Affordable Pioneer: 1964 Pontiac GTO

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Although it sometimes ignites debate, most classic enthusiasts consider the 1964 Pontiac GTO as the “father” of the muscle car era. Certainly, there was no disputing its performance credentials. However, with many of the 32,450 cars produced during that first year succumbing to rust or hard living, finding a tidy example is a treat. That is what our feature car promises and the photos make a positive first impression. It is PHS documented and ready for a new home. The seller listed the GTO here on Craigslist in San Bruno, California. They set their price at $21,900, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder MattR for spotting it.

Pontiac unveiled the GTO as an options package on the LeMans in 1964, with the badge achieving standalone model status in 1966. This classic presents well in Cameo White with a contrasting Black vinyl top. The paint shows consistency and a healthy shine, with no apparent issues with the vinyl. The seller describes it as solid with no rust, and if it has spent its life in a dry climate, the claim is plausible. The tinted glass looks flawless, with the same true for the chrome and trim. Nobody has seen fit to bolt on aftermarket wheels, with the GTO retaining its original steelies and hubcaps. It would take an in-person inspection to confirm that all is well, but taken at face value, this Pontiac shows a lot of promise.

Powering this GTO is its numbers-matching 389ci V8, although the seller admits it sports an updated Edelbrock carburetor. It sends 325hp to a 3.23 Posi rear end via a four-speed manual transmission, and with a ¼-mile ET of 14.6 seconds, there is no disputing its muscle credentials. The listing indicates the engine received a rebuild that included a 0.010″ bore and upgraded camshaft. Therefore, it may produce a few additional ponies to improve its original performance figures. It is PHS documented, meaning there’s no doubting its authenticity. We receive no information on how it runs or drives, but the visual indications are positive.

I have long lamented that modern manufacturers show little adventure when designing interior trim. Buyers are generally faced with various shades of Gray, with vibrant upholstery seemingly confined to high-end models. That’s why I find classics from this era irresistible. It is hard to imagine walking into a showroom today and spotting a new car trimmed in the vivid Red we see in this GTO. That shade covers the upholstered surfaces, carpet, and dash. It isn’t just bright because its condition is impeccable. There is no wear, physical damage, or signs of aftermarket additions like a modern stereo or extra gauges. Slipping behind the wheel would be like rewinding the clock nearly sixty years, and many enthusiasts would find that prospect enticing.

This 1964 Pontiac GTO leaves me intrigued. The seller states it is solid, and there is no evidence of rust in the supplied photos. The panels are straight, the vinyl is clean, and there are no glaring paint issues. It retains most of its original drivetrain, and the interior looks faultless. That makes me question the price because it seems far lower than I would expect in such circumstances. Recent sales results suggest $30,000 would have been realistic, although higher figures are possible. An in-person inspection would confirm this GTO has no significant problems. If that proves the case, it could be one of the bargains of 2023.

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  1. RamoneMember

    63? Looks like a 64

    Like 24
    • MattR

      Craiglist ad says 1964.

      Like 13
    • Allen

      The ’65 was the first model of its own – still made on the LeMans frame, but with modifications you could only get on the GTO – like the Grand Prix was an upscale modified Bonneville – and you could only get those modifications on the GP.

      Like 0
    • Nick P

      That is incorrect. GTO was an option on Lemans in 64, 65, 72, 73. It was only its own model with its own VIN from 66-71

      Like 4
    • John

      It was probably built in 1963 , like the 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang that were 1965 vehicles

      Like 0
  2. Barzini BarziniMember

    If this is legitimate, it’s the sale of the century at that price.

    Like 37
    • Geebee

      I’m thinking there has to be some kind of scam.

      Like 32
      • BAL

        This looks like a rehab. The fender bolts don’t look original and there is no paint on them.

        Like 0
    • Stan

      Got that right ✅️ Barzini. Clean goat 🐐 w a stik shift 🙌

      Like 2
      • ScottMember

        Flagged and gone.

        Like 2
    • RexFoxMember

      Yes, it’s referred to in the write up a couple times as a 63, and it’s also stated that Pontiac unveiled the package in 64. For a moment I thought my belief that the first GTO rolled out in 64 was wrong, but I think the ‘63’s were just typos. Cool car, but I never liked vinyl tops.

