The Real Deal: 1964 Pontiac GTO

I think that we all dream of that day when we find a project car with plenty of solid steel and only minor rust issues. This 1964 Pontiac doesn’t fall into that category, because it would seem to have plenty of rust problems. It does have a couple of factors in its favor. The first of these is that it appears to be a complete vehicle. The second is that the owner holds PHS documentation that confirms the car’s identity as a GTO. Barn Finder Ikey H spotted the GTO for us, so thank you for that Ikey. It is located in Brandon, Florida, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. It isn’t every day that you can take home a genuine ’64 GTO for $7,500, but you can if you buy this one.

I don’t know where this GTO has spent the majority of its life, but the advanced moss and mold suggests that it was somewhere pretty damp. It is hard to know where to begin when discussing the rust problems, but I will say that it’s a good thing that glass can’t corrode! There isn’t a single panel that has been spared. If someone does choose to tackle this restoration, then they will probably find themselves on a first-name basis with the guy that supplies all of the replacement steel. We don’t receive any information on how things look below decks, but with the interior shots showing wet carpet, that doesn’t auger well. There are also a few interior steel components that are in an advanced state of decay, which raises some questions about the viability of this classic as a restoration project.

The owner states that the Pontiac comes equipped with a 389ci 4-Barrel V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. This was a potent package when the car was new, and helped to cement the GTO’s legendary status. This was a car that was capable of demolishing the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds, and that was big news back in 1964. The owner doesn’t indicate whether this is a numbers-matching car, but I have noticed one detail that raises a small doubt in the back of my mind. The valve covers on this engine appear to be painted in the standard Pontiac engine color. I’m positive that all ’64 GTOs came equipped with chrome valve covers, but I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong on that point. It may just be that the valve covers have been replaced at some point. However, when we are talking about a project car in such an advanced state of decay, this would be a matter worth checking. If this isn’t the original engine, then it will potentially have some impact on this project’s financial viability. The other issue is that we don’t know whether the engine turns freely, so that is a further thing to consider. Interestingly, this glimpse is the only shot we get of the engine. I suspect that this is as far as the hood can be raised without the danger of it snapping off its hinges.

This GTO is nothing if not consistent because the interior is also going to require a full restoration. What we’re talking about here is a complete interior trim kit, and I would include new seat foam into that equation. There is evidence to suggest that things have been pretty damp inside the GTO, so I suspect that it probably doesn’t smell that flash. I would also be placing a question mark over the relative health of the switches and other electrical components. Replacing wiring harnesses can be a frustrating and time-consuming task. However, it is better to tackle this sort of job when the car is disassembled for restoration than when something fails after the work has been completed. Been there, done, that. Not pleasant.

The owner of this 1964 Pontiac GTO states that it is a classic with the potential to be worth more than $70,000 once restored. On that point, he is right. If this vehicle was meticulously restored, and it is a numbers-matching car, then the potential is there for it to command that sort of price, or possibly more. The real problem is that it is currently also possible to secure some tidy examples of the same specifications as this car for under $50,000. I will admit that even at that figure, that leaves some room to move on a restoration. The big question has to be whether there is enough room for it to remain financially viable. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. MattR Member

    The GTO from the black lagoon. Like the car, the new owner will be underwater for.some time.

    30
  2. Howard A Member

    This is pretty typical of cars that sat outside in Florida near the coast. Cars there rust from the top down, because the dew is so heavy and contains sea salt. I say, they have a lot of guts asking this for a hulk of a car. GTO’s aren’t exactly rare, and you’d be a fool if you are going this route. Just go to B-J and plunk down your 5 figures, and be driving one tomorrow. What’s all the fuss?

    29
    • AMCFAN

      Howard I know in the past we have disagreed on a few things. Today you are spot on. Steve R is on it too.

      7
      • Howard A Member

        We have? I don’t recall anything, certainly not about Ramblers, and an “AMCFAN” is a friend of mine!

        2
    • Stan Marks

      This Goat didn’t sit outside anywhere, Howard.
      From the looks of it, it sat under a Florida swamp.

