** Caution, this is lengthy but you'll appreciate.
35 years ago this 1969 GTO with RAM AIR IV blew an axle at the track. The owner parked it in his garage and there it sat. Only 11,000 miles, most of the miles were put on ¼ mile at a time. The last time this car was started was 15 years ago. The owner of the car passed away in August of last year. His son is now the proud owner of this car. He joined Susquehanna Valley GTO last fall. During one of our meetings he told us of the history of the car and his desire to get it back on the road. We have a core group of guys I call the A-Team. They go around to members cars (started with mine) and perform open block surgery if needed, rebuilding carbs or whatever, and out of a labor of love for these cars will help out a member get their car on the road again whether it needs major overhauling or replacement parts. A TRUE very special helping hands group. This new member of our group didn’t know us from Adam, nor did we know him he asked for advise, and he got it. The last time the car started (15 years) ago the car wouldn’t move. His questions generated an offer of help.
What was discovered was: A rear broken axle. Upon discovery of this a shopping list of the replacement parts and other items was compiled and during our trip to the Performance Years Open House many of the parts were obtained. After a few visits and surgeries the car fired up. 35 years the car sat in a time capsule completely unmolested, or restored, a true survivor. The parchment interior still smells of new vinyl, not a mark on the seats, the interior looks factory fresh. The paint is nearly perfect with a few minor stone chips it looks like a fresh paint job. The tires are original to the car but on racing rims, the original steel rims with hubcaps are still in storage. This car was ordered to race.
Why am I writing this? Well: This car is a Ram Air IV car. It was custom painted the barrier blue 1966 color. GM called the owner at the time and informed him that they could not get the paint to adhere to the endura nose. They gave him 3 options. 1. Paint it Black, 2. Paint it White, 3. Install a chrome bumper on it. He didn’t want a chrome one as it would resemble a Lemans, Black was out but the white? It would match the parchment interior. So, he elected white. This is all PHS documented.
With the exception of the race shifter installed, and headers, and decals pasted on the valve covers and inner fender wells which was popular way back when, all the color correct parts are there. Bolts still look new firewall still looks new, the whole car looks like it rolled off the car lot. This car may be a 1 of 1.
This car just saw its first drive in 35 years this past weekend when it showed at the ALL GM Nationals in Carlisle, PA. The car drew a swarm of attention. The owner and his wife were overwhelmed at the attention. Hoards of onlookers crowded around the car all day. The owner is very laid back, quiet, and humble guy. I forewarned him that this car will generate National attention and he will be inundated with questions, and the history of this car. I strongly advised him to begin trailering it which he is going to do. What a kick to the guts it would be to have some fool total it.
I invited Tom Demauro of High Performance Pontiac Magazine to spend the day with SVGTO at the ALL GM Nationals in Carlisle this past weekend. He had asked me before hand if I knew of any article worthy cars for a feature story. OH yea….. When Tom got there I told him of this car and directed him to the car and the owner. After a 4 hour picture shoot this car is on the threshold of going National. I wish you guys could see this car up close and personal… it’s close to showroom quality it was like this car was put in a time capsule and sealed for future enjoyment. The time capsule was opened up and out it rolled. These pictures do not show the nearly “10” this car is. You’ll see it in HPP in the near future. You saw it first here.