In The fall of 1965 Bill Knafel ordered a 1966 GTO with the intention of racing it during the year. Little did he know that it would become one of the most successful cars in drag racing history, and probably the most successful Pontiac in drag racing. Mr. Knafel ordered a cameo ivory hardtop with black interior. The option list was short: Tripower, close ratio 4 speed, Safe-T-Track differentional 4.33 ratio, metallic brakes, heavy duty cooling, ride and handling package, rally gauges, custom sport steering wheel, heater delete, and tinted windshield. When the car arrived at the dealership, he invited Arlen Vanke to come and test it. After the test session Mr. Knafel asked Arlen if he would be interested in driving the car for Knafel Pontiac. Arlen had his own Mopar race cars at the time, but he was intrigued with the oppotunity to drive the GTO. He agreed to a deal with Knafel that he would tune and drive the GTO, but still be able to compete with his own cars. However, he further agreed that if one of his cars should happen to face the GTO in eliminations, Arlen had to drive the GTO. In November he began tuning and racing the car. Arlen's memories of the early months are hazy, but he vividly remembers taking the car to the NASCAR Winternationals in Deland, Florida.