Decided to share some photos of the restoration process of my 1968 GTO in case anyone is interested.
I name most all my vehicles...this one is called Voodoo II. This is a car that I bought in Tucson over 30 years ago. I responded to an add that said "Convertible GTO...needs engine work and new top". When I saw the car it needed a bit more than that but I bought it anyway. I rebuilt the engine, trans, replaced all the wearable parts in the suspension, brakes etc and got it so it would run and drive. Then gave it to my brother so he could work on the interior have a new top installed and enjoy the car. Unfortunately he never was able to work on the car and kept it in storage for the next 15 years. He then hired a restoration shop to finish the car but that didn't go too well. The car was at the restoration shop for 9 years before it closed down and then the car went missing. Eventually I was able to locate the shop owner, recover the car and buy it back. The car was in pieces....completely taken apart, even the body was separated from the frame. Lots of parts were missing and all the previous work would have to be done over.
The car deserved to be restored since it is a Ram Air II 4 speed car. Verdoro Green, black interior, black top, rally gauges, rally II wheels, disk brakes, power steering, 8 Track.
The Ram Air II was released in the spring of 68 as an upgraded version of the popular Ram Air 347 option code first offered in 1967. The RA II had new round port cylinder heads very similar to the RA IV that followed in 69 and 70. The manual trans RA II engines had the famous "041" camshaft which was carried over to the RA IV engines the following years. By all accounts, these were fairly brutal performance models considering they came with the mandatory 4:33 HD STT axle, M21 close ratio 4 speed transmission, round port cylinder heads, aggressive camshaft, etc. At this point in time there are 5 convertible RA II GTOs known to remain in existence (manual and automatics). Hopefully some more will turn up later...
So, I went out in search of a shop that specializes in classic Pontiac restoration only to discover there are several swindlers out there that just wanted to rip me off. I decided to spend some time to research exactly what would be needed to restore the car to a fairly high level. Knowledge is power and the more I learned, the more confident I became that I could tackle the project myself. I have completed frame off restorations before so I wasn't totally clueless but I also knew this car has some extra historical significance so I want to do the best job possible. Luckily there are some very knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum that I can rely on to help me if/when I get stuck so that is comforting. I then spent the next 20 months searching and collecting the missing parts.....most notably the engine. The original RA II engine was not with the car when I bought it back in 1987 so finding a suitable replacement was going to be a challenge.
So, enough talk. Time for some pics. Here is the pile of parts that I came home with. Not pretty. The floor boards had been replaced but the workmanship was poor and the replacement pans were not primed so they had flash rust across the entire surface. Not sure what brand floors the guy used but they didn't fit the car very well so I knew they were going to have to come out. The rest of the body looked decent although the LH qtr panel looked like someone had gone after it with a dent puller.....might need to replace that panel but wouldn't know for sure until after the car was media blasted. Once the car is media blasted, the sins have no place to hide.
If you guys are interested....I can continue posting progress updates.