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ERTL Pontiac GTO Review
Authored by Gary












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About the model

The 2004 GTO comes in many different colours. These include black, red, anodized blue, chrome, and blue, which are all LE’s (of various #’s). Yellow, purple metallic, and silver are not limited colours. I have both the red and the purple metallic, and beside the limited status, the red has non-sealed trunk, whereas the purple has a sealed trunk. So I’ll infer that all the LE’s have unsealed trunks, and the non-LE’s have sealed trunks, so keep that in mind if you buy one of these models. The model is VERY heavy, as with all Ertl’s. A little tidbit about the 1:1, it’s just a rebadged Holden Monaro.

What’s in the box

The model comes in a window cardboard box. The grade of cardboard on the outer box is worth mentioning, as it’s high grade and quite strong. The model sits on a black plastic base with screws. The base does not have plastic sides like the old Autoart window boxes, so it’s very easy for the models to tilt when you take the model out of the box.


The paint is called Cosmo purple, which I believe is the same colour as Cosmo Mica. The paint is generally decently applied, but there are areas where it’s not too smooth (ripples can be seen), and some orange peel in areas. Also, it seems to be lacking a layer of wax/lacquer, as the finish is quite dull. The metallic flakes are maybe too few in number, but the size is realistic.

Starting at the front, the stance looks to be too high, but otherwise the dimensions are correct. The lights are decently made, with the separate light clusters molded. The clear lense covers are flimsily put on though, and are not flush with the lights. Two small attachment points on the lense covers can be seen if you look carefully, but it’s nice to see that Ertl tried to hide the attachment points. The same problem applies to the foglights as well, where the light clusters are done well, the lense covers are sticking out due to poor application. The foglights don’t have attachment stubs though. The grill is not perforated, and is only textured with a tampo of the complicated grill design. The lower intake is not perforated either, but has a separate textured black plastic piece. The Pontiac symbol is a tampo as well, but is applied well and in the correct location. Shutlines for the hood are acceptable, but if you look at the pic, you’ll notice the left side has a smaller shutline compared to the right side of the hood.

Moving to the side, the stance is too high once again. Side marker/repeater on the front bumper is only a dab of orange paint. The GTO logo is a tampo that’s well done. Character lines are replicated well, and the door handle is surprisingly well molded. Surprising me is that the model has full side windows, although the flat black paint replicating the plastic window trim is very unrealistic. Side mirrors are quite sturdy, but could’ve had better mirror stickers. Looking at the metal spoiler though, it’s very weird. The 1:1 had a spoiler that was tilted forward (toward the front of the car), yet the model’s spoiler tilts backwards. I had previously thought this is a one-off problem, but it is not true, ALL Ertl 2004 GTO’s have tilted-backward spoilers, which are just plain wrong. Shutlines on the doors are quite small though.

To the rear we go, the brake lights are very 3D looking, and have very discrete attachment stubs. Too bad the lense covers are just as badly placed as the front lights. Third brake light inside the interior is painted only. The defroster lines on the rear window are a nice touch though. All badging are tampoes and are nicely placed/detailed. License plate is correct size, but it’s only a sticker. Note my red GTO has a different license plate number than this purple one. Shutlines are great, since the boot doesn’t open. But looking at it, it looks like the boot is a separate piece anyway, why did Ertl make some sealed and some not? Muffler tips are crap, to put it bluntly, as they’re chromed AND completely filled.



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