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Old 10-14-2012, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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To Clone Or Not To Clone?

Hi, I'm a new member to this forum as of today and wanted to tackle a recurring topic of conflict I've had for years... to clone or not to clone a GTO?

A little background on my pure love for GTOs... specifically '67's... my dad started taking me to car shows when I was little, and I believe I was 12 when I first realized I was drawn to this car in particular amongst the thousands of other makes and styles of cars at the shows. I'll always remember the time I saw a turquoise hardtop, original-owner '67 for sale at a Goodguys show with my dad at age 15 (1997). The elderly owner told us the car had been garaged since he bought it new, and was selling it for only $4,000!!! As I had to commute to high school, my dad (though a passionate car guy), thought it was not the best option for me economically to have as my first high-school car. Though I was sad we didn't buy it, I understood his reasoning. I wasn't the kind of kid who pitched a hissy-fit if I didn't get my own way. Still haven't forgotten about that car, though (and have to mention here, it would probably be worth at least 10x that today! ) Hindsight's 20/20... Moving on...

Today, I am 30... don't have my '67 yet, but still lust after them. I believe the '67 Goat is truly my "soul car", if those exist. I always keep my eyes casually on the market just for fun, but as a small business owner, how can I really afford a numbers-matching real GTO for at least $20,000, and at that price, likely requiring thousands more in restoration costs? So naturally, the idea of cloning a GTO has come up in an attempt to look at this issue realistically and economically.

I was raised by an orthodox car guy though, and the appreciation for bone-stock vintage vehicles was instilled in me from a young age. So when over the years I've been asked by friends "why don't you just buy an inexpensive, solid Tempest or LeMans and clone a GTO?"', that question made me sick. How could I do that? How could I be okay not driving the REAL thing, and furthermore, having to admit to people it's a clone? What's the deal if I took a cloned car to a car show (though that's pretty insignificant to me, I just want the car as my daily driver, not an overly-pampered show car...)?

To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to wait 30 or 40 more years to be driving my '67 Goat, as I'm assuming it will take me that long to save for a TRUE one. So again comes the perpetual question... do I open my mind to cloning one, despite being somewhat of a purist? Or do I wait (and wait, and wait, and wait...) till I'm able to afford the REAL thing?

Any and all feedback on this matter would be appreciated...
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not to clone. In this economy, a nice solid '67 GTO hardtop can be had for less than 20k, ready to drive and enjoy. Really nice examples can be had for around 30k or a bit less. Go with your heart. Get a real GTO. Tempest's and LeMans's are great cars too, and are in my opinion, above cloning. If you get a Tempest or Lemans, enjoy it for what it is or build it up with an awesome drivetrain. These days, clones are everywhere. Pretty rare to see a real Tempest or LeMans anymore. Also, consider financing for your classic. It's done all the time, and you'll be making payments on a car that is going UP in value as time passes, not going DOWN like a new car.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Why not buy a clone that someone else has already completed for ~$12k? Save yourself several thousand dollars and alot of work. To me there is no shame in driving a really nice muscle car, clone or not.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Here's a moral question that I believe was part of the OP's questions: do you freely admit the clone at a local cruise? (Assume the car is a 64, 65 where the VIN didn't immediately give away the family secret.)
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I faced the same questions through my build, even to the point of filling all the trim holes before paint, but in the end i chose to keep the 99.9% intact and factory Tempest Custom for the most part as was and updated the suspension, Interior and drive train to GTO++ specs. I still have all the parts including the 326 in the shop to make it back to factory. As far as restoring or cloning anything the only value is in the lower price of the foundation car, and by the time you add up parts (all GTO demanding top dollar) and labor even on a body on re-paint you will be over 20K, so like the guys say if you want one to drive NOW, get 20K in hand and find one done. Welcome to the forum.....and i have parked next to 100's of GTO's at shows, but only two other nice Tempest/LeMans.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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just my opinion but i would buy a GTO clone before i would build one.
reason be is that you could purchase one at a great price due to being a fake.
but if you try to build one then you put more in it than it's worth.
captilize on someone elses project.
I just have purchased a 69 GTO (#'s matching) and my original plans were to make a Judge clone after a lot of thought and since i don't have the funds to change everything on it to make a great fake i decided to just stay with a great looking GTO and then everyone who walks up(if it was a judge clone) would not ask is it a Real Judge ?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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All good feedback for you to consider. When looking for my car last year, I was open to any 65-67 GTO/LeMans/Tempest, as I personally think the "GTO thing" is a little over-hyped. My requirements were that the car had to have vertical headlights and a 4spd.

Nontheless, I did end up paying $20K for a solid 4spd GTO. Was orignal tri-power car, but came with a smogger 400 and Olds "12-bolt" rear (just sold that for $140). Big advantage with my car is that it was local, and did not have to spend $$$ on travel and/or shipping. It seems that car values have even dropped more from last year, so again, you can probably find a pretty nice ride for $20K, especially if you are open to an auto trans. The area you live will also play a role. When I was looking, it seemed every car was on either coast or texas, and the cars were bringing more money in the upper midwest.

All said & done, I will have about $25-26K in my car and on a good day, still should be worth about $20K...

Good luck, and spend plenty of time looking and kicking tires!!
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
Not to clone. In this economy, a nice solid '67 GTO hardtop can be had for less than 20k, ready to drive and enjoy. Really nice examples can be had for around 30k or a bit less. Go with your heart. Get a real GTO. Tempest's and LeMans's are great cars too, and are in my opinion, above cloning. If you get a Tempest or Lemans, enjoy it for what it is or build it up with an awesome drivetrain. These days, clones are everywhere. Pretty rare to see a real Tempest or LeMans anymore. Also, consider financing for your classic. It's done all the time, and you'll be making payments on a car that is going UP in value as time passes, not going DOWN like a new car.
. I'm not against clones but when you have one it seems that you have to spend time explaining it. If you have a really nicely done Lemans you don't have to explain anything and the car will likely be worth more than the clone. Your choice, your money, but you asked for opinions and I just gave you my 2 cents. Good luck with your search and final decision.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Dont clone, I bought a Judge clone because I liked the color combination. I removed "The Judge" decals since it was a clone. I would have like to of purchased a Judge but it was out of my price range.

Of course about 6 months after I bought my GTO, one did show up on ebay without an engine that was in my price range.

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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clone it

your answer is in your question .."To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to wait 30 or 40 more years to be driving my '67 Goat" ... who says you have 30/40 years ...I bought a 65 Tempest that is now a 65' GTO ..I go to cruise nights so I made a sign for the dash .. NO IT WASN'T BORN THIS WAY ..
I'm an old gray beard and I can't spend 15/20 grand on a hobby car so my 8 grand "GTO" looks like I want it to look ..I don't lie about it or care about others attitude concerning it ...when I sell it I will tell them exactly what it is ..
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