My Dads Old Goat - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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My Dads Old Goat

Hey guys and gals, how is everyone doing? Well, it's my first time posting here, so I will give you guys my story.

My name is Tony and currently in the USMC (Semper Fi!!!), but this story is not about me. This story is about my father and his 1969 GTO. He came to America (from Mexico) in the early 70's. He didn't have much money and he needed to buy a car to get to work and back. Luckily he found someone selling the aforementioned car for cheap. Well, since that day in the early 70's, he has had it. He met the woman that would later be his wife (my mother) while driving in that car. They still tell me stories of their dates and what not...and always the GTO (with the 8-track) is mentioned. Well, family came before fun and my dad had to put the Goat to the side and get more family oriented cars. Over the years the GTO went from driven every weekend, to every month, almost never. We moved to a new city and didn't have the garage space to store it inside, so it spent a lot of time covered outside (in Southern California). We didn't have much money when I was growing up, so when I turned 16 my father gave it to me. Problem was I was expected to keep all my AP courses and continue playing sports...while paying for insurance. Needless to say that did not happen. The very same year that the title was signed over in my name, the city I lived in told us that we had to move the car...so it went to a family friend's garage in LA.

I would go and see the car from time to time, but as I progressed further and further into my studies in high school and eventually college...I went less and less. Well, I decide to go visit the car and I find a huge surprise. The car has been raped (dash taken, seats all messed up). Turns out that friend of ours had a few enemies and they thought that the Goat was his...so they had a field day messing it up. Luckily they left the body alone, but like I said, the interior is completely messed up. Because of this, my parents end up buying me a Civic for graduation (which now has 315 whp on pump gas ), and we put the GTO in storage yet again (this time we pay for it). Well, I have been doing pretty good for myself...and now it is time for my master plan...however I need help.

I want to get the car back into driving shape, and give it back to my father. I have discussed this with my mother (who knows that this is a secret) and she has all ready put the GTO back in my name in the will. So needless to say, the car will eventually be mine...and since it belonged to my father...I never plan on selling it (I'd sell my civic first...and I doubt that will ever happen). So original restoration really isn't that big of a deal for me. I know that if I ever chose to sell it...having all Pontiac//original parts would sell better...but let's just assume I will never sell it. Here is what I am thinking of doing...and the questions that follow them (where you guys come in).

I am thinking of powering it with a 454. I have read posts on people dropping all types of different combinations in...as a ball park figure, how much will this run me (not counting the engine). Full custom interior (new dash, seats, everything...like I said...all the old stuff is trashed). And finally, the minor body work to get the dings and scratches out...and some new paint (I am thinking a Judge color...but haven't made my mind up yet). I would like to put a modern touch to it...so the car can be taken out as more than a cruiser (A/C if possible, mp3/cdplayer, PS). Now here comes the biggest problem. Right now I am stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, and the car is in Southern California. Does anyone know of any reputable shops (for all three, engine, interior and exterior) that would be familiar with this car? I did some asking around when I was on leave last time, but I never got a solid vibe from any shop that I went to.

I thank you for reading my story, and for any advice, and future advice that you all may offer to me. If this is in the wrong section I apologize. I am open to all suggestions, and even to some flaming (if my ideas manage to piss you off). Thank you again.

Tony
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Whew! What a story!

I bought my car in La Mesa, CA. A guy had a friend who brought it in to fix up and couldn't pay the bill. He rebuilt the motor and transmission, so it runs like a top. I'll see if I can find their number. The name of the shop is La Mesa Auto Care.
Hope this helps.
Linda
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Awesome story! Welcome to GTOforum! I am a midwesterner so i can't help you on the shops, but if i were you i would put a pontiac 455 instead of chevy's 454. Maybe its just me, but i like to keep it in the family somewhat. Otherwise i love resto-mods, and my next project certainly will be one. Good luck and thanks for your service!