      Like 2
      • Stu

        Though the first GTO’s were offered in September of 1963, they were, in fact, the 1964 GTO’s. New cars of my Era always were released in September for the coming year.

        Like 6
  3. CadmanlsMember

    Great looking car but price is in scammer range. Something is way off, but I have been wrong before. But I would not send any money to this seller.

    Like 18
    • Gary

      Should be minimum of 35k in today’s wacky world

      Like 9
  4. ThunderRob

    That’s the rarest Pontiac of all time and i really need it..a 1963 GTO..heck ya..1of 1 :P

    Like 23
    • Tom Lyons

      I dont remember a 63 , it may have
      been built in 63. The 64 GTO was introduced Sept 63

      Like 17

      You know it’s not real, what posted as a 63 car didn’t exist. 64 was the first year for the GTO option

      Like 10
      • John M.Stecz

        I do not think there was ever a 63 GTO,but this would be the deal if the century ,and it’s my favorite colors, it doesn’t hurt to dream

        Like 1
  5. Dave

    Adam, I don’t care if it’s the Father or the Mother of muscle cars, that car is beautiful. Maybe a scam? IDK.

    Like 7
    • Darren Lyons

      It’s bs the ad has been flagged nobody in their right mind would sell it for that was likely a robbery setup.

      Like 5
  6. 64 Bonneville

    The car is probably in storage somewhere, and the seller is in the military at a far off base, so send the money and I will send you the keys and the title so you can pick it up. I almost fell for a scam on a 65 fastback Mustang, 6 cyl w/ 3 speed. in storage in Little Rock, and seller was at Homestead AFB in Florida. That was the song and dance when I e-mailed that seller. So BEWARE!!!

    Like 9
    • Terrry

      If those are the photos of the real car for “sale”

      Like 1
  7. Greg B GregMember

    Way to cheap and very suspicious. Only email and no phone number?

    Like 8
  8. bigbird

    No one is getting this for 21K…if real…41K….

    Like 4
  9. GTOlover

    Scam. No way this is legit

    Like 7
  10. ts27330

    !964 was first year of GTO and it started out as an option on 64 Le Mans.

    Like 4
    • Hugo Atwell

      A good friend has a 1964 and a 1965 GTO but I’ve never heard of a 1963 goat. For that price it has scam written all over it no matter what year it is.

      Like 4
  11. Big C

    I’d like to add this to my collection of my ’63 Mustang, ’66 Camaro, ’65 Charger and of course, my ’52 Corvette!

    Like 16
  12. Robert White

    This is too good to be true. The best 60s muscle car ever and it’s only $21k.

    I’d grab this so fast heads would spin if I only had the money.

    Smitten again, BF.


    Like 2
  13. Christian Schneider

    Very nice. as some others said, I’d consider it a bargain. Is great when people tweek the engine, suspension, or ??? and leave the appearance completely stock, though it’d be nice if he has the original carb.

    Like 0
  14. Robert Levins

    It’s totally worth the money to check the car in person. Even if it costs a bit out of pocket to get there, you’re only spending a fraction of what the car costs even if you don’t buy it. Better to spend a couple of hundred dollars than to “ lose thousands of dollars “.

    Like 0
  15. Allen

    If this is actually a ’64, then it doesn’t have independent rear suspension they put on the ’62 and ’63 Tempest, which was a nightmare. If you took a corner too fast, the outside rear wheel would fold up underneath the car and you’d end up in the ditch or someone’s front yard or living room. And that’s why they discontinued that poor design.

    Like 1
  16. Lee Howell

    Im thinking the owner has no title and he’s looking at the build sheet and it shows the year it was built ,if it is a one owner ,then the owner would know what year model the gto was made 1964 is the first year ,the tempest was popular in 63 with independent suspension but it was smaller and faster than the 64 ,and looked alot better than the 64 ,the best looking years for the GTO for me is the 66 and the 70 I am a Pontiac owner and a enthusiast ,best cars ever built ……

    Like 0
  17. TA


    Like 2
  18. Geoff

    This proves that the people at barn finds know nothing. They just regurgitate what they read. A 63 GTO, ha!

