421 And A 4-Speed: 1965 Pontiac 2+2 Survivor

Car Week might have already started in Monterey, California, but it isn’t too late to fly in and buy a sweet classic to cruise around the peninsula in over the weekend! This Pontiac 2+2 sure would be a great car to take to the festivities. It would be a bit of a drive, since it’s in Ventura, California, but if it really does run and drive as well as the seller claims, it should be up for the task. It’s said to be a 90k mile survivor with the 338 horsepower 421 V8 and a 4-speed. You can take a closer look at it here on craigslist where it has a $35k asking price.

The 2+2 is an interesting animal. It’s based on the big Catalina and was intended to be the GTO’s bigger brother. While the 421 V8 offers more power than the GTO’s 389, it didn’t make up for the added weight or cost, at least not to the budget-minded speed junkies that drooled over the GTO. On paper, the 2+2 is pretty impressive, with the 4-barrel base engine churning out 338 hp and 459 ft-lbs of torque!

Even if you aren’t interested in going to Monterey, this Pontiac is definitely worth a closer look! It really does look to be in amazing condition inside and out. The seller claims it’s an 85k miles survivor and is one of just 1,500 built. Chances are it’s seen some restoration work over the years, but what’s important is that it’s a nice driver. Let us know if you pick this Pontiac up!


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WANTED 1966 Chevrolet nova “plan jane’ Factory 327/350hp Muncie 4 speed 12 bolt rear on the east coast any condition Contact

WANTED 1974-75 Toyota Corolla E5 Yellow, Black Interior, 5 speed. Rust free, any location in US Contact

WANTED 1971 Saab 96 Looking for either a mostly-done project or a driver-quality car. Contact

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  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    One of my favorite cars in the world. A gentleman’s muscle car right there.

    Like 40
    • Louis Pitacciato

      This is a great looking car!

      Like 11
  2. Dan

    Out of my budget, but beautiful. GM designers were at a pinnacle back then!

    Like 22
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Where else can you throw a couple of corpse in the trunk and go out cruising with 5 of your friends and row through the gears to boot? Quick once over, I like it. I don’t follow large Pontiac’s so can’t speak to the asking price.
    I wouldn’t kick it out of the garage though.

    Like 7
  4. Ralph

    There is something weird here.

    Let see if anyone else can spot it.

    Like 8
    • Anthony in R I

      I don’t believe the windshield wipers are correct for a 65, I believe a 65 Pontiac was unique that the both the left and right wipers were mounted outboard and would have overlapped each other when the wipers were parked. Since the car has obviously been painted, it would appear that the wipers , wiper transmission and grille between the hood and the windshield were swapped in from a 66…

      Like 4
      • Ralph

        Thats a BINGO…..its the wipers, they should be the “head to head” style wipers that sweep from the center out, they would still be head to head on Pontiacs in 1966 and all the way through 1969-70.

        The wiper layout wasn’t that unique itself, thats Olds, Buick and Cadillac still had their wipers mounted too, the Pontiac was unique in that they featured “swing arms” that allowed the blade to pivot to the outer edge of the glass. GM later adopted the swing out for pretty much all the drivers side windshield wipers through the late 70’s.

        Only Chevrolet and the intermediates had “right to left” style wipers, somethings odd here.

        The loop carpet in the trunk isn’t right either but…….these just had a turquoise houndstooth patterned mat and splatter paint.

        Like 7
      • Anthony in R I

        I checked out some 65 Parisenne pictures on the Internet and they have wipers like this car, not the same as US Pontiacs

        Like 1
      • Jim in FL

        Can confirm on the wipers. Had a 66 Bonneville convertible and they were head to head. 65s had aluminum fenders. Decent way to check on it.

      • JOHN Member

        Jim in FL, 65’s had aluminum fenders? The only Pontiacs that I have ever heard of that had aluminum fenders were the 1963 infamous “Swiss cheese” factory race cars. They were so thin that leaning on them could distort the stampings, they were essentially race-only. I could be wrong, it’s happened once… or twice… or…

        Like 8
      • Ralph

        The Canadian Pontiacs are sort of Chevrolet hybrids, they are on a narrower Chevy frame and usually have Chevrolet dashboards too.