1966 GTO bored 389 Tri-Power, Powerglide(#'s Match)

{GTO, Lariat, Galaxie, Glastron, & Yamaha} -Tyler-
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 06:02 AM
 
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Super Duty...
Bill

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Like what you've got?...Thank a Vet!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 07:25 AM
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Welcome to the forums.
OPGI has complete stage III interior kits. If you go with a chevy 454 you`ll need a different bell housing, starter, flywheel, and all the brackets and pulleys for the front of the motor. Personally, I`d find a Pontiac 389, 400 or 455 to stuff in there.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply guys and gals! I will do some research into the 455. The only reason I was thinking a chevy engine was because they are abundant in So Cal. Linda, what kind of engine was it that was rebuilt? I appreciate all the help so far. Thank you!!!

Tony
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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Engine work

Hey Tony! I tend to agree with Rukee and Tripower. I'd stick some nice 400 or 455 in there. Mine was the stock 400. It's beautiful! I'm getting the body work done soon, so I drive it as much as possible. I tell ya, there's nothing like the feel of that motor...

Check out Ames Performance and Performance Years online and they'll send you a catalog of all their parts. You'll find pretty much everything you need to fix that ride.

And by the way, thank you!

Linda
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much for all the info guys/gals!!!

You don't need to thank me for anything...I'm just doing my part
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Tony,

Welcome to the Forum. What you are planning is a magnificent gesture. Your dad will be overwhelmed. Anything I can do to help is yours for the asking. I can't offer much in the way of recommending shops to do the work on the left coast, but I can definitely recommend some good sources for reproduction parts. Linda already mentioned Ames. They're out of New England with excellent service on their products. OPGI in CA has been a solid provider for me as well as Year One, also in CA. Just Dashes is a great bunch of folks who can restore your dash, gages, plastic chrome parts. The guys and gals on this forum are an excellent source of information and can provide lessons they learned the hard way so you can avoid them. I would strongly suggest getting some books for your library. The ones I use most are the Helm Pontiac Factory Maintenance manuals. They are available from Helm for your year or you can pick up a used set on EBay. Doug Roe wrote an excellent book on Rochester Q-Jet carburetors that is a great source of general information on how things work together. Also, the GTO Restoration book will make you smarter when talking to a restorer about work you want done.

I agree with Rukee on the engine choices. While 454's are plentiful, there are plenty of 389-400-421-455 blocks out there waiting to pull your dad around town. If all else fails, Jasper is a decent source for a complete long block. If you want to go more radical on the engine, the guys at Kauffman Racing and Butler Performance would like to hear from you. Given what you have in that Civic, I'm thinking Jasper might be a bit mild for you. All of these places have websites. If you need snail addresses, let me know.

Best of luck with the Goat and thanks for doing what you do for a living. I'm USN (Ret) myself.

Bill
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2008, 09:43 PM
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Tony, Great story! Thanks for taking the time to post it. In my opinion, I would redo the car as close to original as possible, with the exception of A/C and tunes as you mentioned. We're all getting older, and creature comforts are nice! All of the original interior stuff that was trashed is available from the vendors. It fits and looks great, and is probably cheaper than a custom interior. Also, it will bring back those precious memories to your dad when he sees it! (As an aside, the car will be worth more). I recommend rebuilding the original 400. They are great runners. Also, the car will be as original for memory's sake. Not to brag, and with all due respect, I have NEVER been beaten by a big block Chevy. I beat an LS6 454 with my '67 ragtop with a stock 400. I don't know what his problem was. I beat a friend who put a built 396 in his '67 Firebiird, with the same '67 ragtop, with 167000 milles on the clock and a burnt intake valve! I beat another friend with a '66 SS396 with my automatic, 2 speed, 4 bbl '65. Bad. So bad that he sold the SS and bought a 67 GTO!!! Another friend had a built 69 Chevelle with a 396, and my buddy used to smoke him all the time with a bone stock, '67 GTO hardtop with AC, Automatic trans and 2.93 gears!!! The closest I ever came to losing was to a '68 Z-28, with the cross-ram 302. I beat him by two car lengths with my '66 GTO with a 389. He had over 5k in his motor (1981) and mine cost me 1200 to build. (Yes, I did get smoked by a 440 roadrunner one time....ouch!). The list goes on and on....It sounds like you're doing a really honorable thing, and I think all here can appreciate it. Whatever your choice is, good luck, and we'll help all we can. Oh yeah.....did I mention to keep a Pontiac engine in the car??
Jeff
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