Pick of the Day: 1968 Pontiac GTO

Owners of Pontiacs like this must be the most patient folks in the world. They constantly have to deal with people saying, “Hey, Man, why did you stick GTO badges on a LeMans?” at every show. It’s for that very reason that this 1968 Pontiac GTO is our Pick of the Day. It’s listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Fort Worth, Texas. (Click the link to view the listing)

With the midsize A-body redesign for 1968, Pontiac shed the vertical headlights and went back to horizontals for the first time since 1964. A more cohesive design, with a greenhouse that blended with the body, replaced the three-box design of the previous few years. The overall effect was handsome to many (which seems to be true of all of GM’s A-bodies).

The trademark Pontiac split grille also developed a snout of sorts, in harmony with the full-size models of the same year. However, Pontiac had something up its sleeve with the GTO. The Great One, as it was called in ads, exploited all the strengths of lesser Tempest and LeMans models but added a unique rubberized bumper for a monochromatic look up front. The option of retractable headlights gave the GTO an even more contemporary look. The GTO was the envy of every performance car in the industry, though cars like the 1968 Charger certainly challenged the GTO’s style leadership.

Pontiac offered an interesting option only in 1968 that allowed a buyer to specify the chrome bumper (and grille) used on Tempest and LeMans models. While it is true that the factories initially had some adhesion issues with the paint, the main reason why Pontiac offered the chrome bumper as a delete option was because the monochromatic look was simply too startling for some. Interestingly, for such an unusual option, 2,108 GTOs were built with Endura-delete. Hidden headlights were not available with this bumper.

Not only is the featured 1968 Pontiac GTO one of those funky chrome-bumpered Goats, but also it is painted in Pontiac’s signature color of the era: Verdoro Green. Legend has it that John DeLorean’s wife saw an ashtray this color at a party, and she suggested that Pontiac offer paint in this color, which is complemented by a black vinyl top on this particular vehicle. “This striking GTO was special ordered back in 1968 from Medford Buick-Pontiac in Haskell, Texas,” states the seller. “The Turbo-Hydramatic transmission has been fitted with a Gear Vendors overdrive unit to enhance highway cruising efficiency.” PHS Historical Services documentation is included with the sale, so the pedigree on this one is solid: standard 400/350, console with Hurst Dual/Gate shifter, power steering and brakes, air conditioning, tinted glass and pushbutton AM radio, among other items. Along the way, someone added an in-dash tachometer and Rally II wheels.

The selling dealer is asking $59,995 for this unusual 1968 GTO. With its special mix of options, this Goat makes for a nice cruiser, especially for someone who would prefer the ease and comfort of an automatic with AC versus a Ram Air car with rumpety-rump cam