One Of A Kind? 1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible

Claiming that a classic car is unique is easy. Proving it can be another challenge altogether. That could be one of the tasks that the buyer of this 1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible will face. Its original owner not only chose to order the car with what was the most desirable drivetrain combination offered by Pontiac in that model year, but the Special Order paint might be the final piece of the puzzle that confirms its unique status. It looks tired now, but it would seem to represent a straightforward and rewarding project build for its next owner. Located in Homer Glen, Illinois, you will find the GTO listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $32,600, which remains short of the reserve. The owner does offer a BIN option, which he has set at $75,000.

The owner located the Build Sheet for this GTO sitting above the fuel tank, and while it isn’t in great condition, it indicates that the original owner ordered the Convertible finished in Tiger Gold. This shade wasn’t offered in 1966 but was available as part of the 1965 Pontiac color palette. The paint has seen better days, as has the White power top. However, when we delve below the surface, we spot plenty of positive news with this classic. The underside photos show a significant coating of surface corrosion but no evidence of penetrating rust in the floors or frame. The only apparent issues are in some lower body panels, but repairing these should be easy. The passenger side door and rear quarter panel sport sizeable dents, and the buyer might replace both. The original Rally wheels are intact, as is the trim. If I were a betting man, I would wager that the buyer will probably tackle this as a frame-off restoration. Given the ongoing popularity of the GTO and this car’s potentially unique nature, such a move could be justified.

I’ve probably teased you enough about the drivetrain combination, and this is one area where this Convertible shines. The original owner ordered the car with the 389ci Tri-Power V8 that pumps out a staggering 360hp. He also equipped the vehicle with a 4-speed M21 manual transmission, a Saf-T-Track rear end, and 20:1 quick-ratio manual steering. If you yearned for a GTO in 1966, this was about as good as it got. Pointed at a ¼ mile, this classic should be able to demolish the distance in 14.4 seconds. That number would be considered impressive today in a soft-top that can seat five people. In 1966, that would’ve made the owner an undoubted king of the road. If the news hasn’t been good enough for you, the owner’s claim that the GTO is numbers-matching should almost seal the deal. The car runs and drives, but it will need some attention before it could be considered roadworthy. The list includes some suspension work, new tires, and a thorough mechanical inspection. However, if the buyer is a person intent on instant gratification, it seems that returning this Pontiac to the road as a head-turning original survivor could be an easy undertaking.

It seems that the original owner didn’t miss a trick when he ordered his GTO because the interior also received his attention. As well as Black vinyl trim and a Rally gauge cluster with a factory tach, he ticked the boxes beside the sports wheel and the walnut shifter knob. Throw in a remote driver’s mirror and lamps in the glove box, ashtray, trunk, and engine bay, and it seems that he sought a combination of performance and convenience. This interior doesn’t need much if the buyer wants to retain its survivor status. The upholstery on the bucket seats shows some minor wear, but it hasn’t deteriorated to the point where replacement would be considered essential. The rear seat and remaining upholstered surfaces look good, but other items might command the buyer’s attention. The lenses on the gauges have become discolored, and I would replace these so that their condition matched the rest of the dash. The pad shows its age, as does the carpet. It’s easy to find a replacement pad for around $280, while a carpet set is a snip at $200. With those few items replaced, the buyer will find themselves with an interior that presents extremely well.

With the bidding at its current level, this 1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible is not a cheap project car. However, there’s a genuine chance that its paint color and mechanical configuration could make it unique. Its sound structural condition and numbers-matching status have all contributed to the reasonable bidding history, and there’s still plenty of time for interested parties to stake their claim on this gem. I don’t know where the seller has set the reserve, but current market trends suggest that if the buyer performs a meticulous restoration, this car has the potential to command an easy six-digit value when the process is complete. Even at the BIN price, that leaves plenty of room to move on a restoration before the financial viability of the process comes into question. Are you tempted to make a play for this GTO, or is it too rich for your blood? If you do throw your hat into the ring, I could hardly blame you.

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Comments

  1. 19sixty5 Member

    As a GTO guy, I like this a lot, it’s currently at $36k, which I believe is strong money for an unrestored car. The buy it now price is also rather ambitious. Restored, loaded options with AC, AM/FM, power antenna, seats, windows, etc, maybe. Regardless it is a nice GTO to start with, but there will be a huge restoration bill in the future. What is with the two holes in the firewall? I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I’ve seen a lot of Goats in my time…

    Like 13
    • Bill McCoskey

      19sixty5,

      The hole on the passenger side of the firewall is where one of the heater copper lines comes out and the rubber heater hose attaches. The matching line is directly below it. This means the heater core is damaged, and also why the heater hoses are not connected.

      The other hole is in the middle of a non-factory part fastened to the firewall, so I have no clue what it was for.

      Like 2
  2. Big_Fun Member

    I’ve been seaching the ‘net – just a quick search – for production numbers on Tiger Gold. Less than 2,000?
    I would love to see this GTO detailed- or to do it myself. Take the time, relishing in all of it. Seats out, carpet out – everything. I would not consider it a ‘chore’. More of an experience/adventure/exploration.
    It that possible for under $50K?

