Mastermind Behind The GTO Muscle Car Legend Visits Tulsa

Friday, July 16th 2010, 4:45 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The man who helped launch one of the world's first muscle cars is in Tulsa to spend time with fellow Pontiac lovers.

Jim Wangers came to town for the Tulsa Pontiac Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park.

The event is hosted by the Indian Nations chapter of the Pontiac-Oakland Club International, an organization dedicated to restoring and preserving Pontiac, Oakland and GMC vehicles.

Wangers was the chief marketing manager for Pontiac in the 1960s, when three men came up with the idea of putting a big engine in a smaller car.  It was his job to publicize the resulting vehicle, called the GTO, which became an international sensation.

Wangers is now touring the country with a 1966 GTO called the GeeTO Tiger. It's a new version of a car he dreamed up in 1965. 

With the GTO in its second model year, Wangers wanted to showcase the car's performance, so he organized races of two identically prepared GTOs at drag strips across the country.

This weekend he'll be meeting Pontiac fans, watching cars try to beat the GeeTO Tiger and giving anyone who's feeling a little nostalgic a quick trip back to the birth of the muscle car.

The Tulsa Pontiac Nationals runs all day Saturday, July 17th, with the track opening at 7:30 a.m.  Spectator admission is $15.  Visit the track's website for more information.