HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix

Pick of the Day: 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix

Buckets, console, and style in spades


Pontiac’s Grand Prix can mean many things to many people. It’s weathered the highs of the 1960s and the lows of the Malaise Era, eventually becoming Pontiac’s mid-size sedan through 2008 when it was discontinued. For many years it was Pontiac’s style leader, and our Pick of the Day perfectly exemplifies that: a 1965 Grand Prix listed for sale on by a dealership in Palmetto, Florida. (Click the link to view the listing)

The 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix was a quick take on the personal-luxury theme introduced by the Ford Thunderbird. Pontiac took the Catalina, gave it a standard bucket seat interior with console, added distinctive interior trim, and gave it a more powerful 389 standard. Instantly, the Grand Prix made waves for being at a more affordable price point than most personal-luxury entrants (and there were precious few at the time)—for example, a Thunderbird started at over $4,000 while the Grand Prix was $3,400. Power started with a 389/303 and topped out with the 405-horsepower 421 Super Duty.

Starting in 1963, with the luxury of having a longer development time, the Grand Prix became even more distinctive thanks to a unique grille featuring parking lights, a minimum of chrome (somewhat the antithesis of industry trends), a unique concave roofline, and semi-hidden full-width taillights. The Grand Prix was even more of a smash hit, more than doubling its production to 72,959.

The full-size Pontiac line was redesigned for 1965 and was a smash hit, arguably hitting a high point in the brand’s history. The hallmarks that made the 1963 Grand Prix such a styling success remained, but the ’65 was longer, lower, wider, and with more pronounced Coke-bottle haunches, no doubt helped by the standard skirts. The overall effect caused envy among the Detroit automakers, and no doubt helped Pontiac earn Motor Trend Car of the Year honors for its whole product line.

Standard power was a 389 four-barrel with 333 horsepower and 3.23 gears, with options up to a 376-horsepower 421 HO with Tri-Power (plus a 256-horse step-down option). Three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic was a new and welcome option. Though sporty, the Grand Prix seemed to be more luxurious too.

This restored 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix demonstrates everything that was notable about Pontiac’s personal-luxury car. Painted in the interesting combination of Nightwatch Blue with Cameo Ivory top and Plum bucket seat vinyl interior, this Grand Prix is powered by a 389/325 with automatic transmission and is also equipped with clock, full array of gauges including manifold vacuum, pushbutton AM radio, padded dashboard, reading lamp, left-hand remote mirror, and wire wheel covers. “Retains the factory air cleaner Pontiac blue painted engine block, valve covers and intake. Factory cast iron exhaust manifolds,” says the seller.

There were few cars as stylish as the 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix at the time, and we’d venture to guess if you hopped in and drove around the block, the general public would feel similarly. For $29,997, you could be stylin’ in ways that would get you noticed.

Click here for the Pick of the Day.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. 1965 Grand Prix Pontiacs never had exposed exhaust pipe tips. The big thing back then for luxury cars was to hide the exhaust– not draw attention to it (as people today seem to think)!

  2. The GrandPrixs were quite big and luxurious . It’s surprising , to see that a Ford Thunderbird was hundreds more than a luxury GM car ? But I guess numbers don’t always lie . They were well built cars and with those high compression engines , consumed a lot of gas . You were lucky to get much over 11 m.p.g. with a 389 , and even less if you had the 421 ! Personally , I think they are still prized cars with many nice features and are worthy of preservation . Happy Motoring !

  3. The 65 GP got more Bonneville ish and less sporty like it’s previous 63&64 even adding fender skirts and didn’t get sporty again till 1969

  4. The 1967 was the year to have. 400 cubes with a 4 barrel, dual exhaust, vinyl top, power automatic antenna, pin-stripes, resonators, 400 hydromatic, buckets, console, grab bar, rear defroster, fender skirts, the letters GP etched into the glass, power windows, hide-away headlights, rear seat speaker with 6x9s in rear deck, front lighting for turn signals, true tilt steering, extra AC vents by waist, rear seat arm rest, rear seat ashtrays with lighters. Yeah, that was my car .. ..

  5. Although never owning a Pontiac, 1962 GP was my favorite when I was 16 years old.
    Why General Motors did away with the markee Oldsmobile, Pontiac name plates and kept the GMC truck line which is a glorified Chevrolet is beyond my comprehension.


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