Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Orange County, CA
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1966 GTO Convertible - Engine plan
I am new and need your counsel and advice. I have a 1966 GTO Convertible (see attached) which I love. The car is all original (save for the color change in 90's to Red) and numbers matching. The GTO has the original 389 4bbl (head and block casting all match) and a 3speed Heavy Duty Transmission. In fact, the PHS build documents show the car is in same spec as when built -except for the color change.
As the engine is original high compression 389, running on pump gas is less then ideal - these were designed to run 100+ octane. So here is the question. The engine is running fine, but starting to show wear - Should I:
1. Rebuild - have the engine rebuilt by reputable Pontiac engine builder. I can retain the same heads and change the pistons which would make it street pump friendly and retain all the originality. The GTO is not a tri-Power/4speed, but original and unmolested.
2. Rebuild original engine and upgrade to tri-power/4 speed. Would be fun/fast, but not original. Does this matter to anyone else but me?
3. Put original engine in storage and install new crate engine? This has been suggested by several friends, but I'm not sure.
Sure the car is not the optimal build (tri-power/4speed), but the 4bbl and 3speed HD trans are original and offer lots of fun to drive.
Thanks - I appreciate the advice.