Monday, July 30, 2012
Car Of The Day: July 30, 2012
Today's car of the day comes from Dean-O-mite's collection and is Tack Cheung / Toy Century's 1999 Pontiac GTO Concept.
The original GTO was the brainchild of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee, an engine specialist; Bill Collins, a chassis engineer; and Pontiac chief engineer John DeLorean. The GTO name, which was DeLorean's idea, was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, the successful race car. It is an Italian abbreviation for Gran Turismo Omologato, ("Grand Tourer Homologated") which means officially certified for racing in the Grand tourer class.
During the 1999 Detroit Auto Show, a GTO concept car with a heritage-inspired "Coke-bottle" shape, grille, and hood scoop, was introduced to the world. It was only a design experiment and had no engine. The concept never made it into production, but created its own unique following at the time.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Pontiac GTO
This GTO Concept was made by Tack Cheung, of China, but was marketed under the Toy Century name in the United States, using the same initials to create a more Americanized brand name. Tack Cheung / Toy Century also made the GTO Concept as a larger scale remote control car and a friction powered toy. This small-scale version was marketed as a light-up keychain, and features free-rolling wheels and soft rubber-like tires. The front fog lights illuminate by pressing a small button on the undercarriage. The key ring attaches under the rear bumper with a small screw, and was very easily removed. -Dean-O-mite
Launched at the 1999 Detroit Motorshow (NAIAS) the GTO Concept pays homage to one of the greatest muscle cars; the Pontiac GTO. Careful examination of its lines suggests connections to past GTOs and current Pontiac styling cues. The side profile hints at the famous 'Coke bottle' look introduced on '66/'67 GTOs and refined with '68/'69 models. The shape of the rear quarter windows is reminiscent of the '68/'69 GTOs. A hood-mounted tachometer pod first appeared in 1967. Split grilles were a GTO mainstay, as well as a signature shape on many other Pontiacs. The two hood scoops are a Firebird/Trans Am cue and a logical extension of the '71/'72 GTO twin hood scoops. The tapered, taillight/rear decklid treatment distinguished the 1966 GTO. Honeycomb wheels were optional on '71 and '72 GTOs, plus they were a long-time Firebird favorite. Large driving lights, bold body ribs, and Wide Track stance are seen on many 1999 Pontiacs like the Grand Prix and Grand Am.
Even though Concept GTO has expanded on traditional Pontiac characteristics, it is very much a new car, one that would be at home in the 21st century. Large, 19-inch diameter front wheels, 20-inch rear wheels, and ultra-low profile, 40-series tires are a world apart from the 14-inch bias ply US Royal red line tires included in the original GTO option package. The low stance, radically raked windshield, long wheelbase in relation to the body overhang, and almost vertical rear panel are futuristic touches.