455-Powered Hot Rod: 1964 Pontiac LeMans GTO

Early ’60s cars carried on the “bigger is better” theme of the late ’50s, with giant dour-faced grilles and bumpers weighing more than a modern Prius. By the late ’60s, the designs of famous classic muscle cars had thoroughly changed American styling. In between, we find cars like this 1964 Pontiac LeMans GTO in Orlando, Florida. Offered here on eBay, it seeks a new owner who wants a turn-key, upgraded muscle car that’s meant to be driven often and without fear. If the thought of unleashing the modified 455 cid (7.5L) V8 raises concerns about cleaning spattered bits of rubber off the clean white paint, simply move along. There’s a ’74 GTO with under 200 HP somewhere calling your name. If you would pay $29,995 for this driver-quality “Goat,” simply click Buy It Now.

Pontiac’s use of “GTO” began in ’64 as an option package on the popular LeMans, named after the famous French race track. The Italian-inspired “GTO,” short for Gran Turismo Omologata creates an opportunity to impress your dinner date when properly pronounced.  One might expect a Pontiac with doubly European names to deliver a rather Continental driving experience, nimble and lightweight, with compact dimensions and reasonable economy when driven mildly. While this car delivers virtually none of those things, its 3400 lb. curb weight (50% more than a 1964 MGB), still comes in at about the same as a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am. This one’s upgraded suspension and other parts promise improved handling in the context of mid-’60s muscle cars.

The tidy interior features later-model bucket seats and a Hurst shifter on the Muncie four-speed manual gearbox. Thankfully the seller avoided the overused phrase “Pro-Touring,” which generally implies everything you’d want for a coast-to-coast drive in all sorts of weather stopping at various race tracks along the way. Specifically, Pro-Touring cars have a complete race-ready suspension, air conditioning, killer stereo, and five or more speeds including overdrive. While this car falls short of that bar, it’s certainly ready to rock for your local show-n-shine and could be driven and shown off with pride.

The later (presumably Pontiac) 455 packs a bevy of high-performance upgrades. Disc brakes and a Corvette-style loaded master cylinder should deliver competent stopping. I’ve seen many less put-together cars wearing much higher price tags, and I hope this one sells. Compared to an immaculately restored example, this one offers more power and fewer worries. Will you bid to win?

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Comments

  1. Cattoo Member

    I’d drive the heck out of it. During the summer that is. Simply because I wouldn’t want to clean the wet leaves and muck cars gather in the wet months.

    3
    • Chasman358 Member

      👍
      Beautiful Goat,
      please lose the exhaust tips.

      4
  2. CapNemo CapNemo Member

    Those exhaust tips gotta go! Nice car tho!

    11
  3. John

    What does bevy of hi performance options mean?

    1
    • CapNemo CapNemo Member

      Another way of saying A Lot of High Performance Options.

      8
  4. flmikey

    Looking at the pictures, this car was done right…almost everything I would do to it has been done…except a/c…and the wheels…and those exhaust tips…but I highly doubt it was a real GTO…I never saw a GTO with the chrome along the sides like this one, for example…but at this point, does it really matter? Nice car, and nice find!

    7
    • Rick Rothermel

      Built long ago from a Tempest Custom or a Tempest base model. Well done certainly and at a decent price but not a true Goat. GTOs didn’t have their own VIN designation til ’66 so lotsa fakes were done through the years.

      1
  5. mike b

    Like it a lot, with the exceptions noted above. Taste items aside: Dude, you did all that but can’t get the wiper splines right?

    3
  6. Snotty

    Ditch the chrome wheelz. Run black steelies,to accentuate the white,maybe poverty caps. Red interior would be nice.

    3
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Nice job on this Goat. New owner can add his own touches. But don’t forget- GTO means- Get Tools out- OR- Gas-tires-oil.
    Pontiacs contribution to performance Doesn’t get the recognition it deserves- The Super duty program started in ’58. You could get all the speed goodies you wanted over the counter at your friendly Pontiac Dealer. I even heard where Arnie “the Farmer” Beswick would have parts delivered to the drag strip for installation there. Great times for factory performance!
    Cheers
    GPC

    6
  8. Kuzspike

    For all but 30G I’d need a vin number to confirm that its a real GTO and not just a pimped up Tempest. That nose doesn’t really fit in between the grilles the way it should either. Like flmikey said, most of the GTO pictures on line don’t have that upper fender/belt line chrome trim, but GTO was an option that year, not a stand alone model. I might be old school, but I’d rather have it with a 389 & trips than the 455.

    5
    • Dan

      GTO was an option package in 1964 and 1965, and again between 1972 and 1974. For those years, there is nothing in the VIN to indicate you’re looking at a real GTO. Instead, you’d need a factory invoice, build sheet, or PHS documentation.

      5
  9. JOHN

    No PHS docs and the upper belt line moulding tell me this is likely a LeMans or even a Tempest cloned to a GTO. Lots of nice parts in the engine, but this car really needs an update, it looks like the mid 1990’s. The Buy It Now price seems strong to me, but there are a lot of people with money these days. There are some good deals to be had on real, documented GTO’s out there.

    1
    • Nick P

      Probably a tempest since it is a post coupe. The vin will indicate a tempest versus a lemans. The gto was a lemans option. Not on the tempest. With a lemans vin, phs is needed. With a tempest vin, well, we already know.

