Parked Since ’82: 1965 Pontiac GTO Convertible

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It’s hard to believe a car as coveted as this 1964 Pontiac GTO convertible could just sit so long that it has become embedded in the ground. It’s located in Columbus, Georgia and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently at $2,500 but the reserve hasn’t yet been met. While this first picture might have you thinking that’s a bargain, I would suggest taking a closer look before placing a bid…

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While I have no doubt that the car is restorable, especially considering the huge range of reproduction panels available, there’s a lot of rust. The edges of the front fenders are a good example. They are going to require a lot of metalwork to save. The car does appear straight in the pictures though.

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A close look at the license plate shows that the car has been off the road since 1982, which happens to be the year I graduated from high school! My body has certainly deteriorated since then, so I can relate to the down-at-heel appearance of this muscle car. While southern cars generally don’t get the salty roads that northern cars get, it still rains down here and unfortunately water has certainly been present in this car’s storage.

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The surface rust on the metal portions of the seat sides are indicative of the moist environment and makes me concerned about the structure of the car. The seller states that they don’t know the condition of the underside, and did not include any pictures of the lower portion of the car. On the bright side, the car looks mainly complete. It looks like there’s a second set of seats with the car based on pictures and upholstery, and the second set looks to be in nice shape. But, I think they are from a 1965 GTO due to the diagonal upholstery pattern. (do any Barn Finds readers know?)

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I’m no Pontiac engine expert, but this at least looks it could be the original 389 V8, with the base model 4-barrel package, with “only” 325 horsepower versus the 348 of the Tri-Power option. I’m sure that’s still enough oomph to make this a fun ride. Ultimately it comes down to how much do you want a first-year GTO convertible? At least one value guide shows these cars usually go for between $18k to $85k when complete, so there may be an upside if you do the work yourself. It’s going to be a lot of work though! What do you think this car will sell for and are any of you interested in dragging it home?

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Is the console shifter from a later Pontiac? Just wondering. Otherwise I can only imagine that the rust on this car is just off the hook, ( especially since the cloth top is ripped) , so the rain and moisture and critters have been coming at this car from every angle.

    How much to bring this back? 50K? 75K? Man that’s a lot of money, and if you’ve got it to spend on a 60s muscle car, there are a zillion out there in that price range that are already restored drive and don’t need anything to enjoy. Call a Priest.

    Like 2
  2. dan

    thats a 65 not a 64

    Like 1
  3. Duffy

    Setting on the ground like that, don’t even asked how is the frame. I am sure it has turned to mooch.

  4. Charles

    That’s a two barrel carburetor in the picture. If the carb has been changed, one has to wonder what else has been changed? And the rust… Obviously lots of rust.

    Like 2
  5. JW

    This makes me sick to my stomach, I had one as my first musclecar in 1971 I paid $825 for it and was this color but a hard top 389 / 4 speed car. it was in perfect condition as I bought it from a rookie cop in our small town. I would love another but not this one.

    • flowpo

      I too had a 1965 GTO that was in perfect shape when I bought I in 1968 for $750.00 and it was a 389 ci 4speed car. It was a hardtop and the color was a silver blue, not sure of the factory name for that color. I was going to trade it in for a new 1971 AAR Cuda, but I was hit broadside and the GTO was totaled. I still bought the Cuda with a cash down payment. I wish I had both of those cars.

  6. JW454

    Looking at the valve covers it appears to be a later model engine. It’s possibly a 400 or even a 455. The seats are from a 67, the console is from a 69~70. It does have one very rare rally II wheel on the left rear. Oh, and the lighter is from a ’59~’60 Chevrolet. That’s all I see at first glance.

    Like 1
  7. Mark S Member

    Care it does split in two when you move it.

  8. Al Member

    Agreed, not a 64 but a 65.

  9. randy

    Where’s my Alka Seltzer? Plop Plop Fizz Fizz …………………………………….

  10. erikj

    That’s a 65 I owned a 64 that was #3 built Got it in 1986 And was able to talk to the orig. owner to confirm all that. sold it 4 months later. Now Its one of the ones that I kick myself for letting it go. But those where diferent times then. I should right a book ,I,ve got storys that would knock your socks off,any car person, but there real

  11. OhU8one2

    Good news is you will be getting the original front seats with the car. Bad news is you will be getting everything else with the car. A recent survey asked members of GTOAA what was there favorite year of production? Based on style,performance,etc. And the winner is 1965! Now I’ve been told that “Bondo fixes everything”. We shall see.

  12. Rick

    erikj, I know what you mean, I had a 66 Pontiac 2+2 convertible 421 tri-power automatic w/ black Cal plates, bought it at a towing auction in Seattle in 1977 for $310, which was alot of money because it had a knocking rod, anyhow I put in a 400 out of a 70 GTO, and drove it for 4 years. Sold it 1981 for $1100, which wasn’t a bad price to me, kick myself everytime I see a 2+2. Same goes for the 64 Implala SS 409 I had, the 63 Galaxie XL 406 tripower 4 speed I had,the 66 GTO, etc, etc , etc., back in the day when everyone wanted Mustangs and Camaros and Firebirds, almost nobody wanted the early muscle cars so they ssld cheap, even nice ones

