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Hi everyone. New to the forum and I am currently looking for a 65. I am not much of a car guy but have always loved the 65 GTO. I have noticed 2 things in my search. There are a few I have seen with non 389 motors in them. I have also run across some GTO conversions. I am not necessarily looking for matching numbers or original paint but was wondering how much difference do these 2 things make in the price of the vehicle. I'm sure all original with matching numbers would increase the value but I wanted to get some opinions on these differences.
 

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This is where you have to decide what you want out of a car. Prices can vary wildly with the most original examples typically fetching the highest prices. If you plan on putting a ton of miles on it, a blue chip restoration or a super clean original probably isn't the best choice. Having the wrong engine or transmission will bring the price down quite a bit. Manual transmission cars tend to price higher than automatics. A tribute, or cloned, car should be way cheaper and have a price that falls somewhere between a LeMans/Tempest and a GTO. Personally, I think the price should be much closer to the LeMans end of the spectrum.

One recommendation would be to buy the nicest car that fits your budget. I'd take a very nice LeMans, Tempest or GTO tribute over a basket case GTO. Doing research before you buy is key. Depending on how familiar you are with these cars, bringing along a knowledgeable friend when you look or paying a professional will save you headaches in the future.
 

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Numbers matching cars, especially stick shift, will bring a premium. Jim Wangers told me ten years ago that an original engine added 10-15k to the value of the car. That's when these cars were cheaper. I would vote for the best car you can afford, and not worry about matching numbers. You want a solid car with no rust or issues that you can drive. What Jared said is excellent advice. You can get a very nice '65 LeMans for about half the price of a GTO, and it's basically the same car. You can add a 389 or 400 if you want more power (or 455) and enjoy a nice car for an affordable price.
 

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Assuming you are into this to buy a complete and running car...If you really like trailering a car to the top end car shows and receiving the attention that goes with it...look for a numbers matching survivor. If you're into owning a car that you can drive more and not worry about adding miles to a car that gains a lot of its value from that low mileage...go get a non-numbers matching car with as many upgrades and as much HP as you would like and afford.

I can say that a high mileage numbers matching car is not worth near as much as a low mileage numbers car, but by the time you get it "restored"...you'l have more in it than just buying the low mileage one. On the other hand, a rebuilt/refurbished non-numbers restomod car can cost a ton depending on the upgrades.

My opinion is that a museum piece, as great as it may be, has no place in my garage. I do like a resto-mod that, at least, looks stock-ish, but drives, handles, and accelerates beyond what they did from the factory. If I had enough money to have a big collection, there would be a time capsule or two, but mostly nimble fast cars that have been brought closer to modern performance levels. The time capsules would be more of an investment, the others would be drive them to get out what you have in them.
 

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My avatar has a picture of my 65 with my children in it after we got back from a joy ride. It's a real GTO that I got back in 1987. It was a numbers matching automatic back then, but I was determined to make it quicker. So it is no longer numbers matching and had even been wrecked and repaired a few times before I got it. All that to say, if it was still the numbers matching car I bought in 87, I would feel compelled to preserve and restore it. As it is, I already "ruined it" years ago by change the whole drive train, changing the color etc. The result is that I can drive it without being stressed and even allow my kids to climb around in it like so many of us did in our younger days. I am pleased with what it is today.

As a side comment. I met a really nice fellow at a local show a few years ago. He had a very nice, beautifully restored Road Runner. His grandchildren were with him and he was not having a good time. He was constantly getting after them with "don't touch that...get off the seats...don't close the door so hard." You get the idea. If you plan to enjoy the car and allow others to enjoy it with you, don't be too concerned with originality or numbers matching. If you want a beautiful trailer queen and don't care about driving it, then those cars are out there and will cost you much more.
 

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Exactly, I sometimes watch the TV auctions and shake my head...it's a car not a Vangouh so if they want an investment to make money on go into art, just my opinion though. That's why I'm not spending 20k on a paint job because I won't drive it, but that's up to each individual. I like hot rodding mine the way I want and driving it..having fun with it. My dad was in a car club when he got his '32 done and one guy wouldn't even let his wife sit in the front seat or put a foot on the running board...F... that she should have dumped him!
 

