Considering that the GTO is a muscle car icon, it's ironic that it came into being merely as a performance package for the 1964 Tempest Le Mans. But by 1965, the secret was out; John DeLorean's pocket rocket had shocked the rest of the U.S. market and received rave reviews from all the magazines.
The 1965 GTO followed Pontiac’s big car designs by vertically stacking the headlights and recessing the grille. A central air scoop was added to the hood, and bright trim was used sparingly. The effect was striking and sales more than doubled from 32,450 to 75,352.
New options for 1965 included an AM/FM radio, three-spoke sports steering wheel and four Rally Gauges, which displayed fuel, 120 mph speedometer, oil pressure, water temperature and 8,000 rpm tachometer in front of the driver.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.
360 hp, 389 cu. in. V8 engine, "Tri-Power" three two-barrel carburetors, four-speed transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115".
Sources: RM Auctions; Mecum Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel