Home Travel Stories Gas Logs 1967 PONTIAC GTO 400-4bbl MPG= 11.7 City
1967 PONTIAC GTO 400-4bbl MPG= 11.7 City PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Thursday, 23 June 2016 18:38

1967 PONTIAC GTO 400-4bbl MPG= 11.7 City


Writing copyright D. S. Brown/ Research, photography and gas log tables courtesy and copyright William Nawrot

Metric= 6.6 L engine- 20.1 L/100 km City- Overall


In this article we profile a 1967 Pontiac GTO owned by William Nawrot. See more about this car in the story in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website about Kole Pontiac where Bill bought this car new. The story is filed under Illinois/ Chicagoland Dealers.



MOTOR TREND Jan, 1967 tested two identically set up Pontiac GTOs. Both were 400 4bbl Ram Air cars with 3.90:1 axles. One had the new for 1967 3 speed automatic and the other ran the close ratio 4 speed. The cars had been Bobcatted by Milt Schornack of Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan. This meant higher compression, larger jets on the carburetor and advanced timing. Despite these cars being brutal performers (0-60 in 4.9 for the 4 speed car!) MT got 13.5 MPG on the Highway and 11.5 MPG City driving. These were low 14 second cars in the quarter riding on F70x 14 Wide Oval street tires. The curb weight of the 4 speed was 3,445 pounds while the automatic was 3,490 pounds.

The 1966 Pontiac GTO had a nearly identical body to the 1967 but the 1966 389 engine didn't 'breathe' as well as the new 400 which had improved heads in addition to slightly larger displacement.

Looking at tests of a 1966 GTO can give a rough indication of how that particular bodystyle and engine size performs.

CAR & DRIVER March, 1966 did a supercar test of the popular intermediate musclecars. They commented on the temperamental nature of their 1966 Pontiac GTO Tri-Power 389 test car. The 3,620 pound GTO had the Bobcat package, a 4 speed and a 3.55:1 axle. It scorched the quarter in 14.05 seconds but only managed 11 MPG in steady freeway driving.

CAR LIFE May 1966 compared a 1966 Pontiac GTO with a 1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint. The 1966 GTO had a 389 with 4 barrel, 4 speed and 3.08:1 axle which squeezed out 12.4 MPG despite performance testing. Ordinary driving was expected to produce around 13-16 MPG for this 3,620 curb weight car.

Contrast this to the lightweight 1966 LeMans Sprint (3,430 pounds curb) with straight six 230 cubic inch OHC and a 4 barrel, 4 speed and 3.55:1 axle. The Sprint managed 13.4 MPG during testing and was expected to give 14-17 MPG under normal use. The GTO screamed to 60 MPH in 6.8 seconds while the Sprint needed 8.2 seconds. Where the Sprint excelled was in handling due to the light front end mated to the performance suspension.

The gas mileage website FUELLY.COM has records of 23 fill-ups for a 1967 Pontiac GTO starting in 2014 which yielded an average of 8.8 MPG.


OOCC 1967 PONTIAC GTO 400-4bbl MPG= 11.7 City

Bill Nawrot's first new car was this Tyrol Blue 1967 Pontiac GTO. On April 27, 1967 Bill's GTO came off the line at the Pontiac, Michigan final assembly plant. On May 1, 1967 it was unloaded onto the dealership lot at Kole Pontiac Inc, Oak Lawn, Illinois. Bill took delivery two days later on May 3. Bill can be seen posing with his car below. Note the red plastic inner fender liners which Bill added to the car soon after purchase.

67 Pontiac GTO new Bill Nawrot

Bill's GTO was ordered with minimal options. He stood pat with the base 3 speed heavy duty floor shifted manual transmission. Bill 'fell' for a 3 speed GTO owned by a neighbor and has had a soft spot in his heart for 3 speed manual GTOs ever since. In fact Bill later ordered another GTO new that was also blue and also had a 3 speed manual. Bill still owns that 1972 GTO which can be seen in the ONE OWNER section of the CAR STORIES on this website.