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Mine is a very nice 20 foot LeMans. It was painted long before I got it and could use paint now. I doubt I'll ever bother since it hasn't gotten any worse since I've had it and I am not afraid to drive it, and leave it places, the way it sits now. Should have seen the looks I got when I left it in the lot at Home Depot, went in to buy charcoal for a cook out, came out and loaded 4 bags into the trunk. I would not have done the same with a number matching, low mileage GTO. Added bonus, the way I have it set up, there is not a factory GTO that would keep up with it.

I love a driver!
 

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well its not my 1st gto rodeo, i've now gotten my 5th one and i didnt wanna build it at my age so i looked long and hard for a really nice driver. i found a clone 65 conv that was cleaner then anything i could afford if it was a real one by far, paid the man and never looked back. so buy what you can afford and dont spend so much that you wont drive it, understand? mine is about as nice as you can have before being a trailer queen so its still fun to drive and do a burnout (or two) kinda perfect if ya ask me. so basically buy what you can enjoy.
 

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I bought my 68 GTO back in 2015 it had 58,000 miles on it. It is a numbers matching car, original interior, and an old paint job done back in the 1980’s. It has scratches on the passenger side front fender and some dings here and there, but I drive it everywhere,Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes I take it everywhere. I got the car at a great price and I am not worried about what I can get for it if I decide to sell it. I know I should at least get my money back. I have a 69 GTO that had 83,000 miles on it when I bought it, also numbers matching. The original owners had it for 32 years. What I am trying to point out is decide on what really matters to you, do you want something you can drive and enjoy or something that is show quality and not much fun. My 69 is a show stopper, but I have added Holley Sniper EFI, Gear Vendors overdrive, and cruise control. It is a joy to drive and my wife and I drive it a lot. We’re getting ready to take to Crusin The Coast in Gulfport, Mississippi the first of October. Buy what you can afford and enjoy it and don’t be afraid to put miles on it even if it is numbers matching.
 

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Exactly, I sometimes watch the TV auctions and shake my head...it's a car not a Vangouh so if they want an investment to make money on go into art, just my opinion though. That's why I'm not spending 20k on a paint job because I won't drive it, but that's up to each individual. My dad was in a car club when he got his '32 done and one guy wouldn't even let his wife sit in the front seat or put a foot on the running board...F... that she should have dumped him!
I agree completely. People get classic cars for different reasons. The type of car you should buy should be dictated by your end goals - donyou want a driver or a showpiece. I bought mine to drive and enjoy as often as I can. I would much rather spend a few hours on a weekend morning ripping around back country roads than sitting at a local “cars and coffee.”
 

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I agree completely. People get classic cars for different reasons. The type of car you should buy should be dictated by your end goals - donyou want a driver or a showpiece. I bought mine to drive and enjoy as often as I can. I would much rather spend a few hours on a weekend morning ripping around back country roads than sitting at a local “cars and coffee.”
The two current GTO's I have I bought 40-odd years ago. The '65 has a 1985 $1500 enamel re-paint that still looks ok at 5 or 10 feet, and the '67 has a $200 home enamel re-paint (total color change) done by a friend and I in 1993. It still looks ok. Both cars are drivers, and drive them I do. A '66 GTO I had around 1980 until 1990 I had a show car base/clear Montero Red paint job put on, in 1982. It was almost $3,000 back then (I paid $700 for the car), was a total strip and re-do, took a year, and was show quality. Flawless. I couldn't enjoy the car. The first ding stood out like a beacon. I ended up selling to my boss and keeping the other 'non perfect' GTO's. I like to drive, not sit in a lawn chair with a stuffed tiger on my air cleaners.
It's interesting that I paid $1200 for the '65 GTO and I spent $1500 3 years later to paint it. More than the cost of the car. But not 3 times more, like with the '66.
Because of the timeline, and the fact that I never got rid of them, I got my goats for cheap and to this day, have maybe $8k invested total in the pair. And the 4 decades of memories and trips are indeed priceless!
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