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GTO Sales in Canada


I got an inquiry from a gentleman in Montreal regarding what year GTOs were available for sale in Canada. He is writing an article on a 1965 GTO convertible. I do not believe GTOs were sold in Canada until 1969 or 1970. I think production of Pontiac GTOs at the Oshawa plant was only for the 1970 and 1973 model years.

 

Can anyone clarify what model years were sold at dealers in Canada?



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'73 Oshawa Built LSC GT
'73 400 4-spd GTO
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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Hey Bill,

GTO's were always available in Canada but not through regular GM Canada dealer system. A number of authorized dealers across the country, usually a couple in the big cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver would import the car in for you if you had the bank roll and desire to do so. These dealers would get any US spec Pontiac for you on the same basis, pay the huge duty and price premium, very very few Canadian buyers went for top end cars like GTO, Grand Prix and Bonneville. As a result it was very very uncommon to see a GTO or other US spec Pontiac here in Canada. Our neighbours at the Cottage had a 1961 Bonneville brought in, Midnight Blue, we had a Strato Chief in the same colour, man what a difference, I still love the triple round taillights on the 61 Bonneville. 

1969 was the first year that GTO was available in the mainstream dealer network. As you know GTO's were only built in Oshawa in 1970 and 1973 (231 were built for Canada in '73). I had the production figures on the '70 from that time I documented the 70 judge convertible but can't put my fingers on them right now, of course no convertibles were built in Canada in 1970.

PS: I see that a new entry into the NEW members car registry shows all the 1970 production data you could care to know, see the Orbit Orange Judge details. 



-- Edited by 73SC on Monday 21st of December 2015 05:04:08 PM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

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Poncho Master!

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What Ray said! :)


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Victoria, BC

NOS


Poncho Master!

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I Moved  to London, ON in 1966 and GTO's were a common sight. I remember visiting Sinclair Pontiac on a Sunday morning and not only 5 'goats' in a row on the lot and a  convertible in the showroom. A business aquaitence purchased a tri power convertible, don't remember which dealer. London Motor Products campaigned '66 or '67 'goats' at the track. A friend purchased a "67 GTO ; convertible from a dealer near Chatham. I seem to remember that a GTO was about $4100.00 and a  SS Chevelle  was in the   $33-3500.00  area. The '68's and 69" were quite common.

 

dale @ NOS     a poncho suporter

but London was the drag racing centre of Canada:. 8 double fuel Dragsters, Rankin Ford 'Wild child", Billy the kid Wells' Fargo" all record holders



-- Edited by NOS on Monday 21st of December 2015 07:47:40 PM

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I'm pretty sure member Delta Tango's 69 GTO was Oshawa built.  Oddly equipped with a 400 2 bbl.



-- Edited by seventy2plus2 on Monday 21st of December 2015 11:57:14 PM

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70 2+2 convertible
70 2+2 hardtop
70 Parisienne hardtop
72 GMC Sierra

 

 



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NOS wrote:

I Moved  to London, ON in 1966 and GTO's were a common sight. I remember visiting Sinclair Pontiac on a Sunday morning and not only 5 'goats' in a row on the lot and a  convertible in the showroom. A business aquaitence purchased a tri power convertible, don't remember which dealer. London Motor Products campaigned '66 or '67 'goats' at the track. A friend purchased a "67 GTO ; convertible from a dealer near Chatham. I seem to remember that a GTO was about $4100.00 and a  SS Chevelle  was in the   $33-3500.00  area. The '68's and 69" were quite common.

 

dale @ NOS     a poncho suporter

but London was the drag racing centre of Canada:. 8 double fuel Dragsters, Rankin Ford 'Wild child", Billy the kid Wells' Fargo" all record holders



-- Edited by NOS on Monday 21st of December 2015 07:47:40 PM


 Yes there did seem to be quite a few around London, still are. I know of 2 67's that have been around for a long time, since the 70's at least. My old '67 I bought in Ingersoll. It went to Tillsonburg. It was originally sold new in Pennsylvania, and had the rust to prove it.

The people I bought my house from in Woodstock in 94 had a red '67 parked in the garage when I went to look at the house.

Living in Nova Scotia in the '70's I seen a few. Mostly Navy servicemen. A friend had a '65 that had come up from NY I think.



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Poncho Master!