    Like 2
  19. Rex Morris

    In fact, the GTO option did not even come out until late Winter/early Spring of 1964.

    Like 0
    • Glen Riddle

      Sorry Rex, but GTO production began in September of 1963.

      Like 6
  20. T. MannMember

    That posting has been flagged for removal.

    Like 2
  21. Raymond Pockalny

    GTO was introduced in 1964 as a half year car later than the normal new car introduction period.

    Like 0
  22. Headturner

    There could be a GTO titled as a 1963 as some states listed year of vehicle by when they were titled. We all know they were new in 1964.

    Like 0
  23. Cliff

    Not a 1963 GTO…FIRST were 1964.

    Like 0
  24. gary chamberlain

    yep, nothing on craiglist showing this car, yet another listed for $42k, California = SCAM

    Like 1
  25. Lantz

    The listing was taken down, Definatally a scam

    Like 1
  26. Terry J

    Had a Pal whose Grandma bought him a new GTO for his birthday circa 1967. To surprise him she drove it from Oregon to Arizona State University where he was. Most of the way the 4 speed never made it out of second gear. When she got there, the new Goat had to be taken to the dealer for a new transmission. Why? “I didn’t want to go any faster”, she said. The old adage that how you break in a car is how it will always be was true. That was the highest revving big block Poncho engine I ever saw. :-) Terry J

    Like 2
  27. Glen Riddle

    There is a seemingly common belief I’m seeing in the comments(and have heard before) that the GTO was brought out by Pontiac in the middle of the 1964 model year. While understandable, this belief is incorrect and the GTO was in fact in production in September 1963.

    It is true that the GTO was omitted from the 1964 Pontiac full-line brochure. But this was done on purpose to fly beneath the radar of GM brass due to concern they might try to cancel the program. Pontiac factory reps were taking dealer orders for the GTO in late Summer of 1963, and over 15,000 orders were taken in the first 6 months, before the official GTO brochure came out in March of 1964.

    In addition to the late arrival of the official GTO brochure and advertising for the the car, the other reason people often mistakenly believe the GTO was a mid year introduction could be because it was the March 1964 issue of Car and Driver magazine, with its controversial cover story comparing the new Pontiac to the world class Ferrari GTO, that vaulted the Pontiac GTO into the limelight.

    Like 7
  28. Dennis M Young

    Too many comments by people who have never had a typo in their entire life. The 1963 was so obviously a typo that you could disregard it, as all knowledgeable car folks know 1964 was the first model year for the GTO package even though it was introduced in the fall of 1963. The add was probably flagged only for the reason of the incorrect year. The price is definitely questionable but who knows what the rest of the photos looked like? I, like most, would definitely be a player at any price under $30K, and higher, if everything looked as good as the few photos here on Barnfinds. I know that there has been too many scammers but does that have to be the first horse you jump on when you spot a possible/probable clerical mistake? Please lighten up folks or you’re going to stroke out at an early age.

    Like 4
  29. Geoff C

    I’ll just enjoy the photos, thank you. Other than that, the ad was (before it got “flagged”) click-bait for who knows what!

    Like 0
  30. SteVen

    To be fair, there WAS a 1963 GTO.
    But that GTO was made in Italy. :-)

    Like 4
  31. Jon

    What I just read says only 1964. I saw nothing 1963, so I don’t know where those of you saw 1963 so apparently it was corrected.
    Lots of you have said maybe a Sept. ’63 release as a ’64 model which lots of cars were so that makes sense too. I have fond memories of going to the small dealer in my home area of N. Mn. in the fall of each year back in the 60s to check out the new next year’s models when you actually had something to look forward to and at, not like today. Eew! Then the chore was talking my Dad into a deal!👍🙏😁
    The GTO beginning is almost identical to that of the Chevrolet Caprice. That model also began as a trim option on the Impala in ’65 before coming into it’s own in ’66. Both cars had almost the same years of life span too, although I can certainly live without the boring bland offering the final years of the Australian GTO was. I’d actually take the ’94-’96 Caprice over that.
    If this car is legit, this is, as others have said, the buy/steal of a lifetime.

    Like 1

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