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Discussion Starter #1
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 :crying: ) 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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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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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.
:agree 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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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Discussion Starter #9
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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Discussion Starter #10
Can’t believe it has been so long and it’s been a long road and while I would love to say the project is done the truth is that it has only just taken its first step towards beginning.
the last conversation I had with the restoration shop is that I should be prepared for a price tag which could top $100k.
so I decided to focus on getting the house paid off first, that is done.
Other factors also added some delays.
my brother in law is planning to retire soon and recently freed up space in his barn for us to work on it together.
today, he came with his trailer to get the car out of my garage and down to his barn.
he has other home renovations in progress so it might be a month before we actual do anything.
i do expect the project might take a few years and I might be bringing some parts home with me to work on.
The process of moving is was relatively uneventful though with the complete loss of any braking capacity at all, it got a bit exciting at one point.
thankfully the only damage was to the exhaust, which needs to be replaced anyway.
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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 :crying: ) 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?
I believe a manual car to bring 5/8 thousand return more than a automatic car, but thats just my opinion from selling several muscle cars. Rolling chassis and runners....Manual is more desirable.
 

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I believe a manual car to bring 5/8 thousand return more than a automatic car, but thats just my opinion from selling several muscle cars. Rolling chassis and runners....Manual is more desirable.
Or more. I've owned several automatic 64-5 GTO's over the past 35 years.

I understand you have a lot of memories in this car and it is sentimental to your. That's the ONLY reason to restore this car. I sold my last automatic 65 about 3 years ago. It was born with a tri power engine and still retained it. Very nice frame off restoration; 2 GTOAA concours awards. I had even upgraded to a turbo 350 trans. Very nice and sorted out. No one wanted to buy it when I got ready to sell it and I finally took it to a Mecum auction. I sold it for 39k and a 65 factory tri power, 4 speed car that needed a total restoration sold for 48k. There you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
it’s got a Tri-Power with an automatic and a dual gate shifter. Though I think the power train is not from a ‘64.
By doing much of the work ourselves that should cut the cost significantly.
my intention is to build a car I can drive and enjoy for maybe the next 30 years. I’ll likely take it to shows and cruise ins but simply to enjoy everything about it.
Hard to say until I figure out what is actually needed but somewhere under $50k invested when it is back on the road would be awesome.
not sure how much various labor rates for various things are but at $25 and hour 2000 hours of time is $50k.
will need to spend some money on labor for things like rebuilding the engine and my bro-in-law is not planning to setup a paint shop.
 

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it’s got a Tri-Power with an automatic and a dual gate shifter. Though I think the power train is not from a ‘64.
By doing much of the work ourselves that should cut the cost significantly.
my intention is to build a car I can drive and enjoy for maybe the next 30 years. I’ll likely take it to shows and cruise ins but simply to enjoy everything about it.
Hard to say until I figure out what is actually needed but somewhere under $50k invested when it is back on the road would be awesome.
not sure how much various labor rates for various things are but at $25 and hour 2000 hours of time is $50k.
will need to spend some money on labor for things like rebuilding the engine and my bro-in-law is not planning to setup a paint shop.
$100,000 is absurd. And, no autobody shop is going to do the work for $25.00 and hour. Never commit to an hourly rate on any job. That's where you get screwed.

Much you can do yourself. Not too hard to unbolt the nose. You can then take those parts, fenders/hood to a shop and get a price to repair/refinish. They can see what you have and tell you up front - none of this crap we charge $150.00 and hour and we are not sure how long it will take to do the work. RUN! A good shop knows the job and can give you a set quote in writing - period.

Same with the doors & trunk lid. Take them off and bring to a shop. Then the only variable will be the body and you can trailer it to a shop, leave it for them to look at, and get a quote in writing.

Dual Gate shifter is not original - most likely you have a TH-400. I would not worry about going original as Jerry H. pointed out, you will never get your money back and it really isn't original to begin with. Instead do the resto-mod route that most are looking for and do your upgrades. Have fun with it instead of looking at it as an investment and "its worth a lot of money" thinking.

The more work you can do yourself, the $more you save. An old car becomes a money pit real fast and know that its just a hobby unless you flip cars for a living. If you plan to invest 40, 50, or 100K into a car, I would want to make sure my house and belongings were all paid for first.

Do you have a technical school in your area that you might bring the car to as a school project for them to work on? Sometimes this can be done. I would also join a local club as you might get some help in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
$100,000 is absurd. And, no autobody shop is going to do the work for $25.00 and hour. Never commit to an hourly rate on any job. That's where you get screwed.
To be fair - the guy only saw a couple photos that I sent him and we spent maybe 15 minutes discussion what I might want done. He has been in the business of restoring cars for many years and has likely been burned more than once by someone who claimed they had a given budget and half way through the project ran out of money.

The first time I talked to him - he cautioned me that I should be prepared to send at least $50k - which I took perhaps a rule of thumb based on his years of experience.

The second time I talked to him - when I thought I could swing making the last few years of house payments and also car restoration payments - he tossed out the potential for a $100k project. Can't say for sure if that was just a warning, or an attempt to scare me off a bit because he was too busy and didn't want another project, or even an attempt to feel me out to see what price I would be willing to pay.

Perhaps fortunately - I did not get on his calendar because even though I was able to get the house paid off ahead of schedule - I am probably $50k behind where I projected I would be at this point - so I would have been that guy who ran out of money half way through the build.

I have done a lot of work on cars myself - including modifications to my 2009 Saturn Sky Redline - and even a bunch of work on the GTO (though I was much younger then) such as removing the transmission to have it rebuilt and then reinstalling it myself. My bro-in-law has also done a ton of just about everything - and has a barn full of tools.

So it really boils down to how often I will be able to get there (about an hour away - but I can stay overnight), and what surprises lie ahead in terms of things I cannot see until pars come off. Then it is just a matter of deciding on every part that comes off whether it can be restored or needs to be replaced.

Specifically regarding the $25 an hour - that was not a number I was quoted - was just using that an an example - if I were to account for my time and value it at $25/hour - and I spend 2000 hours on it - that is $50k that I would have paid someone else to do those 2000 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Disassembly began this weekend - spent about 12 hours taking things off. Most of the chrome except for the bumpers - some items are tagged and bagged and stored in the barn where the car is - some came home with me so I can do a more detailed cleaning and evaluation of what can be restored vs replaced. Plan to go back in a couple weeks and spend another weekend getting more stuff off/apart. Some of the major stuff such as the power train will likely wit until spring after he installs a lift.
Need to figure out how to get the rear side windows out.
A few pics.
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Discussion Starter #17
Spent another 8 hours on disassembly - plus cleaning up the trunk light - close to done I think.
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Discussion Starter #18
Not quite done with these parts - need to get the sand blaster setup to finish the latch - not sure if that should be left natural or if it should be painted. Doesn't look like it was but the replacement parts I have seen are primed in black.

Before:
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Currently.
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Will need to find a seal/gasket for the retaining clip - the one that came out had to be scrapped off.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One chunk at a time.

Before - the white is overspray from the paint job I had done in high school (that's a long story by itself, including a small child and my mom's '66 Catalina).
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50+ years of grime and rust
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An hour or so of TLC
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Discussion Starter #20
Still might hit these with the sand blaster when it is ready.

Evaporust works - takes a while on decades old rust.

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Should I have a spring on the post, something like this?
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