Welcome to Cactus GTOs, Inc.


by Bob Paris


Price Guides

Sports Car Market

  Low High
1964 GTO $21,250 $35,000
1964 Conv $28,750 $46,250
1965 GTO $26,250 $37,500
1965 Conv $30,000 $47,500

** all with  tri-power


  Average High
1964 HT $28,820 $39,100
1964 Cpe $29,560 $40,700
1964 Conv $37,430 $53,190
1965 HT $30,660 $41,440
1965 Cpe $27,440 $35,420
1965 Conv $40,620 $56,980

** all with 4 speed & tri-power

Hemmings (Apr 2005)

  Average High
1964 HT $18,500 $25,500
1964 Cpe $24,500 $26,000
1964 Conv $25,000 $34,500
1965 HT $19,000 $26,000
1965 Cpe $17,000 $25,000
1965 Conv $26,000 $33,500

** all with 4 speed & tri-power

June 4, 2005

Each month we’ll try to cover what is happening in the market place. We will gather data from several sources (magazines, auctions, price guides, etc.) and report the findings in this column. There are so many variables when determining value that we can’t get too specific and at best we might be able to have an idea of the value range.

This month covers 1964 & 1965 GTOs


1964 Coupe      Kruse-Ft Lauderdale $39,000            Jan 05
1964 HT Kruse-Ft Lauderdale $22,000 Jan 05
1964 HT Kruse – Auburn $21,750 Jan 05
1965 HT Kruse-Ft Lauderdale $18,000 Jan 05
1965 HT Russo & Steele $57,000 Jan 05
1965 HT Mecum-Kissimmee $19,000 Jan 05
1965 Coupe RM-Scottsdale $36,000 Jan 05
1965 Coupe RM-Amelia Island $44,000 Mar 05
1965 Coupe RM-Michigan $38,000 Apr 05

OK, so you don’t know a lot about the 1964 & 1965 GTO …

Read on….

1964 – The legend begins

Performance enthusiasts were surprised in October of 1963 when the $295.90 GTO option, RPO 382, quietly joined the 1964 Pontiac Tempest/LeMans option list. The heart of the GTO option package was a 325-horsepower 389-cubic-inch V-8 with dual exhausts, a Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor, a mild hydraulic camshaft, and gobs of pavement-grabbing torque. Other standard features included a manual three-speed transmission with a Hurst shifter, a heavy-duty clutch, heavy-duty suspension, US Royal red-line tires, a 3.23:1 rear axle ratio, twin hood scoops, and an assortment of GTO emblems.

The GTO option was available on three LeMans bodies, the two-door coupe, hardtop, and convertible. More hardtops were produced than the combined total of the coupes and convertibles. Engines with the single four-barrel carburetor outsold the trio of two-barrel carbs in Tri-Power models by a margin of three to one. An extensive list of LeMans options allowed the GTO buyer to build anything from a bare-bones muscle car to a loaded high-performance cruiser. Option choices included a four-speed manual transmission, a two-speed automatic, a 348-horsepower Tri-Power engine, Safe-T-Track differential, air conditioning, power seat, power windows, tilt steering, tachometer, metallic brake linings, an AM/FM radio and a Verbra-Phonic rear speaker. In less time than it took to change spark plugs, a young performance enthusiast could check the appropriate LeMans order form boxes to create what was essentially a factory-built hot rod. The Pontiac GTO launched a whole new market segment. Initial sales projections called for only 5,000 units; however, the GTO was an immense hit with the public. The 1964 model run produced a total of 32,450 units.

The GTO was so different than ordinary production cars and evoked such emotion among its admirers that it even inspired a song. John Wilkin penned the song “GTO” and a group of Nashville session musicians recorded it under the name “Ronny and the Daytonas.” The song went as high as No. 4 on the charts during its 17-week stay. Over a million singles and 500,000 albums were sold. The refrain, “three deuces and a four-speed and a 389,” played repeatedly to the GTO’s key customer group.  

1965 – Styling and engine improvements

GTO competitors, both outside and inside GM, were caught off guard by the car’s tremendous success. While everyone else scrambled to market GTO clones, the mildly restyled ’65 GTO was an even bigger hit than the ’64 model. Even though there was a UAW strike at the start of the model year, 75,352 GTOs were sold in 1965. The headlights were now vertical (like the full-size Pontiacs) and a single hood scoop replaced the dual ’64 scoops. Improved camshafts and intake manifolds boosted horsepower ratings to 335 for the four-barrel-equipped 389 and 360 for the Tri-Power-topped engine. The handsome Rally I wheels were introduced as an option.

A big boost to the rapidly growing GTO legend was the August 1965 release of an over-the-counter dealer- or customer-installed cold air induction kit for Tri-Power cars. The kit made the hood scoop functional and gave birth to Ram Air. The Ram Air package continued as a dealer-installed option in 1966. A few factory-built Ram Air GTOs were built and known as the XS package (after the engine block code).

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Next regular club meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 27 2007