Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2016: 1966 Pontiac GTO custom convertible

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1966 Pontiac GTO custom convertible | Barrett-Jackson photos

Editor’s note: This is the 21st in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Tammy Allen Collection to be sold October 13-15 at Barrett-Jackson’s 2016 Las Vegas Auction.

The GTO nameplate began life on a Ferrari. It is short for grand turismo omologato, Italian for grand touring homologation, meaning the car meets the specifications for a specific class of racing cars.

The initials also were used by Pontiac, which applied them to a high-performance version of its Tempest model.

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Interior of the custom Pontiac GTO

In 1966, General Motors restyled its A-body cars, the platform on which the Tempest had switched to in 1964 from the “Y” body it originated on in 1961. Originally a compact, the new Tempest was built on a mid-size frame, which opened the possibility for inserting a larger engine beneath the hood.

The platform gained more curvaceous styling for 1966 with kicked-up rear fender lines while the GTO’s tail light featured a louvered cover and plastic front grilles replaced the pot metal and aluminum versions seen on earlier years. New Strato bucket seats were introduced along with adjustable headrests as an option and the gauge cluster was redesigned.

The GTO was available as a coupe, a hardtop, and a convertible while engine and carburetor choices remained the same as on the Tempest of the previous year, with exception to a new engine recognized as the XS option which consisted of a factory Ram Air set up with a new 744 high-lift cam.

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Rear quarter view of the GTO

Offered without reserve at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction, this 1966 Pontiac GTO custom convertible received a color change to burgundy during its restoration. The GTO retains its numbers-matching 389cid V8 engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.55 geared rear axle.

The restoration of this GTO included several modern upgrades such as a Vintage Air conditioning unit, power steering and a Pioneer stereo in the glove box with amp and subwoofer in trunk. Additionally, the GTO features Wilwood power disc brakes in the front and rear. It has 18-inch wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers.

This 1966 Pontiac GTO custom convertible and the rest of the Tammy Allen Collection will be crossing the block at no reserve as part of Barrett-Jackson’s ninth annual Las Vegas Auction, October 13-15 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. For more information, visit www.Barrett-Jackson.com/Bid or call 480-421-6694. Absentee bidding options powered by Proxibid are also available.

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