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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 19th – 22nd 2017 at Russo and Steele’s 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information.
Named to the Presidency of General Motors’ moribund Pontiac Motor Division during the mid-1950s with a mandate to kill or fix it, fast-rising auto executive Semon E. Bunkie Knudsen quickly engineered Pontiac’s rise in American sales rankings. Thanks to Knudsen’s momentum, Wide-Track swagger, industry-leading marketing from the fertile mind of Jim Wangers, and a successful factory racing program, Pontiac Motor Division prospered. Undeterred by GM’s infamous corporate racing ban of 1963, PMD continued its winning ways simply by refocusing on street performance cars that could also translate effectively to the racetrack.
Taking stock of Pontiac’s model line-up, parts bin, and GM corporate restrictions limiting engine size in its intermediate models, the 389 V-8 was selected and accompanied by many other features to create a new high-performance package. Cunningly slipped past the GM bureaucrats as an option package for Pontiac’s Tempest Le Mans, thereby not requiring corporate approval, it was named GTO, a cheeky swipe at Ferrari’s megabuck GT racer. A startling value, the GTO option endowed the Pontiac 389 V-8 with 421 HO heads, a high-lift cam, Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor, 10.751 compression, and chrome accents. Tri-Power induction was optional. Much more than the sum of its parts, the GTO option was a highly integrated package of engine, braking, drivetrain, suspension, and appearance features, aimed straight at the heart of the era’s hungry youth market.
Sales of the GTO were overwhelming for 1964, spurred greatly by the groundbreaking marketing efforts of Jim Wangers and the performance gurus at Detroit’s Royal Pontiac dealership. Refinements for 1965 enhanced the breed to create what many of today’s enthusiasts consider the definitive first-generation GTO. Crisply restyled bodylines with stacked twin headlights per side, revised tail lamps, a muscular hood bulge, and a horsepower boost courtesy of a revised camshaft profile combined to make the 1965 GTO even better than before and it remains an undisputed favorite today.
According to documentation from Pontiac Historical Services PHS, this 1965 Pontiac GTO Convertible is an original ‘N1A’ paint and ‘3E’ trim 4-speed car. As offered, it is equipped with an automatic transmission. The Consignor reports it is a great-driving GTO. According to a recent inspection, the underside looked mainly original, with only a couple of suspension components having been replaced. The power top, windows, and most features worked well. It has a new exhaust system, the underside of the engine was dry. The GTO had paint meter readings consistent with a well-executed restoration job. Some panels, fenders, and the hood and trunk read were consistent in the 10-30 mil range. The paint was in excellent condition and the odometer indicated 92,500 miles. As offered, it is a sound, quality example of Pontiac’s legendary Great One in the best convertible body style.