One Family Owned: 1964 Pontiac LeMans Convertible

Regular Barn Finds readers will be aware that I place considerable importance on long-term ownership with classic cars. While there will be exceptions to every rule, most people who have owned the same car for decades will have treated it with care and respect. That seems to be the case with this 1964 Pontiac LeMans Convertible. It has belonged to the same family since it was new, and its overall condition is consistent with a survivor that not been the victim of abuse. However, all good things must come to an end, so this classic is set to move on to a new home and a fresh chapter in its life. Located in Troy, Michigan, you will find the Pontiac listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $16,500, but this remains short of the reserve.

The Grenadier Red Pontiac appears to have quite a story. It was initially bought as a gift for one member of this family. The lady in question had always wanted a red convertible, and the LeMans became that car. It has passed through the hands of five generations of the family, and the impression that it gives is quite positive. It is worth noting that the vehicle isn’t perfect, but if someone wanted to return it to its former glory, that should be a straightforward process. The paint sports plenty of minor chips and marks, but it still holds a healthy shine. The panels are straight, and there is no evidence of any rust problems. The owner supplies some shots of the Convertible’s underside, and while there is a coating of relatively dry surface corrosion, there is no evidence of penetrating rust. The soft-top has a couple of faults that have been patched. It remains presentable, although if the buyer is seeking perfection, they will probably decide to replace it. This decision won’t break the bank because a new top with a glass window generally sells for around $400. The other item that will require attention is the power function for the top. It doesn’t operate, so raising and lowering the top is currently a manual operation. It isn’t clear whether the issues are electrical, but that will be a mystery for the buyer to solve. The exterior trim and chrome are in good order, and I can’t spot any issues with the glass.

I guess that if you were going to buy someone a car as a gift in 1964, it would be hard to go past this LeMans. It features a 326ci V8 that should produce 280hp. When you add the luxury of an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes, it seems that the original owner was a very pampered lady. She also would have garnered respect at a “Traffic Light Grand Prix.” Shoving the pedal to the metal would see this classic demolish the ¼ mile in 16.4 seconds. That’s a pretty respectable number for what is a luxurious convertible. The seller doesn’t provide any specific information about how well the LeMans runs or drives, but she does indicate that the odometer reading of 46,700 miles is genuine. I will say that while specific information is scarce, the engine bay has what I would call an “honest” appearance. Nobody has gone ballistic with the rattle packs or the detailing spray, and there is no evidence of any long-term fluid leaks or accumulated gunk. If this indicates the Pontiac’s overall mechanical health, then I suspect that the news should be pretty positive.

The Convertible’s interior continues the theme of the honest survivor, and the buyer could conceivably use the car for years without laying a glove on the trim. There are no rips or tears, although there are faults that are worth considering. The dash pad has begun to crack, and the buyer will probably choose to replace this. The finish on the steering column is badly scuffed and scratched, and it appears that the release lever for the tilt wheel function may be broken. I did a quick search and found reproduction levers for under $40. That means that provided there is no other damage, getting the tilt mechanism working again will be pretty cheap. The upholstery on the bucket seats is stretched, and the piping on the outer edge of the driver’s seat is damaged. However, an upholsterer should be able to fix the piping, while new foam might make the cover fit more tightly. The carpet on the bottom of the door trims is worn beyond salvation, but there are no other appreciable problems. As I said, it could remain largely untouched, although fixing those few issues would make a significant difference to the overall presentation of the interior.

We’ve all seen classic cars from the 1960s that have led hard lives, which can show in many ways. Evidence can range from dings and dents to shredded upholstery and engines hidden below a heavy layer of accumulated grease, dirt, and sludge. This ’64 LeMans Convertible shows none of these issues, and while it can never be considered conclusive proof, it does auger well for the next owner. Part of me would love to see this Convertible treated to a restoration, while part of me feels that it is capable of carrying its tag of an unmolested survivor like a badge of honor. Would you restore it or leave it as-is?

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Comments

  1. Jake Rosenberger

    Actually the 326 in 64 produced 250 the ho version is what produced 280

    Like 1
  2. JOHN Member

    I like it, I’ve owned a few 64 GTO’s and currently have a 65 GTO convert. I like the fact it is a LeMans, and decently optioned, remote mirror, power antenna, I didn’t even notice the tilt wheel, good eye! I wouldn’t dream of cloning this into a GTO, just do a minor restore and enjoy. It will be interesting to see what this sells for.

    Like 10
  3. doone

    I don’t think this had that kind of hp. 250 sae hp with the 2 bbl and 2spd

    Like 1
  4. Curt Lemay

    Beautiful! Please keep her like she is. 326 is a great engine, and we need to keep as many cars original as possible Leno always says he is just taking care of his cars, that they eventually belong to history and will be passed onto future generations. If you clone this, then future history will be inaccurate.

    Like 6
  5. Frank Farrell

    Interesting to see the plastic rear window not completely fogged out as it was on my Mom’s – we had to cut it out just to see through it.

  6. Ben T. Spanner

    My Father bought a new one in bronze with tan to and interior. He always bought Goodyear tires for some reason and wanted the dealer to switch the Uniroyals. The dealer did, but switched wheels and tires with a turquoise car. I quickly painted the rims silver.

  7. W72WW3

    Hopefully it will not become another GTO “tribute car”.

    Like 2
  8. John Oliveri

    It’s due a re spray, new top and mechanicals for the top, and I’d shelf the 2 speed for a 350 transmission, vintage air, and enjoy it

    Like 2
  9. CaCarDude

    Back in the 70’sI owned a ’64 lemans 2dr post with 326 4 spd, one of my best cars ever, would like it back today. Like John above I currently own a ’65 GTO Sport Coupe, phs documented. These 60’s Ponchos are a great ride and my ’65 is a keeper. I hope the new owner of this ’64 will keep it original, it does have some nice options.

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