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I have heard of a 1965, 1967 & 1968 GTO sold new in Canada. As Ray pointed out, it was not a cheap proposition. Finally in 1969 the GTO was widely available and generally advertised in Canada. Because of that, the SD-396 was relegated to a sort of Road Runner, a stripped musclecar that was offered only on the base Beaumont "Deluxe" series (like a Chevelle300 Deluxe). The GTO had the ready-made prestige image. As a kid I remember Esso in Canada was offering a chance to win a GTO, or perhaps it was a Monkeemobile, back in the mid-to-late 60s.

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Poncho Master!

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It seems to me that in 1970 they only made 168 GTO Judge convertibles. Most had some form of a high performance 400, but they were also offered with the 455 torque motor. Only one Judge convertible was sold in Canada with the 455 for 1970.



-- Edited by CdnGMfan on Monday 21st of December 2015 10:58:20 PM

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67 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe, Oshawa-built stocker 250 Powerglide 40,000 mile

Also in garage waiting: stroker 296 cid inline six & built TH350

Cameron Milne, Toronto.


I am a walking encyclopedia with numerous pages missing.



Poncho Master!

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My $500 69 GTO was built in Baltimore MD and sold new in Regina.

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And my 70 GTO was built in Oshawa and sold new in Toronto.

DSCF2155a.JPG

 



-- Edited by dcneric on Tuesday 22nd of December 2015 08:56:34 AM

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Eric - Regina, SK

The Projects:

1935 Chev 3 Window Std Coupe

1967 Mustang Convertible

1969 Firebird 350HO Convertible

1969 Camaro X11-V8

1969 GTO

1969 Parisienne

1969 2+2 was a 396

1969 2+2 427

1978 Chevy Short Box Step Side 4x4

1980 Harley FXWG

1986 CJ7 Jeep

 



Poncho Master!

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My "68 GTO was sold new at Sinclair Pontiac Buick in London.Very pricey at $5,794 but quite a few options. 



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Poncho Master!

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dcneric wrote:

And my 70 GTO was built in Oshawa and sold new in Toronto.

 

 What dealer in Toronto?

 



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Addicted!

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Most of the above is true but a few clarifications;

the only GTO's built in Canada were 70 and 73.

GTO's and other "American" Pontiacs were always available but were very expensive and special ordered. My friend ordered a 67 GTO post coupe with a 400HO, 4 speed and just about no other options. He paid over $5,000 for a car that sold for about $3,400 in the US and even adjusted for the currency difference at that time it was still 20-25% more expensive. In 69 he traded it for a 69 GTO convertible with a lot of options that would retail for about $4,300 in the US and paid only $4,600 in Canada for it. The reason for this is that GM had an exemption from import duties because of it's Canadian manufacturing operations as per the Auto Pact but when Pontiacs were imported special order by dealers or others they were subject to those duties.

GM didn't want to import American Pontiac's because it wanted to protect the market for its very successful Canadian Chevy based Pontiacs which needed a certain production level to be viable and profitable. The success of Canadian Pontiac was based on the fact that they were cheap! In the US the base price of a basic Catalina was well over $400 more than the cheapest fullsize chevy. By using all the Chevy drivetrain, chassis and most interior components base price of a Canadian Pontiac was only about $60 above the base Chevy. This is why Pontiac market share in Canada was well over double that of what it was in the US, you got the "prestige" of owning a mid priced car name at just about the price of one of the low priced three. I've always wondered why they didn't do the same thing in the US, perhaps to protect the market image of Pontiac as a higher priced car there?

The first crack in the wall was the 67 Firebird which was imported by GM Canada I Imagine to not miss out on having a sporty car for Pontiac dealers, I wonder why they didn't repeat the pattern by producing slightly modified Camaros for Canadian consumption as Pontiacs like the Beaumont and Acadian? Perhaps the availability of a 6 in the Firebird and it already having a Chevy interior already reduced the Pontiac price gap that it wasn't worth the effort to make a specific model? In 69 GM of Canada also began importing the GTO and the new Grand Prix. In 70 the doors swung wide open with the rest of the A bodies and even B bodies being made available.

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John

Montreal 

13 1969 American Pontiacs

and a 1969 Canadian 2+2



Addicted!

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last point, just about all 69 GTO's sold in Canada were built in Baltimore but late in the model year some from the Pontiac home plant were imported. All 70 GTO's sold new in Canada I've ever seen were either Oshawa or Pontiac built

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John

Montreal 

13 1969 American Pontiacs

and a 1969 Canadian 2+2

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