Milt Schornack and the Royal Bobcat GTOs


Keith J. MacDonald  Milt Schornack


The original muscle car, the Royal Bobcat GTO was the baby of a burgeoning Detroit subculture, one not sanctioned by the big automakers of the early 1960s. In a post-World War II America hungry for chrome, flash and speed, Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan, modified and sold its souped-up versions of GTOs to customers, and in the process created a demand for custom street racers in America. Founded by Ace Wilson, the Royal name became synonymous with speed.

This book outlines the history of the Royal Bobcat GTO, from the people–including Milt Schornack, the mechanic who raced for Royal Pontiac and was responsible for the custom Bobcats–to the fabled midnight test runs on northern Detroit’s famous Woodward Avenue. Fourteen chapters, illustrated with 25 photographs of vintage GTOs, the infamous Car & Driver road test photos against a Ferrari GTO, and more, chronicle the history of a car that changed the focus of the Detroit auto industry for the next decade. Former editor-in-chief of Hot Rod Magazine Ro McGonegal contributes a foreword.