Rare Endura Delete: 1968 Pontiac GTO Survivor

Every time I see a GTO like this, I think of two things, one being a friend who told me, “No, there’s no such thing as an Endura delete GTO”, and the second is of a friend who had a similar GTO back in the ’70s. This sharp looking “GOAT” is located in Chester, New York and is available here on eBay with a current bid of $20,609, reserve not met yet.

This fifth year GTO is a pretty radical departure, appearance-wise from its 1967 predecessor. Even the frame was altered, removing three inches from the wheelbase. But what really set this version of the GTO off was the color-keyed, Endura front bumper, along with available hidden headlights. An Endura delete GTO like this one is not common (or according to my friend, nonexistent, even though he had one in his repair shop about two years ago). Endura is a hard, bump resistant polymer of some kind that can take some abuse. An early advertisement for this “space-age” material featured a boy with a baseball bat taking a whack at a GTO bumper. As always, I would encourage our knowledgeable reader base to comment on the makeup of Endura.

Under the hood is the standard 400 CI, 350 HP Pontiac V8 engine that is commonly found in this vintage GTO. The seller states that it runs and drives extremely well. Power to the wheels flows through a Turbo-Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic transmission. The AC, which blows cold, is a nice addition.

The interior of this GTO is late ‘60s GM “A” body all the way. It looks a bit faded but beyond that, it appears to be in very good nick. The color is a cross between gold and green but the fading may be what makes it look like it doesn’t really go with the Verdero Green exterior finish. It even has the original Delco 8 track tape player.

Speaking of the finish, it’s original and looks fantastic, my all-time favorite color! The seller does indicate that there is some rust in the lower fenders and it is visible in the images but it appears to be limited. Of course, “limited” is the watchword, you would want to check it and the underside out pretty carefully. The seller claims that this car has not been driven in inclement weather but it is located in New York state and “A” bodies are far from rustproof.

I mentioned at the outset that this car reminded me of a friend’s, let’s refer to him as Ted. Ted had a ’68 GTO in this Verdero Green finish but it had the Endura nose piece and hide-away headlights but they were stuck permanently open. Ted’s car had steel wheels with full wheel covers but plenty of hooning caused three of them to fly off into who knows where. You see, Ted lived in a rural setting and his GTO was constantly covered in mud with cow you-know-what and hay stuck to the underside. None of that mattered because Ted’s car ran like a scalded dog – you could hustle anyone with it and score a win. It was equipped with a four-speed manual transmission, no power steering or center console and it was ready to rumble. It wasn’t until about the early part of ’74, after doing some sleuthing, that we realized Ted’s car had a 428 CI engine under the hood, probably swapped by the previous or two previous ago owners – that explained everything! Obviously, Ted’s car made a big impact on me and when I saw this fine example all those old irresponsible times in Ted’s GTO came flooding back.

I think the ’68 GTO looks better with the Endura bumper but this car is spot on and with 60,000 miles on the clock, it’s barely broken in. What do you think, do you like Endura or are you good with the chrome beak?

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Comments

  1. Ralph

    Now here is a REAL delete option.

    From what I’ve read,someone at upper management wasn’t 100% convinced that the Endura nose was going to be a hit and they allowed this delete for chrome bumper option to exist just in case there was backlash to the body color nose, but there wasn’t and this proved to be a pretty rare option for 1968.

    The non-Endura nose cars were lighter so if you wanted to order a rear stripper for the drags, a non-Endura nose GTO would have been the ticket, though this car is the opposite, its gorged up with lots of extras like a/c and console.

    Verdoro Green, it seems like 98% of 1968 GTO’s were this color……..

    Like 21
    • Jeremy

      Hey Ralph, I would think that big chrome steel bumper would far outweigh the plasticky Endura nose,no?Ive owned several “Bandit”T/As,late 70s Z28s,IROC-Z,etc and theres nothing to those flimsy noses. However, when moving ANY 60s era chrome bumper, I ask a buddy to grab the other side 😂

      Like 8
      • JOHN R Member

        I’m a bigger fan of the 69’s, I think they cleaned up the rough edges a little, but I do prefer the 68 dash, and if you order the console with an automatic, you get the nice Hurst Dual gate shifter that they dropped in 69.