  13. Charles

    Lots of great cars went to an early grave! In 1966 when I was 10 years old my parents bought a new 66 Bonneville sport coupe in burgundy with a white bench seat. The car looked pretty much standard issue on the outside, with the only interesting feature being the 421 emblems on the front fenders. I think that the major option of importance to my folks was that the car came equipped with factory AC. The car also had an automatic transmission, PS, PB, an AM radio with rear seat speaker, and fender skirts. When one opened the hood is where this car became interesting. The car was equipped with a 421 tri-power with the chrome accessories. The car was not a 2+2, and from what I can tell had the standard suspension. I have never seen another one like it. I spoke to Floyd Garrett of the muscle car museum in Sevierville TN, and he believes that the car was a special order of some sort. GM kept no records of such cars so there is no way to figure out if any more like this were built, however there had to be a few more. I have owned Shelby’s and a few other collectable cars over the years, but believe that this Pontiac was probably the one the got away. We lived on the beach, and a few years in the salt air ruined the body. The rear main seal in the engine finally blew out and the car went to the junkyard.

  14. erikj

    rick,so a little more about that 64 I had. the guy that ordered it new ordered some other stuff. It was a 389 tri-power/4sp. But he also ordered the bigger 421trispower. The factory did not install that but was put in the trunk along with the required 421 heads and also factory cast iron headers. At the dealership the parts where installed. that package was a very rare deal. That is a museam piece by todays standards. I hope its still somewhere and the owner knows all that

  15. Charles

    Ericj, so one could get a 421 for a GTO, only it had to be installed at the dealership? Does that mean that the 421 was numbers matching to the car, or the 389 that came installed in it?

  16. pat k

    i dont recall headrests on cars until 69 or 70, so another thing not original

  17. pat k

    always kicked myself. Had a chance to buy a all white 64 con, tri power 4 speed, power everything. Really nice car. Opted to buy a AH 3000 tri carb instead. Kept it for years, but hardly ever drove it due to family. If i bought the GOAT instead, I probably would still have it.

  18. dj

    I’m sure the frame will break when you move this one. There’s a 64 that’s been at the Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge for several years with the frame rusted in two pieces. He was down to 10k this year for it. I had a 65 Covert that was blue. I also had a 64 tripower auto with a/c, p/s, p/w, p/b and remote mirror. I sold it in 1989 for 15k which was a lot then. Should have held on to it.

  19. Stephen

    How about an Art Morrison chassis to put under this pile of parts?

  20. Karl

    It kills me that none of these clowns can bother themselves even to go down to Home Depot, pick up four cinder blocks, and set the car on them so it’s not sitting flat on the ground. Even that little bit of air gap will allow the undersides to dry out occasionally.

  21. piper62j

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… LOL

  22. Rex Kahrs Member

    Yes Karl, it’s a wonder that people are not ambitious enough to get the car on blocks and off the ground, but they are gonna restore it some day, right?

  23. John

    That sure looks like a 326 2 bbl to me.

    But REALLY worries me is what looks like a large hornets nest between the hood and the firewall on the passenger side. Better plan on some “debugging” before you go near this one.

    • Jack

      That hornets nest looks actually like it is part of the underhood insulation that has fallen apart, there are more pieces of the insulation strewn about.

  24. randy

    Here in the south, we wait til dark or the winter to deal with the bad bugs!

  25. shawn

    its not worth it unless you got money to burn, besides not an original car, and automatic to boot

  26. Graham Lloyd

    Up to 3600 and reserve not met.

    I’m seriously thinking of putting my 64 GTO ragtop up for sale. Numbers matching California car. I guess it is a barn find as it’s been off the road since 1988. But stored in a garage.

    Even if you got that 65 for 3600, the amount of body work needed is going to cost a fortune. Spending more to get a good car is money well spent. I figure mine is worth 25,000. A lot more than 20 thou to get that 65 close to the condition my 64 is in.

  27. randy

    Well, yours isn’t costing you much to keep, and it isn’t rotting. Question is, will one of your children want it?

    • Graham Lloyd

      Randy, my son has already laid claim to my 62 Tempest. He isn’t much of a car buy, but he does enjoy the cruise nights and thumbs up. I give him a choice of cars to drive and this is his favourite.

      • randy

        That’s great. Shoot us a pic! He’ll be a car guy eventually hopefully.

      • Graham Lloyd

        Randy: I don’t have any pics I took, but this is one of the many the previous owner took.

        Like 1
      • randy

        Nice car, thanks for the pic, here’s one of my daily driver. ’65 F100 SWB

        Like 1
  28. Utes

    Could we please have @ least knowledgeable editing on listings here?

    It’s a 65…& that’s a 2bl under the hood.

  29. Dennis M

    Usually the only reason a car like that gets abandoned in the back yard or field is terminal damage to the engine. Usually with repairs costing more that it is worth at the time.

  30. randy

    I have noticed around here that the “country boys” let the maintenance go on every system until the car, truck or tractor just won’t go anymore. Engine failure usually does do them in, but the vehicle needs everything by then. We live in a throw away society, and some folks are getting lucky in that the trash they never took out became valuable.

  31. Jason Stevens

    Soooo, it’s an automatic, got a totally rusted body, useless top, engine not original, seats not original…I would bet it is not even a real GTO… there are better options out there … I got this one for $6500.00 complete and running 400 4bbl, M20 4 sp. PHS documented…restoration for this will be in the 30K range…Good luck with this!! :-/

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