For us, the 1968 Pontiac GTO is the archetypal, classic American muscle car; it just epitomizes what muscle cars were all about in the late 60’s.
The Pontiac GTO is considered by many to have started the mid-size car trend for the four major domestic manufacturers – Ford, GM, Chrysler and AMC.
1968 Pontiac GTO Design
Available as a 2-door hardtop coupe and convertible, with semi-fastback styling. The 1968 had all new bodywork which made it look a little more modern, sleeker and sportier. Pontiac had started to concentrate on street performance rather than racing, and the GTO reflected that – right down to the hood mounted tacho in front of the windshield (and concealed wipers).
The ’68 version lost the vertically stacked headlamps in favor of side by side lighting, but Pontiac did offer an optional ‘hidden’ lighting setup that was very popular. It also lost the single hood scoop to be replaced by a dual design and Pontiac offered a body colored ‘Endura’ front bumper for low speed impact resistance, but again, there was an option to remove the Endura and replace it with a chrome bumper and grille from the Le Mans.
1968 Pontiac GTO Interior
The 1968 Pontiac GTO was well equipped; air conditioning was an option (amongst others) but it also boasted bucket seats, courtesy lamps, deluxe steering wheel, an ignition alarm and … ash trays!
Pontiac offered 6 different color schemes: Teal, Turquoise, Gold, Black, Parchment and Red.
1968 Pontiac GTO Specs
Length: 200.7” Wheelbase: 112” Curb Weight: 3,346 lbs (up 75lb from the previous year)
Numbers sold: Coupe – 77,704 Convertible – 9,980.
Motor Trend Car of the Year 1968
15 exterior colors, including Mayfair Maize, Verdoro Green, Aleutian Blue and Flambeau Burgundy
1968 Pontiac GTO Performance
Five different engine variants, all V8 and 400 ci (6.5 liter); 265, 350, 360, 360 and 366 BHP. Top speed is around 113 MPH (if you’re brave enough). Transmission was 3 and 4 speed with an auto version as well, but be aware that the auto loses 10% from the value.
Upgraded suspension and steering meant that handling was improved over the previous model, but by today’s standards, the car feels vague and unresponsive.
1968 Pontiac GTO Collectability and price
The GTO symbolizes all that is American muscle, even more so with the hidden headlights. Prices are reasonable too; expect to pay around $50,000 for a concours example, $20,000 for a fair version.
However, add 10% for factory fitted air conditioning, 15% for factory 4-speed transmission but take off 10% for the auto.