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1966 Pontiac GTO: Confused or Crook?

1966 Pontiac GTO

Since starting this site, we have seen some questionable car descriptions. We have seen sellers list cars incorrectly in every way imaginable, we have found listings where the seller is clearly lying, and we have even seen one’s that have left us confused as to what we just read. When we came across this 1966 Pontiac GTO here on eBay, we were a bit puzzled by the seller’s description, specifically the cars location and where all it’s been. First they claim it’s a Texas barn find, yet it has a Tennessee title. That bit isn’t all that hard to figure out, but the statement that the core structure is a rust free Californian car is rather interesting giving the amount of rust we see. And then to add to the confusion, the eBay listing shows the car as being located in Jensen Beach, Florida. Either this GTO got around or the seller is a little confused.

Rusted Pontiac GTO

All this confusion could have simply been avoided if the seller had added a little more information about the car’s history. The Texas plates prove to us that the car really was found in Texas and given the proximity to Tennessee we assume the car made its way to Tennessee before going to Florida. Now the California bit has us a bit stumped still. We can only guess that it came out of California before going to Texas, but we aren’t sure what that has to do with the cars condition. Just because a car was in California at one time doesn’t mean that it’s rust free.

1966 Pontiac GTO Interior

To say that this Goat has a little rust would be an understatement. Perhaps it is rust free for Florida, but to anyone in a semi dry region this looks to be a rust bucket. Just one look at the interior and you know it was stored somewhere wet and left out in the elements. The floors have holes in them. The seats are cracked and sun burnt. Even the dash is rusty! So much for being a rust free California car.

1966 Pontiac GTO Motor

And looking under the hood reveals, you guessed it, more rust! While there is a lot of rust in this engine bay, surprisingly it is intact. We would have imagined the rust being much worse in here, although it’s not free of issues. Besides all the surface rust on the fenders and structure, the motor is rusted and seller admits it is seized up. They claim it is the original block, but we aren’t sure that really matters given how much rust we see on the block. We will be very surprised if there is anything salvageable here.

Pontiac GTO trunk

If the seller’s description isn’t the most confusing part of this listing for you, the $5,500 asking price should be. We know these are in high demand, but we can’t find enough solid metal here to make it worth that kind of money. We would love to see this saved as much as the next gear head, but it would be a massive job. Perhaps this seller isn’t as confused as we thought? Perhaps they were going to restore it until they discovered what it was going to take and have now decided to dump it? We can’t know for sure, but even if the seller gets a fraction of their asking price, we think they will be the winner here.


  1. John C. Cargill

    At least that’s better than some who don’t even know what make or year of car they are advertising or want 30 grand for at most a 5 grand car. There is more ignorance in the car hobby than most realize. I saw one on craigslist the other day, listed as a 56 Plymouth, No fins, Actually a 1950. Just a little off.

    Like 1
  2. Mark E

    Even here in the rust belt of MN, you rarely, if ever see cars as COMPLETELY rusty as this one. There’s rust on every possible part under the hood that could rust, inside there’s rust on the dash, yes, but also the steering column, turn signal stalk, seat back. I wonder if this car was in Galveston or Corpus Christi and was completely immersed in salt water at some point in its life. Sadly, I don’t see it being worth anything but possibly parts if the salt water immersion guess is true. That would mean all engine, drive train and electrical components are shot as well as the instrument panel and any other part on the car that has uncoated or lightly coated metal in it.

    Like 2
  3. car guy

    I agree with mark, looks like this Goat was immersed in salt water, and parked for years near the ocean, and in the sun belt. This Goat would be a total restore, with a truck load of parts From Year One! It would take an expert to decode the vin to see if this load package is rare enough to warrant a ground up restore.
    I will pass.

    Like 3
  4. jim s

    i wonder if the seller is trying to get $5500 for the vin plate so a non GTO can be turned into a GTO?

    Like 2
  5. Brian

    If the numbers are matching, somebody will probably buy it!

    Like 0
  6. Shilo

    Run don’t walk away from this car and especially from this seller!!!!

    Like 2
  7. Lemble

    This car looks as if it was store outside with no windows in it and the hood and trunk open.
    The one fender has what looks like a bullet hole. The back seat springs are all that is left of it. How does that happen to a car with windows in it?

    Like 0
  8. paul

    This car is interesting a north east car rusts from the bottom up so the lower quarters & lower front fenders would be rusted through as well as the floors & trunk floor. A southern east car rusts from the top down due to sun / humidity. Western/ dry climate cars have a sort of orange color surface rust but usually not rusted through. While I have seen much worse the floors as well as the rear body panel are quite a task, & with the windshield missing who knows what is under the dash.The overall surface rust while it doesn’t appear to be rusted through it also doesn’t appear to have that very orange western rust. Looks like a big job.

    Like 0
    • paul

      The interior does look like its’ from a dry heat area.

