FEROCIOUS GTO continued
After we'd mastered this extremely responsive transmission, we found we could make smooth starts, feather, and lift up to get shifts into high at as low a speed as 20 mph. This, in part, accounts for the excellent gas mileage we got with this big engine. We also found that its responsiveness can be used with devastating effect at stop light grands prix. You can extend the maximum shift point up to 60 mph or so by holding the accelerator hard down to the floor. When in high and traveling at anything below this speed, you can grab low by depressing the loud pedal to the same position.
Our test car's power steering had a good feel and gave us some rapport with the road. It also had a strong (for power steering) caster return action, which we liked. This would be our choice over the standard or the "quick" manual steering, because it's actually the quickest of the lot.
Now, if you decide the test car isn't gung-ho enough or not suited to your personal tastes, there's more - lots more -available via the option route. For more go, there's a 360-hp V-8 with the extra horses provided by three two-barrel carbs and a racier cam. There's a selection of cog-swappers only exceeded in variety by women's hats. The standard offering in this department is a wide-ratio three-speed. Others are a close-ratio, all-synchro three-speed, two all-synchro four-speeds (a wide- and close-ratio), plus the two-speed automatic. The close-ratio four-speed is available only with the 3.90 axle ratio "for special driving," which, we figure, means it's the best all-around combination for maximum-effort work such as competition and interplanetary missions.
If we were getting a GTO, there'd be two items at the top of our option list: metallic brake linings and the Safe-T-Track limited-slip differential. We feel a car of the GTO's potential could use extra stopping power. The limited-slip improves traction in the wet and puts more of the car's power on the ground.
To give a general driving impression of the GTO, we'll say we enjoyed it immensely and that never before have we driven any car that so belies its weight and size.
Driving the GTO on roads like this was absolute delight and pleasant work. The quick steering eliminated constant cranking on the wheel, also contributed to overall safety.