65 GTO HISTORY

 


 
In 1965, Pontiac increased the rating of the standard 4-barrel engine to 335 hp but brought out a real goodie of an engine option. It was still 389 cubes, but a new cam that had 292° intake duration, 302° exhaust duration and more streamlined cast-iron exhaust headers added up to 360 big ones. And they meant it. Those weren't just paper ponies. In the May 1965 issue of Car Life magazine, Roger Huntington took some of his famed accelerometer readings in a 360-hp GTO and found that 345 actual horsepower at the clutch were propelling the car. And the true torque reading was 420 ft.-lb. compared to the factory rating of 424 ft.-lb. By the way, that issue was the first time the word "super car" was used to describe the new breed of big-engine intermediates.

  In addition to the straight engine stuff, there was also a ram air fresh-air package offered late in the model year. To cure the braking problem--GTO’s still used the pitifully small 9.5-in. Tempest drum brakes--Pontiac offered finned aluminum drums with harder organic linings. For still more abusive driving, it also carried over the metallic lining option.

  One of the best parts of the whole scene in 1965 was pricing. We thought they were high then remember? In '65, the list price of a base GTO was $2556. That's right, $2556! A loaded GTO with the optional 360-hp engine, 4-speed transmission, power steering, power brakes, metallic brake linings, rally wheels, Safe-T-Track limited-slip differential, heavy-duty suspension, seat belts, custom steering wheel, rally gauges including tachometer, tinted glass, padded dash and AM radio listed at $3579, which means you could have probably bought the car for around $2800! Now that was a bargain. Those were the good old days.

  They say that the '65 GTO was the fastest GTO ever. They may be right. The '65 body was still like the lean, taut original '64 body style. Fully loaded, the car weighed just over 3400 pounds. One thing was certain. The street guys were really into the car now, buying 75,352 of them in '65.

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME    NEXT