While we may have left the original Pontiac GTO out of this lineup, by 1973, the muscle car era was mostly over. Still, Pontiac had a new direction to go with its original top-seller, and the 1973 version is definitely worth checking out. What’s important to note is that in 1973, new federal regulations were coming into play to quell pollution and unleaded gas was on the uptick across the country.
While most car companies started to gut muscle cars in favor of more environmentally-friendly options, Pontiac went for one last “hoorah” with the 1973 Pontiac GTO. The GTO seemingly had the engine of a muscle car, with options for both a 400 cubic inch V-8, and an optional 455 cubic inch V-8, but the various new regulations took a lot of power out of the car.
That said, Pontiac had a lot of practice with previous versions and used its ingenuity to furnish a better suspension, better handling, and an overall smoother ride than any GTO before it. Though some muscle car enthusiasts look sideways at the 1973 GTO as less than it should have been, people who have driven them say their handling and power still make them great muscle cars.