1979 Pontiac Ventura 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 and most affordable Pontiac at the moment. Basically, it was a Chevrolet Nova sister model. But it was sad to see the once glorious muscle car downgraded to just a trim level.
In fact, all they did was put some decals on an economy model with a 5.7-liter V8 engine producing only 200 HP. As a result, 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 wasn’t popular enough to justify investing into a separate model.
Most people considered the 1974 GTO to be a pathetic attempt to recapture the former glory of the GTO, but the market didn’t fall for the trick. This was also the final year for the classic GTO nameplate because after producing 7,000, the GTO quietly left the scene.