    Like 6
  3. Mark P

    Don’t get me wrong, I like old muscle cars. Had a couple 40+ years ago. But rare color or not, at a car show it’ll get a glance then its on to really check out the ’68 Biscayne stripper with the straight six. Just say in.

    Like 6
  4. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    A rare Tiger Gold convertible Goat for sure and the original owner thought to check the Rally Gauge Cluster option too.

    Like 5
  5. PaulG

    It’s difficult to believe that this is becoming the new normal…even though it’s desirable and worth a restoration; it’d turn into a labor of love quickly.

    Like 6
  6. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    No console?

    Like 1
  7. Gordon

    Somebody knew what they were doing when they ordered that one!

  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    This is one of those “if only I could” cars.
    This is my pick of the day without a doubt.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  9. A.J

    This goat would get way north of $100k once its refreshed as a survivor or restored, depending on close inspection. It’s a very rare car with very good options. To a collector it’s the a top of the heap muscle car.
    Just look at mecum and other recent auctions.

  10. Grant Eagle

    If do it yourself is your thing go for it, but you can buy a car just like this drivable condition at both of car auctions, (you know the two I’m talking of) for less than $50k. Just watched a 65 go for $40k yesterday. Question is do you want to just look at it, or get it out and drive to a 200mile trip to a car show? I’ll go show.

    Like 4
    • JB

      So Grant you’re saying you’d make it a trailer queen? If so, too bad. If my 69 goat is ever on a trailer its because someone has STOLEN IT!!

      Like 3
  11. DST1965

    Growing up a friend of mine had a 66 GTO convertible with the 389 Tri-power, in a light green color, it was a driver in nice shape, & it would run- had LOTS of fun with that Pontiac-little did we know the astronomical prices these cars would ever be fetching-still have a hard time believing it

    Like 3
  12. Jim on FL

    The color reminds me of the 1967 thom mcann giveaway gtos. They were a similar color, hard tops though, and with red painted wheel wells.

    Nice car, I’m a ragtop man, it checks off the desirable list for me. Too rich for my wallet though. I want an evening drive in it when it’s done.

    Like 1
  13. JB

    So Grant you’re saying you’d make it a trailer queen? If so, too bad. If my 69 goat is ever on a trailer its because someone has STOLEN IT!!

  14. chuck dickinson

    Quick-ratio manual steering or not, the fact it’s lacking at least PS and PB would be a major distraction for me. A good friend ordered a new 67 GTO convert w/manual steering since he felt it would be fine that way. It wasn’t. A chore to drive around town, and he wished he’s sprung the few extra bucks for the PS. He did order Pdisc brakes,however.

    Like 2
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

      Spot on, Chuck. When I was a teenager, Ma began to satisfy her passion for cars by buying a used 57 black Olds 88 convertible from a colleague for $600. It was in almost perfect condition, but didn’t have power steering. Almost 5000 lbs, it was fine on the road, but trying to park was a nightmare for her. After a few years with a stiff neck and sore shoulders, she gave up and bought a 59 Catalina convert with PS. I did love both of those cars so much!

      Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      My first Goat was an identical version of this car, right down to the various options it didn’t have. I bought what could be this very car [but I don’t think it’s my old car] in 1976 for $800.00.

      It only took one trip into the Washington DC Downtown area, where parking was next to the curb, that I decided it needed power steering. I visited the local junkyard where I found a badly wrecked ’66 LeMans with both options, that had come into the yard the day before. Bought all the parts to do the conversions for $30, with the promise I would give the yard owner the old steering parts I took off my car. The LeMans also had 4-speed with console, and I bought the console for $25. The console was expensive because the yard owner said he could sell it quickly.

      Ended up selling the GTO about a year later, sold it to a guy from the New York City area. Sold it thru a Hemmings ad, for $2,200. I sold it because it didn’t have A/C. Anyone who lives in the mid-Atlantic area understands the need for A/C, we only get a few weeks of top-down time every spring and fall, plus a day or 2 during June.

      Like 2
  15. Johnny

    Rare goat or not. No way I,d pay that kind of money in that kind of shape,. You can look around and find them in alot better shape-driveable for alot less. I wonder how much the buyer–would donate to help a child in need?

    Like 2
  16. Steve Makowski

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic01.nyt.com%2Fimages%2F2010%2F06%2F24%2Fautomobiles%2Fwheels-Pontiac-
    GTO-66%2Fwheels-Pontiac-GTO-66-
    blogSpan.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwheels.blogs.nytimes.com%2F2010%2F06%2F24%2Fmovies-paean-to-pontiac-power%2F&tbnid=oq9cwnT6qTIipM&vet=12ahUKEwjX-OScrZDzAhXBoK0KHYZ2A6AQMygregUIARCLAg..i&docid=IuyidetBL59FRM&w=480&h=274&q=movie%20GTO&ved=2ahUKEwjX-OScrZDzAhXBoK0KHYZ2A6AQMygregUIARCLAg

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