In an effort to make an indelible impression on potential customers as to how new, exciting, and desirable an automaker’s cars were, dealer brochures of the 1960s could vary significantly in style and content. Some focused on pretty pictures and flowery text to convey how each model would make buyers feel when they experienced it, but the descriptions could be light on specifics.
Others kept the daydreamer content to a minimum and got right to the point, while still including high-quality art. Literature for muscle cars and low-priced models tended to lean in that direction. Manufacturers that catered to those prospects recognized the importance of describing the equipment provided for the money spent. Just about every company pushed “value” in one form or another, however. Numerous brochures of the era also created extraordinary visual presentations through their photographs and/or renderings.
For its 1965 full-line catalog, Pontiac ticked important boxes that would appeal to its customer base, since at the time, the division seemed to be keenly aware of what the public desired in its cars. The new full-size models wore exceptional styling—the personal/luxury Grand Prix included. GTO sales were taking off like a rocket, and Motor Trend would choose Pontiac (all its models) for its 1965 Car of the Year award.
The dealer brochure, which I acquired several years ago, measures a little larger than 11 x 14 inches and features a thick and textured cover. Inside are 48 pages of art and information. There are even renderings by the famous duo of Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman that depict low, long, and Wide-Track Pontiacs in exotic locales. Large body and interior pictures are also provided for each model.
The copy is fortified with useful facts, and at the back of the book there’s a thorough breakdown of engine offerings with small photos of each one, so you can even see the types of air cleaner housings and rocker covers (painted or chrome) used. Charts for transmission gear ratios, rear axle ratios, and powertrains are also included. Printed recreations of exterior color chips and a breakdown of interior choices that best match them for each model cover a full two-page spread. General specifications, options, and vehicle dimensions are found on the final page. There’s also a suggestion to pick up the 1965 2+2/GTO performance catalog to get even more in-depth specs on those muscle cars.
Pontiac went the extra mile in creating this detailed brochure that served to educate potential buyers and enable them to make wise choices when purchasing a car.
My copy has some wear and tear on it, but better (and worse) examples are still available. Currently, you can find the 1965 full-line Pontiac brochure for sale online, ranging from about $7 to $32, with the condition of the cover often playing a key role in the price. If its content is important to you, but you don’t need to hold the item in your hands to enjoy perusing it, you can search online for a free download of the brochure.
Article courtesy of Hemmings, written by Thomas A. DeMauro