Rare A/C Equipped: 1965 Pontiac GTO

The seller tells us that this GTO is rare due to its air conditioning option. I don’t know if an A/C equipped 1965 Pontiac GTO is rare or not. I do know it was an expensive option at 13.5% of the base price of a LeMans two-door hardtop, the model on which the GTO was based. And come to think of it, I can’t recall encountering one in the past so let’s take a look at this very sharp example. Located in Woodland Hills, California, it is available here on eBay for a starting bid of $25,000. Thanks to Patrick S for this beauty of a tip!

In the GTO’s second year, raw performance was still the game. Hot-rodders didn’t want power steering, power brakes, A/C, or error of errors, a two-speed automatic transmission. The standard 335 HP engine was OK, three-deuces, and 360 HP, a whole lot better. This 104K mile example is still sporting its original 335 HP standard, 389 CI V8 engine, backed up by a four-speed manual, Hurst-shifted, transmission. It has had a power disc brake conversion and is accompanied by power steering. Sure enough, the Frigidaire A-6 A/C compressor is right in place. It appears as original but they are still being made and can be dressed to look like an original. They’re fantastic compressors but even they give it up at some point. The seller claims, “Engine pulled, resealed and painted to factory specs in 2020.” What does that mean, the resealing part? I get painting it but at 100K+ miles, I’m going to want to do more than “reseal” an engine if I’ve gone to the trouble of removing it. Alright, the A/C does work so at least the rarity is doing its job. The seller adds, “Runs very well.”

This goat looks fantastic, I adore the ’68 and ’69 versions but this ’65 is my all-time favorite. And this example is about as straight and clean as they come. The seller’s not giving up anything regarding the overall condition other than it is matching number vehicle with original spec red-line tires. A repaint? probably. Any prior body damage or rust? Can’t tell, if there was it has been repaired perfectly. This GTO still has its original wheel covers, no day two hooning going on here. Chrome and glass? perfect. What’s not to like, this car needs nuffin’!

Pontiacs, as expected, always had a step up in the department of the interior over a corresponding Chevy and this GTO is no different. The black morrokide vinyl upholstery shows as new. So does the carpet, and knowing how black nylon loop carpet fades, it probably is new, or at least recent. The instrument panel’s wood inlay looks to be in good nick too – I have encountered these in the past with a slight warp. Again, there is no written description of the interior but a picture is worth a thousand words. The original $136.65 AM/FM radio is still on the job.

There is a window sticker that accompanies this Pontiac and it’s always a surprise to see where certain options priced out. The base price of the LeMans? $2,556; GTO package? $295 (deal); Radio? $136 (ouch); A/C? $345 (double ouch), just about $4K before “T” cubed (tax, tags, title). Sure, cheap today but we’re talking 55 years ago. No, this one is not completely original but it is one of the nicest I’ve seen in a very long time. Here is a link to this GTO in operational mode. (Sounds like the clutch pedal linkage needs some lube.)  Five days to go with the auction and no bids so far, want to hazard a guess on the sale price?

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  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    This is a dream I don’t want to wake up from. What a nice car, with just the right options. I even like the color, might not be my favorite color but still very nice. Only the dash needs some deep cleaning. Wish I could buy it, but it must go to another.
    God bless America

  2. Stevieg Member

    What John said! I even like the factory wheel covers.

  3. Steve R

    If the car is as nice as it looks in the pictures the opening bid is more than reasonable. It has all the right options, 4spd, posi and A/C. It even came without a console, which isn’t necessary and the car looks better without one.

    I’m going to watch this one, I’m curious what it sells for.

    Steve R

  4. 19sixty5 Member

    This appears to be a pretty nice GTO. Panel fit appears to be excellent, especially the front end components. It could be original paint, especially looking at the grille surround, and the fact the hood scoop insert is correctly painted. But…the side stripe is incorrect, they were a single stripe, following the body line through the quarter panel end cap ending just above the bumper. When you pull an engine: “Engine pulled, resealed and painted to factory specs in 2020” at least paint the engine the correct factory color, this color was first used in 1966. It also appears that many under-hood areas received a rattle can restoration. Last gripe, where are the PHS documents? I’m not saying this isn’t a GTO, but it is easily (and frequently) done. Overall, I like car car, it will be interesting to see what it ultimately sells for.

  5. Gaspumpchas

    Great goat but many unanswered questions.I like the optional Oh $hit handle over the glove box. Wonder if it was utilized often? if you are going to buy a car like this a thorough inspection would be needed. Good luck and know what you are buying.

  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If it wasn’t numbers-matching, I’d say I may now that car. Looks exactly like one a guy I used to know back in the 60’s had. Even though he drove it like he stole it, it still looked great. I know at one time he blew up the engine so if this one has the original engine, it can’t be the same car.
    It looks good, wonder what it will eventually sell for?

