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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2019, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Books, Pontiac Reading

Surprised this has not been brought up - a suggested reading list for us Pontiac enthusiasts. Let's list any books, journals, factory literature, CD's, or other printed materials tht may be of value. And, it does not have to necessarily be Pontiac specific if it can be applied to out hobby, like suspensions, transmissions & clutches, rear ends, etc..

Hopefully an administrator will see this and give it a "sticky" so it is readily available and can be added to over time.

First off has to be your factory build sheet for your car from PHS (Pontiac Historical Services). Don't guess if your car is original or what it was ordered with, KNOW that it is original and has all those items it came with from the factory (or not). PHS Historic Services
PO Box 183251
Shelby Twp, MI 48317

FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL (Sometimes called a chassis manual). Get one for your year car. Sure you may not be a mechanic and you may not even want to work on your car, but someone else will. It'll help whoever does work on your car, and it can help you to understand what your car needs or what the repair is by the shop/person doing the work.
These manuals can be had as originals, reprints, or in PDF format on a CD where you can veiw a page or section and print out only what you need. Prices will vary, so check around for the best deal.

Faxon Auto Literature - Original, reprints, CD's (I have purchased CD's here) Search
The Motor Bookstore
Rockauto (Wow, they have some great prices on manuals & CD's),10335
Year One
Frank's Pontiac Parts (Looks like Frank's has gotten into the literature business too)

You will also see additional GM manuals or brochures that will include your vehicle or is specific to your year vehicle.


Pontiac Heavy-Duty Parts & Specifications by H-O Racing. This book is a wealth of knowledge in building your engine. These guys were top of their game at one point. Has all the little tricks you need to know and diagrams showing port work - from street to race. Highly recommended.

Pontiac Musclecar Performance 1955-1979 by Pete McCarthy and John Angles. Another duo that did some serious racing in their day. When I was in my early 20's, they put out a paper covered booklet that had a ton of info and I still have it. This book gives you all those specs you need for each year, engine codes, HP, TQ, cam, carb, heads, rods, intake, build & modifications, tips, etc.. Many photos. Go right to the author himself. I also have the Performance Porting DVD Pete McCarthy Books

How to Rebuild Pontiac V-8's by Rocky Rotella. Nice basic book in my mind. Step by step disassembly and rebuild showing you the entire process. Lot of insider info and a ton of photos.

How to Build Max-Performance Pontiac V-8's by Rocky Rotella. This is aimed at high performance rebuilds and those parts used to do it. This is a little more advanced than the first book, but filled with a lot of photos that can help you pick the right parts for your build if you wanna go with more than stock.


The GTO Association of America's Pontiac GTO/GT-37 Illustrated Identification Guide by Eric White. This is a great "quick reference" spiral bound booklet. It is tabbed for each year, 1964-1974, and has all the specs for each year - Data plate decoding, paint colors, interior trim colors, engine/trans options, rear axle options, tires/rims/hubcaps - all th good stuff you need to have on your car at your finger tips. B&W line drawings. GTOAA Pontiac GTO/GT37 Illustrated Identification Guide

Pontiac GTO Restoration Guide 1964-1972, Second Edition by Paul Zazarine. This is one of the best "go-to" books I have and use. 543 pages with tons of photos and illustrations of every aspect of the GTO. I got mine used on Ebay and it has a different cover than Amazon's, so must be reissued.

Standard Catalog of GTO 1961-2004 by John Gunnell. What? 1961? Yep, the book starts of with the 1961 Tempest - the name and car that would soon change everything for Pontiac. It covers right through to the 2004 GTO. Great color photos. Provides ID numbers, colors, and each car line - Tempest, Tempest Custom, Tempest Lemans, and GTO. Under each car line you get a description of the car, the model number, body style number, body type, factory price, shipping weight, and production totals. Then the next section is ENGINES and again lists each car line and what was standard and what was optional. This is folowed by CHASSIS which gives all the wheel bases, then OPTIONS which list many of the assorted options for each car line, the order number, and the price of the option. The author also lists specific option and presents a percentage of how many cars had that option, like 18.3 percent of the 1966 Tempest line had 4-speed transmissions. Then at the end of the chapter year, is HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES to wrap everything up for that year. Good book to have on the shelf.


Milt Schornack and the Royal Bobcat GTOs by Keith J. MacDonald with Milt Schornack. Great book on exactly what the title says. Milt Schornack looks back on his time at Royal Pontiac and as a member of the Royal Racing team. Milt was the guy who was at the track for the assorted magazine test of the GTO's and was often the driver. Good number of B&W photos. Covers the Ram Air cars and their testing. I really enjoyed it. Lot of history here.

