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Rare Muscle Car: 1970 Pontiac GTO 455 HO

This Polar White 1970 Pontiac GTO is sitting in a driveway in Gresham, Oregon waiting for its rescue. The GTO was produced from 1964 to 1974 and this body style represents the second generation. It is arguably the cleanest and most streamline design of the GTO. The car is listed here on eBay with a current bid of $8,100 with four days remaining in the auction.

While the seller doesn’t take advantage of posting pictures at a good angle, there are plenty of pictures in the ad. Of the 41,000 GTOs produced in 1970, 4,146 were equipped with the new 455 HO engine. Pontiac rated the 455 cubic inch V8 engine at 360 horsepower and 500 lb ft of torque. The 455 cubic inch engine was rated below the Ram Air II 400 cubic inch V8 engine which many enthusiasts found suspicious.  The 455 cubic inch V8 engine in the Grand Prix was rated at 370 horsepower in 1970.

The red interior is worn and will need to be completely restored. The steering wheel and door panels show quite a bit of wear. The dash is not cracked and the odometer shows 85,077 miles. The automatic transmission is operated with a stock Pontiac floor shifter. The trunk pan has rust holes and the exterior paint is faded and dull in places. The car is being sold with no reserve is said to be in original, albeit used, condition.

The seller states that the body is straight and has never been wrecked. The GTO came with steel wheels and hub cabs but now sports Rally II wheels. The original hub cabs are included in the sale. The original spare tire and jack are also still in the car. As stated, this car appears to be a one owner survivor that has been driven and enjoyed. It should make a great car for restoration or a lot of fun to drive around.


  1. Moparman Member

    This looks like a really good “drive as you restore it” project. Love the understated looks. A new paint job and interior would have this one popping! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 13
  2. Stephen Miklos

    Here is the dilemma . It’s one owner original do you keep it as a survivor or do you restore it. I would keep it myself as a survivor clean it up wax the paint clean the interior the best you can take care of the engine transmission and rear end and anything else needs to done. Then bring it to shows in the spring. And enjoy.😄

    Like 24
  3. Steve R

    This is a great project, as mentioned above, one that looks like it can be driven while being restored. This goes to show that there are very desirable cars out there, like this one, which can be picked up at a reasonable price.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  4. JoeNYWF64

    I thought the 455 in the GTO had a dual snorkle air cleaner, & was called “HO” starting in ’71.
    No 455 emblems on the outside?
    I thought this was a tempest at 1st.

    Like 3
    • CCFisher

      The “455 CID” callout should be under the “GTO” decal on the fenders, ahead of the doors. Both are missing on this example.

      Like 5
      • 19sixty5 Member

        The 70 GTO’s used adhesive vinyl for both the GTO and the 455 CID (directly under the GTO) callouts on the front fenders. Perhaps they were removed back in the day as to not advertise the 455 option? a little street racing perhaps? Were area of the car repainted? The GTO sticker on the deck lid is also missing. If the engine turns over it could be a decent deal, straight car, apparently lacking any real rust issues, plus an intact/unhacked instrument panel and what appears to be a decent dash pad. Cool find!

        Like 1
    • Steve R

      Some of the 455’s also had Ram Air air cleaner assemblies, though there were no additional upgrades to the engine when so equipped, unlike the 400 Ram Air III’s and IV’s.

      GTO’s with the base engine didn’t receive a call out, Ram Air III’s and IV’s received decals on the side of the hood scoop, I’m not sure how the 455’s were called out.

      As for the dual snorkel air cleaner missing, it’s a 50 year old car, used and reproduction assemblies are readily available. It’s not a big deal.

      Steve R

      Like 9
    • Arthell64 Member

      It has a dual snorkle air cleaner. The 70 455 ho had D port heads beginning in 71 the 455 ho had round port heads. Looks kind of plain without the judge stripes.

      Like 7
      • Steve R

        You are right, the second snorkel blends into the background.

