If too many cooks spoil the broth, how many cooks will spoil the Goat?

The Goat, of course, is the term of endearment bestowed on the Pontiac GTO when it roamed the streets before being dropped after the 1974 model year.

The GTO returns in late 2003 as an '04 model built off the rear-wheel-drive Monaro coupe produced by General Motors' Holden subsidiary in Australia.

The new GTO promises a 300-plus horsepower version of the 5.7-liter Corvette V-8 with 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Pontiac says engineers are tweaking the V-8 to get more "plus" for the final horsepower rating.

GTO enthusiasts and performance aficionados in general are eagerly awaiting the offering, which will be limited to 18,000 units the first year.

The fact that so few will be available and that the new GTO exists only as a computer rendering adds to the mystique.

"We're getting lots of e-mail from people who say they want to be the first to get one and want to send us a deposit check," said Lynn Myers, Pontiac/GMC general manager. "We aren't taking any orders now, so we aren't taking any deposits.

"But we also are getting e-mail from people who say they want to help us develop the new car," she said, citing enthusiasts offering tips ranging from design cues and equipment choices to engine and transmission options.

And, as if hundreds of GTO e-mails daily aren't enough to keep her busy, Myers said one top-ranking GM executive who in his past life was vice chairman of Chrysler, has been passing along his mail as well.

Taking any of those tips from wannabe stylists and engineers who want to help?

"We're listening," said Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson. "We appreciate the interest because the whole idea of bringing a GTO back was to pay homage to what Pontiac stood for back in the '60s and '70s."

By the way, while some called the original GTO the Goat, Bill Lovejoy, group vice president of sales and marketing for GM, calls the '04 version "the exclamation point for Pontiac."

Let's call it the Goat.