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?