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67 GTO HISTORY

 

So the '67 GTO actually marks the beginning of the marque's de-emphasis on all-out performance. Gone was the tripower engine option. Now, the hottest setup available was a single Rochester Quadra jet on a high-rise intake manifold. But all was not lost.

Pontiac saw fit to drop the 389 engine and introduce an enlarged, bored-out version that displaced 400 cu. in. In addition, many new engine pieces had been developed since '64 and were all introduced in a group on '67 engines. For one thing, a new set of cylinder heads was designed. These heads were sorely needed and replaced the antique heads that were originally designed for the '55 287-cube V8. The new heads sported clean combustion chambers and ports, 2.11-in. intake valves and high flow capacity. Pontiac felt that the increase in displacement plus the new heads warranted a retention of the 360-hp rating despite the drop from three 2- barrels to one 4-barrel carb. The 360 hp was the high-performance option with the HO cam, long-branch exhaust manifolds, etc.

But the Pontiac folks weren't done at that. Halfway through the model year, they introduced a completely new ram air package that not only had a fresh-air intake system but all kinds of special internal components packed into the same 400 cubes. A special block with 4-bolt main bearings and Moraine 400 rod bearings was used along with forged rods and pistons, lightened, swirl-polished valves, stiff valve springs and a ram air cam with 301/313° duration. Pontiac, smart to the end, rated the new engine 360 hp at 5400 rpm and 438 ft.-lb. of torque at 3800 rpm. That's right, with all those extra goodies, the performance division kept the horsepower rating at 360.

Styling of the '67 was similar to the '66, only cleaned up. There were less loose pieces of chrome and less gimmicks. The '67 is still considered one of the cleanest-looking GTO’s ever. The public responded by purchasing 81,722 of them.

As we said, by '67 the ram air packages had developed into something really special around Pontiac. It was another instance of Pontiac leading the industry. Its engineers had discovered the 10 percent boost in power with cold air before anyone else and exploited it to the fullest. Not only was the ram air package a status symbol around the drive-in, it really worked because it included the above-mentioned specific internal engine parts that were completely different from the standard engine packages. And Pontiac played the horsepower rating game to the hilt. Both the standard high-performance, or HO, engine and the ram air engine were called 360 hp. But despite the identical horsepower ratings, obviously the ram air engine was much stronger. Yet both engines ran in the same class according to NHRA rules. It was situations like this that finally forced NHRA to factor horsepower ratings.

We can personally attest to how strong the '67 ram air GTO was because the staff here at CARS ran one all year in open competition. The car was originally set up and prepared by Royal Pontiac, then sent to New York where Motion Performance put the final tune on the car and maintained it all year. Driven by the former editor of CARS, Marty Schorr, the car racked up an impressive number of wins in the B/SA class at many strips all over the East Coast.

Production:

 Sports Coupe: 7,029 Hardtop Coupe: 65,176

Convertible: 9,517

Engines:

400 V8 255 bhp @ 4400rpm, 397 lb-ft @ 4400 bhp.

400 V8 335 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 441 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.

400 V8 HO 360 bhp @ 5100 rpm, 438 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

400 V8 Ram Air 360 bhp @ 5100 rpm, 438 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.


Performance:

400/255: NA. 400/335: NA. 400/360 HO: 0-60 in 6.6 sec, 1/4 mile in 14.66 sec @ 99mph. 400/360 Ram Air: NA.

 

 

 

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