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Numbers Matching Project: 1966 Pontiac GTO

Many consider the Pontiac GTO as the “godfather” of the mid-size muscle car market. From its introduction as an option on the Tempest/LeMans, practically every U.S. automaker jumped on board with their own factory hot rods. This example from 1966 is numbers matching and runs/drives but it’s going to need at least a cosmetic makeover. Located in Riverside, California, this “GOAT” is available here on eBay where the next bid over $10,099 could take it home.

When the car was first proposed, the bean counters at Pontiac thought they’d only sell 5,000 copies a year. Guess what? They were wrong. More than 32,700 were built in 1964 and another 75,300 were produced in 1965. That demand was enough for Pontiac’s czars to decide to make it a series of their own the next year. The public responded by scooping up nearly 97,000 GTOs in 1966 (which would be the peak before the nameplate was retired in 1974). 80% were sold with the 389 cubic inch V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor (the rest had Tri-Power).

Not much is known about the history of this 57-year-old Pontiac. The VIN properly decodes this vehicle as a ’66 GTO rather than a LeMans. The original 389 engine resides under the hood, backed by an automatic transmission. Since the seller says it runs and drives, we assume the car can at least be driven around town. We’re told that everything works, so (to me) that means the brakes, lights, and other important functions.

The mileage is 80,000, which may or may not be accurate. The body seems okay, but the black-over-red paint (maybe an older respray) has seen better days and is due for a refresh. The same can be said of the interior which comes with bucket seats and a console. As a project, this appears to be a complete car – and then some: there’s a spare transmission in the trunk, but no mention is made if it fits this car.


  1. Cooter Cooter Member

    About as original and complete of a Goat I have seen here and has great potential. Being from the Southwest, the old tin worn won’t present the problems many of these do. Restore this to original condition and you’ve got a real gem!

    Like 8
  2. kevin holt

    my dad had a 66 gto got it on trade 1972 with rod knock. i was 12 been hooked on cars for the last 53 years. i have a 67 firebird i got it in 79 go pontiac !!!!

    Like 0
  3. Bub

    I see what I think is an A/C compressor front and centre under the hood. But I see no other indicators that it is an air conditioned car.(?)

    Like 3
    • William R Hall

      What you see is not ac compressor but a piece of emissions equipment an air pump aka smog pump.

      Like 2
  4. Ken

    Smog pump its california

    Like 7
  5. Bub

    Thanks Ken. Didn’t know it was mandated that long ago.

    Like 3
  6. Ralph Member

    I have a1965 GTO no smog pump and a 1966 GTO that had a smog pump which was mandatory then. Now 1975 and older are exempt for having smog tests in California. 1975 and newer must pass a smog check to register and in some city’s smog checks required every 2 years to license.

    Like 1
  7. William R Hall

    What you see is not ac compressor but a piece of emissions equipment an air pump aka smog pump.

    Like 1
  8. Barzini Barzini Member

    Sold and well bought for $17,600.

    Like 0

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