Glory Days - A Memoir by Jim Wangers. This is a must have if you get Milt's book. You will learn how Wangers first got hooked up with Royal Pontiac and how he was in advertising and his ways of promoting the GTO. He was the force behind what the GTO was and sometimes against corporate. His drag racing years spilled over onto Woodward and taking the GTO to the street. He eventually left Pontiac and this is his journey from his beginnings to owning his own Chevy dealership. He also took a position as vice-president of Hurst when Hurst was putting out the AMC Rambler Scrambler, Rebel Machine, and the 1970 Chrysler 300-H. He was also instrumental in bringing about cars like the 1975 Mustang Cobra II, the 1977 Pontiac Can-Am, and the 1982 Charger 2.2 package. So it is not solely focused on the GTO.

Pontiac The Performance Years by Martyn L. Schorr. Martin Schorr was the editor and editor director of several of the magazines that featured articles and driver tests on the GTO. This book begins with 1955 and the introduction of the first Pontiac V8. It covers the concept/show cars, the Super Duty Cars, the GTO, Royal Pontiac, the experimental engines, the Firebird, the Trans-Am, and more. 217 pages and a lot of B&W photos.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 10:04 AM
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How To Make Your Muscle Car Handle; by Mark Savitske
Revised Edition

First two thirds of the book goes into detail of the various suspension designs, springs, shocks, aftermarket parts. The last section is devoted to how to improve your A,F, G bodies as well as the various Ford and Chrysler bodies. Found in all the usual places like Ebay, Amazon etc.

I also buy up any GM Factory literature for the year I own. So far one of my best buys has been the 68 Diagnostic Manual. Laid out like the service manual it goes into great detail describing how to troubleshoot the various components the the service manual only touches on. While the service manual will say, Test component and if bad replace by following this procedure,the diagnostic manual shows you how to test.

AC Delco also has several service and repair booklets for electrical items.

The assembly manual is another great source. It seems that most of the $20 copies are poorly copied, I have found the more expensive versions to be very good and readable. To bad there isn't one for 68 A bodies but the 69 version covers about 80% of the 68.


68 GTO (Thanks Mom)
70 El Camino SS
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 08:19 PM
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SOOOOOO.... Because I am so awesome... and I want you all to have the manuals..... I have licensed copies of the 1963 and 1964 full shop manuals in Electronic form for Pontiac lemans and tempest. Don't worry the manuals have the GTO optioned stuff in them If anyone needs a page or a copy shoot me an IM and I will be happy to share. We can only look at it one at a time and if I send it you.. You have to Promise to DELETE the files when you are done. We can't both have copies.

I think I paid 40 bucks for the set of manuals. But you get to see them for free. All you have to do is swear you will delete them when you are done.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 12:57 PM
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Well done, Jim!

WE might can check out this list for things we haven't heard of.

Required Reading - PY Online Forums - Bringing the Pontiac Hobby Together
It's the PY forum's list of books and materials.

I also have this one: Pontiac's Great One by Darwin Holmstrom It has great photos and includes a re-print of the infamous Car&Driver Pontiac GTO vs Ferrari GTO article.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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How to Rebuild and Modify Rochester Quadrajet Carburators by Cliff Ruggles. One of the best how-to books I have read. Descriptions of the carb,tools needed for the rebuild, and then step-by-step photos in disassembly, and re-assembly and all those good things to modify to make the factory carb work great or modify for a "hot" engine. Lot of pointers and how to ID the different years and which manufacturer used what.

Rochester Carburetors, Revised Edition by Doug Roe (1987) I remember this book back in my early days, but never purchased it. I had (and still do have) a 6-page fold out paper titled How To Blueprint Your Quadrajet Four-Barrel For More Performance put out by Motion Performance under the publishing name of Phase III Publications out of Long Island, New York. The carb used was an Oldsmobile carb with photos and description on all your adjustments. I would rebuild all my Q-jets using the suggestions in the paper and it did indeed make improvements. I also purchased 2 of their booklet offerings on the Pontiac GTO (1978) and 350-455 How-to High Performance Engine Book (1976) - both of which had a ton of engine builds, tune-up specs/tips, and performance tests. They were sold out of the back of the hot rod magazines of the day and this is where I got some of my knowledge - before the internet. The already listed Pontiac Musclecar Performance provides Q-jet rac prep, but is not for anyone who isn't already familiar with rebuilding one. Here is the book by Doug Roe, which I should add to my collection:

