Royal Bobcat GTO
One of the best stories of how dealerships and major manufacturers combined their efforts to promote, build and race muscle cars is the tale of Ace Wilson’s Royal Pontiac dealership from Royal Oak, Michigan. He established the dealership in the late ‘50s and put it on the map by sponsoring and preparing local drag racing Pontiac. And he did that with the help of Pontiac’s marketing guru, Jim Wangers.
When Pontiac started racing and building performance machines on a bigger scale in the early ‘60s, Royal Pontiac was the company that helped prepare and test the car. However, the popularity of Royal Pontiac exploded with the GTO. In fact, Ace Wilson prepared all the GTOs before sending them to magazine testers.
Jim Wangers knew the magazine testers needed to be blown away with the performance of the new GTO. So, he instructed Ace Wilson to install the mighty 421 V8 and disguise it as a 389 V8. The trick worked and the legend of the GTO was born.