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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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A little Pontiac History

Hey guys, just a little introduction. New around here but been on the LS1 site for a while. I have owned several GTO's over the years, a 68, 69 and 72 and am currently driving an 05 MBM.

Well I am happy to say my wife and I are picking up our new project car Saturday. A 1969 Pontiac Custom-S. We had been watching American Musclecar about the 69 Judge and she turned to me and said "we need to get one of those for a project car" ... I said YES WE DO. Of course budget minded as always, we planned to make a Judge "tribute car" out of a standard 69 GTO. Then I found the Custom-S.

Now the Pontiac history, for those that do not know.

In 1969 Pontiac brass was a little concerned about all the interest in the new Roadrunner from Plymouth, it was a stripped down race car for the "young hipsters" and it was dirt cheap compared to the high optioned GTO that had been at the top of the heap for the 64 and 65 model years. (Back when the goat was still cheap)

So the Pontiac design team came up with a plan, a stripped down hot rod version of the GTO flagship, and it would also be based on the Tempest platform. They called this crazy new car the "ET" for Elapsed Time, a stripped down GTO with a HO 350 and minimal options, sporting a Carousel Red paint job, a spoiler and racing stripes down the side.

Pontiac brass did NOT take kindly to this, specifically John DeLorean refused to undercut his baby the GTO with a stripped down version being sold for less. BUT....he loved the styling and adopted it to be the 69 GTO Judge.

The "ET" did survive as well, but was renamed the Custom-S. Only available for one year, it wasn't a Tempest, it wasn't a LeMans, it wasn't a GTO, it was somewhere in the middle.

I found it funny that we wanted a Judge clone and we found the original Judge concept to make into one.

Well here she is, I will be updating as we get her home and start the process.



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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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I'm old enough to remember the Custom-S. IIRC, the base engine was the OHC 6 cylider but they also offered a 'Sprint' version of that engine as well as a 2 bbl and 4 bbl version of the 350. I seem to remember something about them being initially being called the 'TC' rather than the 'ET' before they became the Custom-S. Didn't go over real big and, as you said, only lasted that one year.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm old enough to remember the Custom-S. IIRC, the base engine was the OHC 6 cylider but they also offered a 'Sprint' version of that engine as well as a 2 bbl and 4 bbl version of the 350. I seem to remember something about them being initially being called the 'TC' rather than the 'ET' before they became the Custom-S. Didn't go over real big and, as you said, only lasted that one year.

Indeed the base engine was the OHC 6 and it's one of the hardest engines to source now-a-days. The $350 4bbl was rated at a respectable 350hp though and the "kids" loved em.

Mine has a 68 400 4bbl and a TH400 from a GTO so she already beats with the heart of a goat. I will be hunting for a 69 400 RA IV and 4 speed for her as I rebuild her.

Thanks for the comment!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:55 AM
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I will be hunting for a 69 400 RA IV and 4 speed for her as I rebuild her.
Bring truckloads of cash --- real RA IV's are hard to find and expensive!

Unless you're a stickler for the factory look, the hot ticket would be to drop a stroker kit and a good cam into the 400 you have and build a 461 out of it. It'll make significantly more power than a RA IV and have better street manners to boot.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bring truckloads of cash --- real RA IV's are hard to find and expensive!

Unless you're a stickler for the factory look, the hot ticket would be to drop a stroker kit and a good cam into the 400 you have and build a 461 out of it. It'll make significantly more power than a RA IV and have better street manners to boot.

Bear
I have actually been thinking about building a 455 HO or SD hybrid RA motor. Something along those lines, using aftermarket RA heads and intake. Still kicking it around. It's quite a luxury having a running 400 in the car. Actually a luxury not having to count on it as a DD, or having to have it run at all. Once I get her in the garage and start pulling the interior and the nose/front clip off I may just pull the 400 and tranny and sell them. Haven't decided yet. I like the thought of the torque numbers from the 455 and the durability of the 4 bolt mains.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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as Bear said the 400 stroker is your better bet, when stroked your at a 455 .030 over cubic inch #'s. the strokers are stronger because they use the smaller crank journals of the 400 (less bearing surface and more meat in the webs, and unless you are planning on putting out over 600 HP the two bolt mains are fine, also the RA heads (again expensive) will have too much Compression for a pump gas friendly engine your best bet is aluminum heads or stock heads that will get your compression down to 9.5:1, ask Bear he had to jump through some hoops to use his RA heads....nice ride, i say keep it a Custom - S they are rare and a clone is just a clone. will see all kinds of judges and GTO's at cruises and shows but yours will be the only Custom -S.

I just finished my 66 Tempest Custom and wrestled with the clone issue as well, but in the end i like the fact that it's one of a kind and not a clone....



1966 Tempest pictures by instg8ter - Photobucket

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 05:22 PM
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Like Bear and Instig8ter said: a stroked 400 is a superior and more durable unit than a big journal 455 block. Stronger, and better oiling. Cost effective and an excellent combination. And you already have the makings.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 07:50 PM
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IIRC the "ET" concept was a post coupe, did they make any Custom S hardtops (no post)?

Pretty sure they did, but the GTO was'nt available as a post car as it was in earlier years.

I think you could even get a Custom S as a convert.

I like the idea of building a clone of the "ET" but only if it's a post. Bench seat, four speed and a rubber floor mat. Awsome.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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i looked all over for rubber floor mats for my 66'....have them in all my trucks
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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The stroker 400 is the hot ticket, and all 400 blocks will take the crank kit I assume? The kit is $1500, so not out of line. I want to build one for my 70. I say keep it as is, save the money from the endura front end and put it in the engine. Real cool car, and the GTO guys will ask you what it is at a car show, unless they are enthusiasts, then they will think it's just cool.. I got the 350 badges on my 70, but the 350 is back in it FML.. G8ter has the 326 emblems on his, let them think what they want, then blow their doors off.

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Last edited by jetstang; 06-23-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

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