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My Favorite Car: 1968 Pontiac GTO, Robert S. Mantler, Tampa

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Published Sep. 24, 2013

'68 Pontiac GTO

The 1968 Pontiac GTO is my favorite car and almost my first. My story starts in 1968 in St. Louis, where I grew up and was heading into my senior year of high school. My father bought himself the 1968 GTO, below, Mayfair Maze in color with a darker vinyl top. If I did all my chores all week, homework and took care of my little brother, I got to drive it — and I've never had a ticket or accident to this day! I knew that car inside and out, taking the chrome frame guards off to wax and clean each inch weekly. My girlfriend called it "the other woman" endearingly — she loved it as well. Unfortunately, my father passed away two weeks after graduation in June of 1969. Everything in my world changed. We had to sell the GTO and I got a Volkswagen convertible, but I promised myself, some day, I would find another before I turned old: 60. So my life, career, marriage, kids happened and then I found "her" — red as red can get — in Brooksville three years ago. The ONE! I am the third owner and the car's original color was the same as my dad's. I took that as a sign and it is "the other woman" in my life. P.S. The license plate is GO GOAT (a term used in the day for GTO).

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