421 Tri-Power: 1965 Pontiac 2+2

Some vehicle manufacturers can disappear without causing a ripple, while others will cause heartbreak among enthusiasts. It would be safe to say that Pontiac falls into the latter category. It’s incredible to think that a brand renowned for producing some of America’s most iconic performance models could succumb to economic rationalism. However, vehicles like this 1965 Pontiac 2+2 remain as torch carriers to remind us what the world has lost. It presents superbly, and the 421ci Tri-Power V8 makes it a potent beast. The owner decided to part with it to fund the purchase of a car they owned two decades ago. The 2+2 is listed here on eBay in Mendon, Massachusetts. Their BIN is $45,000, although the option exists to make an offer. Barn Finder Larry D has an excellent classic radar, so thank you for spotting this gem, Larry.

The 2+2 makes a stunning first impression in Starlight Black. The seller emphasizes that it isn’t a show car but rates it as an above-average driver. There’s not much of which to be critical with this classic. The paint shines beautifully, while the exterior is free from significant flaws or defects. There is no evidence of rust, and the seller doesn’t mention issues in their listing. The glass is flawless, and the same appears true of the trim and chrome. The original Hurst wheels are excellent and add an indefinable something to a vehicle that already possesses a level of subtle aggression. Some classics can blend into the background, like automotive chameleons. This 2+2 is not one of those cars. You can be sure it will turn heads wherever it goes for all the right reasons.

If you feel this Pontiac’s exterior presents well, its interior lifts things to a higher level. The dash and pad are original and appear spotless. The car recently received an interior refresh that included new seat upholstery, door trims, a headliner, a carpet set, and a rear parcel tray. The White vinyl adds a striking contrast to the sea of black and is another aspect of the vehicle guaranteed to receive positive feedback. There is no wear or physical damage, and aftermarket additions are limited to an AM/FM radio. For those seeking loads of optional extras, this is the wrong car. However, as we are about to see, you’ve come to the right place for those wishing to own a comfortable classic that will seat five people and provide neck-snapping performance.

Lifting this Pontiac’s hood reveals its numbers-matching 421ci V8, backed by a four-speed manual transmission. The original owner didn’t select power brakes, but the power steering should remove some of the heavy labor from the driving experience. A previous owner added a correct Tri-Power induction system that should boost engine power from 338hp to 356hp. If that figure proves accurate, it should allow this 4,008lb classic to storm the ¼ mile in 15.1 seconds. The seller states that the previous owner treated the V8 to a rebuild and that it has accumulated 6,000 miles since. It runs and drives exceptionally well, and this Facebook video seems to support the claims about its mechanical health. The engine sounds sweet and clean, with no smoke or odd noises. For potential buyers seeking a turnkey classic, this 2+2 looks like a strong candidate.

While it is not 100% original, this 1965 Pontiac 2+2 is a stunning car that should cause a stir wherever it goes. It needs nothing, although reversing its few upgrades would be an affordable undertaking that would be met with approval by most enthusiasts. The BIN is hardly pocket change, but it sits in the correct range for a 2+2 in this condition. Sixty-two people are watching the listing, and I won’t be surprised if one of them hits the button. Of course, you could beat them to the punch. If you do, I could hardly blame you.


  1. Howard A Member

    Nice,,no, REALLY nice, although I can think of about forty-eleven more beautiful colors than BLAHHHHck,,come on, folks, get happy, a nice blue or SOMETHING,,,anyway, what is it with 60s Ponchos? My connection is pretty clear, my Uncle Marvs cars, but the styling was truly unique, and mechanicals that used to power trucks. It was more than a fancy Chevy, and I’m glad to say I experienced these fantastic road cars first hand, even though it was from the back seat, to a lad who was a natural-born gearhead, I was convinced, Pontiac was simply the coolest GM car made.
    As a sidebar, our discussion about brakes, this is one car that should be updated. I still feel, a single master is adequate, a dual master won’t stop the car any faster, skidding tires is skidding tires, it’s just, with a fantastic car like this, a dual master might just save that beautiful front end, oh, and the inevitable pending lawsuit, of course.

    Like 26
    • $ where mouth is

      Howard, did you find a way of griping about ANOTHER car in the same first sentence as your complement ?!?
      “Come on folks” ?, the car was painted this color in 1965, you come across as your, once again, condescending people at large for not choosing/ordering this car in another color, almost 60 years ago ! Are you loosing your mind ..
      Black (black on black even more so) was very cool, especially on muscle such as this, then, and still is now.
      Why do put your $ where your mouth is, buy it, and ruin the car by painting it some pretty hue of blue =/ EYES ROLLING

      Like 13
      • bone

        Actually, the seller never mentions if this is the original color, or if its the original paint. With all the colors available back then, black seems to be a rare choice of color in a muscle car – or any car after 1967, with the exception of luxury cars and hearses. With 14 to 18 color choices available , its not surprising .

