The GTO
by Mike Guyette

Two streetable GTOs were built in 1982 on 1981 platforms. Although modifications of the Daytona racer were extensive, the most notable changes were the hood, rear spoiler and kevlar brake fans.

The big block in their GTO race car required use of a higher profile hood to clear the Greenwood crossram fuel injection system. John and Burt redesigned the hood, concentrating more on exhausting underhood pressure through vacuum assist (rather than having drag-inducing air flow through NACA ducts), ultimately exiting at the base of the windshield. As air flowed over the GTO hood, it would be directed around and over the raised center, drawing trapped heat out the side vents. The elimination of the NACA ducts reduced drag to some extent, aiding the GTO’s slippery shape.

IMSA rule changes dictated a modification to the Daytona body style for 1982. The long tail had been outlawed, and was replaced by a short stubby spoiler, similar, to, but somewhat meatier than, that of the stock 1982 model. Fenders were smoothed over and narrowed slightly - subtle changes resulting from even more track testing of the Daytona.

The brake cooling fans made by BBS did their job well in helping to cool the brakes on the Daytona, but their deep-dish design also did little with regards to reducing aerodynamic drag. They were reshaped for 1982 in that they were made to fit flush with the BBS wheels. Only the centers were recessed to accommodate either racing hubs or stock bolt patterns. (These wheel fans, incidently, are shaped very much like the stock 1984 Corvette wheels).

The evermore aerodynamic GTO became the quintessential high speed suction cup, so much so, that T&R Racing replaced the Daytona body with a GTO body and reintroduced the car to IMSA road racing as #13. Typical of many Greenwood race cars, and thanks in part to the refined aerodynamics, the T&R Racing Greenwood GTO broke track records of over 200 mph.

Many styling and performance cues were borrowed from the Daytona, including turbo installation, opening hatch and suspension mods. The GTO’s rather “subtle” styling wasn’t on par with that of the Daytona and hence the GTO didn’t receive the press that was bestowed upon its predecessor. Although the knockoff GTO turbo was slightly less radical than the Daytona, the GTO was considered better looking.

Street production resulted in two black cars, one with saddle interior, one with red. The first car was later repainted a reddish/orange color. I had the pleasure of viewing GTO Number One back in 1991 when I was on a Greenwood scouting expedition. This car was virtually new with only 135 miles on the odometer! It was on a trailer about to be brought back to Greenwood’s shop in Florida to be used as a down payment on a new G383. It was later resold to a collector in New York.

The second GTO is one of only two Greenwood turbocharged cars to have a four-speed transmission (the other is 1981 Daytona #001, which resides in the National Corvette Museum). Unfortunately, the second GTO was wrecked not long after it was delivered. It sat languishing in Florida for many years before being purchased by a restoration shop in Texas. This car has since undergone a complete restoration.

As in past street car projects, the GTO could be purchased as a complete turnkey car or in pieces for the do-it-yourselfer. One could order the necessary parts to build a replica GTO directly from John Greenwood International in Altamonte Springs, FL. This included hood, rear spoiler, door skins, rocker panels, front surround and bumper, the five-link rear suspension and coil-over shocks. About the only piece missing was the Turbo International induction system, but that, or a comparable turbo system was available via a number of aftermarket vendors.

Due to copycatting of previous Greenwood designs by unauthorized manufacturers, the GTO body parts were made exclusively by Greenwood International. None of the Greenwood body styles were ever patented, resulting in several manufacturers duplicating body parts and even a few complete cars. Although these replicas can be considered “Greenwood designed”, they are not, at the very least, Greenwood authorized.

Identification
Although the rear bumper and hood of the GTO parts were available directly from Greenwood, the GTO body was not pirated by any other fiberglass manufacturers. Replicas have yet to be found of this, the final Greenwood C3 "series" built cars. The rear bumper has the Greenwood name recessed into it . The lettering on the rocker panels reads "Greenwood / GTO". It is unknown if GTO #1 had any serial plaque, but #2 doesn't. Like the Daytonas, both GTOs were sold through Rick Mancuso's Lake Forest Sports Cars dealership in Chicago, IL.