1969 Pontiac GTO
The 1969 model year brought several small design changes, but the car and engine choices remained mostly the same. The 400 CID V8 received a Ram Air III option, upgrading the power to 366 HP. However, to defend the GTO’s honor against those Hemis and Cobra Jets, Pontiac introduced a rare, expensive and highly sought after Ram Air IV version they rated at 370 HP.
The horsepower ratings for the Ram Air IV were extremely conservative since the engine featured high flow cylinder heads and a different camshaft, exhaust and carburetor. Basically, it was a race motor for the street.
The real horsepower rating was closer to 450 than to 370 HP but Pontiac chose to list this version as less powerful due to insurance reasons. The 1969 model year saw a slight decline in sales to 72,000 examples. Both the Chevelle 396 SS and the Plymouth Roadrunner posted higher sales numbers, which concerned Pontiac about the future of the GTO.