      • JOHN

        Pretty sure it is a Tempest due to the upper trim, and there were quite a few GTO post cars made in 64 and 65, not unusual at all!

  10. PatrickM

    Yup!!! I believe it is a clone. To my way of thinking, that de-valuates the car a bunch. Not bad looking, though. However, I am not impressed enough to accept that price.

    1
  11. Dan

    There are a lot of things I would have done differently: Exhaust tips, paint color, different wheels, a stock interior, and a more original appearance underhood. And for $30,000, I’d want PHS documentation that it’s a real GTO. I’d like to think that, if I started with a solid foundation and did much of the work myself, I could build a GTO for less than I’d spend buying this one and modifying it according to my preferences.

    4
  12. Mark Epperson

    If this is a GTO it is quite well done. Except for the pipes. This GTO would actually be a lot fun.

  13. Bing

    GTO or NOT GTO? At this point, given all the mods, what does it really matter? Also would imagine that the builder or owner has receipts totaling more than the BIN.
    For the not mechanically inclined, wanting a truly one of a kind of street machine, this is truly a turn key deal. Drive it and enjoy as is or further modify it to suit the new owners taste.

    3
    • JOHN

      Sure, have fun with it, it does appear to have had some quality parts used. But… when you are asking GTO prices for what very likely is a Tempest or LeMans without the GTO option, I just think the price should be adjusted accordingly. I sold a documented 64 several years back, missing the original drivetrain, but it was PHS Documented. Every Pontiac owner is aware of PHS, If you are advertising this as a GTO, provide the documentation, if not just say you do not know, or that it may be a recreation or clone.

      2
  14. Del

    Clone or not its pretty sweet.

    Lot of time and money put in.

    I like it

    3
  15. Bing

    John is right. Sticking a bunch of speed equipment into a Le Mans does not make it a GTO. Most advertisers would use the term “GTO clone”. Read an article once that there are more “SS 409’s”, registered in the U S then ever came out of the factory.

  16. moosie moosie Member

    For 30K I’d want PHS documentation, that upper moulding leads me to believe that this wasnt born a GTO, not even a Le Mans. Tempests were the only ones with those mouldings. The seats, wheels and exhaust tips would have to go, besides those things a very nice car, but hey, the guy built it to his satisfaction, not mine, I hope he gets what he’s asking.

    1
  17. TimM

    One of the best cars ever made and short of the early rocket motors in the Buicks is one of the cars responsible for the muscle car movement from the American car companies!! Would love to own this beautiful car!!!

    • Marty Parker

      The “Rocket” motors were Oldsmobile, not Buick.

      2
      • TimM

        I stand corrected!! Sometimes I get the facts mixed up in my head!! They say the memory is the second thing to go!!!

        1
    • Troy s

      This IS the car responsible for the muscle car movement, my opinion and plenty of others will agree…, best way to draw that conclusion? High profile youth oriented performance car that separated itself from Mom’s grocery getter Tempest, loads of options, mild full-size car big engine that really could perform, ignited a whole market on its own: 442, SS396 Chevelle, GS Buicks, Fairlane GT/Torino/Cyclone, R/T Coronet/GTX Plymouth, gotta figure the Roadrunner,Super Bee, Cobra, rebel machine, SC/Rambler, ect,ect,ect. Even the big block pony cars existed due to the market that took off thanks to the GTO.
      Without the goat none of the mentioned cars would have seen the light of day. Imagine if John Delorien and Pete Estes said “awe forget it, no one’s gonna buy this thing, our jobs are too important anyways.”

      1
  18. Troy s

    Street machine, day two car, late night boulevard cruiser, thats what I’m looking at here and I really like it. To be honest this is how I remember most GTOs and the like ..stickers plastered every where, mag wheels, built engine, usually a rake..
    Looks like fun.

    1
  19. YourSoundMan

    Would have liked the OEM buckets – unless they were really beat.

    I wonder how much modding(to seats or floor pan) had to be done to
    install what look like post-1980 seats in there?

  20. Mark Dahl

    I don’t know what all you people are complaining about. This is a super nice car. This owner built this thing for himself. I would be proud to own it. The owner put alot of money and time into this and built it the way he wanted to. To drive…. It might not be worth the money the add is asking for but what about all the other cars out there that are demanding more than what they are worth. ( Chevelle’s). I say that the person who ends up with this car is never going to be able to wipe the smile off his face. Isn’t that what it’s all about. Nice nice ride

    2
  21. moosie moosie Member

    I think the problem is that its being touted as a GTO and it may not be, at least thats what I feel about it. I previously posted that the builder built it to suit what he wanted, what made him happy, thats exactly the way it ought to be. Just call it what it is, clone is not a dirty word.

    1
  22. JOHN

    Absolutely build what you want, but as I said earlier, this guy is obviously knows a bit about Pontiacs, and there is no way he has never heard about PHS, Pontiac Historical Services, where you can absolutely verify what you have. He should re-write his ad to include a statement that he does not know if this is a real GTO or a clone. While it is possible that someone added the Tempest trim, it is highly unlikely. Is is even more unlikely if someone did this to get it as straight and fitted as well as this one shows. While I don’t necessarily like some of his mods, I’m sure there are people who may not like things I have done either. And that’s all good. Please don’t advertise and attempt to sell this as a GTO, unless you have proof. $75 will get you the report, and you can command a higher price!

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