        Like 2
      • Jim in FL

        John, I have an older book called “High Performance Pontiacs” from the early 80s. It says that the 2+2 carried over the aluminum fender concept from the Super Duty Cars. Of course that’s one, dated resource. Sifting through the Internet now, I’m not finding confirmation. You would think it would be mentioned, though, so I’m starting to doubt the book.

        There”s actually one near me, so I should check it out. The owner is a collector, and he had the 8 lug brakes rebuilt by a friend of mine a couple years ago. Out of curiosity I’m going to reach out to my friend. I may have been holding on to misinformation for 30+ years.

        Like 3
      • local_sheriff

        Ralph; Canadian Pontiacs of this vintage are as close one can get to a Chevrolet without being one! You’re correct they rode on Chevy frames, they would also make solely use of bowtie drivelines. They are also abit shorter than US Pontiacs as the Chevy frame offers less wheel base.

        The Canadianponcho site is a great place to learn more about these Maple Leaf birds as well as Acadians and Beaumonts

        Like 4
    • Casey Brefczynski

      Hey Ralph
      I know it is not normal to see the wiper set up like that on a 65 but it is because it only has the single speed wiper motor. I was at an all Pontiac show with my 65 2+2 and a gentleman with a 65 Catalina with the Ventura option parked next to me. When I noticed the wiper arms, I asked him why they were like that. He said that he was the original owner and ordered the car with all of the options he wanted but forgot to check the box for two speed wipers.

      Like 3
    • Bryan

      You mean how it lost 5K miles in the space of a paragraph?

      Like 1
  5. 65Gto

    You mean the new paint job both outside and inside? The glossy paint in the engine bay and the dash. The painted brake booster. The wrong air cleaner and wrong valve covers. The wrong trunk mat. Stuff like that? So you are saying maybe this isn’t original? Ha! Nice car if listed correctly.

    Like 4
    • Ralph

      Thats not that weird…..look closer.

      Like 1
      • Dave

        You mean how it appears that there’s no distributor or plug wires? Must be a diesel :)

  6. poseur Member

    geez, i don’t care if it’s original, it’s older than i am and i would just about kill to look this good!
    this is the machine that Car & Driver tested against the Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 & reported 13.8 @ 106 at the quarter mile and ludicrous 3.9 second 0-60 mph.
    lapped a road course less than half a second behind the Italian thoroughbred.
    i’d take it even after it being tarted up as it is

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      The car used in that test was a ringer. Those nunbers would not be duplicated in the real world. Car and Driver was famous for using cars that had been tweaked by manufacturers.

      Steve R

      Like 13
      • Rosco

        A “ringer”? Any real proof to back that up? If not, calling BS!

        Like 1
      • z28th1s

        Rosco the car that was tested by Car and Driver was ‘massaged’ by Royal Bobcat prior to the test.

        Like 2
      • JOHN Member

        The infamous red 1964 GTO coupe that was featured in numerous magazines in the day had a very well massaged 421 in place of the standard 389. They even deleted the transfer lug, a pyramid like projection on the engine block that was found on all but the 421 and 455 engines to further disguise what it really was. Royal Pontiac was the Pontiac performance dealer in the 60’s. The Bobcat package usually included thinner head gaskets for increased compression, weights and springs to curve the distributor, carb jets, and locking rocker arm nuts. Cool stuff…

        Like 6
  7. Pat

    Thought they had a 3 spoke steering wheel?

    • Anthony in R I

      3 spoke wheel was optional… that’s the standard wheel for a 65 Catalina

      Like 1
      • Pat


        Like 1
  8. art

    Very nice looking but personally, I wouldn’t go near it without the PHS documents to verify everything.

    Like 2
  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What Poseur said – check the 1/4 mile times on these and you’ll be surprised….they smoked a lot of cars in 65/66…….

    Like 6
  10. Gaspumpchas

    Beautiful Poncho–that shifter sticking out of the tunnel really gets the juices flowing. Good luck to the new owner.Looker over good, plus check the documentation. Needs to be correct for 38 large!!

    Like 2
  11. Miguel

    I thought the 2+2 had front and rear buckets which is why they called it a 2+2.

    This car is missing a very important item from under the hood which would prevent me from buying it.

    • Ralph

      No, they were 6 or 5 seaters depending on if there was a console and buckets, it was really just a dress up for the Catalina the first year it came out in 1964, it didn’t get serious until 1965 when the 421 was made standard.

    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Miguel, in Mexico, is referring to Air Conditioning I assume. Ditto here in Tampa!

