The 1960s brought a few radical changes to the American auto industry, especially in the high-performance department. The Pontiac GTO, launched in 1963, helped popularize muscle cars. The Plymouth Barracuda and Ford Mustang, introduced in 1964, created a new pony car segment. And both expanded dramatically toward the end of the decade, spawning a long list of iconic performance cars.
But it wasn’t just midsize and compact vehicles that were becoming increasingly more powerful. The big rigs were also sporting big-block V8 mills that often came with more than 350 horsepower on tap.
This trend was heavily influenced by the drag-racing wars of the early 1960s, which saw the “Big Three” create lightweight factory dragsters based on full-size cars. Notable examples included the Pontiac Catalina Super Duty, the Chevrolet Impala Z11, and the Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight.
Originally fitted with the 389-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8, it gained the bigger 421-cubic-inch (6.9-liter) mill as standard for the 1965 model year.
But unlike its bowtie-badged rival and smaller GTO sibling, the 2+2 wasn’t very popular then. In four years on the market, the nameplate moved only 27,668 units. For reference, the Pontiac GTO moved more than 75,000 units in 1965 alone.
It’s one of more than 11,000 units built in 1965, the 2+2’s best year, but the gearbox narrows it down to only 4,008 units. Granted, it’s not exactly rare by production number, but 2+2 are pretty hard to find nowadays, especially in this condition. Check it out in the video below.