1968 PONTIAC GTO USHERS IN 2nd GENERATION
General Motors completely redesigned its entire A-body mid-sized car lines across all it’s brands for the 1968 model. Gone were the sharp edges and boxy shapes. In its place was a softer, more organic, more curvaceous body that almost looked like it set in the sun too long and melted. They were much more aerodynamic than their square-bodied ancestors through, and they also got slightly smaller. The new Pontiac Tempest, LeMans and GTO was 5.9 inches shorter, 0.5 inches lower, and 75 pounds lighter than the 1967 cars.
GTO HAS BOLD NEW STYLE
Along with the boxy proportions, gone were the stacked headlights and upright grille. In their place was a sculpted, aerodynamic, one-piece Endura (plastic) front facia/bumper that housed the 4 headlights now horizontally. Hideaway headlights became an option on the 1968 Pontiac GTO for the first time. The single scoop gave way to twin scoops that were much more flush to the hood, almost like NACA ducts. Concealed windshield wipers not only cleaned up the lines of the car, but also its aerodynamics. The hood-mounted tachometer reappeared for the 1968 model year, having been introduced on the 1967 GTO. A bold new optional wheel gave the car a much more modern look.
1968 Pontiac GTO INTERIOR
1968 Pontiac GTO ENGINE
Powertrain options remained basically the same as in 1967, made up entirely of 400 cubic inch V8s. The standard engine rose from 335hp to 350hp at 5500rpm. A new Ram Air package called “Ram Air II” became available midyear, which included better-breathing heads, round port exhaust, and an 041 racing cam. GM wisely chose not to brag about the increased horsepower. As always, the GTO was fast, getting through the quarter in 14.7 seconds at 97 mph, with a 4-speed transmission. With the Ram Air package and the optional 4.33 rear end, a stock ’68 GTO clocked 14.45 seconds at 98 mph. Even with the base engine, an automatic & 3.23 gears, it would do a 15.93 quarter mile at 88.3 mph. Not to shabby.
1968 PONTIAC GTO AWARDED
MOTOR TREND CAR OF THE YEAR
The 1964 GTO may have been considered the first true Muscle Car, but it was was no longer alone, in fact it was getting very crowded. Everyone was selling muscle cars by 1968, but despite this, Pontiac still had a very good year with the GTO, selling some 87,684 units, the second-best year ever for the GTO. Per US law, all 1968 vehicles sold in the US, GTOs included, now had to have front shoulder belts and side marker lights. The front disk brake option included 4-piston calipers.