For many enthusiasts the '64 GTO remains the only 'Muscle Car' that matters. The originator of the concept, the GTO was a special car at a special time and became an instant legend. All GTOs are collectors' items but none more so than the original '64, and at the time there were hardly enough to go around. Borrowed from the competition version of Ferrari's famous 250-series sports car, the initials stand for 'Gran Turismo Omologato' homologated Grand Touring. The GTO started out as a high performance options package for the 'intermediate' sized Pontiac Tempest Le Mans and came in sports coupé, hardtop coupé and convertible variants distinguished by those all important 'GTO' badges. At the GTO's heart was a 389ci (6.4-litre) V8 engine available in two states of tune: standard 325bhp with a single, four-barrel carburettor or optional 348bhp equipped with the Tri-Power set-up of three, twin-choke instruments. Transmission options included the (stock) heavy-duty three-speed manual gearbox, three-speed Hydra-Matic auto and Muncie close-ratio manual four-speeder with Hurst shifter, while there was a lengthy list of special performance-enhancing GTO accessories. Big-car power in a medium sized package made for exhilarating performance, Car & Driver magazine achieving a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds and the standing quarter-mile in 13.1s/115.0mph with a 348bhp, manual transmission example, figures that put many a more exalted - and more expensive - purpose-built sports car to shame.
The car offered here dates from 1965 when the GTO was still a variant of the Tempest Le Mans. Purchased new from Luke Pontiac's dealership in Texas, the GTO remained with its original owner until 2010 and during his many years of ownership was used sparingly as a second car and serviced regularly, while always being kept in a heated garage. In 2008 the engine required a rebuild and while it was out of the car a full restoration was embarked upon, which was done to concours-winning standard by Pontiac specialists in Texas. When completed, the GTO was considered to have lost its charm and was sold to John Wasilik in Maryland. While in Mr Wasilik's ownership the gauges were restored and the air conditioning system re-gassed. Imported to the UK in July 2012, the car comes with taxes paid and is UK registered and MoT'd. Ready to show and enjoy, this GTO has completed only 1,000 miles since restoration.