When Bob Gouwens from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, bought his first Pontiac GTO, he immediately fell in love with it. When it was time to buy a new car, Bob wanted a top of the line GTO. Unfortunately, he was not able to find the car he wanted but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t happy with his new ride. He bought this beautiful 1965 Pontiac GTO 2-door sedan that comes in a classy Slate Mist Blue Pontiac finish that looks good as new.
Bob got his first GTO when he was just 17 years old and it was a stunning 1966 GTO fresh from the showroom. Most people would think that it was his parents that bought him his new ride but Bob actually paid for it by himself. He worked at his restaurant and his father gave him $12 every week but his father never lets him spend a single dime from his salary. All of his salaries were deposited into the bank and eventually he had enough money to buy a brand new car.
When he was 19 years old, he joined the Navy and had to sell his first GTO. When he bought this GTO, he paid around 10 times than this first GTO.
Bob bumped into this GTO 15 years ago during a Kruse auction in Auburn, Indianapolis. Although it was not brand new and a previous year model of his first GTO, it still had its own charm that got Bob’s attention. This GTO had more power with the Tri-Power that is matched by a 4-speed transmission compared to his first GTO that only had the 4-barrel engine with a 4-speed transmission. He loves driving his ’65 because he actually wanted a ’65 when he bought his ’66. Bob knows little about the history this GTO. The only thing he is sure of is that this car has been restored by someone who is an expert on GTOs and it is a completely original example.
Bob says that this GTO was been driven around 6,000 since it was completely restored. He only brings it to car shows and only added a few thousand miles since he owned it. Bob still clearly remembers the time he had fun with his first generation GTO as his daily driver which pushed him to own a similar car as a hobby car. We’ve heard similar stories countless times as it was during the mid-1960s that the muscle car wars started and continued through the end of the 60s.
Many people believe that the 1st true muscle car is the Pontiac GTO, as it was a midsized car that was powered by a big-block V8 engine but the original GTO was not actually an independent model. Because General Motors enforced a rule in 1963 that banned other divisions from entering the high-performance market. This meant that other divisions including Pontiac were not allowed to use an engine that is bigger than 300 ci into a midsize model. But Pontiac had sneaky executives and together with Jim Wangers, they were able to produce the famous GTO as part of the Tempest LeMans upgrades.
In 1963, the Grand Turismo Omologato (GTO) package was introduced under the LeMans hardtop, coupe, and convertible with a price of $295. The GTO package came with the 389 ci V8 engine rated at 325 horsepower and came with special hydraulic lifters, upgraded camshaft, and 421-style cylinder heads. The engine was topped by a Carter 4-barrel carburetor. The GTO package also featured special shock absorbers, 18’’ cooling fan with a cut-off clutch, a seven-blade, dual exhaust system, signature 6’’ wide wheel rims, GTO insignia medallions, red-stripe nylon lower-profile tires, twin hood scoops, GTO emblems, bucket seats, and various other upgrades that made the GTO a very dashing classic.
The GTO package also had other options such as the Hurst-Campbell 4-speed manual transmission, Tri-Power engine option topped by 3 two-barrel carbs. The Tri-Power engine was rated at 348 horsepower and 4900 rpm.
The GTO was a very successful package and is one of the most famous muscle cars in history. A total of 11,311 GTO convertible were sold for the price of $3,092.90. The most popular GTO is the 2-door hardtop which was available for only $2,854.90 and a total of 55,722 example. The GTO coupe was sold for $2,786.90 and a total of 8,319 were built including Bob’s 1965 GTO coupe.
Bob loves the color blue and when he saw this blue GTO, he immediately wanted to own it. What made it better is that it was still the original paint. He enjoyed his 1st GTO and always pushed it to its limit but he is much more careful with this ’65 and prefers to keep it in its pristine condition. Although he still enjoys burning rubber, he says that he tries to keep it at the minimum as he doesn’t want to regularly buy new tires. When he was young, he still had the energy to constantly buy new tires but now that his older, he doesn’t have that much energy anymore. Bob owned his first GTO for only a few years but this time, he is planning to keep this ’65 for much longer.