      Like 1
  12. ccrvtt

    I don’t have the money but I fail to see what’s not to like about this car – 421, 4-speed, 8-lug wheels.

    What more could you want? Egg in your beer?

    Nitpicking is for people who like nits. This is a nice car.

    Like 21
    • Ralph

      An answer as to why the wipers aren’t head to head like every other 1965 Pontiac would be a good start.

      Its a cool car, but don’t let the shinny stuff distract you from some of the questionable things on it.

      Like 4
      • ccrvtt

        So I googled images of 1965 Pontiac 2+2s and every single one had wipers that looked like the ones on this car. Even the cars listed in Hemmings.

        I think there must be a photoshop conspiracy developing on a massive scale to misrepresent the wipers on 1965 Pontiac 2+2s.

        Like 1
    • Larry Member

      Tri-power (another rare option). I know because I have a 65 Catalina 2+2 2dr HT with the 421 tri-power, 4sp and 8 lug wheels

      Like 3
  13. Don Diego

    Did the ’65 421 come stock with an Edelbrock intake ??

    Like 1
  14. Troy s

    Another solid Pontiac along with the ’65 GTO convertible here recently. As a general rule when studying old recorded performance numbers from Pontiac almost all their press cars came way of Royal Pontiac, with the bobcat tune or sometimes with blueprinted engine or mills not available in certain models. Jim Wagner was the p.r. guy who understood the importance of hype marketing…even if it was a bunch of B.S.,, and I’ve never heard people who drooled over the GTO as being “budget minded”. Those werent exactly cheap cars either.
    Nice big cruiser here that will attract a crowd wherever it goes.

    Like 6
  15. art

    The wipers were a new feature for Pontiac in 1965 and were called “articulated” wipers. This excerpt from “Engineering the 1965 Pontiacs, by John Z. DeLorean”, reads:

    “New ideas include some most people would consider minor. A good example is our new articulated windshield wiper. We feel it’s one of the most worthwhile wiper improvements since windshield washers. Although this wiper is rather expensive to make, we feel it’s worth the extra cost — this year, especially, because it increases the wiped area by 11.5%. Most of the increase is in the critical areas next to the pillars. Another advantage of this wiper is that the blade’s pressed more firmly against the glass.
    We almost had to use the articulated wiper on the new Pontiac. We’d changed our windshield design so it has less curvature (to accommodate the curved side glass and for improved vision). Since the pillars are curved, too, the windshield is now narrower at the top than at the belt line. With conventional wipers on this type of windshield, there’s a lot less wiped area, because the movement of the wiper arm has to be restricted to keep the blade from hitting the pillar. A conventional wiper on this windshield, especially, cuts down forward vision for a short person, because there’s a much larger unwiped triangle at each lower corner.
    To solve this problem, we’ve come up with a wiper that moves across the windshield in a parallelogram. This is only possible when there’s a relative movement between the wiper arm and the blade as they sweep the windshield. To get this articulation, a blade-control link connects the blade assembly to a fixed pin on the wiper transmission housing. The length and location of the wiper arm, blade-arm length, and blade-control link were all critical. We had to do considerable cut-and-try experimentation before we got the right parallelism between the outer blade position and the windshield pillar. ”

    This 2+2 Pontiac is an oddity, beautiful, but an oddity.

    Like 5
    • Elmer

      I hope this will shut some of the arm chair experts up.

      Like 1
  16. bog

    My era Poncho. My Dad had a ’63 Grand Prix with a similar interior, though no 4 speed. 389 w/4 barrel. Lots of torque. I had the fortune (or misfortune) to go to US 30 Dragstrip a LOT, and lived a block from an establishment called “Willy’s Dyno-tune”. Guys trailered in their racers from all over to get them sorted. They often did massive “burn-outs” down Western Ave after those tune-ups. A favorite memory was one of those race-prepped 421 Aluminum fendered Catalinas. Wow ! For a big car, that thing flat moved ! And yes, it had pretty big slicks mounted….

    Like 5
  17. Josh Mortensen Staff

    The seller emailed us that they have received some unpleasant phone calls, so I’ve pulled the link to their ad. Please don’t post the link here in the comments. If you are genuinely interest in buying it, please email us and we will send you the link.

    Like 3
    • Fogline

      Wow, Josh!

