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1965 Pontiac GTO

Classics  /   /  By Jim Pickering

Muscle car tastes were shifting away from full-size cars by the mid-sixties. But performance-minded designers at GM found themselves constrained by a company policy that limited engine size for smaller body styles. Pontiac designers found a loophole when they stuffed a 389-ci V8 into the mid-size Tempest LeMans and presented it as a “trim package” in 1964. Known as the GTO, it found immediate success at dealerships, with 32,000 selling that year.

As collectibles, some of the most valued GTOs are first-gen examples with Tri-Power induction, like this one. The seller’s description is brief but to the point: “frame off restoration with PHS (Pontiac Historic Services) documentation.” He does not specify if the 389-ci engine is original or a replacement—but engine code WT is noted, which suggests the Tri-Power setup was added sometime after this car was built. It’s fitted with a 4-speed, power steering, and power brakes, as well as two-speed wipers and an AM radio.

Workmanship looks very good in the photos, and the seller notes no problems with the mechanicals. The muscle car market has cooled recently, but as 271 sales of 1964-1967 Pontiac GTOs on eBay over the last year have shown, GTOs are still among the most popular muscle cars around—and careful shoppers are finding some incredible deals. See the listing here.

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  1. irongrampa November 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm Reply

    Pretty interesting car. I owned one, bought at s a repo from a Pontiac dealership, it had only 5k miles at the time.

    Didn’t own it for more than 8 months, mainly because while it handled quite well,and definitely had more than adequate acceleration, you couldn’t persuade it to stop worth a darn.

    Even after a conversion to disc front brakes. Still and all, a great ride.

  2. twotoejoe November 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm Reply

    Having restored these cars to National show winning standards and judging at the GTOAA Nats in the past, this car ‘looks’ like a pretty good car from the pictures. (although they are not very good pictures) It does, however, have many incorrect items on the car. Most notably and most expensive to replace would be the steering wheel and the shifter.

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