The GTO was the car that was there at the beginning of the muscle car explosion. While there were cars available with bigger engines prior to the launch of the GTO in 1964, it was this package that really grabbed people’s attention and made other manufacturers realize this was a car they really needed to compete with.
Looking at this 1965 GTO you can see what all the fuss was about. It really is a great looking car.
Offered as an option package on three of the four Tempest LeMans body styles (not available on the 4-door sedan), the GTO was now in its second year and growing in popularity.
What you got in addition to improved V8 performance was: special trim and identification medallions including six GTO emblems and a blacked out style grille. There were simulated hood scoops, high-rate springs and a longer, larger-diameter rear stabilizer bar.
Inside, they came equipped with all-vinyl bucket seats. In the center you can see the original AM radio that still works and was an $89 option at the time.
A 389 V8 was also standard on the GTO together with a dress-up kit and heavy-duty suspension. There were three different versions of the 389 available when the car was ordered; one with a 2-barrel carburetor, a 4-barrel version (which is how this car left the factory) and with tri-power.
This GTO has since been upgraded a later 455 cubic inch V8 with tri-power (three, 2-barrel carburetors).
Pontiac sold 25,208 Tempest LeMans Convertibles during the 1965 model year with 11,311 having the GTO option. They had a base price of $2,855.
A total of 75,352 GTOs were sold that year across the 3 models.
With such great sales the GTO was destined to become its own separate series for 1966.
This 1965 Pontiac GTO is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for lots more photos)