      Nothing like a “thank you for providing me with huge exposure to a community of car lovers for my $5 ad on Craigslist”. While I don’t condone anyone calling to give someone a hard time for their description, which the seller may believe all to be true statements, I am sure there are plenty of people on CL in the sellers area that are nitpicking the ad and it may not even be people from this community that are making these calls.

      As far as the car itself, in the scheme of things, what you are getting looks like a lot for the money, IMHO. Pure American muscle with a third peddle to boot. What more could you want? I guess you could go buy a Toyota instead for the same money, but would it be as fun? Love them. Drive them. It’s not a $100k show car.

      Like 6
    • Redwagon

      Wow. CL is public venue. I wouldnt think they have a leg to stand on, complaining to BF about product review.

      Like 2
  18. scottymac

    Hope you run across my friend, Roger T., during your tour. He’ll be showing a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 7 Litre (428, four speed) in raven black, that will put this Pontiac to shame.


    Like 3
    • Troy s

      Now that sounds interesting, as much as I like this 2+2 deep down I’d be pulling for the Ford. Not too familiar with poncho’s, but I know what a 428 Ford can do if massaged a little.

      Like 1
      • Johnny

        If you had blown a 428 at high speed. You wouldn,t think so much about them. The cylinder walls are pretty thin.. I blowed one on the inside wall. When I got it stopped. It cranked good,but would start. Tore into it and the wall was busted. I,ve ran 390,s 428 and the 289 took more punsihment–alot more and still never blowed. If you want speed quick. Go to lower gear. I was in a Ford Falcon road racing with some friends. It had a 289 -4 barrel–4 speed. The other guy had a big Buick with a 425–2 4 barrels. We ran about 30 miles. The Buick held real good in the curves but as soon as the Ford hit the least little straight, He ran off the Buick. The Buick owner could believe what the Ford had and had to see the motor. Alot depend on more things besides a big motor. I,m sure this Pontiac is one heck of a runner and it looks really nice. I,d love to own it. With the 4 speed and 421. I,d have to chirp the tires once in awhile. hahaha

  19. Del

    Nice car even with changes.

    Hagerty says between 27 to 52 grand.

    I guess with changes it would be closer to the lower amount

    Like 4
  20. RobB Member

    Beautiful car. If I had the money, I would buy it in a heartbeat. But, I’m in the middle of restoring my 69 Roadrunner. My first car was a 67 Firebird 400 in 1975, my 2nd year in college. Believe it or not, I paid $500 dollars for it. I mean I’ve read all of the comments and must say, either you like the car or not. That’s your prerogative. But some of yall’s comments are just right mean..

    Like 6
  21. JP

    This is an awesome lookin 2+2 but it would have to be all original documentation to be worth the price!

    Like 1
  22. art

    I’d take this Bonney:
    for less than 1/2 the price with factory air and laugh all the way to the bank.

    Like 1
  23. Jeff DeRidder

    Well, this one needs dent removal, a complete respray, some chromework and an engine rebuild to be equal, or nearly so, to the ’65 2+2. Being a car guy I know these alone will push your total cost to in excess of $25k. Then we can start looking for the other stuff needing help.

    Like 2
    • Tom Member

      Hey Jeff, where do you live? If you can get all of what you listed, and done well & correctly, for $25K …..I am on my way with a lot of money and a bunch of cars!

      I am outside of Chicago and your list, done right and done correctly, would be twice that amount or more if you are paying someone to do ALL of the work.

  24. Del

    Ok Jeff. Its a 10 grand value then

    Like 1
  25. Bob McK Member

    There are lots of comments here today, but bottom line. This is one beautiful car. I bet it is a blast to drive.

    Like 3
  26. TimM

    A great looking car and at a price that seems reasonable to me for the condition of this car!!! Well taken care of and being it’s rust free it’s worth every penny in my opinion!!!

  27. Jeff

    As beautiful as the 65 is, we have a 67 Grand Prix convertible tucked away about 75 mikes from me. It is maroon with black interior and top. Under the hood is a 428HO with the long branch manifolds, etc. and a nice wide ratio Muncie transmission, 8 lug wheels and all the accessories you would expect on a car like this. What a honking Pontiac. In 1968 there was a 67 2+2 convertible in our local wrecking yard and I was lucky enough to be the buyer of that engine/trans. Still have it.

    Like 2
  28. KC RONN

    That is one beautiful Car and a 4 Speed I would love to play with that shifter.

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