      Like 0
      • Horse Radish

        Good assessment.
        Looks like a dry (Southwest) car and then several years ago s”saved” and moved to where it is now.
        Maybe not even from the West, the paint is not singed off enough……

        Like 0
      • Horse Radish

        Texas license plates

        Like 0
  9. C Bryant

    This is a rare car with the 6/55 air option.No front/back windows and all 4 side windows down and the 55 part would be on a long downhill run(if your push vehicle could get it up to that).Although looking at the palmettos and Palm tree trunks it looks like you’d get to go for a sunny Florida vacation.Tell your wife you’re looking at a GTO in Florida but the two of you would have to go down there.She’ll go “Ya,ya,ya!!!!!”.Then you can blame her afterwards for encouraging you.

    Like 0
  10. Joe

    Don’t think too hard. Just use your eyes. Doesn’t matter what the car’s history is or what the seller says. Not important. It is a rust bucket, ugly and will drain your bank acocunt to just get looking decent.

    Like 0
  11. Dolphin Member

    I like a cold one as much as the next guy, but this is a good example why you can’t have too many beers before you sit down to write that 5 line description.

    Like 0
  12. 3PedalRacer

    Cowl tag: 06E built June 5th week – 8074(not sure exactly)
    66- year 2(Pontiac)42(gto)17(2drHT). KAN- built in K. City, MO 13153- unit #
    223-B (black interior). C-C(paint code-Cameo Ivory)

    Vin# 242176K140595
    24217(same as above) 6(year) K(k.city,MO) 140595(production #)
    unit# and production# don’t match but I’ve seen it before. I believe they should match though, just not sure. Looks to rough for 5Gs in my opinion.

    Like 0
    • Chris N

      I just ran the numbers thru my cowl tag decoder and at least it is a real GTO. I love the “California Car” reference which to the uninitiated means “low or no rust.” That is almost meaningless plus the fact that it has so much rust on it. As far as I am concerned unless the Assembly Plant says “BF” it was not built in Ca, so the chances that it would have been in Ca to begin with lowers for sure.

      This is about as close to “basket case” as you can get but it looks like there are some parts that could be salvaged especially the his/hers Hurst shifter which are getting harder to come by. If that is not completely trashed that is worth a few hundred right there. Worth $5500? If it had at least 90% of the original parts available…maybe….but I think that $3K is a little more realistic.

      BTW the 8074 is probably the internal GM manifest number that could be found on the build sheet which is probably long gone by now.
      E=Tinted Windshield and Windows
      K=Air Conditioning
      W=Powerglide Automatic Transmission (unconfirmed)
      G=Floor Console
      F=”Comfort and convenience group” includes remote mirror. (unconfirmed)

      Like 0
  13. Horse Radish

    Can you spell T O A S T ???

    Like 0
  14. Jim-Bob

    I don’t think this is as bad as it looks for the money. The big question is, what the heck is it in reality? The big red flag to me is the engine displacement badge’s location on the front fender. It’s looks a little too high to be original. Then again, I might be wrong because there are a lot of GTO specific pieces like the shifter and (peeling) veneer on the dash.

    This is far from a lost cause too. It’s a GM A Body, not a Abarth double bubble Zagato so you could build practically a complete new car from reproduction parts. If the drivetrain is numbers matching, it is not beyond the abilities of a backyard mechanic to rebuild it. Is it a little pricey? Well, maybe but I think it’s within the realm of reason for someone looking for a GTO to restore. I’d go in at $3500 after a PPI and a check of the car’s numbers. I probably wouldn’t do it back to pure stock though as that’s just too boring. It would keep the vintage aftermarket intake, add headers and 2.5 in duals with 3 chamber Flowmasters and probably upgrade the brakes and suspension with bolt on parts while I was under there. The original parts would be set aside and kept in case I ever wanted to go back to stock. The stock Rally II wheels would also be put in storage to be replaced with a set of 90’s Weld Drag Lites as I always thought they looked good on a Musclecar. I would, however, paint it the original color and restore the interior and trim back to original too. Then again, I am not that interested in pure restorations of cars that are not extremely rare and valuable. I’d rather pay respect to the original design but in the end make it better without destroying it.

    Like 1
  15. Chas Gordon

    And it has a Las Vegas NV phone number – scam?

    Like 0
  16. rancho bella

    Is this how one spells POS?

    Like 0
  17. krash

    G(ot it from) T(he) O(cean)

    Like 0
  18. VCHO455

    It certainly looks like there is more to the story. Why would you change the core support out of the car? Just to have one rust free area? Notice there is no photo of this new core support. The header panel certainly came from an different car. I would bet that this car was wrecked in the front and they swapped parts around. There is more easy money to be made in selling projects than in restoring or selling restored cars. Judging from all the rest of the junk in the back ground the seller isn’t confused he/she knows exactly what he/she is doing. If they get 3500 for this (which they most likey got for scrap price) they be singing around the campfire all night long. The best looking part of the car is the Rally II’s (which aren’t correct either).