        Like 1
    • Desert Rat

      If the body is straight and the paint is done right nothing looks better than black.

      Like 20
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member


    Like 8
  3. Butch

    What are those wheels?

    Like 1
    • $ where mouth is

      Rare, Hurst edition aluminums that came on the Hurst edition Pontiacs. Theyre very appropriate for this car.

      Like 12
    • LMK Member

      Butch, Those would be swapped for the ‘factory 8 lug wheels’ almost immediately for me…

      Like 3
      • Butch

        The 8 lugs are drum only, no thanks.
        Heavy car like this needs 4 wheel disc.

        Like 3
      • Joe

        Absolutely. The drums worked when they were new, and with improved linings now, would be even better. I had a Seafoam Aqua/White ’62 Grand Prix 389 Tripower, automatic. It would stand up and motor.

        Like 3
  4. Craig

    My father had a friend who always drove a hopped up car. This may have been the first new car he ever owned. He showed up one day to take my father and I (I was 17 at the time) for a ride. What a beast!! I remember being pinned to the back of the seat when he got on it. It took my breath away (literally). I didn’t experience that again, until I was lucky enough to drive a friends 85 Lamborghini Countach. This car is too big for my taste, but the buyer will have a special piece of automotive history that packs a punch. GLWTA

    Like 1
  5. local_sheriff

    Where are the 8lugs…?

    Now while that would be the only thing I’d miss here from a visual standpoint those 8lug wheels come with the problem that you’re bound to drum brakes. And as Howard mentions above, if there is one upgrade a massive barge like this needs then it’s proper brakes.

    I’m pretty sure there are many who will chime in calling me a moron or other names for being willing to alter such a gem, that the 8lugs were the best brakes in the 60s, single circuit brakes are just as good as dual circuit etc. Since I’ve been driving 60s/70s vehicles in modern traffic for almost 30years I regard myself as – at least – somehow competent when I claim they leave a lot to be desired in the braking department – regardless of how ‘good’ those brakes were in the 60s. IMO upgrading the brakes on a classic car is not RUINING it – that is potentially PRESERVING it (and you) from a total loss should the unthinkable happen. Now if someone wants to try how it feels to burst a brake line try this one out: alone in a parking lot try to maneuver your vehicle around shopping carts and flower pots braking it solely with the parking brake. When you get used to it increase speed in increments up to city driving speeds. Then imagine that brake performance around in your neighborhood – it’s the same as having a front circuit leak in a dual bowl system. Now try to maneuver your vehicle around the same lot braking solely with gears. How fast are you willing to go? That’s the same as experiencing a leak in a single circuit system (or both circuits in a 2bowl system). Still willing to go at, lets say, 40mph around town only braking with gears in a 60year old 2ton car…?

    Upgrading to a dual circuit system is a matter of changing master cyl and rearrange lines, an upgrade that will hardly be visible once it’s completed and can easily be reversed should you decide to make the vehicle an award winning trailer queen. And always remember that crash safety was never high priority in the 60s – so drive accordingly…!

    Like 15
    • Howard A Member

      Bingo,,you know, I feel the same way about seat belts. I have literally MILLIONS of safe miles and never wore a seat belt. The only reason I wear one is to be legal, I don’t think it makes one a better driver, it merely increases chances of survival in the event of a mishap. Same with brakes. I drove PLENTY of trucks with heavy loads, over weight in many cases, and naturally, braking is diminished, and has to be taken into account. My 1st boss knew we “overdriving” the brakes come service time.
      Far as the 8 lugs, 1st, nobody here will call you a moron, I hope, 2nd, the 8 lugs, I believe, were superior to standard drums, but again, they all pretty much stopped the wheel from turning, the rest was up to you.

      Like 9
      • local_sheriff

        Yeah you know, one thing people tend to forget is that the 8lug doesn’t necessarily make a beefier brake system.The true strength of the 8lug lies in its capability to dissipate heat due to its aluminum casting, larger cooling surface and that it is exposed unlike a regular drum hidden behind a steel wheel + wheel cover. All features that will prevent glazing, or boiling your brake fluid.

        Now, the really sad thing about the 8lug is that it still doesn’t have any larger braking surface than what is found on the base 5lug drums – inside the 8lug drum there’s a steel liner, to my knowledge the 8lug brake shoes are even the exact same as found on the 5lug base drum system. In ’65 the 8lug was revised to take a wider shoe but that was because also the regular 5lug drum got wider this year – so it’s still limited to an 11inch diameter drum.

