MPC made GTO racing model kits, too, starting with the '67 Mr. Unswitchable funny car and ending in '71 with the street funny GTO. The most famous of this funny-car series was legendary Pontiac racer Arnie Beswick's '69 Super Judge. MPC also produced a '70 GTO roundy-round car, David Pearson's '71 NASCAR GTO (in clear plastic), and a Pro Stock version of the '72 GTO named Screamin' Eagle. These kits were not produced year-round—they were only made for a limited time and discontinued, making them much rarer than the annuals.
MPC went into the slot-car business in 1966, mounting promo bodies on an all-new aluminum chassis with a specially designed Dyn O Sidewinder engine. These toys came in several versions and colors and retailed for about $13. The MPC GTO slot car was also available in 1967 with a new frame and Dyn-o-Can engine design, but sales had fallen off drastically that year, making them much rarer than the '66 model.
One of the GTO's many promotions involved Thom McAn shoes. This retailer sold a product line of shoes "to fit the Tiger" and gave away '66 and '67 GTOs as grand prizes in the promotions. Every Thom McAn shoe store had a special 1:25-scale, gold GTO hardtop promotional model on display with special decals on the side. Since these were true promotional models and not for sale, many went home with the shoe salesmen. Very few survive today.
MPC produced four flip-top GTO funny cars and a street funny: the ’67 Mr. Unswitchable, th
Airfix from the United Kingdom (in partnership with MPC) produced the rarest annual GTO kit in 1967. Airfix was a major hobby supplier and purchased kits from other suppliers outside the U.K. and repackaged them for sale to fill a void in its product lineup. In this case, the artwork on the box was from the '66 GTO brochure with a color change and airbrushed to look like a '67 GTO. Airfix sold several repackaged MPC kits outside of the USA.
Another 1967 rarity is the black GTO hardtop promo. This special promo was built and handed out at a top-level engineering meeting headed by Pontiac General Manager John Z. DeLorean. It is rumored that only a few hundred copies were ever produced.
In 1968, MPC joined forces with Cox to produce one of the rarest GTO collectables. Cox was known for its slot cars and flying, scale-model airplanes powered by a small piston-driven engine. This baby blue '68 GTO (powered by the high-performance .020 engine) retailed for about $20. It did not sell well. Very few were produced and most were destroyed from use, just like the Cox airplanes. These GTO models suffered many crashes (the fuel also tended to eat into the plastic of the promo bodies), making them one of the most sought after GTO scale-models today.
A red GTO promo was produced in 1970. It came in a box marked "GTO 500 Prize Code," and was given away at Pontiac dealers when a person signed up for a promotion to win one of six '70 GTOs.
By 1971, the GTO promos were only available in two colors: Quezal Gold and Canyon Copper. A third-color GTO promo was produced in Carousel Red, but it was not for distribution to the dealers. This model was produced for an architecture firm that wanted real-looking car models for their scale architecture models. The firm had four special color models made from the MPC lineup—one was a Carousel Red '71 GTO. These are highly collectable and difficult to find in perfect condition.
Almost all of the original '64-'72 GTO annual kits were reproduced in following years. Let's take a look at some of the most popular of the original GTO scale models.
The gold ’66 and ’67 GTO Thom McAn promotionals were never offered to the general public.
Two of the rarest GTO collectables came out in ’67—the Airfix GTO annual and the black har
No Judge scale-model promos were ever produced, but it is not difficult to reproduce them.
The Dean Jeffries-customized ’66 GTO Monkeemobile was available in white and red versions.
Of all the GTO plastic collectibles, the ’68 Cox GTO is the most difficult to find, and on
AMT and MPC produced special GTO modified race kits, ’65 and ’70 dirt trackers, the clear-