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Sleeper Project? 1965 Pontiac GTO

The GTO was introduced as a performance extension of the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans in 1964. Internal bean counters thought they would only sell 5,000 copies the first year, and yet the final tally blew past 32,000 automobiles. It was still an option in 1965 with the GTO’s styling refreshed by shifting from horizontal to stacked headlights, which they would keep through 1967. This ’65 GTO is the 2-door post or sedan version, which was the least popular of the three available body styles. Which should make it the rarest of the trio today. Located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, this car is a restoration project that’s yet to get off the ground. The Pontiac is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $10,500.

Early GTOs were powered by two variations of the Pontiac 389 V8 engine, using either a 4-barrel carburetor or triple 2-barrels (the former outsold the latter by nearly three to one). The “GOAT” (a nickname that’s akin to an animal that can eat anything) saw sales climb to more than 75,000 copies in 1965, earning the automobile a promotion to series status in 1966-71. At just 8,300 copies in ’65, the pillared coupe was far out-produced by both the hardtop and convertible.

When this GTO was new, it was finished in Blue Slate Most paint, which has been covered up by an old coat of white today. An earlier repair job to the passenger side rear quarter panel is going to need to be redone, while the rest of the body is reported to be pretty solid. The trunk is full of chrome pieces, but one of them is not the rear bumper which is missing.

The engine is not a 389 but a V8 that is coded dated from 1973, displacement not reported. The seller bought this documented GTO out of Arizona to restore, but other projects keep getting in the way, so the job needs to be taken over by someone new. The transmission is a 4-speed manual, but the car hasn’t run in several years so some coaxing will be needed. Because it’s a coupe with a post, this Pontiac has a bit of a sleeper look that could be retained during the restoration.


  1. Avatar photo Rixx56 Member

    ‘Sleeper’ project!? It reads… GTO!
    Seems a good deal so far.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Russ Dixon Staff

      Take the lettering off!

      Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Jerry Bramlett

    Low-option stripper car with replacement engine, old wreck damage, and unknown rust that’s also missing a million dollars worth of parts… naaaah.

    You’d be way ahead buying a $35,000 low-option GTO with decent paint that’s drivable.

    Like 15
  3. Avatar photo Shuttle Guy Member

    Full Body-Off resto needed. If it stays below 20k a guy will do alright. Never cared for the Post models but as the ad states they are unique in numbers. But Jerry Bramlett might be on to something.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Big C

    An old hot rod from the ’70’s. When these GTO’s were $500 cars, sitting in the back lot of your local hometown dealer.

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo Thrasher

    Make a great racecar, the pillar cars were the lightest of the three models and ’64 and ’65 were the lightest of the GTOs.

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo CaCarDude

    Out of 75,352 GTO’s produced in 1965 only 8,319 were of the post (Sport Coupe) title in Pontiac name. The convertible model shows only 11,311 made. I own a body off restored ’65 Sport Coupe and it is one of the cars I truly enjoy driving and cruising in today. This listed car is going to take a boatload of dead presidents to bring back. I would also follow Jerry’s advice and find something affordable you can drive and enjoy now.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Harry V. Quackenboss

    The post sedan model has an advantage. The frameless dore glass hardtops never sealed great, whistling at highway speeds, and leaking when you went through the car wash. A GTO hardtop with high numerical rear axle ratios and perfectly aligned windows and doors would no long be so after one hard run through the gears.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Gary J Lehman

      You are right. My 65 with 3 2’s was the post coupe. No wind whistle at 140 mph.

      Like 0

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