002 - Hidden Treasure: Uncovering a Tiger Gold 1967 Pontiac GTO in a Trash Heap

Prepare to be transported back to 1963 when the Pontiac GTO roared onto the scene, revolutionizing the American muscle car landscape forever. Some may argue whether it truly deserves the title of the first muscle car, but one thing is undeniable - the GTO exudes style and has secured its legendary status in automotive history.

As GM sought to limit factory-sponsored racing, Pontiac ingeniously bypassed restrictions to ignite a muscle car phenomenon that fueled the Detroit street performance rivalry. Equipped with colossal V8 engines, the GTO blazed a trail for a new generation of midsize cars that would take the automotive world by storm.

Pontiac even managed to defy GM's policy, which limited intermediate vehicles to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cubic inches (5.4 liters). Now that's a rule-breaking powerhouse!

This defiance was made possible because the policy did not restrict offering larger engines as an option. Thus, Pontiac introduced the GTO as a package for the LeMans rather than a standalone model. This changed in the 1966 model year when the GTO finally became a separate model.

The GTO's heyday was eventually followed by its return as an option package in 1973. In its final year on the market, 1974, Pontiac transferred the package to the compact Ventura line.

As we enter 2023, first-generation GTOs remain highly coveted classics, though their relative abundance keeps them reasonably affordable. However, unearthing an all-original survivor can be a challenging and costly endeavor, as many lay forgotten in barns and junkyards.

Among the fortunate few that have escaped rust and decay, some await future restoration—like this 1967 Tiger Gold coupe.

Discovering a first-generation GTO hidden beneath a mountain of trash seems improbable, yet that's precisely what YouTube's "Reverse Rocket TV" found in his backyard. Having rested there for what seems like an eternity, the GTO was finally uncovered as our host embarked on a barn renovation.

Surprisingly, the muscle car remained in good condition despite its prolonged slumber. The faded Tiger Gold paint and black vinyl top still clung to the rust-free body, while the interior boasted decent upholstery and an intact dashboard—though the headliner had seen better days.

Regrettably, the empty engine bay precludes this GTO from being the perfect all-original survivor, as both the 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) engine and transmission are missing.

In 1967, the sole 400 V8 engine option came with varying carburetor configurations, including a two-barrel version producing 255 horsepower, a four-barrel alternative with 335 horses, and a Ram Air version boasting 360 horsepower.

However, not all hope is lost. The host contacted the owner for more details and discovered that the original engine and gearbox were still in their possession. The GTO has remained in the same family since its purchase and was parked in 1988 due to engine troubles.

It's clear that once restored to its original specifications, this Poncho will transform into a highly sought-after and valuable GTO.

Though restoration may not be imminent, at least this GTO is no longer buried beneath trash. Should the owner consider selling it to someone who can lovingly restore it and get it back on the road sooner?

Watch the video below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

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