T IS WITH GREAT pleasure that the editors and technical staff of MOTOR TREND Magazine present the 1965 Car of the Year award to the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors for styling and engineering leadership in the development of personalized passenger cars.
      This is the third time Pontiac has graced their trophy room with this award. In 1959, when the big, luxury feel was all the rage among car buyers and performance engines were in the process of gaining popularity, Pontiac was successful in improving handling of their vehicles with suspension changes, wider tread, and more positive steering. Their leadership set the pattern for firmer ride, more positive steering, and a styling concept that found immediate acceptance.
      The 1961 Tempest, featuring transaxle, curved driveshaft, and independent rear suspension, brought Pontiac another Car of the Year award. We're amazed at the lack of public acceptance of the earlier Tempest concepts, but buyers have a natural tendency to be slow in acknowledging anything too different and in learning to use something in order to extract the most from it. Motor Trend conducted rather extensive tests on the swing-axle Tempest, including a cross-country run over the Continental Divide in heavy winter snow without chains or snow tires as a test of handling and traction. It had noticeable advantages over solid-axle suspensions.
      This year, 1965, will be another banner sales year for the industry. All major makers are offering more models than ever before. All-new styling changes are certainly more evident among certain lines, standing out as '65 models against competitors' cars with all-new sheet metal but only minor styling changes. In styling, Pontiac shares body shells with other GM cars, but they've maintained, in our opinion, more model identification than their sister divisions. From the Grand Prix to the GTO, anyone can tell they're all Pontiacs.
Test crew had time of their lives putting six Pontiac models through paces. Results confirmed that Pontiacs deserved award.

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February, 1965

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