1974 Pontiac GTO
They downsized the once mighty Pontiac GTO from a separate model to only a trim line option for the 1974 Pontiac Ventura. The Ventura was the smallest, most affordable Pontiac at the moment. Basically, it was a Chevrolet Nova sister model. It was sad to see the once glorious muscle car downgraded to just a trim level.
Pontiac stuck some decals on an economy model and added a 5.7-liter V8 engine pumping out just 200 HP. Pontiac experienced slow sales for the GTO line for a few years. And despite the relative success of the smaller Trans Am/Firebird line, the GTO just wasn’t popular enough to justify their investment into a separate model. Most drivers considered the 1974 GTO a pathetic attempt to recapture the former glory of the GTO, but the market didn’t fall for the trick.
In fact, 1974 was the final year for the classic GTO nameplate. After they produced 7,000 of them, the GTO quietly left the scene. Today, those last year GTOs generate some attention because they are the last of the breed. But everybody agrees the ‘74 Ventura GTO is a terrible, ugly and slow muscle car with a famous name.