There were bigger engined, more powerful cars prior to the GTOs introduction in 1964 but the GTO was probably the car that started the muscle car explosion. It really was the car that other manufacturers wanted 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.
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. The original owner opted for an AM/FM radio which is much rarer than the standard AM version costing more than double at $137.
A 389 V8 was also standard on the GTO together with a dress-up kit and heavy-duty suspension. This car is also equipped with rare factory air conditioning (a $353 option at the time).
Pontiac sold a total of 55,722 Tempest LeMans 2-door hardtops with the GTO option during the 1965 model year. They had a base price of $2,855.
A total of 75,352 GTOs were sold that year across the 3 models.
Following great sales that year the GTO was destined to become its own separate series for 1966.
This ’65 GTO is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)