The Last Year: 1974 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac produced the GTO from 1964 to 1974. The car was widely popular and considered by many to be the first true muscle car. Pontiac brought the nameplate back from 2003 to 2006 and put it on an Australian built Holden. This car represents that last year of the first run of GTOs where Pontiac took the Ventura and added a shaker scoop and installed a 350 cubic inch Pontiac V8 engine to try something different. While most purists think the last GTO was made in 1972, both the 1973 (colonnade body style) and the 1974 GTO are gaining popularity. This car is listed for sale here on eBay with 4 days remaining in the auction. The GTO is a project of sorts and is located in El Paso, Texas. After 23 bids the car is currently bid to $2,175.

The seller stats that the car is original so that would imply the engine is a factory 350 cubic inch V8. The car was equipped with a 4 barrel carburetor and was rated at 200 horsepower. This was 25 horsepower less than in the base engine in the 1974 Trans Am. The engine is backed by an automatic transmission. The seller has installed a new steering column, new gas tank, radiator, carburetor and dual exhaust. The car is said to need work including restoration of the electrical system. However, there is not much more information included.

The interior is disassembled and in poor condition. An aftermarket steering wheel is the only thing that looks functional. There are wires hanging out of the dash and no door panels. The seats are included but are worn and splitting on most seams. The car was originally red with a white or cream interior.

Motor Trend tested the 1974 GTO and could only clock a best 0-60 time of 9.5 seconds. Car and Driver tested a 4 speed 1974 GTO and reported a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds. Needless to say, the acceleration was disappointing to GTO enthusiasts which effected sales negatively. The body seems to be in good condition but will need paint. Hopefully, this car is back on the road soon with a new owner.

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Comments

  1. Jimmy H Riedle Member

    I would like to unscribe my membership. please do not gharge me any more

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hmm, what’s that all about? See ya,,

      Like 3
      • Motorcityman Member

        He didn’t say he was leaving Howard, just that he didn’t want to be charged as a “member” anymore.

        Like 2
  2. Bud Lee

    When you blow your interior budget on the steering wheel . 😎

    Like 19
    • Tom

      I hope whoever buys it has a bigger budget than that. My brother has one of these and it’s a very nice 4 speed car. It needs a few interior pieces and unfortunately they’re very hard to find. The original rear side and sail panels were made of the crappiest plastic known to man, and they crumble if you look at them wrong. And nobody reproduces them…

      Like 1
      • Frank Nauman

        try classic industries in Cal. Nova parts book

      • Tom

        Thanks for the suggestion Frank. I believe he’s done a lot of searching and apparently they’re different than the Nova panels

      • CenturyTurboCoupe

        I can look for this guys contact info if you want as he has three of these in Ontario, two cars in need of restoration and one he has parted out. There might be some trim pieces. The car was white but I am unsure of the interior colour.

  3. Stan

    Almost any car that suffered during the mid late 70s Malaise era is essential to have the manual transmission. These had a 3spd by the knee or a 4 gear manual option.

    Like 1
  4. Dave

    Circa 1978 a friend begged me to drive him to look at a 1974 GTO. When we got to the dealer he refused to even get out of my car to look at it once he realized it was “just a crappy Nova” in his words. So we drove back to his house… in my 1970 Nova.

    Like 17
  5. Bick Banter

    When the Colonnades were being designed in the early 1970s, Pontiac intended to have a GTO with a special distinct front end (and the SD 455). King Colonnade. But by 1972, the GTO actually had developed a bad name and the market was shifting away from muscle cars and into personal luxury.

    So Pontiac turned the car it had desiged as the new 1972 GTO – the Colonnades were supposed to be out for ’72 but thankfully for the Year Ones of the future were delayed a year – into the 1973 Grand Am. They did this so late in the game that the SD455 is actually listed as an option in the Grand Am brochure!

    http://oldcarbrochures.org/United%20States/Pontiac/1973%20Pontiac/1973%20Pontiac%20Grand%20Am/slides/1973_Pontiac_Grand_Am-06.html

    For whatever reason, Pontiac then just slapped GTO badges onto the LeMans and half heartedly marketed it. The “GTO Option” wasn’t even pictured in the brochure, only described. Knowing GM at the time, they probably had the badges made and didn’t want to waste them. Or they just wanted to make a cynical attempt to get a few extra sales from younger buyers.

    The 1974 version was even more cynical, basically just a tarted up Ventura. You could get the same engine in any ’74 Ventura, even a 4-door sedan. This story probably seems hard to believe now given how popular muscle cars got starting in the 1980s, but they were really not cool by 1974.

    Like 8
  6. Howard A Member

    It’s kind of funny, this car really had what the GTO was originally all about, yet probably the LEAST appealing of all the “Nova” type cars and certainly GTO fans ignored it for years. It was a small car with a big V8, and a 4 speed, what’s not to like? For some reason, the Nova got all the thunder, these were just a Nova with a different name. People that wanted a Nova, usually bought a Nova. These were just warmed over secretaries or librarians cars. They never had the zing, even though they were the same cars. It’s true, a sharp sales person really CAN sell air conditioners to the Eskimoes.

    Like 5
    • Motorcityman Member

      He didn’t say he was leaving Howard, just that he didn’t want to be charged as a “member” anymore.

    • Motorcityman Member

      What’s not to like?
      0-60 in 7.7 from a V8 would be starters for me…….
      Years ago, I had a Red 5 speed Eagle Talon 4, Turbo that did 0-60 in under 6 secs or right at 6……I loved the style and performance, handling of that ride…..pop up headlights too! 😁

      Like 2
      • Stan

        The awd talons were awesome cars Madman. A buddy had a tricked out one, they could be built to really fly. Excellent racing cars. 🏁

        Like 1
      • Motorcityman Member

        STAN……if I remember right mine wasn’t the AWD model but she flew…….I had a 5.0 86 Mustang GT before the Talon and I swore that Talon felt faster!

        Like 1
  7. Jackie Hollingsworth

    This car does not deserve to have the GTO name on it.

    Like 2
  8. Jack Gross

    Just a Nova – amd and just as ugly.

    I can’t understand how people could view this body style and drool, unless of course they were rabid

  9. Sam Shive

    Crate LS and call it a day. Always loved the Nova, and didn’t mind these being called a GTO. Everything mid 70’s sucked as far as H/P. This would make a nice LS project and resto mod. Most everybody wanted Chevelle’s and Camaros and left the Nova’s alone. Plenty of parts to restore this but JMHO resto mod is the way to go. I had a 65 GTO no problem with this being a GOAT

  10. chrlsful

    looks like my omega or was it a Ventura? But no hatch.
    Yeah, guess it was the latter, 2nd gen ’71/7.
    Don’t the GM guys call it the X body?

    “…considered by many to be the first true muscle car…”
    my deffiniton is more expansive, but would hear the reasoning &
    decide. Mine was in a nice electric green & had “too much power” for me.
    Every time I left a light or stop no matter how slo I pushed the peddle it seemed to ‘chirp tires’.

  11. Joseph Summerville

    I bought a 74 GTO new and was a fun car put a cam and 370 gears was fast beat a lot of 74 mopars with 400 engines.it was a light car and deserves the GTO name them heavy cars with 389 wasn’t no faster than the 74 .

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