    • 19sixty5 Member

      You won’t find “matching numbers” on a 1965 GTO. Pontiac did not start stamping VIN’s on the block until 1967. The PHS package is vital to documenting the car, it will tell you exactly how the car was built at the factory. Engine, trans, rear gears options (to include the GTO option) original colors, etc are all documented from the VIN. Check the two letter code on the block… this car should be a WT, which represents a 4 barrel 389. A WS code was for the Tri-Power option. Codes beginning with a Y would be from an automatic transmission application. You need to check engine casting numbers as well as date codes. Without the PHS, it is possible that this car is just a LeMans, as the trim tag does not denote a GTO until 1966, when it became a separate model. A 5N on the trim tag denotes a GTO option, but that ONLY applies to the Pontiac and Kansas City build plants. Baltimore and Freemont plants did not stamp the 5N on the trim tag. It is not difficult to clone a GTO. This is a nice appearing GTO, but needs a personal inspection with a deep knowledge of these cars to verify it’s authenticity. I will say that even if this was a clone, it appears to be a nice car and at $25k, great starting point. At the end of the day, more documentation as to the engine code, two letter code, date code and the all important PHS go a long way in a sale. Good luck to the seller, nice car!

  7. doone

    As I remember GM a/c compressors of that era were Harrison, not Frigidaire. Someone kindly correct if Im wrong.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      doone, I believe the compressors were all Frigidaire, but the evaporator was by Harrison. Harrison made the majority if not all the radiators, heater cores, and I believe the evaporators and likely other components.

      • Doone

        Thx 4 that!

  8. LarryS Member

    Seems to be some rust bubbling up over the rear wheel on the driver’s side. Love the ’64 and ’65 GTOs.

  9. Luke Fitzgerald

    I get the “re sealed” bit. I’ve done it. A nicely detailed engine (and bay) is a boon, if 1) it was scruffy before & 2) it ran fine & 3) that’s all you have to do. I also get pulling a motor to rebuild – but there’s a big $ difference peeling that onion.

    A GM engine bay needs all the help it can get compared to a Chrysler product Or anything not painted satin black that can be detailed And cleaned to retain originality.

    As least as possible – As much as necessary

  10. 19sixty5 Member

    I have have detailed many engine compartments, lots of them, that usually led to even more work! Pretty soon the car is dismantled. I’ve bought several “basket cases” as the owners thought they had the knowledge, skills, and abilities for such a project, they quickly got in over their heads and realized they could never get them back together. I understand the resealing, but the here owner states the engine was painted to factory specs. He did repaint it with a factory color, however…that color wasn’t introduced until 1966. The color was used until 1970 cars, the nice looking metallic silver blue. The 1964 and 1965 GTO used a non-metallic blue that is often described as close to a robin’s egg blue. Pontiac again changed the engine paint color in 1971 to a sort of blue/teal color that they used until 74 I believe. To add to the confusion, the 1973 and 1974 455 SD engines were painted dark blue over the light blue. From 1975-early 77, Pontiacs were painted a metallic blue again, but substantially darker; the 1970 Olds 442 455 engine color was a close match. 77-82 used GM’s Corporate Blue. From 82 up they were all black. Hope this clears up the engine paint colors!

  11. Jrp

    As I remember, the red-line tires were introduced in 1967 so these are not “factory spec”. If anyone knows better please correct me.

    • boby

      Red lines were available in ’66. My GTO came from the factory so equipped.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      According to my PHS build sheet, 7.75 x 14 Red-Line tires were standard equipment when the GTO option was selected.

    • Larry

      Yes they had redlines from factory in 65. ordered a 65 back then.

  12. LarryS Member

    Classic cars brochure site has brochures with both ’64 and ’65 GTOs wearing red line tires.

  13. rob

    i bought a 1965 gto ragtop with a/c in 1969 and a fm radio from a used car lot in fayetteville, nc. best car i ever owned.

  14. Ed Smith

    The owner never stated it was a restored car back to factory specs He set the car up the way he wanted it to look I Love barn finds but to many bad remarks from folks picking apart cars It seems the goal here is to see whom kind find the most fault I understand if the owner is misleading folks I have learned a lot from the comments on what factory restorations should be but wow enjoy the cars for what they are

    • LarryS Member

      I made the comment on the rust seeming to show in the rear wheel arch. Only pointed it out because the narrative described the car as being “as straight and clean as they come”. My comment was not designed to pick the car apart or denigrate the owner but, given what this car is worth/likely to sell for, body rust is important. I also posted that I love the ’64 and ’65 GTOs.

      • Ed Smith

        Hey Larry I agree with your comments no problem But the engine color the paint stripes Etc Again good comments if the owner was trying to restore to factory

      • Stan Marks

        I would like to have seen pics of the undercarriage.
        Did anyone notice the passenger side door jam?
        Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or is that rust?

        Re: Tiger Paws… My Montero red ’65 Goat came with red line UniRoyal tires. Even though I’m partial to my ’65, ’66 & ’67 were great-looking years, too.
        The Mayfair Maize(yellow), isn’t my cup of tea.