When Bill was drafted into the US Army he reluctantly sold his 1967 GTO to a guy from Berwyn, Illinois in September, 1968. The photo below was taken in Alsip, Illinois shortly before Bill sold the car.

67 Pontiac GTO Bill Nawrot aug 68

The photo below was taken Aug 1, 1968. Soon after this Bill was in the service and his beloved GTO was gone.

67 GTO Bill Nawrot aug 1 1968

Bill would love to find his first car again and asks any readers who may know anything about the car to please drop a line to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The window sticker below lists all the options and includes the VIN 242177P261831.

Bill's 1967 GTO was built Thursday, April 27, 1967 at the GM factory in Pontiac, Michigan. Thursday is traditionally a good day for quality assembly practices. There are usually less sick replacement workers learning by trial and error on the production line on a Thursday. The GTO was painted F code Tyrol Blue with a 923 code blue interior. It had the basic GTO engine 400-4 bbl- dual exhaust 350 HP, three speed heavy duty manual transmission, 3.55:1 axle ratio, and F70 x 14 red line tires.

The GTO was ordered with only six Options:

1) 501 Power steering

2) 454 Rally 1 wheels 

3) 531 Soft Ray tint on all windows

4) 472 Console

5) SVT Cordova top

6) 431 Deluxe seatbelts front and back

Bill's GTO remained all original except for the addition of the red fender liners and the aftermarket radio. It has four wheel drum brakes which create less drag than the front disc option.

Bill's car was never in an accident. Cars with perfect alignment get better MPG and this one tracked true.

Bill didn't attempt to check to see if the odometer was out of whack, which was a common problem on 1960s cars. Often the odometer could be out anywhere from 3 to 10 percent. All our mileage figures in this article are uncorrected numbers.

dealer kole 67 GTO Nawrot window sticker

Bill's 1967 GTO was lightweight. The AMA spec sheet for 1967 states that the hardtop 1967 GTO weighed 3,598 pounds which is a mere 5 pounds more than the post coupe. Bill's GTO is not laden with any of the heavy options like A/C (124 lbs) or the TH 400 3 speed automatic transmission (adds 50 lbs over the manual shift). Bill's Power steering adds a mere 28 pounds. The console and cordova top probably only added 5- 10 more pounds at the very most. Later Bill added an aftermarket radio to the car which is only about 8 more pounds.

The Pontiac GTO is fairly light for such a large car. The GTO is 206.4 inches long, 74.4 inches wide and 52.4 inches high. This was just an intermediate sized car in the 1960s but a full sized car by today's standards. 1960s cars didn't weigh much despite extravagant non functional heavy steel design cues in the all metal bodies. Weight is held down with an absence of airbags, 5 mph bumpers, and safety steel beams in the doors, roll over standard reinforced roofs, catalytic converters, GPS, stability control computers, engine management computers, quadraphonic stereos etc.

Bill's GTO with options weighs about 3,626 pounds with fluids topped up. In metric that is 1,645 kg.

When we add Bill's driver weight we end up with a 3,776 pound car with oil, coolant, no passengers and a frequently full gas tank.

The essential use of the GTO was purportedly for work but Bill put in a lot of cruising hours behind the wheel. When Bill worked at Kole Pontiac (June to October, 1967) his work commute was 6 miles each way. 60 miles per week times 17 weeks equals 1,020 miles. Bill next worked for the phone company from Dec, 1967 to Aug, 1968. His commute was further: 10 miles each way. Bill drove 100 miles a week times 4 weeks of work in December, 1967 which adds another 400 miles work commute for that year. In 1967 Bill drove his GTO 1,420 miles for work but managed to wrap up the year with 10,388 miles on the GTO. Nearly 9,000 'extra' miles is a LOT of cruising!

Bill usually filled up with Shell Premium gasoline. Back in 1967 all gas was leaded and octane was quite high by today's standards. In the 1960s gasoline was rated by a single system: Research Octane Number. Current octane ratings average the Research Octane Number and the Motor Octane Number which lowers the apparent octane rating of fuel that would be considered very high using the single RON method. What this means is that a gasoline rated at 100 octane in 1967 would be about 95 octane measured by today's pump rating system.

