Original 326/4-Speed: 1965 Pontiac LeMans

The seller claims this 1965 Pontiac LeMans is an original barn find but supplies no information on the circumstances under which it was discovered. It is undeniably a stunning car featuring some desirable factory options that should equate to an enjoyable classic ownership experience. It needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Milford, Connecticut. They set their BIN at $27,000, but there is an option for interested parties to make an offer.

Initially a trim package for the Tempest, the LeMans became a model in its own right in 1963. That trend continued with a Second Generation model in 1964, with the company performing only minor upgrades in 1965. It was that year our feature car rolled off the line in Pontiac, Michigan. The Trim Tag confirms that its original owner ordered it in Starlight Black, and it retains that shade on its almost faultless panels. The paint sports a few minor marks and chips, but it still presents well as a survivor-grade vehicle. The seller provides no background information on what they claim is a barn find, so it is unclear whether it received any previous restoration work. Many classics from this era suffered significant rust and corrosion issues. This LeMans has avoided that fate. The exterior looks clean, with the underside shots revealing a rock-solid frame and floors. The original owner ordered this Pontiac with tinted glass that looks flawless, while the trim, chrome, and damage-prone full hubcaps are as-new.

If this Pontiac’s exterior looks impressive, the positive vibes continue when we open the doors to inspect its interior. The original owner broke out their checkbook to order this classic with bucket seats, a console, and a pushbutton AM radio with the optional rear speaker. It looks like they treated the car respectfully because the trim and upholstery look excellent for a driver-grade vehicle. I see no rips or tears, or other signs of potential abuse. The headliner is tidy, with the dash and pad equally spotless. If I marked this interior harshly, I might suggest they could replace the slightly faded carpet, and they might restore or replace the cracked wheel. However, with those issues proving so minor, there would be no shame in leaving them untouched. The seller includes PHS Documentation, the original Owner’s Manual, and Protect-O-Plate for those liking paperwork.

The original owner selected a perfect compromise between economy and performance when ordering this LeMans. They opted for the two-barrel version of the 326ci V8. Its 250hp feeds to the road via a four-speed manual transmission and a Posi rear end. The journey down the ¼ mile should take 15.9 seconds before this classic winds to 119mph. The four-barrel version of the 326 brings an extra 30hp to the party, and although it slashes the ET to 15.2 seconds and raises the top speed to 123mph, it does so while consuming more than 10% more fuel. As a compromise solution, our feature car would have provided enough performance to satisfy most owners with economy to make it an effective long-distance tourer. The seller states that this car is numbers-matching and runs and drives well. They describe it as an ideal restoration candidate, but its solid state and mechanical health mean the buyer could enjoy the car immediately while tackling its restoration as time and circumstances allow.

When I look at cars like this 1965 LeMans, I wonder how a manufacturer producing vehicles of this caliber and the legendary GTO could disappear. However, the vagaries of the automotive industry and changing buyer tastes can have a catastrophic impact if a company fails to plan adequately to meet those needs. Such was the fate of Pontiac, but it is classics like this that keep the memory alive. The history of the LeMans is unclear, but it is almost certain that a new owner will protect and cherish this fifty-seven-year-old classic so it continues to survive for another five decades. Considering its condition and specifications, the seller’s price is within the ballpark in the current market. Thirty-two people are watching the listing, and I won’t be surprised if one of them hits the BIN button. Of course, you could beat them to the punch. Are you tempted?

Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    This past weekend at MCACN in Chicago, there was a car that I gravitated to. Yes – there were over 2 dozen Mopar Wing cars there, uniquely awesome in their own right. But over by the corner was a LeMans Blue ’69 Malibu with a 4 spd, buckets & console. No SS callouts. No hood bulges. No big block. Just a 255 (gross) hp 350 in front of that 4 speed. All factory ordered. Somebody did it right!
    It just goes to say – whether you start with a 225 Slant 6, or the example in this article – the fun quotient can quadruple (pun intended) with a 4 speed!

    Like 17
    • Big_Fun Member

      Ah! How rude of me. Here is a picture of the ’69 Malibu I described in the reply above.

      Like 24
  2. Paul

    Probably the last lemans that wasn’t cloned to a gto! 😂

    Like 15
    • Rick

      And sadly it’s probably just a matter of time until this one meets the same fate.

      Like 1
  3. Steve Weiman

    @Big_Fun – Indeed, At 17yo I purchased a ‘65 Tempest w/3 options: AM radio, 326 V8 and factory 4 SPEED (original hurst shifter too!) That last option MADE the car! Very cool never seen LeMans here, I can attest that 326 is still plenty fun!

    Like 12
    • Big_Fun Member

      Steve –
      Great to hear a true story from someone who lived it! I think the ’65 LeMans is unique – stacked headlamps with perfect edges (those ’66-7 edges softened just a bit). And the fender louvers on the ’65 are the perfect accent…

      Like 6
  4. Stan

    Beauty Poncho..
    333lb/tq 3.23 posi and 4sp. 👍🏁

    Like 6
  5. Johan

    Love it! The first thing I’d find great joy in doing is throwing those stupid floor mats in the garage can! What the heck??

    Like 5
    • Jimmy

      My parents had a 67 Lemans with the 326 it was no tire burner but it could get you in and out of traffic just fine and was cheap to drive. I had a 65 GTO with the 389 / 4 sp which was fun but I would take the feature car in a heartbeat as I’m older and wiser.

      Like 4
  6. John M.Stecz

    This car should not be altered in any way! Hope no restomod type person gets a hold of it.

    Like 8
  7. MattR Member

    The ’65 LeMans is officially now on my wish-list. What a beauty. The next owner only needs to detail that motor to have an absolute stunner.

    Like 3
  8. Old Otis

    What happened to the oil breather cap?

    Like 2
    • Rick

      Probably on the opposite valve cover.

      Like 3
    • 3Deuces

      The valve covers pictured are the 1967-later style that would have been on a 350 or 400. The correct 1965 V8 valve covers are slightly narrower with a “pyramid” at one end. (at the rear on the driver side and at the front on the passenger side). The oil breather cap would be on the passenger side valve cover.

      Like 3
  9. Paul

    I had a beautiful one red with black interior back in about 1967. Chrome wheels and redline tires, mine was 326 but had a 3speed floorshift…been looking for it for years ..,,..

    Like 3
  10. Karl

    No Tri-Carb, not a G.T.O.,Not Red.
    P E R F E C T ! ! !

    Like 5
    • 3Deuces

      Agreed, Karl … it’s really nice to see an unmolested ’65 LeMans that hasn’t been turned into a GTO … especially with a factory M-20.

      Like 3

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