Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gastonia, NC - Born & raised in Connecticut - 31 years
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Around my neck of the woods, that car would probably be listed for $2,500 - $3,500. But, I would not think anything around $1,800 - $2,000 would be unreasonable so long as the frame is solid.
Everyone is correct in that it will take $ to restore it, and depends on your skills and how much you can do or will have to farm out. BUT, there are other options that could bring the cost down. You can "personalize" the car. Search the internet for assorted photos and ideas. Resto-mod just about covers it all. Pick a "theme" and transform the car into something unique. I always like the gasser look which could be easily done and period appropriate for the year. Many aftermarket pieces. Heck, you could get it roadable and do little but clean it up as is and drive it as an original "barn find" survivor or tell people it was your "high school car" and you still have it after all these years. You don't have to restore it.
If you go with a Pontiac engine, the 400CI w/stroker kit is probably a best bet on the short block, but then you have choices on the heads/intake/carb/exhaust and you have to be honest with yourself - not inexpensive. The Pontiac 350CI is no slouch either. I have a couple 500CI Caddy engines and considered this for my '68 Lemans build, but dollar for dollar, it was going to cost about the same as the Pontiac 455CI I am building. If I ever need to install another engine, I think I will put Chevelle mounts in the frame and go inexpensive Chevy -sorry to say. Much cheaper for budget minded folk. And this was done more than you think because small blocks were so common and always cheap.
Nowadays, I feel one chooses the body type/style you like and then builds around it. Going down the road, no one knows if it has a 400CI, a small block chevy, caddy engine, or even a V-6. Going original or restoring is almost not worth the time and money when you have to wait and invest in it little by little when you can purchase a nice car that all you have to do is purchase and drive away with it. Then you have to consider who will be working on the car. If you can do the tune-ups, replace those parts that will wear out, then you are ahead of the game. If you have to pay some one else, you may get those big bills I always seem to get handed every time my "modern" car goes into the shop. Trying to find a qualified mechanic who can understand and can actually work on the "older" stuff is getting harder and harder to find.
Bottom line is, enjoy the mid-life crisis, treat yourself to a "dream" even if it sits in the driveway for a while - it still turns heads. Then decide what you want to do with it. Above all, have fun, and remember GTO = Gas, Tire, & Oil - so burn 'em up.