Bill's GTO had redline tires and he followed the tire inflation numbers printed inside the glove box door. The 1967 GTO placard states that the Vehicle load limit is 1,100 pounds and standard inflation (cold tires) is 24 PSI front and 32 PSI rear. The Standard inflation assumes full rated load (over 5 passengers). The optional inflation pressures (reduced load which is 1-5 passengers) is 24 both front and rear.

Most of Bill's driving was work commute and easy cruising with an occasional street race. But Bill does recall doing a lot of burn outs!

Below is a synopsis of the gas logs from new until the end of 1967.

67 GTO bill nawrot gas log synopsis 1

Gas logs part one start from brand new in May 1967

67 GTO bill nawrot gas log synopsis 2

In Bill's original gas logs most entries only contain the cash amount. The entry for 5,212 miles conversely lists only the amount of 16.7 gallons and not the price.

However some entries contain quantity and cost so we can extrapolate an average cost to calculate gallons added for entries lacking quantity.

The June 22 entry for 2,007 miles lists the price and quantity. 16 gallons cost $5.75 which correlates with Bill's recollection of always paying $0.35.9 a gallon.

The July 5 entry at 2,478 miles records 16 gallons spiking in cost to $6.61 which works out to $0.41 a gallon.

October 7 at 5,583 and Oct 9 at 5,781 both show 15 gallons costing $6.00 which translates to $0.39.9 a gallon, but Bill suspects that these prices were not the norm.

Bill didn't always fill up. He frequently just added an even dollar amount such as $6.00 which would take the tank near to the top again. However, this gas log can be deciphered to provide the MPG by taking the overall use over total mileage which can factor out small discrepancies that arise when tallying mileage from tank to tank when not totally filled.

Column two lists the gallons with the abbreviation 'apx' to indicate that this is an approximate amount which was calculated using 35.9 cents per gallon as the benchmark price. The July 1 entry of 2,321.4 was calculated using 40 cents per gallon which is the mid point in price between June 22 and July 5 where gas varied between 39 and 41 cents per gallon. Summer gas prices tend to be a bit higher.

By October, 1967 two 15 gallon fill ups that cost $6.00 reveal gas price to be 40 cents per gallon which is used to determine gallon amounts in the later section of the log. When it is not possible to calculate MPG due to missing entries or a partial fill only the letters 'n.a.' appear which means 'not available'.

The first section of entries below total 1,327.5 miles of driving using 123.8 gallons of gas which equals 10.72 MPG. Tallying the individually calculated figures totals 86.8 which divided by 8 entries is 10.85 MPG. The GTO subsequently posted better mileage figures likely because the new engine was fully broken in in the later gas log entries.

Odometer  Gallons      MPG (uncorrected)

22.8          16.7 apx    n.a.

204.7        16.0 apx    11.4

371.4        16.7 apx    10.0

498.7        13.9 apx     9.1

697.6        13.9 apx    14.3

830.7        16.7 apx     8.0

1,010        19.5 apx     9.2

1,218.6     15.3 apx    13.6

1,350.3     11.8 apx    11.2

The entries below cover about 2,700 miles but do not provide a consistent run of figures. The three individual entries where MPG can be calculated range from a low of 9.8 to a high of 13.1 MPG. Dividing the total entries by three yields 11.4 MPG average.

Odometer  Gallons      MPG (uncorrected)

1,508        Unknown   n.a.

?              Unknown   n.a.

1,825        Unknown   n.a.

2,007        16.0          n.a.

2,168        Unknown   n.a.

2,321.4     15.2          n.a.

2,478        16             9.8

2,640         5.0 apx     n.a.

2,751        15.8 apx    13.1

?               Unknown   n.a.

?               Unknown   n.a.

3,325        16.8 apx     n.a.

3,525        17.5 apx     11.4

?               Unknown   n.a.