    Like 0
  19. David

    I can see hesitation in buying a car like this, the rust, the seller’s description, etc…I’ve worked in cars with much more rust. This car just needs someone to put in the time to bring her back to life and driving down the road. Yes, it’ll take alot of money, and dedication. This hobby brings people who have great ideas, but when the reality sinks in, that’s it’s going to take more than a few thousand dollars and a years worth of weekend work to get her back to a good place, people loose interest. Hopefully this car will go to a good home. The owner/seller is asking too much, right now the market is flooded because it’s spring and there’s so many cars out there. The prospective buyer should do their research and check over this car thoroughly before buying. This will have to be a labor of love.

    Like 1
  20. ConservativesDefeated

    Everything that can be said has been said. Fuggedaboutit

    Like 0
  21. Jerry

    It looks like a flood victim from Hurricane Katrina. Don’t forget Katrina did some flooding in Texas also.

    Like 0
    • paul

      Yes a good possibility, but the lower quarter panels would be rusted through like the trunk floor itself & while the car looks to have had body work done, it doesn’t look very new in fact looks very old.

      Like 0
  22. fred

    Agreed it’s a rust bucket- but the description only claims the core support to be rust free

    Like 0
  23. Mike L.

    Goat to be kidding me!

    Like 0
  24. Dolphin Member

    Well, nobody seems in too much of a hurry to plunk down even $5.5K for this, so out of curosity I looked up the valuation for a ’66 GTO coupe in the SCM Guide.

    GM made 84,148 of them, the most of any GTO model. The low end of the range for a #2 car (better than a driver but not as good as a national show winner) is $22K. High end is $31.5K.

    Yep, you’re right: better to save up for a while and buy a GTO that might actually be worth owning.

    Like 0
  25. AMCFAN

    The nice thing with ebay is that the seller has at least some control in making his or her ad. Ebay is ever changing. You cannot say “deadbeat bidder” in describing something that you are relisting because the deadbeat never made contact with you after winning. Ebay says it hurts a buyers experience or something. You also can not say “Do not bid” if say you do not plan on following through. My favorite is not being able to leave a negitive feedback on the deadbeat.and warn others of his/her activity.
    OK, Be that as it may the seller of the said GTO may not know how to make up his ad. He did take alot of pics which is nice and did leave a phone number. If there seems to be issues on the history of the car or questions on it being in Fla.or where ever. Just call him up and ask him.

    Like 0
  26. Barzini

    When a car is this far gone, it no longer matters to me where it came from.

    It reminds me of a similar looking 1966 GTO with the rare XS option that was for sale a few years ago. I can’t remember the asking price buy it was steep. I’ve always wondered what happened to it.

    I have respect and admiration for those with the skill and artistry to fix cars like this.

    Like 0
  27. BradL

    I always get a bit of a laugh when people use “Texas car” as a selling point. What everyone seems to forget is that we have 367 miles of coastline that comes with large doses of humidity and salt air. Anything within 50 miles of the Gulf is highly susceptible to rust. That’s an area the size of Maryland and Connecticut combined.

    Like 0
  28. Joe

    BradL you are so right. I have a good California car but with paint cracks, inside hood, side of fender and rocker rust, though floors and undercarriage are solid. Lived near the ocean for 45 years. Must have been the humid salty air and rain.

    Like 0
  29. That Guy

    It looks like the seller has revised his description, because I don’t see any reference to California in the auction listing. As a Californian this car looks like a total rust bucket to me, but people who live in places where cars really rust out may have a different take on it. It’s definitely a huge project regardless, but as a true GTO it may be worthwhile if you’re really good with a welding torch, and have a spare ’66 Tempest kicking around to donate many of its pieces.

    Like 0
  30. Mark

    Looks like someone added some nice / clean rally wheels and tires to a very rusty car to make it look cool. The trunk lip where the weatherstripping goes is half rusted away! Also noticed the Las Vegas phone number since I live there!

    Like 0
  31. Mathieu Belanger

    Upnorth cars looks like theses, so rust free???

    Like 0
  32. Dano

    Really a parts car. There are still a number out there in better shape for the money. I just rebuilt a 66 original 389 GTO engine. The costs add up. If I owned it I would be happy to get $2500 in my pocket.

    Like 0
  33. Tinkertoy

    Explainable. About the movement from state to state. I bought a 67 GTO new in Big Spring Tex. Moved to Sherman Tex Went to S E Asia then to the Mojave Desert in California all while in the USAF Then to Pa and NJ for 45years. Still have the car in my family oldest son has it believe it or not it’s back in Abilene Tex 100 miles from where it started. Keep in mind that a lot of us guys buying these cars were Military 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🦅🦅😎😎😎

    Like 0

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