The Pontiac GTO is arguably the car that started the American muscle car movement.

The legendary “Goat” started as an option for the Pontiac Tempest in 1964, became a standalone model in 1966, and returned to its original option status in 1973. The early model GTO ended life as an option package for the LeMans in 1973 and the compact Ventura in ’74.

Then it was gone.

In its fairly short lifespan (from 1964-74), the GTO left an indelible mark on the American automotive scene. Although Pontiac would resurrect the GTO name in 2004, we think true American hot rodders (and those who fancy themselves hot rodders) should be well versed in those first 10 years of the Pontiac GTO. As a public service, we put together this quick guide identifying various early model Goats.

Think of it as an American history lesson.

Ride Guide GTO-64-74
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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.