        With all that said – from a VISIONAL standpoint – there’s hardly any wheel that fits better on a 60s Poncho than the 8lug. So if we were living in a perfect world I’d love to have a set of wheels with the 8lug LOOK that would accomodate larger discs behind. Those found on the 2+2 in the link below are probably a bit above my budget though… 😏

        Like 2
  6. $ where mouth is

    One of the finest, sexiest, most powerful, , ,
    GTOs roll model.
    I wonder what the sellers trade up is ?
    I haul in and out of Mass if anyone needs it transported , and then, id get to see this magnificent charriot in real life !

    Like 8
  7. Dave Peterson

    There was a video last week of a cherry restored Ford (Fairlane?) that outran its braking capability and wiped the new nose on the rear end of some Bulgemobile. I’m an appreciator of the 8-lugs, too, but if I’m going to daily anything two tons or bigger, you can bet I will at least have four pots up front, more if possible. I love this car. It pushes every button my aging brain can stimulate. But the price has gone beyond what I could justify at this point in my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that 300 horsepower and $30,000 are my practical caps. Just me. I will never denigrate anyone in this avocation who follows their own muse. This is the epitome of rapid transit 1960’s style.

    Like 6
  8. David Willis

    The description never mentions if this car is a 4-speed model so I assume it is the basic 3-speed. Am I incorrect?

    • jwaltb

      If you took the time to read the eBay listing you’d see it very clearly states the car has a 4-speed.

      Like 8
    • Randy

      Lifting this Pontiac’s hood reveals its numbers-matching 421ci V8, backed by a four-speed manual transmission.

    • 3Deuces

      The shift pattern in the eBay pic shows that it’s a 4-speed. NICE 2+2 … would be nice to see the PHS documentation to verify that everything’s configured as it left the factory. (except for the added tri-power setup, which is fine) 👍

  9. Jim Woods

    Description on eBay says 4 speed.

  10. Dennis Zozula

    On a fun note this brought back an old memory. I saw an older lady driving what I believe was a Grans Prix with the 421 tri power. I commented to my friend that I wondered if she knew what she was driving. A few weeks later I gave him the answer. As I drove by I saw her under the hood tweaking the carbs. I would liked to have met her.

    Like 3
    • $ where mouth is

      Love it !
      Ya, id like to meet her too, maybe even ask her to tune my carbs !
      Now thats the kind of story that makes the comment section something i look forward to everyday..
      Thank You DZ

      Like 2
  11. bone

    Actually, the seller never mentions if this is the original color, or if its the original paint. With all the colors available back then, black seems to be a rare choice of color in a muscle car – or any car after 1967, with the exception of luxury cars and hearses. With 14 to 18 color choices available , its not surprising .

  12. Haynus

    I agree with everybody who thinks 8 lugs are the best factory wheels of the 60’s. I’ve never owned any so I can’t join the discussion of these wheels and brakes. The Hurst wheels came from a whole different mindset. They were built to be as bulletproof as the Hurst shifter, and to avoid the “breaking” that happened back in the day when a cheaper aftermarket mag wheel would come apart from torque and traction during a hard launch. Original Hurst wheels are beyond rare (too expensive when new) so there may be $5K worth on this car. Sell them and you’ll have $$$ left over after you buy the 8 lugs!

    Like 1
  13. scottymac

    The August issue of HEMMING’S MUSCLE MACHINES has a car that should make everyone here happy. It started out as a virtual twin to this car, but has been infused with thousands and thousands of dollars. It has 19 and 20 inch lookalike 8 lugs that hide Corvette disc brakes. And it’s dark blue!


    Like 4
  14. erik johnston

    Some great comments. Some mention the brake master cyl.issue. I thought the dual master cyl. was so you didnt loase brakes totaly if there was a fluid issue. Anyway, this 2+2 is stunning. I sold a 1966 2+2 convert. It was rough. The guy that bought it didnt think it was real,but a week or so later he called me-excited to find through phs history it was real. I lost money on that one,but i knew it was real. The buyer promised to contact me when its done. It was rough.Cool car,i just had bigger ideas,no time to do the work.

    Like 1
  15. Al camino

    WOW! This is one of the longest list of comments I’ve seen on barn finds

    Like 1
  16. Jay

    Absolutely LOVE this. The Right Year…The Right Options. My Favorite big Pancho model. It’s Gorgeous! There is a 66’ in Seafoam or Aqua advertised locally with Air and Automatic for the same price near me… This one beats it all to heck condition wise. I’m just $40K short!

    Like 1
  17. Steve Clinton

    The only reason I can figure as to why GM, when downsizing, dropped Pontiac and kept Buick was because of the number of Buicks sold in China.

  18. Concordia Lutheran Ch

    Pontiac, 1960’s had an option book like the New York phone book… custom orders and colors and things could and did happen, often. I have owned several Poncho’s from 1960 on and miss everyone today, :). Black, 421 , 4 speed…Bad A– Car ! New cam and some porting, this Baby will fly.

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