        Like 1
      • Ralph

        It was something like 100-120 lighter, the endura nose is heavy, its metal with a thick material bonded to the bumper. Its like the chrome bumper with more added to it.

        This isn’t like a fascia from a Trans Am, thats a bumper cover similar to a new car.

        Like 8
      • SteVen

        Endura bumpers were steel covered with the Endura material. They were definitely heavier than the chrome bumper.

        Like 1
      • Merle

        The enduro front bumper is no way the same as the later camaros and T/A’s. The enduro was more of a rubber type material over a metal frame. The only problem with the enduro that I had on mine was the rubber material wanted to separate at the edges of metal and curl. But loved the look and hideaways.

    • Angrymike

      I’d say 98% of all Pontiacs had verdoro green, my first car, a Catalina, was this color !

      Like 2
    • Kenneth Baker

      I know someone who has an original chrome bumper GTO he bought new.

      Like 3
  2. JW454

    I may be in the minority but, I like the chrome bumper on the GTOs. I may do a little cleaning up under the hood but, I’d leave the rest as is.

    Like 11
  3. Bakyrdhero

    I agree. The chrome looks great on this car. I think this car has been on barn finds before also, but I can’t find it. Maybe I’m mistaken, doesn’t matter.

    Like 3
  4. Troy s

    I’ll admit it, I like the Endura front better than the delete version here, but I still really like this cruiser, optioned for pleasure not street racing. For me the Endura nose set the GTO apart from the other GM muscle, in a sporty kind of way.
    I’m actually a little surprised this car hadn’t been at least partially restored twenty years ago or so. Very clean machine.

    Like 3
  5. TimM

    I had the exact same car with his/her shifter and enduro delete!! My brother took it one night and wrapped it around an oak tree!!!

    Like 4
  6. Clay Harvey

    My brother-in-law had one just like this. I was just a kid but liked the chrome bumper better than the rubber.

    Like 3
  7. John Oliveri

    That 428 GTO is the car I want, that motor was unreal, my neighbor had a brand new 69 Bonneville w that motor, cleaned many a GTOs and Camaros clock w that beast, no one saw it coming

    Like 3
  8. Mike S

    Do you get any 8 Track tapes withe purchase?

    Like 4
  9. sparkster

    Interesting I didn’t see a tach or power brakes. Front end looks more like a Lemans than a GTO

  10. Jost

    I had a 69 with the endure bumper and it was not good, it was cracked and peeling. This was common, so the few people who opted for endure delete were correct. Back in the day these goats didn’t look like the beautifully restored cars we see today. I also think that today, when restoring one, the endure bumper come out better then I. 68 to 69. The 70s were better.

  11. RoughDiamond

    I believe regarding the GTOs,you had to order a Rally dash in order to get a tach.

    • JOHN Member

      Fairly certain the in-dash tach was part of the gauge package. Also pretty certain you could order the hood tach without the rally gauge package, there were also many hood tachs that were dealer-installed.

      • Ralph

        If you got the hood tach, then you got a dash clock with the gauges.

  12. mark houseman

    I’ll never forget seeing one same as this one with the rubber bumpers, same color, and a convertible, in the junk yard in the mid-80’s in South Florida. It was perfect. No damage any where. I suspect it had a blown engine. I popped all the badges off the car including the door panel badges. I still have them today.

    Like 1
  13. Stephen Liebert

    GM had paint adhesion problems early on, and this delayed the Endura bumper for production. The Chrome bumper was offered as an alternative and you got a credit, from what I read. The paint supplier finally fixed the problem and made the chrome bumper a rare sight. The people stating that the Endura was heavier are right. Nice car!.

  14. Miguel

    Is there any documentation stating this is a bumper delete car?

    Isn’t it more likely that over the past 52 years the car had a front accident and they put on the bumper they could find?

    • JOHN Member

      If you look at the ebay ad, there is a photo of the window sticker that shows the chrome bumper credit. Almost anything can be faked, it looks original (the window sticker) but a PHS report will confirm everything.

  15. William Costa

    I bought this car and it is a true documented endura deleted. It is definitely a survivor car, I am having some work done but my intention is to keep it a survivor.

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