncho 455

    1973 firebird formula 455 th400 trans

    Like 1
    • Marko

      I just drooled so much at this Firebird, I shorted out my keyboard !

      I had a 1973 Grand Prix with the same 400 / TH400 auto. 230hp but was a torque monster. Chirped the tires into 2nd gear all day long, and I even beat a Starsky & Hutch Gran Torino with a transplanted 428 SCJ transplant in a stoplight duel back in the early ’80s. Boy was he shocked…..

      This GTO would be totally cool to restore and drive for any Poncho enthusiast.

  23. James

    I knew I read it recently that the 77 Can Am was to be the GTO for 77.

  24. Tyler

    I’m not sure I have ever seen one of these models, but I like it & wouldn’t mind this being in my shop.

    My knowledge of the various GM platforms gets a little fuzzy starting in 73. Would this be the Pontiac equivalent of the Chevelle or the Monte Carlo?

    • Steve Visek

      Chevelle. Also Buick Century, Olds Cutlass. A-body was available in two wheelbase lengths. The colonnade coupes were built on the 112″ wheelbase; sedans, wagon, and El Camino/Sprint all on the 116″.

      The ’73 Goat may have lacked power, but in terms of chassis, suspension, steering, and brakes, the ;73 is without a doubt the best GTO made until the 2004.

      Like 1
      • Tyler

        Thanks! I’ve always been a fan of the Lagunas, but I do believe I like the styling of this a little better.

        With the current resurgence in performance cars now over 15 years, & more hp every year, & body styles lasting 6-10 years now with only modest changes, it’s hard too look back & realize that prior to the mid 70’s, there were big body style changes every couple of years. And that the original muscle car era lasted less than 10 years.

    • Steve Visek

      If you like the ’73 GTO styling, I’d suggest the ultimate ’73 Pontiac colonnade car, the Grand Am coupe. It is what a ’73 A-body GTO should have been. I’ve thought that if I ever bought a ’73 Goat that I’d put on Grand Am f/r body pieces and interior appointments and put in the SD-455 that was originally supposed to be an option. That would have been a great car.

      Personally, though, I think Pontiac should have gone back to the GTO’s roots in 1973, going to the X-body a year earlier than it did(leaving the upmarket to the Grand A) but powering the X-body GTO with the same A-body engines. The 400 and 455 engines in 1973 in the X-body would have produced slightly better power to weight numbers as the 389 4 bbl. and 389 tri-power did for the original ’64 GTO(remember that the lower ’73 numbers are net). It is no accident that a common mod for X-body Pontiacs is to put a 455 in. Remember that Pontiac V-8s(from the 1955 287 to the last 455s) were all the same size externally: the 400 and 455 motors are simple bolt-ins to replace the Pontiac 350 in the ’74 GTO or any ’71-’79 Pontiac X-body Ventura/Phoenix.

      Like 1
  25. Keith

    aka= Grand Am aka= Can Am

    Like 1
    • Patrick Farmer

      aka=GTO aka Grand Am aka Can Am, But a very big AKA= Formula X. I have owned my Can Am since 1980. I am always trying to learn more about what Pontiac was thinking in this time period. They were going to call the Grand Am a GTO from the beginning. I believe they followed the Formula X program and let the name die because of all the smog motors lousy power output. Someone wanted the Goat to go out a winner and someone want Formula X to be used. Formula X was a program that was to deliver to the public a cheap new hot rod. It spread across the A-body(Lemans) the F-body(Firebird) and the X-body(Ventura). All cars had a big engine, a shaker hood scoop from the Trans Am, no frills, and red white and blue graphics. Formula X did not make it into production, BUT the Can Am happened and the Ventura GTO happened. Both cars with the Trans Am shaker. Ghost in the Machine.

  26. Brian

    I just recently picked up a 1973 Pontiac GTO in December 2017, I agree, this one year build GTO is not the most desirable year and not very common at car show, but, like I have read before, showing up anywhere in this car you will definatly stick out of a crowd of Camaro and Mustangs

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      Look at your calendar, Brian. That was almost two years ago.

  27. Glen Riddle

    Look at your calendar, Little_Cars. Brian posted that almost two years ago. LOL 😉

    Like 2
  28. Little_Cars

    Ha ha. LOL. That is funny. Always surprises me that the BF comment threads are left open — and when someone pulls up an old listing in a search — submits a new comment. These are fed to my email every morning. NEXT!

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.