It’s a bit embarrassing, but we’ve never done the full story on the seminal 1964 Pontiac GTO. Now if John Lloyd had posted more than just this one shot of this very original-appearing post coupe at the Cohort, I might have been forced to the task. But one shot is just not enough. So it will have to await another day. In the meanwhile, let’s consider this a preview, and a very nice one at that.
My Dad bought a new ’64 Pontiac Tempest wagon. It was white with a bright red interior. Like many new cars of it’s day, it was sparsely equipped. Just a 326 two barrel V8, auto, and of course an AM radio. I thought that it was the sportiest thing around. My Dad let me drive it around empty parking lots, just like in the Allen Jackson song “Drive.” The first year model GTO was very subtle in appearance, much like the reborn Holden based versions. Post sedans are a little lighter than the hardtops and are stiffer for better handling and are the choice of the serious street racer. I used to think these were too plain, but wish I had one now, I also wish I had that wagon now.
I’m not sure I would call the inaugural Goat all that subtle. Not with all those ‘GTO’ emblems slathered everywhere (not just one, but two per side).
The 1964 Pontiac GTO differed in the rear from the Tempest, one could say more than in the front and sides. It echoed the 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix vs. its Catalina sibling. The 1963 Grand Prix had hidden taillights instead of the Catalina’s which were in the ehds of the vestigial mini-fin fenders. The 1964 GTO had similar hidden taillights; the Tempest ones, like the 1963 Catalina’s, were in the ends of the rear fenders.
Oh, man… a blast from the past. This looks like exactly the same goat… dark blue with a blue/turquoise interior… with a 4 speed, only mine had larger wheel caps, not dog dish. 10mpg… tons o’fun…
I bought mine in June of 1971 for $550 and sold it in the spring of ’72 for $575, replacing it with a ’68 Ford Falcon that I remember having to clean a mountain of crumbled cookies that the PO’s little kids had accumulated out of the back seat. I recall reading a heads-up to owners of “muscle cars” that car folk forecasted a big interest in them and a coming steep incline in their resale value about two weeks after I sold it.
Car and Driver has a review on line for a ’64 Pontiac Tempest GTO Post Coupe, it’s even the same deep blue color. That car has a tuned tri power and 4 speed, and is an interesting read.
My parents bought this car(except for paint) new in ’64. I still own it. 68k miles.
I’m thinking the featured car is black, but the reflection of the bright blue sky appears to provide the navy cast.
Either way, a fine-looking example. For each model year of the first-generation A-body, Pontiac managed to provide the best styling.
Here is a photo of a Tempest Custom of the same year and body style, in much less pristine condition, parked at the Watkins Glen IndyCar race last September.
The dark navy blue (and dark green) colors that GM used in 1964-65 were so dark that they often looked black in everything but bright sunlight. The glint off the peak of that driver’s rear fender says dark blue to me.
I saw one of these several years ago at the Indiana welcome center rest area eastbound I-70 at Terra Haute on our way home from one of our numerous STL trips. It was red. Wifey and I really liked it and looked it over for quite a while before resuming our trip.
I never could understand why you would want a post sedan when hardtops were the rage.
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful car and I wouldn’t kick it out of my garage!
The inaugural 64 model is one of the few GTOs that I never spent any time around. A next door neighbor had a navy blue 65. Looking at that rear, it hits me how much improved the tail end of the 64 was.
That profile is sure familiar to a kid who grew up with a 64 Olds Cutlass hardtop. The one my parents bought new was a 442 in everything except the 4 speed and dual exhausts. I wish I had come of driving age before my mother sold it. As a passenger, that 4 bbl premium gas 330 seemed mighty quick.
A spoiled cousin got one of these new for his high school graduation. I was 14 at the time and boy was I impressed. It was a burnt orange/red with a black interior, no console. 3 speed manual. Had an AM radio with rear seat speaker, which were probably the only options. Had a great first ride in it. First time I was ever in a car at over 100 mph.
It was not long for this world as about two years later it was stolen and wrecked. Said cousin was getting married and replaced it with a used Catalina coupe.
Considering there wasn’t one single safety feature in those old goats, it’s a miracle that anyone survived even a mirror crash in one of those cars. What good were the optional seat belts if your head and torso got slammed into a very hard steering wheel with a non collapsing steering column? Not to mention a hard metal instrument panel with a cheap hard plastic rim around the gauge cluster. If there were rear passengers they’d get flung into the back of the front seats that didn’t lock in place forcing the front occupants forward in a crash! No head restraints, no guard beams in the flimsy doors, weak roof structures, useless bumpers, grossly inadequate 4 wheel drum brakes, single circuit master cylinders, slow imprecise steering, sloppy handling, harsh ride, 7MPG and gross polluters! Boy, those old GTOs were something else, eh? My 2016 Honda Accord V6 will eat up and spit out any GTO day and night and still get 30MPG without wreaking havoc on the environment!