1965 Pontiac GTO Hardtop - $64,900
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It’s bold, no doubt about it, but the finish quality of the work will make you understand that this GTO has been a labor of love.

Your first questions is inevitably going to be, “Is it a real GTO?” and to that we can happy respond in the affirmative, as this car is PHS documented as a genuine 1965 Pontiac GTO. Sure, it’s a bit more over-the-top than your average Goat, but in looking closely, not much has changed and those details that have been upgraded only enhance what’s already great about the legendary Pontiac. How about a 468 cubic inch stroker motor. A 5-speed manual gearbox. Disc brakes. Starting to sound interesting, isn’t it? Add in the show-stopping paint job, a beautiful Parchment interior (one of Pontiac’s best ideas), and you get a car that’s ideal for cruising but never disappoints the guy behind the wheel.

We’ll admit that the purple paint isn’t for everyone, although you’ll recall that even Pontiac was selling a version of it in 1965 called “Iris Mist.” It’s bold, no doubt about it, but the finish quality of the work will make you understand that this GTO has been a labor of love. The original sheetmetal was prepped and straightened in anticipation of the vivid paint job, and it more than stands up to the scrutiny that a car like this gets. Nice gaps, fantastic straight panels, and great attention to detail all make this car stand out. It’s been driven a bit since it was completed, so it has a few signs of use, but it’s already won several awards for its paint, so I don’t think anyone will have any complaints. Nothing was shaved or deleted, so the GTO DNA is still visible everywhere you look, from the stacked headlights and hood scoop to the taillights, which are rumored to be the most expensive taillights ever made. Most of the chrome was refinished during the restoration, although it appears that the taillights and rear panel are merely excellent original pieces. It has also been neatly pinstriped with a subtle pair of colors, including “Class of Sixty Five” script discreetly under the quarter windows. It’s actually quite attractive.

Pontiac’s “Parchment” interiors were arguably the most appealing of all the A-body options in the 1960s. It’s not quite white, not quite beige, with a hint of a pearly metallic shine, it is unquestionably gorgeous. With the vivid paint job, it’s exactly the right choice and just about everything you can see or touch inside this car is new. The seat covers on the factory buckets have original-style diagonal pleating and Pontiac chevrons on the seat backs and the door panels are wearing correct GTO emblems. A fat wood-rimmed steering wheel matches the woodgrained dash rather well and the long Hurst shifter for the 5-speed manual gearbox is adorned with a purple anodized knob that ties in with the exterior. The original dash is in place, but the gauges are trick Dakota Digital units that come to life when you turn the key. The 4992 miles showing on the odometer are since the car was refinished, and the rest of the gauges work properly. Secondary controls are stock, including the heater sliders, and there’s an updated Kenwood AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit that still sounds decent thanks to good speakers, including a set of tweeters up high on the A-pillars. The buttons under the dash pad are for the digital clock, but we have to admit we don’t know what the knob under the dash controls—even with some experimentation, we’ve not been able to figure it out. You’ll note that the carpets were custom made just for this car and the combination works rather well, with the trunk neatly outfitted with more of the same.

That horsepower factory under the hood is indeed a Pontiac 389, but it’s been punched out to 468 cubic inches and rebuilt with the best hardware you can get. A steel crank and rods, forged pistons, and a set of aluminum heads help push the horsepower number way above the stock 335, yet it’s docile enough to drive regularly. A big Holley double-pumper on top of an Edelbrock medium-rise aluminum intake manifold provides snappy throttle response and the MSD ignition system ensures that it starts quickly and runs far better than you’d expect. The engine bay is draped in more purple paint that’s almost as nicely finished as the bodywork, with a few chrome accents to really dress it up. A giant aluminum radiator, a new alternator, and professional plumbing and new wiring ensure that it will be reliable as well as fast for years to come. You also get a new dual reservoir power master cylinder for the front disc brakes, always a good idea where safety is concerned.

The Tremec 5-speed manual transmission is a huge upgrade that does wonders for this car’s street manners. It’s plenty punchy around town thanks to 4.30 gears out back, but thanks to the towering overdrive 5th gear, it’s still a comfortable highway cruiser that sees about 2700 RPM at 70 MPH. Nice! The underside of the car is in good order, although not restored (we don’t believe the body has ever been off the frame). That said, there’s no evidence of rust or accident damage and sometimes we prefer a good original car to a full frame-off because it just feels different. This one is solid, rattle-free, and shows no signs of neglect, which is always a big plus. Ceramic-coated long-tube headers feed a stainless exhaust system with Magnaflow mufflers and an X-pipe, so it sounds heroic at any speed, the disc brakes up front are new, and the suspension has been fortified with Hotchkis hardware to really sharpen up the handling. Out back there’s a brand new stainless steel gas tank that cost $2500 all by itself and the rear end is a rebuilt 12-bolt that should be indestructible on the street. Those gorgeous Foose wheels make the purple paint really pop and carry staggered 225/45/18 front and 255/35/20 rear BFGoodrich G-Force performance radials.

We know this isn’t a car for everyone, but we’re more than impressed by the performance. It’s got smart upgrades, a beautiful interior, and it really is a show-stopper everywhere it goes. Best of all, it’s properly documented, so you ca proudly tell everyone who asks that yes, you really do own a real GTO. There’s probably twice the asking price tied up in the build and with just a few thousand miles, it’s still quite fresh. A cool Goat that is a little outside the lines, and that’s just fine with us. Call today!

Vehicle: 1965 Pontiac GTO Hardtop
Price: $64,900
Stock Number: 114127
Mileage: 4992
VIN: 237375B112635
Engine: 468 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.3
Wheelbase: 115 inches
Wheels: Front: 18x8, Rear: 20x10 Foose
Tires: Front: 225/45/18, Rear: 255/35/20 radial
Exterior Color: Purple
Interior Color: Parchment vinyl
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