Sometimes a car is just a method of getting from point A to point B. Sometimes a car is more than that. Sometimes it becomes like a thread weaving in and out, linking different times of our lives. That is the type of car John and Jeani Ferrari of Turlock have in their 1965 Pontiac GTO.
John was a self-described “Corvette man” but a clandestine race with some of the fellows hanging out at Manchos changed his view.
“There was a guy with a Pontiac GTO and it sucked the wheels right off my car,” John said.
He had seen enough to change his vehicle preference and in May of 1965 he took possession of a brand new Pontiac GTO that he had purchased from Bonander’s for a sticker price of somewhere around $3,000.
This was the car John would drive to pick up Jeani during their courtship and it made an impression on her, but more for the appearance than the power.
“I thought it had beautiful body lines,” Jeani said. “The body lines were designed by John DeLorean.”
When the couple said “I do” it was the Pontiac that they rode off into the sunset for their honeymoon.
When their first born son arrived, it was the Pontiac that they brought him home in.
As the family grew the Pontiac became the workhorse of their lives.
“At that time it was my car to use and it was a fun car to drive,” Jeani said.
It was however missing one necessity that Jeani desperately wanted.
“It didn’t have air conditioning,” Jeani said. “John ordered it without any extra weight because he wanted it to go fast.”
The couple bought a used station wagon, which did have air conditioning, and the occasions for when the Pontiac needed to be taken out were less and less.
John stored the car in a barn to protect it from the elements and there it stayed until the 1990s, when their son Damon put the idea in their heads about refurbishing it.
His son’s enthusiasm inspired him and John had the Pontiac brought back to tip-top condition with the original seats, headliner and dash components.
The Pontiac looked so good that on a whim they drove it out to Wichita, Kansas and entered it into the GTO International car show, where it claimed Best of Show.
“That’s a big deal as there were 750 GTOs competing,” Jeani said.
The Pontiac still comes out for car shows and the occasional drive around town. Even though it’s not taken out daily, it still remains a beloved part of the couple’s history.