    • 19sixty5 Member

      I also love the car and stated so, but I try to post informative comments. There are a lot of people that don’t know these cars, or are new to the hobby. I try to point out some of the things that are not correct, like in this case, the “painted to factory specs” engine color. There are lot of flippers that spray bomb undercarriages, under hood, etc to make one believe it is a higher quality restoration. A completely black sprayed undercarriage, with the exhaust system painted in bright silver paint hides a lot, and in many cases that’s exactly why it was done. People who prime a car and state the body work is ready for paint… you can hide horrible body work, especially in photo’s. Cars that are soaking wet covered in water are another tipoff that things are likely worse than they appear. I’ve had well over 100 cars that I can write down, lord knows how many I have forgotten about. I have a 65 GTO Tri-Power 4 speed convertible, and no, it’s not stock. It is a cross between stock appearing, day 2 mods, and pro-touring to some degree with mods for safety and drivability. I’ve been into cars since I was a little kid growing up in the 50’s. Motor oil for blood as they say. Yeah, I’m old, I can’t remember where I put down a wrench 30 seconds ago, but I do have a remarkable memory of cars from this era, particularly GTO’s, 442’s and Corvairs… I have a mid-engine 350 Corvair. I also have a fair amount of literature/documentation, especially regarding the GTO. Again, my comments are to hopefully inform when I can, if they come across as being a butt hole, I apologize.

      • Stan Marks

        19sixty5, you hit the nail right on the head. I’ve learned a lot, from you, buddy. Thanks…..

        I had my new ’65 for four years, before I sold it & I’m still kicking myself. I promised myself I would own another one, before I leave this planet. I better win that lottery soon. I’m 76. LOL!

    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      Agree. Well said.
      God bless America

  15. Bob Mck Member

    I need to watch this one. Want to know what it sells for.

  16. james j moran

    Still love my 64 GTO,

  17. Vince H

    Back in the day I would not want a/c on a car like this. Now it is great to have.

  18. Craig’s

    My first new car was a burgundy 1965 GTO convertible with 4speed, power steering, console.$2,950 out the door.

    Great car but my 67 had 400 CI engine, Quadra jet carb, PW and posi. First year with new valves and 15 more HP than 1965.

  19. Stan Marks

    I paid $3200 OTD for my Montero red ’65. It had 4 spd,.tri pwr, pwr steering, console, wood steering wheel, chrome valve covers & air cleaner.
    Needed the console, so my girlfriend could sit right next to me. I should say, sit right on me. LOL!!

    • CRAIGO

      If I remember correctly the chrome air cleaners were standard on the GTO’s. The one thing I was upset about was not getting the rally 1 wheels but I ordered both cars without seeing them.

      • Stan Marks

        You’re correct. That’s the way I purchased mine.
        It was Sept. ’64, when I drove into the local Pontiac showroom, in Hollywood. The day before, my neighbor’s grandson came by with his new ’64 red Tempest Lemans. I flipped over it. I’ve gotta get one of these.
        The salesman said, the new ’65s are coming out next month.
        And for a couple of 100 more, I could get a GTO.
        I asked him to see a picture or brochure. He didn’t have any. So I ordered a new red ’65.
        I wasn’t disappointed.

  20. Craigo

    I’m 73 an would like one more toy before it’s too late.

    I’m Just a car junkie

    • Bob Mck Member

      My Dad ways said… “Do it before it is too late.” He waited too long.

    • Stan Marks

      Join the club…

    • CaCarDude

      Don’t wait, do it if you can and you will never regret it! At my age 72 later this month,.. I did the deed in February and found my bucket list car, yes a ’65 Palmetto Green on black GTO. A rare Sport Coupe model of which only 8,319 were made. I could not be happier, 4 spd 389 4 bbl. Don’t leave it for the kids, spend that retirement money now, enjoy the time we have left I say!

      • LarryS Member

        CaCarDude – Congratulations!!!

      • Stan Marks

        Congrats, Dude.
        If you don’t mind me asking, how many miles, condition, price.
        Would love to see a pic.
        Happy travels.

  21. CRAIGO

    Thank you👏👏

  22. TimM

    Iconic 60’s muscle car!! All the right boxes checked and A/C!! I haven’t seen a GTO of this era with A/C in a long time!! It’s hand not to bid on a car like this!! Great find, great car!!

  23. CaCarDude

    @Stan M…. Check out Carsonlinedotcom and search the ’65 section look for the ad 1965 GTO Sport Coupe listed in CA and was in Valley Village. I am the new owner of that beautiful ’65, and I have to say I could not have found a better car for the money which I made the seller a very reasonable offer and he accepted.
    The car drives like a new car would have in ’65, and has some nice upgrades with the front disc brakes and power steering. Also this was a factory 3 spd car but now sports a nice Muncie 4 spd. The pictures are good but do not do it justice, It sure turns the heads when I take it out which unfortunately is not very often due to the current pandemic. I say if you find one of these, or any car you like and can swing the deal don’t wait.

  24. Bob Mck Member

    That is one BEAUTIFUL GTO!!! You are a lucky man to own it.

  25. 19sixty5 Member

    Sold for $28,611.00. That is an EXCELLENT buy, congrats to the buyer!

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