Automatic Overdrive Transmissions

GM Automatic Overdrive Transmissions: Builder's and Swapper's Guide by Cliff Ruggles. This is a must for those who are looking for more knowledge and info on selecting and putting a late model overdrive behind their Pontiac engine. The book covers the 700-R4, 4L60 and 4L60E overdrives. A nice history and transmissions types and years used along with the differences pointed out between the types for identification.For the do-it-yourselfer there is a list of needed tools to do the disassembly, modifications, and rebuild. A ton of photos of individual parts so you can see what is what. Has a section on shift-kits, which appears to be the Trans-Go brand by another name. Has a section on torque converters and how to select one for your car. The last section is the removal and installation of an overdrive into a Pontiac, step by step. I have never gotten into trans rebuilding as the prices for the old TH-400's, poweglides, & Mopars I had rebuilt were not all that expensive back in "the day." Prices today can still be reasonable for the old school 3-speed automatics, but if I were to go with a 4-speed automatic OD, I would buy one already set-up with matching converter. Ihave installed a couple shift kits in my TH-400's and a Mopar 904 to improve things. NAPA used to sell kits cheaper than the B&M kits and they did the same thing. The GTO TH-400's came from the factory with raised line pressures and snappy hard shifting with their His/Hers option. If your TH-400 is not original, then you aren't experiencing the true shifting fun of an original factory TH-400 and barking tires on a good 1-2nd all out banzai shift.

Rear Ends

Ford Differentials: How to Rebuild the 8.8 and 9 Inch by Joseph Palazzolo. I knew the factory 10-bolt, non-posi, under my '68 Lemans was a candidate for a grenade toss. The 469/455 and shot of nitrous was going to need something bullet proof. I am not a fan of the 12-bolt and the 9 inch Ford has been around since 1957, hot-rodders/drag racers still use them, and aftermarket parts are plentiful with manufacturers making complete new assemblies. They are stout, and with all the options you can do with them, you can spec a rear-end that will hold up to a nuclear blast. I hadn't a clue what the ins & outs of a Ford (yuk) 9 inch was, but needed to learn, so I bought this book. It helped me choose those HD parts I wanted to incorporate into the 9 inch I was going to build to my specs. The build was not inexpensive and I could have gone cheaper in some areas, but I wanted to do this once and have a rear end to last. I began with an aftermarket housing fitted with the A-body mounts for a bolt-in fit. This book is another great "how-to" from ID to disassembly and assembly, and what parts to use/select. It was a real help along with my internet searches in putting together my 9 inch build. I did not assemble the center "pumpkin" as I had a shop assemble and set-up the gears. I selected my parts and did assemble the rest of the rear end along with the "pumpkin."


How To Hook and Launch: Traction Mods for Street & Strip by Dick Miller. What good is all that Pontiac power if you can't get it to hook up? Dick Miller is well known with his 1970 Olds Cutlass W-31 he bought new and set-up for drag racing. He has a website that sells his tried and true products that he has developed and uses on his A-body car. The book of course focuses on rear suspensions to get your high horsepower car to hook, but it also includes front suspension. Included are leaf spring suspensions, torsion bars, coil overs, no-lift bars, ladder bars, suspension geometry, pinion angle, bushings and a host of other needed info to plant all the power to the ground rather than go up in smoke or get the dreaded wheel hop and break a rear end or transmission. I used this book to design my own bolt-on "no-hop" adjustable bars for my Ford 9 inch rear end.


Auto Shop Videos by Bad Ass Cars has a good selection of topics if you don't care to read. Just pop in your computer and sit back. Unfortunately, the owner has retired and the engine shop closed, so I don't know how long these videos will be for sale at this website, or if a new site will be created to keep them going. I have several of these DVD's and think they are really worth their money. The shop builds mostly Ford & Chevy engines, but the principals still apply. Learned a lot watching these videos. You can check out the offerings at the bottom of the page and then click on one to read more. Engine Building and Tuning Videos
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Collector's Originality Guide Pontiac GTO 1964-1974 by Thomas DeMauro

I have this and find it to be a good resource
Some may recognize Thomas DeMauro as a staff writer for Hemmings Muscle Machines (which imho is another good reference). He usually gets to cover the Pontiac feature cars.



"Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you." - Saint Augustine
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