True Barn Find: 1964 Pontiac GTO Parked for 54 Years Comes With Rust and Two Engines

1964 Pontiac GTO barn find 13 photos
Photo: Fred Miller/Facebook Marketplace
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A barn find is a classic car that has been rediscovered after being stored, often in derelict condition. However, the term is often applied to vehicles that aren't very old and spent just a few years off the road. Well, this 1964 Pontiac GTO is a true barn find—one that's been locked away for more than 50 years.
Unearthed in Massachusetts in 2023, this Poncho was parked for unknown reasons sometime in 1969. That's right, this once-gorgeous muscle car spent only five years on the road. Dragged out of a "leaky old barn" after 54 years, the GTO is now looking for a new home. And like any proper barn find, it comes with a long list of issues.

The hardtop doesn't look all that bad, given how long it sat without maintenance. There's surface rust on every body panel, but you can still see traces of the factory blue paint. More importantly, there are no massive holes in the body. However, the trunk pan is in poor condition. There are no photos of the chassis, but issues are to be expected in that area as well.

The interior is surprisingly solid, with only slight traces of wear and a lot of dust covering the seats and the dashboard. The floor seems solid at first glance. It's unclear whether the missing driver-side door panel still exists and comes with the car.

Although the seller says the GTO hasn't moved since 1969, the previous owner's family attempted a partial restoration at some point. They reportedly fixed some interior parts and installed a "late model" 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8 engine. The latter runs and drives. However, the original powerplant and four-speed manual transmission still exist and are included in the sale.

And that's excellent news because this GTO left the assembly line with the optional and now very desirable 389-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) Tri-Power V8. Rated at 348 horsepower, 23 horses more than the regular 389 V8, the Tri-Power mill found its way into 8,245 units, about a quarter of the GTOs produced in 1964. However, the trio of two-barrel carburetors is missing. The engine has been partially dismantled, and it looks like it would need a complete rebuild to run again.

This GTO, which had been in the same family since new and until it was unearthed in 2023, is also a low-mileage classic. The odometer shows only 38,506 miles (61,969 km), all of which were recorded until the car was parked for good in 1969.

All told this first-year GTO needs a frame-off restoration to recapture its former glory. Sure, it could be revamped as a semi-survivor with the late-model 455 V8, but it would be a shame to waste the desirable Tri-Power lump. The question is, is the GTO worth restoring? If it's something you'd save, the Poncho is available in Lexington, South Carolina, for $26,550.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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