BF Classified: 1966 Pontiac LeMans Convertible

Early in the week, we covered a driver condition 1965 Pontiac GTO. It’s a real nice car that really didn’t need anything more than a paint job and even the one that covered it wasn’t all that bad. The bidding for that Pontiac is still going having reached north of $17,000. Taking a slight change in direction, this 1966 Pontiac LeMans Convertible, the LeMans being the non-performance version of the GTO, surfaced and I thought it would make for an interesting comparison coming on the heels of the GTO. This LeMans is located in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey and available here on BF Classifieds for $23,995.

This Pontiac convertible is not a barn find per se, it’s not a trailer queen being offered by a famous Arizona auction house, it’s not a quick sale from Uncle Herman’s estate, it’s just a very nice convertible that a seller in New Jersey has decided that the time to part ways has arrived.

So, what’s not to like about this LeMans? As near as I can tell, nothing – it looks perfect. While the GTO is known for its prodigious power, the LeMans usually domiciled an engine that was a bit more reserved like a 326 CI V8 good for 250 gross HP. No telling what originally powered this LeMans but whatever it was doesn’t matter because this Tin Indian is harboring a 400 CI V8 that originally called a Catalina home. The seller doesn’t elaborate a lot on the componentry of the engine but he mentions it has a “lopey” cam and it “pulls really strong”. It certainly looks impressive. Continuing rearward is a four-speed manual transmission connected to a Chevrolet twelve bolt differential. A rear anti-sway bar has been added as well to help with negotiating a tight one and front disc brakes are now in place to help slough-off speed at a faster, safer rate. There are a lot of good pics included with the listing, be sure to check them all out.

The exterior of this LeMans is beautiful, nothing appears out of place. The seller claims that this is a very straight car and there is no reason to doubt that claim. The finish is rich and deep, probably a more modern base coat/clear coat – whatever the case, this Pontiac wears it well. The seller adds that every bushing on this convertible has been replaced, a nice improvement especially considering that aged convertibles have a tendency to squeak and creak a bit more than their hardtop/sedan counterparts. There are images of the underside included and it all looks just right. Oh yeah, and the chrome is really strong too.

Inside is like outside, beautiful black morrokide upholstery with a very clean dash, brilliant chrome console, and like-new carpet. Auxillary gauges have been installed under the dash and a hood-mounted tach is in place, where else, but on the hood.

This LeMans has all of the bases covered. The seller wants a strong asking price but imagine what that number would be if this Pontiac was a GTO in this condition. I found one curious statement in the listing, that being, “Turn key or make it a GTO clone, personally I’d keep it as is.” Well, I’m glad to hear that the seller is down with that idea, I couldn’t imagine the rationale for cloning a GTO from a LeMans that stands so strongly in its own right. This LeMans is not a GTO and it’s proof positive that not everything is what’s in a name, don’t you think?


  1. flmikey

    With the prices of collector cars going through the roof, I would consider this one a bargain…400, 4 speed, 12 bolt, this seller did everything I would have done…nice find!

    Like 16
  2. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    When I think of the designation “Pontiac Lemans”, this is what I picture and nothing made later. Whomever buys it, please don’t turn this into a clone and instead let it live out its years as a very cool, bad-ass Lemans.

    Like 12
  3. SMDA

    I would have kept a 326 four speed. Better handling, more pleasant to drive, not to mention, less costly to change over.

    Like 0
    • Matt G

      How would it be better handling, isn’t a 400 just a bored out 326? I expect the weight of the engines would be pretty much the same…

      Like 16
      • SMDA

        Really? Didn’t know that, thanks for the info. Of course, a 326 would run better. The lobbie cam is unpleasant at stop lights and such, plus the smaller less stressed engine is going to deliver better gas usage as well. I never understood the idea that more HP is always better. When is enough enough? The wise engineers made standard engines just that for a reason, they had a balance that made common sense.

        Like 3
      • DAN

        pretty sure a 400 is bigblock in pontiacs

        Like 1
      • Nick P

        Pontiac has no big block or small block. A 301 and a 455 are indistinguishable from the outside.

        Like 17
      • Troy s

        The only reason John DeLorean and friends put a 389 in their cool GTO was the 421 would have possibly gotten them fired. 326, 389, 421…428, 455 they are not separate engine families., big block small block is really a Chevy thing.
        Really really like this souped LeMans, and it doesn’t need any GTO badges to be a head turner. The lopey cam actually turns heads too, I love that noise.

        Like 6

    I appreciate that it wasn’t cloned as a Goat. If this were a Chevelle, it would be 10k additional. Great car, great price in my opinion.

    Like 11
  5. local_sheriff

    I know the GTO was the performer of the pack – but I really must admit the opposed C’s tail lights fit the overall design FAR better than the Goat’s strips. This is more or less a GTO with LeMans looks and I really hopes it’ll stay that way

    Like 7
  6. Dual Jetfire

    Scrap it immediAtely for insulting the legacy of the Stupendous 53-56 Nash Ambassador Custom Lemans, designed by Pinin Farina, and available in both sedan and Country Club hardtop models. These Ambassadors feature the legendary Dual Jetfire engine, which set so many European records in the Nash Healeys, including First in Class at several 24 Hours of Lemans races and impressive overall finishes.

    (Just kidding about scrapping it! )

    Like 2
  7. JOHN Member

    I like it except for the hood tach. I actually love the Pontiac hood tachs, but I think they look best on the 68 up body style. The rest of the car is nice as-is, but the price is a bit out of line in my opinion.

    Like 2
  8. Jost

    What a great find.. As Brack said.. so good that the owner did not clone a Goat, it would of been so very easy, especially with the 400/4spd. Great price also, I wish I could buy it. To add to other previous comments i concur with those that said the 400 is the same block as the 326… Pont. did not have a big block/small block..these we’re all the same. Just different bore and stroke. As far as improved fuel mileage with a 326…not really unless you had a base 2 barrel carb.. and whats the point anyway, will this be a daily driver doing 12-15.000 miles a year? Its a weekend pleasure car. A bit of a lopey cam does not make the car hard to drive either. In a Pont. 400 you don’t go that big with a cam anyway so it just improves a very nice tourquey engine. And it sounds good. Its most likely just a modest lift with longer duration with nice simple hydraulic lifters. Thats what the 400 needs.

    Like 4
  9. Mountainwoodie

    Listen. More HP means more manliness. Period. We’re not discussing this anymore. I like lopey cams, annoys the guy next to you at the stoplight.

    What more could you want?

    Like 3
  10. Mountainwoodie

    Listen. More HP means more manliness. Period. We’re not discussing this anymore. I like lopey cams, annoys the guy next to you at the stoplight.

    What more could you want?

    Like 1
  11. Mood-O

    Very nice job!
    We did a similar upgrade on our ‘64 Lemans convertible…
    455 FAST FI 700R4 3:55 rear
    Factory a/c car originally 326 2bbl ST300
    Of course we modified the brakes also, front disc and B body rear drums
    Don’t get it out much, but runs really well!

    Like 2

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