Book Review

Pontiac’s Great One

206-smallOn the day I received this book it was the day GM announced the pending death of Pontiac.

Over the years I have owned numerous Pontiac models and always loved each and everyone of them. I lusted after certain Trans Ams and GTOs and adored some of the early Grand Prix models. We have already lost the creator of the Avanti, the mother of the Superbird and the builder of the 442 just to mention a few. How ironic it is that just as the Muscle Car craze arguably started by the GTO is about to take off again with multiple new models from Detroit the entire industry is on the verge of collapse.

The book is Pontiac’s Great One a tribute to the GTO. It is published by Motorbooks and authored by Darwin Holmstrom with beautiful photography, as usual, from David Newhardt.

On page 57 there is a very telling few paragraphs; they sound totally different than what you hear today. Please go to our Book Review page and read the complete review of this book and read what part the American Justice Department played in the future of GM. It will shake you to the roots if you are paying any attention to what is happening to GM and Chrysler today.

Jim Wangers GTO Bobs Big Boy

This is not a political book nor is this a political column; it is simply an observation and a point of view about not only how the GTO came to be but also how Pontiac came to die.

This book tells a wonderful story in great detail about the “foreplay” and eventual birth of the Pontiac GTO. I was a hormone driven teenager during this time and can tell you it was a wonderful time for cars, music and life in America. This book taught me a lot about the creation of the GTO and its roots back in some of Pontiac’s grand history. There is considerable discussion of the role that Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan played in racing history. Remember the Royal Bobcat?

The author takes you through the development of not only the first GTO but every GTO after that. There are inside stories and details on every model that make you want to read more. And the photos…David Newhardt out did himself on these.

Not only does the author take you through the development of every major GTO and the changes it received from the prior year, the book includes reprints of Pontiac ads, dealer brochures and magazine reviews of the GTO. These make terrific additions to the book.



Chapter 1: We’re Going Racing!

Chapter 2: Delorean’s Outlaw Car

Chapter 3: Coping with Success

Chapter 4: A Maturing Car For a Maturing Audience

Chapter 5: Highlights and Low Points

Chapter 6: The Death and Short-Lived Reincarnation of the GTO

Even the last GTO is included in this historical recap of The Great One. It too was a great car but a total flop. Why? The author includes a compelling reason for the GTO that did not sell.



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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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