Enjoy this week's RetroRadio PICK!!
Artist(s): The Tigers
Song title: - GeeTO Tiger
Year - 1965
· The one and only Geeto Tiger!
· The most famous GTO of all time
· GTO holy grail!!!
Pontiac advertising executive Jim Wangers’ specialty was creating winning combinations. When he partnered with Royal Pontiac, George Hurst and Petersen Publishing in 1965 to further boost sales of performance parts and the hot-selling GTO, the result was a nationwide contest based on a song recorded by a band called "The Tigers" on the Colpix label. And that song was… "GeeTO Tiger."
Pontiac featured the record in many of its advertisements, and in total, over 450,000 GeeTO TIGER albums were distributed.
All promotional versions had a record sleeve or an insert with instructions on how to enter the "Win a Tiger!" contest, and prizes were listed, with the grand prize being a specially-prepared 1965 Pontiac GTO. Equipped with over 28 factory options plus special gold Hurst mag wheels, a special Hurst Gold paint job and a gold-plated Hurst Shifter, it was the ultimate GTO and the ultimate promotional vehicle. Jim Wangers described it as “a total street machine, the nicest GTO you could put your hands on.”
To win the contest, you had to listen to the song "GeeTO Tiger" and count the number of times the word "tiger" was sung. You were then instructed to submit this number along with a 25-word or less paragraph to be entitled, "Why I'd like to win the ORIGINAL GeeTO TIGER," along with your name and address. The deadline was midnight, July 31, 1965. Do you think anyone from Hurst was waiting by the company's mailbox at 11:59 pm? Probably not. On july 27, 1965, after seeing an ad for the contest in Hot Rod magazine, Alex Lampone, a 19-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, sat down and neatly typed his entry. it read: Dear Sirs: The word "Tiger" is sung 42 times in the record entitled "GeeTO Tiger." Below is my entry as to why I would like to win the ORIGINAL "GeeTO Tiger": Prowling around in a custom Tiger like the "GeeTO." I'd be as sure as a Hurst shift to make a hit with all the "cats." Lamone's entry, amazingly enough, made it from West Allis, Wisconsin, to Hurst headquarters in Pennsylvania before the deadline four days later. He had counted the correct number of times the word "tiger" was sung, and the judges liked his reason for wanting the car the most of all. how could they not? It incorporated a great sentence using the tiger theme Pontiac was hoping would stick, and how better to win George Hurst over than using "as sure as a Hurst shift"? Within weeks, young Alex Lapone was the personal guest of George Hurst at the NHRA National Drags in Indianapolis. The keys to the ORIGINAL GeeTO Tiger were formally presented to Alex Lampone by George Hurst along with Miss Hurst Golden Shifter Pat Flannery.
The subject of a hit record and a wildly successful nationwide marketing campaign, the "GeeTO Tiger" is perhaps the most significant GTO of all time.
The "GeeTO Tiger" has since been reunited with the 1965 Indy 500 GTO Pace Car in Dana Mecum’s magnificent collection of rare and historical Pontiacs.
MISS HURST GOLDEN SHIFTER PATTY FLANNERY
Contact WFDU Program Director, Duff Sheffield at email@example.com
WFDU's RETRO STATION LOGO (circa 1972)