Garage Goat: 1965 Pontiac GTO

In real estate, consultants are paid big bucks to “stage” a house so it looks more appealing to curious home buyers. After seeing this initial photo of a 1965 Pontiac GTO project up for grabs, I’m thinking there’s a potential business model in taking the same approach to listing car projects. This intimidating GTO here on eBay is a stalled project that the seller is cutting loose, and there’s no reserve in sight.  

Though it sports a non-original motor and an automatic, this GTO still gives off good vibes, in my opinion. The stickers in the window and custom paint job at the rear points to a past as a drag car, and while originality brings the big bucks, so does a colorful history. If nothing else, the body appears largely straight though there is some evidence of bodywork on the passenger side. A new GTO hood is included in the sale.

The non-matching 455 is said to run “good”, but no word on if it’s been rebuilt or what the true mileage is. The listing says the GTO has just under 80,000 on the clock, but those could be chassis miles versus what’s on the swapped mill. The seller isn’t exactly generous on what work (if any) has been done to the drivetrain, but he is including a front disc brake kit and other spare parts in the sale. All of the vehicle trim is said to be included, as is a set of correct seats for a ’65.

Overall, it’s difficult to form a firm conclusion on how worthy this GTO is as a project. You never know just how much has gone missing over the years, or what condition the original parts are in. But given there’s no reserve and bidding is still under $5,000 (albeit with four days left on the auction), this could be a cheap way into GTO ownership. Or, you could just buy it to stage in your own garage! Is this project Pontiac a worthwhile investment?



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  1. Moparmann Member

    Would need/be profitable to do an inspection, as well as an inventory of parts. Nothing like trying to put a puzzle together, and discovering that pieces are missing! Could be just the ticket for someone who passionately wants a goat! :-)

  2. Anthony

    Both front fenders don’t match the body. Comes with a new hood. Probably been wrecked im the front. Steering wheel and interior not factory for a 65. Cant tell a real GTO in 65 from the vin. Model is 3737 same as a LeMans. Could be a good buy but would need careful inspection

  3. JW

    Man if this was closer I would go do a inspection and if all the pieces were there and no body rot I would bring it home if the price stays below 5K. This is nostalgia for me as my first musclcar was a 65 GTO but too far away to inspect myself and haul it and all parts home to Missouri.

  4. Dick in SoCal

    This car needs to be purchased by somebody who can go there inspect it and load it on a trailer. It seems the 455 needs to be installed which would be a challenge. I think there is a Pontiac organization that may help validate the GTO claim. If the original 389 can be tied to the car, it would give cred to it being a GTO.

    • Glen Riddle

      FYI that Pontiac organization is Pontiac Historic Services (PHS)

      Why would it be a challenge to drop in the 455? Same dimensions as a 389. All the Pontiac engines from the 1955 287 to the 455s were the same basic engine design. No such thing as Big or Small blocks.

      Like 1
      • Dick in SoCal

        My cover is blown; I confess that I am really an Olds guy,

  5. erikj

    This is a deal by todays standard. Even if all the parts are not there its a simple car and most stuff can be found. Its not rocket science to get it on the road.
    Back in the late 80s I got a 64 gto that was in fact #3 built. I didn’t realize what I had back then. Paid $400 with out a engine, Put a 389 back in it and sold it unfinished 4months later for $1200.
    Oh ya, it only had 36k on the clock. got it from the guy that had it since 1967. He only used it a as a weekend racer at the local strip.
    That was a museum piece to me.

  6. Tyler

    Wow, I can’t believe a 65 GTO at a reasonable price! Especially since Barrett-Jackson was this past weekend.

    I have wanted a 65 for many years. My dad owned one when I was a kid, so it’s a nostalgia thing. He had actually wanted a 64, but they were building the 65’s by time the order was placed.

    If this one was close enough that I could go look at it in person, I would seriously consider taking on another project.

  7. brian crowe

    Everybody keeps talking like it’s such a great deal but it is an auction with 4 days left to go. I bet it will go for close to 10k then eveyone will be saying “oh that’s crazy”. I’ve seen GTO’s in worse shape sell for over 10k. Like Tyler said B-J was this last week so I’m sure there are a few people out there with big ideas of building something and are watching this one. I love GTO’s and would love to have this car, original motor or not.

  8. erikj

    brian crowe,You put it right, like me when its a car like this and its on ebay its not worth the thought of thinking it will sell cheap. I wont be surprised if it ends way over 10k even. It looks like a real GTO and a solid one to work with. I sure miss the 64 GTO I mentioned above, but that was a time ago so I would love to have this one. But no time, to far away and it will sell for a lot more than I could ever consider.

  9. Tim W

    Hey JW, what part of Missouri are you in? I’m about 30 miles E of K.C.

    • JW

      Tim I’m about 40 miles north of K.C., 15 miles north of Liberty in Excelsior Springs.

      • Tim W

        Cool JW. I’m South of Oak Grove. Do you go to any GoodGuys, or NSRA stuff?

      • JW

        Tim, Yes we belong to the Goodguys and try to go to the Des Moines one every 4 th of July. We have a caravan of around 4 cars that make the trip so if anyone has issues someone can help. The wife made friends with a lady near Detroit last year and we are going up to the Woodward Dream Cruise this year also but that will just be us since we are staying at her house.

  10. erikj

    Its getting up there. Last check it is at $5200. Sky is the limit, wish I could bid.

  11. erikj

    almost 10k.

  12. Alan (Michigan)

    And SOLD there, at $9455.

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