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There may have been faster Pontiacs - there may have even been some other big cars that could take it, but a 421 HO 2+2 was one awesome big car package.



If you like large cars and fast Pontiacs - the 1964-66 Pontiac 2+2 should be one of your choices!
1965 Pontiac 2+2 - Baddest Big Car Ever!

by Society Staff - reprint with permission only

There is a test of the 1965 Pontiac 2+2 versus the Ferrari 2+2 in Car and Driver Magazine – and the 2+2 posts a 13.8 quarter mile time. "WOW, you say, that is one big, bad Poncho" – and it was. But like many tests of the era, we now know that car was heavily "doctored". Regardless, a 4,400 pound car that could crack into the 13’s on street tires and through the mufflers – that is WOW.

Looking behind the curtain, we know that the 1965 2+2 421 HO could make the mid 14s in true street trim, but an over two ton car making even that kind of time means some serious HP. More important – the car "felt" powerful. Every tester was impressed with the way the HO equipped car could pull and pull and pull, with the 421 willing to head for some serious top end rpms.

Here are some quotes from the road tests in some of the period magazines:

"In conclusion, I will say that this is the finest road machine I have ever driven – foreign cars included." Car Life Magazine, April 1965.

"A real he-man’s car, the 2+2 combines muscle and grace, in huge proportions." Motor Trend Magazine, February 1965.

". . . it is the muscular beauty of the 2+2 which is the great attraction, and the honesty with which it backs up its self-announced claim."  Car Life Magazine, December 1964.

All the testers were impressed with the looks of the car, which, in 1965 was state of the art Pontiac muscle – and even more overstated than the GTO. What always impressed was the way Pontiac could make a family sedan and a high performance car have the proper "look" with just a few trim and badge changes.

Pontiacs always had very sporting interiors, and the 2+2 was no exception, with all the performance cues and necessary pieces both set the look and to give the driver control of the car.

Unlike some of the other GM large car performance packages, only Pontiac provided a proper shifter for the four speed trans; with both the Buick Wildcat and the Olds Jetstar I and Starfire opting for a factory pudding stirrer, with ultra-long throws. The dash may have been a little glitzy, but all the necessary instruments were in place and at least readable.

And the suspension delivered.  The 2+2 was equipped with a pure HD system designed to give the 2+2 a secure feeling when driven hard. By today’s standards, the car handles ponderously, but back then, it was tossable, when compared to the other big cars of the period. (So tossable, in fact that it lapped within a second of a Ferrari 2+2 on the Bridgehampton road course in the Car and Driver contest, and of course, that car was stock, hah, hah). But to make a big car like that handle like that and appear to be stock means that factory pieces could get the job done, if properly tweaked.

The point is that when the dust settles, and we look back in time, what we really see is the last great hurrah for the large high performance car.  In 1964 it was a Catalina option; then in 1965 it became a stand alone model - still counted in Catalina production, but the name "Catalina" was no longer found on the car. It officially became its own series in 1966, on the same platform, but reverted again to an option in 1967. It was discontinued in the United States that same year due to poor sales, but it continued as a series in Canada until 1970.

Starting in 1965, and even with the expert marketing of John DeLorean and Jim Wangers, The 2+2 was not only overshadowed by the GTO, but by the public, who determined that US performance cars would have wheelbase of 116" or less. (For example, in 1966, over 96,000 GTOs were sold, compared to a bit less than 6,400 2+2s).

And those same buyers determined that big cars would be luxury sport cars with just enough oomph to satisfy their niche, but not the overwhelming, take no prisoners get up and go of the 1964-1966 Pontiac 2+2. By 1967 the 2+2, and its cousins the Buick Wildcat and the Olds Starfire, were all much more subdued. They might still handle, but the emphasis on raw power was gone.

No matter, the Pontiac 2+2 proved that big cars could go like stink, handle like sports cars, and deliver luxurious motoring as well. They were the end of an era where it was the big car that was the performance image-maker.

Not until our current age would the combination of performance and luxury features be found in the large cars on the road. And while a 2+2 was not cheap, pound for pound, it delivered more performance per dollar (even adjusted by inflation) than our contemporary long wheelbase luxury performance cars.

The 2+2 was the 1960s pinnacle of big car performance – long may we praise it for what it accomplished.


The 1965 2+2 was also available as a convertible.

Here is the coupe - it is easy to gauge the size of this baby here - it was big 121" wheelbase & 219" in length!

Buckets were standard fare in the 2+2

The dash was basic big Pontiac, but the optional Tach was well placed.

The tach was good sized and very readable.

A 4-speed was optional as was a Hurst shifter, the only GM B-body with such option.

These optional aluminum wheels - integral with the brake drum - are super cool option.

A 2+2 HO getting it done - whoowee!

Here is the standard and optional equipment for the 1965 2+2