The 1966 PONTIAC GTO is one of the cars seen in the very first street race scene of a 2014 film Need for Speed, directed by Scott Waugh, stars Aaron Paul.
The 1966 Pontiac GTO Facts
The GTO became a separate Pontiac model (model number 242) in 1966, instead of being an “option package” on the Tempest LeMans. The entire GM “A” body intermediate line was restyled that year, gaining more curvaceous styling with kicked-up rear fender lines for a “Coke-bottle” look, and a slightly ‘tunneled’ backlight.
The tail light featured a rare louvered cover, only seen on the GTO.
An automotive industry first, plastic front grilles replaced the pot metal and aluminum versions seen on earlier years. New Strato bucket seats were introduced with higher and thinner seat backs and contoured cushions for added comfort and adjustable headrests were introduced as a new option.The instrument panel was redesigned and more integrated than in previous years with the ignition switch moved from the far left of the dash to the right of the steering wheel. Four pod instruments continued, and the GTO’s dash was highlighted by walnut veneer trim.
Engine and carburetor choices remained the same as the previous year, except the Tri Power option was discontinued mid-model year. A new engine was offered that saw few takers: the XS option consisted of a factory Ram Air set up with a new 744 high lift cam. Approximately 35 factory installed Ram Air packages are believed to have been built, though 300 dealership installed Ram Air packages are estimated to have been ordered. On paper, the package was said to produce the same 360 hp (270 kW) as the non-Ram Air, Tri Power car.
Sales increased to 96,946, the highest production figure for all GTO years. Although Pontiac had strenuously promoted the GTO in advertising as the “GTO tiger,” it had become known in the youth market as the ‘goat’.
The license plate of 1966 Pontiac GTO seen in the first street race scene of a 2014 film Need for Speed reads as ‘KOS 542’.