What do you imagine when you hear the mellifluous French word Grand Prix? Normally, car people imagine the roar of engines on the race track. But muscle car enthusiasts or motorists of the 60s may imagine something different – muscle car of the personal luxury car class. Built on a 120-inch platform model Catalina, the car claimed the title of a higher class, a premium car. By the way, the original Grand Prix was performed while the famous John DeLorean was a Pontiac engineering chief.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix was so successful model that won the title of Motor Trend Car of the Year 1965. Total 57,881 cars were produced, all as a 2-door hardtop.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix design
In 1963, the company presented a new Pontiac style that later also was reflected in other models, particularly in the GTO. It was characterized by two pairs of vertically installed headlights with auxiliary ones on the grille. They were part of the front fenders. In profile, the car is distinguished by simple, clean lines. There was only one body option available – two-door hardtop.
1965 model has the most unusual appearance – it has become more smooth, there was a prominent crest on the hood. Lights were still placed in special niches on front fenders, now the niches were decorated with chrome. It seems that the lights are kept by only the upper part of the fenders. New grille with square shaped apertures was also pretty unusual.
If you look on the sides, 1965 Grand Prix features fashionable Coke-bottle styling, rear wheel arches has decorative coverings.
The rear end has the original design of the taillights, which are bent inward as if hidden from prying eyes. However, such decision is not unique – for example, look alike taillights adorn the Buick Riviera of the late 60s.
Silhouette of the car is very easy and rapid. According to the editorial, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful and harmonious of all the Grand Prix cars.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix interior
The interior is pretty standard for the cars of the time. Flat and long, the entire width of the passenger compartment holds the front panel. The narrow central tunnel, bucket seats on the front. However, there are some details that seriously distinguish Grand Prix from all the other cars in this class – additional 3 gauges on the front to the right of the speedometer. Such devices are characterized more for sports and racing cars. But we have the Grand Prix name, is not it? So it must coincide.
The steering wheel has a total of just two spokes, but it looks fine, especially without old-fashioned horn rings. Like the rest of the interior as a whole – leather, vinyl, wood inlays – this finish should allow each personal luxury car of that era. For instance, Cadillac Eldorado has the similar one.
Let’s see whether the name of a loud racing corresponds to the car.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix specs
So, in 1965 model year Grand Prix was equipped by V8s only. The standard engine was 389 CID with 4-bbl carburetor producing quite a lot of power – 333/325 HP depending on transmission choice (automatic versions has less horsepower). It is pretty much for a muscle car – for instance, 350 HP was the top for many muscles in ’65. Optionally available four more powerful modifications.
The first one equipped with the same block but different Tri-Power carburetors, which helps to increase the amount of power up to 338 HP. The same horses has 4-barrel powered 421 CID big block. Such engine with different fuel system – Tri-Power and Tri-Power HO has 350 and 376 HP respectively. Just imagine what a fuel sucking monster Grand Prix was with 421 HO V8.
Transmission choice consists of two manual (3 and 4 speed) and one brand new 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission.
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix equipment
Grand Prix related to higher level full-size two-door muscle cars and should have a rich level of equipment. So, in 1965 car might have luxurious leather upholstery with walnut trimmings, floor gear shifter, with optionally bench seats with armrest (free of charge). Air conditioning and AM radio are also included. Optionally power seats, power windows, and many more options were available.