      OK, I’m gonna tell a joke, right now. What’s the odometer read? Like that’s gonna make a difference.

      It’ll cost around 80 grand to make this car new, again. Give it to Kount’s Kustom or Gas Monkey Garage. See if they would take it & they’ll tell you what it will cost.
      Please, put it back in the swamp, where it belongs. RIP

      7
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    The heavy corrosion on the aluminum everywhere indicates a hurricane flood car to me. Should be GTO… go to others… not this one.

    12
  4. Arthur

    If anyone wants to tackle this as a project, they will need to use all the products offered by Original Parts Group, Inc., and the services of a professional shop.

    Still, if this car is too far gone for a straight-up restoration, there’s always the pro-touring route, especially if it can be built in such a way that it resembles a stock GTO.

    1
    • Steve R

      Guys building a high end pro touring car are generally too smart to go near a POS like this. They tend to start with the cleanest body they can find because they know the original drivetrain and suspension mean nothing when the build is finished.

      The people that tend to buy the really rough cars like this are often inexperienced, looking at what is a relatively low entry price compared to nicer projects. They often think this is the ticket to a budget build because they don’t realize the extra cost add up on the back end.

      Steve R

      15
  5. Bulttaco

    This will never be restored. It’s a good 4-speed parts donor for a GTO that wasn’t dragged out of a swamp in the Everglades.

    12
  6. Cadmanls Member

    Looking like a parts car, and not too many there either. Can’t see a restoration of this car without being upside down. Put it back where you found it. Let it rest in peace again.

    10
    • Chris in Pineville

      make that “rust in peace”

      6
      • RATTLEHEAD

        MEGADETH is my favorite band!

        3
  7. bone

    GTO – Gone To Oxidation – I live in CT. and this one has more rust than something thats been in the woods here for decades ! When you see daylight coming though the firewall, you know you have major rot issues. I looks like someone pulled this poor Poncho in an old junkyard and wants to flip it for 1000% profit

    11
  8. Arby

    …sleeps with the fishes.

    2
  9. Goatsnvairs

    No way! This has to be the most rotted car I’ve ever seen for sale. Also, the valve cover on the motor is a ’67 up so probably not even the original motor. Parts car, and I’m guessing most of the parts aren’t even good!

    7
    • Goatsnvairs

      Correction, on second look, valve cover looks early, hard to tell, supposed to be chrome but I’m guessing ling gone….

      2
  10. Rick Rothermel

    I wrote a piece in MUSCLE CAR REVIEW about eleven years ago, about the last ’70 Challenger R/T (440/6v/4-gear, ‘build-out’ car) I described it, ‘This thing has rust like the Titanic has rust’…
    If I’d seen this poor thing the Titanic reference woiuldnt’ve been needed.

    3
    • Steve R

      I miss that magazine. I subscribed to it since it was called Car Review. They had a lot of interesting and informative articles over the years.

      Steve R

      4
      • Rick Rothermel

        Yeah, MCR was a good one. Killed off in December ’19 by Discovery after lasting for 15 years under its last ownership. I got to do some great stuff in those pages.

        2
      • Bmac777 Member

        Bummer, that was a great mag. I didn’t know it had been cancelled, I thought it was on covid hiatus. I actually was at B&N 2 hours ago hoping to see it

  11. sir_mike

    If a clear title and vin plate is good will be swapped to a 1964 Tempest/Lemans

    3
    • Vince H

      I was going to say the same thing. It is illegal to do it. If you get caught you will pay a big price.

      3
      • 1-MAC

        Like odometers that are adjusted and engine blocks restamped, this happens everyday. Older cars are exempt on mileage and a lot of other inspections so it is relatively risk free to “adjust” some things. 99% of prople could not tell the difference and would be happy

        1
  12. Paolo

    Generally Totally Oxidized.

    2
  13. Mitchell Member

    It is genuinely rusty I’ll tell you that much

    1
    • Stan Marks

      Rusty?????? It’s beyond rusty, Mitch.

