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Wheels in the Grass

'73 Pontiac GTO, Cambria, N.Y.

I couldn’t just pass by this 1973 Pontiac GTO, spotted in Cambria, N.Y. recently,  without stopping for a quick pic. By 1973 the GTO was merely an option package for the LeMans sports coupe, and included: heavy-duty three-speed floor shifter, 400-cu. in. 4-bbl V-8, bigger tires and wheels, dual exhausts, heavy-duty stabilizer bars, moon-style hubcaps, and GTO indentification. Pontiac had decided to go in a different direction with its mid-sized car this year, emphasizing comfort and convenience over high performance. The showcase car of the line was the new Grand Am sedan and coupe, which Pontiac tried (in vain, as it turned out) to position as a luxury-import alternative. The critics loved it; buyers however, didn’t share the enthusiasm. The GTO option moved to the compact Ventura line in 1974, and was dropped completely for 1975. The name appeared briefly from 2004-06 on the rebadged Australian-made Holden Monaro coupe that never caught on with American buyers.

'73 Pontiac Grand Am, ad art

'73 Pontiac GTO, restored

—Jim Corbran, You Auto Know