When a car maker ceases production on an iconic car such as the GTO you don’t just slap the name on any model you currently have in production and call it thus. After decades of being out of production the current rendition should copy many of the styling cues on the new rendition to at least make it look like the new car has the same bloodline. The Holden had none of the old GTO’s lines or styling at all. Pontiac would have been better off calling the car something else and it might have sold. Throwing GTO hood scoops on it was simply not enough. I am a big admirer of the GTOs from years past but had no desire to buy the Holden wannabe just because GM had surplus GTO letters sitting around a warehouse someplace.


@tommy44432 - True, the styling didn’t have any retro aspects to it, but have you ever driven one? The late-model GTOs are fantastic cars.

If you hold other models to the same standard as this, what say you of the Mustang II? Third-gen F-bodies? Neither of those carried any of the aspects of their namesakes history.


@tommy44432 be honest, is that your only hang up on the GTO is the styling? Because I agree 100% that the styling left a lot to be desired, but so did the rest of the American car market unless you count the retro styled Mustangs. I agree with @Kyle they’re FANTASTIC cars if you drive them. They’re noticeably better performing then the Mustang until the GT500 came out. Oh, and BTW, hood scoops were fake on the first GTOs too…

Now if we’re gonna hate on a car the GM really screwed up on, let’s band together against the FWD Monte Carlos. And no, those cars don’t get a pass because of NASCAR. We had already reached the era where they were similar in the name on the car only.


You missed the point of my comment. I never once said the cars GTO wannabes were not good cars. I said GM should have used more retro styling cues and had they done so then perhaps the Australian GTOs may have been around longer than they were. Chevy did choose many styling cues from the '69 Camaro in its new iteration and it is doing well. That Challengers are selling quite well also adds validity to my comments about retro styling. The current Mustang retro looks speak for themselves. The Monte Carlo you mentioned when it was reintroduced was simply a Chevy Lumina with two heavy doors instead of four. It wasn’t a big seller however Chevy redesigned the car and did indeed add styling cues from the 83 to 88 and it sold better than the Lumina based version. I stand behind my remark that if an auto maker is going to stop production on an iconic model for several years or a couple of decades if that marque is to return there must be some trace to it’s past in its styling. Because if you don’t your imported hot rod may be doomed to failure. In my opinion that was the case with the Holden inspired GTOs. As for hood scoops your comment about them being fake is irrelevant. And finally about criticizing GM, I have regularly criticized GM for not really offering the public wants and will continue to do so. FYI…cut me and I bleed Chevy orange.


I never once said the Holden GTO’s were not good cars. I said you don’t reintroduce a decades out of production performance icon without picking up styling cues form its predecessor. Had Pontiac done this the imported GTOs might still be around. Another person asked me this question…“what does a new GTO look like?” and my response was the same…styling cues if you want a discontinued car to sell. This addresses your comment about the Mustang ll and the F-bodies. Those cars were never out of production when they were restyled but the Mustang did pick up styling cues of previous models. Ford’s big mistake was downsizing them.


Yes, I believe the point was missed as I am not on board with the GTO wannabe sentiment. I stand firm by the point that the GTO was indeed worthy of the name despite it’s looks. would it have sold better with retro looks, sure, it probably would have, but it is not a wannabe GTO because it doesn’t look as one should. I believe it has the GTO DNA deeply embedded in it, few will recognize the fact that just like the original GTO, it was a no frills coupe with one of the most powerful engines at GM’s disposal under the hood. Sure, it was immediately rendered obsolete styling wise when the retro Mustang was launched but i think that by no means diminishes the car retro muscle cars weren’t a thing until the 05 mustang and the GTO was launched on our shores in 04…

And by point on the Monte Carlo comment runs along the same thread of not just slapping a name on a car because you can. I feel like the GTO earned the name more than the Monte did.


You are certainly entitled to your beliefs as am I. That GM went to a foreign division to import a performance car instead of building one here in the US in my opinion means it was a wannabe. Had GM been serious about it instead of making a quick buck from an iconic nameplate I would not have said anything. Chevy slapped the SS moniker on a four door sedan and a pickup truck for the same reason. Chrysler felt slapping the letters’ R/T on a Dodge Neon was okay too so by your logic that was okay? Performance issues of the two cars aside Chrysler’s attempt at a cash grab was just like GM’s. Thus the term wannabe. The GTO DNA was not present in the Holden as you say. That DNA ceased to exist once the decision was made to import a foreign car. The Holden inspired GTO was a good car as you say…but credentials it did not have. Nor did it have the styling is should have had. You yourself admitted GM probably would have made more money and perhaps the car would still be in production instead of being a footnote in GM history. Because in the big scheme of things that’s all the imported GTO will be.


I’ll just finish the conversation with this as I don’t think you and I will ever see eye to eye on this one and there isn’t any more point of carrying on. Therefore I’ll end my argument with you here and get on with my day.

I think you’re taking my points out of context to prove yours. No a Neon R/T is not okay. Remember how mentioned before that using Monte Carlo on a FWD platform is a misuse of the name? I think that just because the platform was imported doesn’t discount it as being worthy of the badge. The Aussies have some serious pedigree in the muscle car market and I’m glad Lutz had the foresight to bring some of Australia to us. Remember how the 5th gen Camaro uses the Holden Zeta platform? I know it is retro styled, but it doesn’t negate any Camaro-ness from the car because the frame didn’t come from Detroit first. After all, the important bits (LS engine, and transmission) are still as American as baseball and apple pie.


I knew we would not see eye to eye, as you said. I was 15 years old when the 1964 GTO arrived and grew up during the heyday of muscle car mania. Approaching my 70th birthday and a car builder and collector I have a very narrow view of what is and isn’t worthy of being called a muscle car. While the Holden import was indeed a muscle car in the truest sense of the word it will never be a GTO in my mind. Thus the discussion ends. I have to go work on my '37 Chevy street rod.