3,926        Unknown    n.a.

4,210        14.6 apx     n.a.

?               Unknown   n.a.

The entries below cover 2,836 miles of driving using 238.5 gallons of gasoline which equals 11.89 MPG. The individually tallied figures from each fill up total 191.4. Divided by 15 entries this less accurate average is 12.76 MPG.

Odometer  Gallons      MPG (uncorrected)

4,607        15.6 apx    n.a.

4,816        16.5 apx    12.7

5,017        15.0 apx    13.4

5,212        16.7          11.7

5,402        14.4 apx    13.2

5,583        15.0          12.1

5,781        15.0          13.2

5,971        13.8 apx    13.8

6,160        15.0 apx    12.6

6,344        14.0 apx    13.1

6,531        15.0 apx    12.5

6,687         5.0 apx     n.a.

6,755        12.5 apx   12.8

6,940        15.0 apx   12.3

7,082        10.0 apx   14.2

7,255        15.0 apx   11.3

7,443        15.0 apx   12.5

The last section of the log below covering 2,784 miles of driving contains fragmented information but towards the end there are three consecutive fills which provide some data. It took 33.1 gallons to drive the 406 miles from 9,885 to 10,291 on the odometer which is 12.27 MPG. Adding the three individually calculated MPG entries yields 40.2 which is 13.4 when divided by three.

Odometer  Gallons      MPG (uncorrected)

7,604        Unknown   n.a.

7,763        Unknown   n.a.

7,945        15.5 apx    n.a.

8,159        Unknown   n.a.

8,362        5.0 apx      n.a.

8,410        Unknown   n.a.

8,609        Unknown   n.a.

8,781        Unknown   n.a

8,973        Unknown   n.a.

?              Unknown   n.a.

9,267        5.0 apx     n.a.

9,545        Unknown  n.a.

9,855        12.5 apx   n.a.

10,001      12.5 apx   11.7

10,079      10.6 apx    7.3

10,291      10.0 apx   21.2

10,388      Unknown  n.a.

Looking back over the entire run of logs there were three stretches of records which allowed calculation of mileage over time which will smooth out spikes in the records. The three figures are: 10.85, 11.89, and 12.27 MPG. The first figure is lower because at that time the engine was 'tighter' and still being broken in. Averaging these figures provides the overall figure of 11.67 MPG.

Bill's GTO soundly beat the city MPG posted by the 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass profiled in these GAS LOGS. The GTO and Cutlass are very close in dimensions although the Cutlass was 200 lbs lighter due to its smaller 330 engine.

Incredibly Bill's GTO slightly exceeded the city MPG of the 1967 Pontiac Beaumont in these GAS LOGS. The Beaumont is the Canadian equivalent to the Pontiac Lemans. The Beaumont had a puny 283 cubic inch engine and 2 barrel carburetor mated with the shorter and lighter Chevelle body coupled to the lightweight 2 speed Powerglide automatic. The Beaumont only managed 11.5 MPG overall in the city.

Part of the explanation derives from the colder weather the Cutlass and Beaumont had to slog through. The MPG figures for the Cutlass and Beaumont were also recorded in the 1990s when traffic congestion was worse. Illinois streets in the 1960s had longer stretches between traffic lights and less gridlock. Bill also logged many hours out cruising pretty late at night with light traffic for most of the miles.

The Cutlass and Beaumont did have advantages denied to the GTO and yet still posted much lower efficiency. The Cutlass and Beaumont had the advantage of running radial tires inflated to 35 PSI. Bill's GTO was pushing thru squirmy energy robbing bias tires set at a soft 24 PSI which sucks up MPG. The Cutlass and Beaumont also required less work to push through the lower friction modern engine oils.

That high compression GTO engine drinking leaded premium is just more efficient than a 9.5:1 Oldsmobile or Chevy motor using unleaded gas. Also the parasitic loses of automatic transmissions that were hampered by a mere 2 forward speeds lose out to Bill's non slip 3 speed manual.


Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 April 2017 10:30 )