by John Ethridge, Technical Editor

URING ALL THE TIME we were testing the Tempest GTO, not one person we met asked us what those three letters meant. We don't think many people know they stand for the Italian gran turismo omologato, but we're sure that everyone now understands GTO as meaning a hot car built by Pontiac. Such has been the spread of its fame.
      For 1965, power (in standard trim) is up 10 hp, length has increased 3.1 inches, and curb weight is up 340 pounds over the car we tested last year. The most noticeable part of this year's restyling is that the two false airscoops on the hood are gone, replaced by one of the same. The test car had the usual ripple-free body panels that help make Pontiac the wonder of the industry. For that matter, the whole car had a standard of fit and finish that would've been unimaginable in a mass-produced car a few years ago.
      Despite the GTO's sporting flavor, it's well insulated against noise and rattles, which is especially noteworthy when you consider the car's firm suspension and the fact that ours was a convertible.
      All GTOs have stiff springs and shocks. This one had the optional ride and handling kit which, the Pontiac people tell us, includes extra-stiff springs and shocks. This leaves the ride firm but not harsh, and the suspension could be further stiffened without any great harm.
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February, 1965

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