      When I see pics, of cars in this condition, it turns my stomach.
      It’s sacrilege to show what used to be an iconic GTO, in this horrific state. I’m speaking as a former owner, of a ’65 GTO, I purchased in Sept.’64.

      3
  14. Mark

    There needs to be a web site called, “junk yard finds,” and that’s where this cars would be posted.

    3
  15. Kelly

    Just walk away Renee. When the bumpers rust out and flake away,
    it’s over.

    1
  16. Stan Marks

    Junkyard, Mark??? A junkyard wouldn’t take this swamp thing. Well, maybe to a car crusher.

    2
  17. That AMC guy

    $7500 for that hulk? It’s not even parts, and just barely enough left to be scrap.

    1
  18. 433jeff

    Wow I don’t thinks it’s matching numbers anymore, I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers were gone, vins corroded, That trunklid is something I don’t think I can unsee!

    2
  19. Lance

    Used as a piling on a Florida marina for 50 years

    2
  20. Stangalang

    $7500 omg lol..no low ballers omgLOL I’m suprised it didn’t fall apart when they pulled it out of the woolly swamp..sad thing is someone will probably pay for this uhhh car..”hey baby look what I found while I was gator huntin its a GTO..”..”baby looks at him and says Git The &%#@ Out!!!”

    3
    • Stan Marks

      lmao!!!

      3
  21. 1st Gear

    $7500 ? I would now consider this thing at $750. Complete shame to let a GTO deteriorate like this.

    1
  22. JoeNYWF64

    The dash pad aint cracked?! Kick panel best part.

    1
  23. Stan Marks

    lmao…….

    1
  24. Bmac777 Member

    Although it’s not crazy money, $7500 for this is obscene.
    There should be a fine for someone selling rotted, unrepairable garbage like this for that price , cause anyone paying that is an unknowing victim lol

    1
  25. Stan Marks

    Bmac, there should be a major fine for just posting this here. LOL!!

    2
  26. benjy58

    Lem if we can tow this out of the swamp we can cash in. But we have to get the gaters out of it.

    1
    • Stan Marks

      Oh no……. The gators are free options.
      Gaters????

      1
  27. Russell Ashley

    It has a trailer hitch so I think I know how it got to this condition. “Well,I was backing the boat down the ramp and I guess I forgot to set the parking brake.”

    2
    • Bmac777 Member

      “and I couldn’t get it towed out for 2 weeks!”

      1
  28. Goatsnvairs

    Glovebox door looks ok.

    3
    • Stan Marks

      Glove box???
      What glove box?

      1
  29. A-body Fan

    I had a 442 that was featured in Car Review. Anyway, I’ll take the trans, windshield and differential if available.

    1
  30. A-body Fan

    Revision: on second thought I’ll pass on the windshield.

    1
  31. Terry

    even the title is rusted out……..

    4
  32. TimM

    Were we looking at a GTO or was that a submarine?????

    1
    • Stan Marks

      Hey Tim, a sub generally comes up.

      3
  33. Bob

    Pick up the radiator cap and drive a new car underneath it.

    3
  34. Poppy

    Get
    The
    OxiSolve

    2
  35. A-body Fan

    I was going to make an offer but the doors have speakers cut in and the ad specifically says no low ballers.

    3
  36. Bill the Engineer

    Parts car at best. VIN donor at worst.

    2
  37. piston poney

    Yeah i don’t think the badges are worth $7500.

    1
  38. SteVen

    Is it possible for a car to have a negative value?

    • Stan Marks

      $2.00 is still a positive value.

      1
  39. Stan Marks

    Well guys, I couldn’t think of a better place to share the history of Pontiac.
    Be sure to scroll down to Ronny & the Daytonas video.
    Sure wish I still had my ’65 Goat.

    https://journal.classiccars.com/2020/08/03/top-10-favorite-pontiacs-the-chief-the-bandit-and-the-goat/

    • Stan Marks

      BTW…. When I worked at Universal Studios, I drove the Bandit car, in the 1st Smoky movie, in ’77.

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