1964 GTO Restoration - Matt's Story - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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1964 GTO Restoration - Matt's Story

I bought a 1964 GTO when I was 16 years old - I drove it through high-school and into my first year in college. After an attempted theft, which caused some damage, it got parked and then life intervened and it has been collecting dust for around 27 years. I came close a couple times in the past few years to getting it started but life has a funny way of changing my plans.

This year I have moved a few steps closer to making the restoration a reality. I have spoken to and met with a private shop equipped and experienced in doing full frame off rotisserie restorations. I am on their wait list to get my car started when they complete one of their current projects, which is supposed to be within the next two months.

Today I took advantage of a sale at OPGI and ordered several sheet metal parts which I know will be needed. Not really sure in the long run what parts will need to be replaced (most of them ) and don't want to stock pile too much stuff too far in advance - but when he came out to look at the car he did identify a few major sheet metal parts that would likely need replacement or major effort so I figured buying those parts on sale would be relatively safe and would be the earliest parts necessary since sheet metal work has to be done prior to pretty much everything else.

I do have the Pontiac Historical Society documentation on the serial number - though I haven't fully decoded it yet - it shows W62 G.T.O Option highlighted - which means it was built as a GTO and not modded at some point to "convert" it to a GTO, which is good, and it shows Air Conditioning, which is good since I planned to add A/C despite the likely cost of doing so. One part I am unclear on is how to tell from the docs whether or not it had Tri-Power from the factory. Under Engine options on the dealer build sheet it has three rows - 2 Barrel, HO-4 Barrel and the TRI-POWER option which then has three columns titled 20, 21, and 22, where TRI-POWER row has the 20 and 21 are blacked out and the 22 column was cut off and isn't showing on the paper. So I am not sure if the black out boxes means that is what I have - or if that means that is not compatible with some other option - and if there are markings that should be on the sheet that didn't translate properly on a black and white photocopy.
I am not overly concerned about the documentation since the power train in the car right now is from a '65 and my plan is not a 100 point AAA trailer queen but a car I can safely drive and enjoy. as far as I know from what the previous owner told me - at some point before he obtained it the car had been in a major front end collision and everything from the firewall forward was replaced so I really have no idea how much on the car is original vs aftermarket, reproduction, or even from some other year/model.
I will do my best to update this thread as things happen - I am expecting it will take up to a year from start to finish - and I will take some photos when they come to pick it up.

Things I am planning to do:
Convert to disc brakes
Upgrade the stereo
put A/C back in
Add power windows (maybe)
Stainless braided hoses and a bit of bling under the hood - but not SEMA level blinding amounts of chrome

Things I am NOT planning to do:
Make it a convertible
Change it to manual trans (as much as I would like to, I don't think it is worth the added cost in parts and labor)

Things I have yet to decide:
What wheels and tires - both style and size - I never cared for the Rally I wheels and while the Rally IIs are okay, I don't want them for this car. Not sure how wide I can go but planning to go with 17" or maybe 18" wheels.
Color - original was Cameo Ivory (as far as I can tell) and it is currently Titanium White - I am not sure if I have seen a '64 in original Cameo Ivory so not really sure if I would like it.
Polyurethane bushings or not?
X Pipe ? H Pipe ? Neither? - I am leaning toward a 3" Exhaust and most likely need to replace the headers with new/better ones.

Regarding the Power Train and Tri-Power - if I am able to definitively determine that it was in fact built with the Tri-Power - and I could find someone looking for a '65 Power Train who wanted to swap then I might do that. I did have the carbs worked on and the trans rebuilt way back when but it has been sitting so long that everything needs to be rebuilt - the trans may only need cleaned up, new gaskets, and fresh fluid - the engine may need a bit more. I think the trans is a Turbo 400 - and it has a dual gate shifter - which is pretty cool and one of the reasons that I would not replace it with a manual - I know the "sport-shift" thing has made a bit of a comeback on some cars - but there are things like the dual gate and the Tri-Power that are a part of history and I want to preserve them.

And perhaps the biggest unanswered question:
How far past my most conservative budget am I willing to go?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 06:54 PM
 
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I think a 3" exhaust will be overkill and not really needed unless you are boring, stroking, adding new heads and plan on over 500HP. When I researched my 70 rebuild, I decided on a 2.5" exhaust with an x-pipe. 3" can cause ground clearance issues as well.

I also went with poly bushings. Be sure to use the right type grease on them or you'll eat them up. They can be noisier than standard too.

Have fun!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BierManVA View Post
I think a 3" exhaust will be overkill and not really needed unless you are boring, stroking, adding new heads and plan on over 500HP. When I researched my 70 rebuild, I decided on a 2.5" exhaust with an x-pipe. 3" can cause ground clearance issues as well.
Not only is it not needed, but having an exhaust system that is too large for the engine will actually cost you in terms of decreased power and torque.

Bear

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 04:58 PM
 
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Got pics? Very cool project -- best of luck.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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The only recent photo I have is this one.

My intent is to take a number of base line photos when the guy who will be doing the restoration comes with his flatbed to pick it up.

I may be able to get some prior to that - but since it is not running at the moment I cannot easily get it our of the garage to get good light, and then to get it back in again.

I thought I had some shots of the engine compartment but I may have sent those and then deleted them.

I met with and spoke to one restoration shop a couple years ago and asked them to get me on their calendar and even sent them some info and never heard back from them - had at least one other connection who knew or was related to someone who does such things but all were false starts. Combined with lower income and higher expenses in 2015 than originally projected and I am waiting for the guy I am currently talking to - who actually came out on his own time to look over the car - to call me back to let me know his other project is finished up and out of the shop in order to make room to get mine in.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2016, 01:36 PM
 
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That's gonna be a fine lookin' ride. I'm in the process of turning a 64 LeMans into a conservative GTO like yourself...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately - though I thought I was close a couple times - I have not yet been able to start this project.

I have one possibility at the moment and can try calling back one of the first places I talked to - but at the moment it is still where is was when I started this thread.

If anyone has a recommendation for a restoration shop in the Northeast Ohio area I'm all ears.

Here are some more photos that I took to send to the latest shop I have been communicating with - the main contact is a paint and body guy and farms out technical and electrical etc - then does the assembly.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 01:33 PM
 
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Very cool project! I'm finishing up a 64 GTO right now. I've been working on mine for about a year and half and hoping to wrap it up within the next few months.

Here's my build - https://www.gtoforum.com/f83/new-project-1964-gto-97890/
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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I spoke to Darrel at Super Car Creations - which is only about an hour away from home - but he can't start until next summer - and, without seeing the car, gave me a ball park estimate of $50 - $65k. Of course, until they actual get the car apart and determine things like whether the frame is ok or trashed they won't really know for sure.

It seems he is one of the judges (head judge?) at the national GTO conventions and has built best of show cars for other customers, so it sounds like he definitely knows his way around GTOs.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, LeMans & GTO Projects, Barn Finds & Restoration Discussions

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