Tri-Power Treat: 1966 Pontiac GTO

Lurking inside this shed is one of the truly great American muscle cars, and it has languished there for 41 long years. It has now been dragged out and is ready for someone to breathe new life into it. The 1966 Pontiac GTO is located in East Earl, Pennsylvania, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $11,000, but the reserve hasn’t been met. The GTO’s listing has certainly generated some interest, with 207 people currently watching the auction.

The owner claims that the Pontiac still wears its original Barrier Blue paint, having never been the subject of any form of repaint during its life. The paint is showing marked deterioration, but actual rust issues seem to be very minor. Don’t get me wrong, because the trunk floor and underside of the car have a reasonable coating of surface corrosion, but actual rot seems to be limited to a spot in the lower front fender on the driver’s side. The external trim and chrome appear to be in good condition, as does all of the glass. As for the Rally wheels, well they look nearly as good as new.

The interior of the GTO is something of a pleasant surprise because, by and large, it is quite well preserved. The dash pad is cracked, the ashtray and glove compartment door will need a repaint, and the wheel is cracked. Beyond that, the console and kick panels could do with some restoration, but the rest of the blue trim and the carpet look to be in really nice condition. A couple of busy weekends in the workshop should be enough to whip the interior back into shape. As well as a remote exterior mirror and AM radio, the GTO scores the Rally gauge set with a tachometer.

Well, I guess that there had to be some bad news somewhere along the way, and there’s no delaying it any longer. The original 389ci V8, which produced 360hp in its prime, went “bang” way back in 1978, and was removed and discarded. In its place is a 1965, YE-stamped 389, but alas, this engine no longer turns. It might not take much to rectify this, but I think that I would be banking on a rebuild, just to be on the safe side. Thankfully, the awesome Tr-Power setup remains intact, although, quite strangely, the original transistor ignition is not included in the sale. Apparently, this is to be listed separately by the owner. Apart from the 389, the GTO scored well, with a 4-speed Muncie transmission, power steering, and power brakes.

Even allowing for the locked 389, this 1966 GTO is a vehicle that shows a lot of promise as a project car. Certainly, if it can be returned to mechanical good health, it would be a potentially quite potent car. Any car that can produce a 0-60mph time of 5.6 seconds and a ¼ mile ET of 14.3 seconds is nothing to be sneezed at. I would be interested to see what the car actually sells for, because I can’t help but think that someone is about to wind up with a classic that will put a huge grin on their face once it has been restored.


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  1. Gaspumpchas

    Looks good from here, but since it was sitting on a dirt floor a good inspection is needed as you would expect. Not sure how we got from a trunk full of iron to a a fully equipped mill, unless these were left from the previous mill. Anyhoo, could be a great looking goat again- good luck to the new owner.

    Like 6

    Nice bones.
    Absolute restomod material.
    Pearl White…biscuit interior…suspension…wheels..sound.

    Like 2
  3. Troy s

    There’s all kinds of Pontiac muscle coming through barnfinds these days! Great to see.

    Like 6
  4. TimM

    One of my personal favorites!!! To me the best body style of the 60’s!!!

    Like 9
  5. Frank Martin

    Would be nice if that was the original 389 c.i. in the trunk.

    Like 3
  6. Miragesmack

    Transistor ignition is fairly rare and they go for a lot of money. But when you are selling the car it came on, it’s very weird to NOT include it.

    Like 4
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I also think the 66 GTO is the most beautiful body of the series. Doesn’t look like it will take a lot of work to make this one back into a beloved machine. Good luck to the seller, hope it gets back on the road soon.

    Like 4
  8. Barzini

    At a recent farm auction, I bid on a 1967 GTO that was in similar condition though it had a (barely) running NOM engine. I was surprised that it sold for $17K, well above what I was willing to pay because of questions related to the dirt floor storage. I love these cars but the prices seem to be climbing.

  9. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This ’66 GTO is a great find and sure to generate spirited bidding. I bought a ’66 from a cousin in the late ’70s that was similar to this one. It had an auto trans and was in primer from bumper to bumper but it was rust free with a nice interior. Paid $400 and enjoyed having it as it was a decent runner and would have been a looker with fresh paint. I remember really liking the interior, especially the console between the bucket seats. Didn’t keep it long and sold it for a small profit. It was pretty fast but the Ford I had at the time was faster so I let it go.

    I really miss that car now……………… the Ford, I mean.

    Like 2
  10. mark houseman

    There was one identical to this here in south Georgia 25 years ago sitting in an old abandoned corner gas station carport. Same color, white ball manual shifter, same patina, everything. There was a trailer next door and a young kid answered that door and he said it was his moms. I left my name and number and never heard from her. I’ve always wondered where that car went.

    Like 1
  11. Bob McK Member

    This will be one hot car restored and it looks like a great place to start.

  12. Deacon

    14 second quarter mile…what a pig.Back in the day if you weren’t running in the 12’s your ass didnt stand a chance on the street.Those were the days…

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member


  14. pugsy

    Damn……….nice car…….I need a bigger lot with a huge shop. 600 square feet just isn’t cutting it anymore.

    Like 1

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