        Steve R

        Like 5
      • karl

        Well its not a Judge so…..

        Like 2
      • Tman

        That’s what makes it a sleeper

        Like 1
    • Bruce Johnson Bruce Staff

      Joe, that is my understanding too that in 1970 the engine was just referred to as the 455 CID but the build sheet calls it a 455HO. It is different from the 455HO of 1971 and 1972 due to the round port heads offered in 71-72. Also, I believe the 1970 455 was a 4 bolt main and the 1971-72 were two bolt mains.

  5. Will Fox

    I’m trying to recall the last time I saw a Goat of this vintage with whitewalls. I think it was the year this car was built!

    Like 7
  6. Troy s

    I like those wheels on it now but with white raised letter tires, impressive styling in and out as I’d expect to find in a GTO or any older Pontiac for that matter. Don’t run so it can’t be flogged yet, few holes in it, I think I’d leave it as is,,, as much as possible outside of the tires and engine problems. All we need is one more pristine shiny show queen that looks more brand new than it did in 1970.
    the top GTO was
    The Ram Air IV 400 in 1970, from what little I know the 455 H/O was a bit lazy and did it’s best work in short distances. Really nice car here. Keep em coming!!

    Like 5
  7. PaulG

    The eBay ad states “Motor not running and needs to be rebuilt”
    So, restore as you drive might be out of the question…
    A great buy just the same if it stays reasonable.

    Like 11
  8. bikefixr

    Old lady here in my town has same car in turquoise. No stripes, no AC, nothing. A stripper GTO 455. Been driving is around since the 70’s. Parks at the Senior Citizen housing building now.

    Like 15
  9. bone

    Its either been repainted or touched up with spray cans or both , there are areas of overspray and th trunk hinges look like they were done with a rattle can . I had a 70 Lemans in white and this white looks a lot brighter than the one I had

    Like 3
  10. timothy herrod

    in the article the writer finally said door panels, not door cards

    Like 13
    • chuck

      I thought I was the only person that couldn’t stand “door cards”.

      Like 10
      • karl

        There’s a lot of us !

        Like 13
      • ACZ

        Or Interior door trim panels, or door trim panels if you want to use the factory lingo.

        Like 3
      • bone

        or “door trims” – its door panels !

        Like 5
      • 19sixty5 Member

        Kind of like console and council! or valance with a long or short “a” Personally they are door panels to me, it seems the Brit’s like to call them door cards.

        Like 1
  11. firemedic2714

    This may be the most basic 70 GTO left. Eight options according to the ad. While I love Rally II wheels, I would rock those base hubcaps on a set of stock steel wheels and advertise it’s lack of options.

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      Have a set of stock wheels banded to 8 inches or more and then the dog dish caps.

      Like 3
  12. Swolf Member

    You are right-door PANELS! Nice old GTO

    Like 5
  13. James Wilson

    A guy in our town here in AL is the 1 owner 70 GTO he order’d it auto on column bucket seats no console had dealer take of rally’s and put hubcaps on it took it home took all ram air emblems off and his insurance was cheaper so taking off emblems in the day was not uncommon so insurance rates would be cheap would love to own it.

    Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      Would not the VIN tell the insurance companies that it was/is a GTO or at least had/has a hi perf motor?

      Like 2
      • ACZ

        In 1970 you couldn’t tell options or engines from the VIN. In 1972 the VIN changed for GM cars to include different model designators and an engine code. The model portion of the VIN, in 1970, would only show the basic model. GTO was an option to that model.

  14. Van Cardwell

    I like it a lot.
    I think the HO in 1970 had RA-3 exhaust manifolds and a slightly better carburetor.
    I’d like to use a Grand Prix dash, console and door panels. The GTO was very plane.

  15. Al

    Yikes! $19k+ sold!

    • ToledoSteve

      If it ran,that would have been a wonderful price and might be sitting in my garage right now. Of course,if it ran,it wouldn’t have gone for $19k. Bright white really looks good on that body style.

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