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Ronny And The Daytonas Song 'Little GTO' Explained
by Mark on 11/18/2006 (3)

Little GTO!
Three deuce carbs 'hot setup', 1966
Ever listen to the classic old Ronnie and the Daytonas song "Little GTO" and wonder what the words meant?

Below is a line by line analysis of the song 'Little GTO' (self-explanatory lines ignored) and what they mean. After absorbing their meaning, it's easy to see what inspired song writer John Wilkin to pen them in the first place. Vrooom!

Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine

One of the all time classic Great American Muscle cars of the 60's and 70's. In 1964 the early stages of the muscle car era were dominated by full size cars. At GM, corporate policy prohibited any intermediate size car from having engines greater than 330 cubic inch displacement. The engineers at Pontiac had a different idea. They boldly made their 389 CID engine an option on the mid size Tempest and called the option package GTO, which copied Ferrari's GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) model. The car that was marketed under a Tiger motif, but soon became known as the "Goat".

Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389

'Three deuces' refers to the 3 carburetor "hot setup". In 1964, the base GTO engine was a 389 cubic inch topped with a Carter four bbl. carburetor. As potent as it was, the hot set-up consisted of a set of three vacuum controlled Rochester two bbl carburetors, known as the tri-power option. Three carburetors increase engine power significantly at high RPM's. The three deuce hot setup can be seen in the lower picture.

'4-speed' refers to the manual transmission. The GTO came stock with a 3 speed manual transmission, with the 4 speed as an upgrade option. The first 1964 GTO, equipped with Motor Trends four-speed, 325-hp engine, rocketed from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and blasted through the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds at 93 mph.

'389' refers to the Pontiac CID 389 cubic inch engine. Available mills got bigger in 1970 with a 455 cubic inch, although maximum horsepower (370) was produced by the 400 cubic inch engine. Pollution control regulations became aggressive in 1974, and subsequent engine displacement and horsepower predictably dipped, the last year of the GTO.

Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine

'Tachin' up' refers to the tachometer, an instrument that indicates the speed, usually in revolutions per minute, at which an engine shaft is rotating. Revving an engine hard is referred as 'tachin' up'.

C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO
Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")

You oughta see her on a road course or a quarter mile
This little modified Pon-Pon has got plenty of style

'Pon-Pon' was a pet name for Pontiac. Road course and quarter mile are 2 types of race track format. A road course is an oval, while the quarter mile is linear.

She beats the gassers and the rail jobs, really drives 'em why-ee-eye-ild C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

A Gasser is a super charged gas coupe, popular in the 40's, 50's and 60's. In the late 1950s, thousands of street legal hot rods participated in organized drag races across the country-they ran in three major classes: Gas, Modified Production, and Modified Sport. Racers soon discovered that small, lightweight cars were the fastest, and the classic Gasser was born. The classic 1960's puffed appearance of the gass

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1. by Eric on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
My 3 1/2 year old son loves cars. We go to the local car shows on the weekends. My wife is always singing this song. It was fun to explain to my son what mom has been singing about. Thanks for the great article. </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
2. by on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
Thanks for reading!ispl </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
3. by Ted Tyszka on 11/13/2008 8:45:42 AM
44 years of loving this song, and I finally learned the "pon-pon" line and its meaning. Thanks. src </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>

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