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First time poster and thought I would take a moment and share the details of my GTO frame off restoration. I have a 66’ GTO convertible that’s been in the family since almost day 1. The car came off the showroom floor in Missoula, MT. It’s the car my parents drove off in when they got married and that my wife and I were driven off in when we got married (we had a little too much fun to drive ourselves). The car trade hands within the family over the years and my grandfather gave me the car when I was about 17 and I have had it ever since. The car is pretty much original except for the motor (it had rebuilt core swaps back in the 70s and 80s). It was originally a 4 bbl, 389 w/ 4 speed. No power steering, power brakes or AC.
The car had made numerous trips from the east coast to the west coast. When my dad got out of the Air Force, they drove from California to Columbia, SC pulling a trailer carrying my dad’s 1955 C-gas Chevy and all their possessions stuffed in both cars.

About 2 years ago I decided to tear the car back down to frame. It didn’t have any major visible rust, but I figured it had some somewhere and would be a good time to address any small issues before they became bigger issues. I’m glad I started it when I did.

I stripped the car completely down, every nut and bolt. I stripped the frame down completely, blasted it to bare metal and painted it. Since the car was not a numbers matching car, I decided to update the suspension with a CPP stage IV pro touring kit. We rebuilt the reared with new position unit and ring gear and pinion. Double adjustable coil overs on all 4 corners, 4 wheel disc brakes, all tubular a-arms and trailing arms, front and rear sway bars, etc. I ran all new stainless brake lines and (2) 3/8” stainless fuel lines (That project was easier said than done). Frame/suspension done expect wheels and tires.

The body was sent to media blasting. This is where she showed her secrets. Nothing too bad, biggest repair was new left 3rd trunk floor replaced, both rear lower quarter patches, and pin holes here and there along the rockers. Then the body was primered and seam sealed. Had the blower motor/heater core hole on the firewall welded up. I plan to install aftermarket AC, hard to enjoy the car May - September in Texas w/o AC.

My dad and I had built the 428 motor several years before I began the tear down process, so I didn’t have much to do here. Thourghly cleaned it, touched up the paint. The motor is probably a little over cammed but it has a great lope at an idle. Replaced the rocker arms with some roller tipped rockers and installed 3/8”spacers under the valve covers. Wanted the engine to have a cleaner look, so replaced the plug wires and used a wiring loom to keep everything neat and organized. My intent is to replace the old AFB with a Holley sniper efi, hence the 2 fuel lines. Also looking at converting to a serpentine belt system. We also tore the 4 speed down, replaced the reverse gear, all new seals and gaskets.

Body is now back on the frame. This past weekend we put the hydraulic clutch kit in the tranny and then put the motor and tranny back in the car. The car is headed to paint and body this Thursday. I opted to do it this way so I don’t run the risk of scratching any paint putting the motor and trans in later. Currently the front clip is off the car, which made it a fairly easy install, excluding getting a few header bolts started.

I have pics and will try to get some posted this week.
 

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Sounds like a great project! Love the history behind the car as well. It's too hot to own one in Columbia, SC still, but I make do somehow!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got the car dropped off at the paint and body guy’s shop yesterday and he has already got the front clip on and starting to rough in the gaps.
 

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Looking nice. Glad to see your restoration is coming along. Looking forward to seeing it painted. Keep up the great job and nice to see you have a helper, getting kids involved is great, don’t see much of that anymore.
 

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Few more pics of the painting process.
Looking great. How about sharing your procedures and technique on wet sanding (what git), buffing, and glaze to get that look. What brand products do you use/recommend. I think we would all like out cars to look that smooth and glossy. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wish I could take credit for it but it’s all the work of a paint and body guy named Jon McKinley in Gladewater, TX. I do not have the skill set nor the patience for that type of work. If your looking to get a car painted, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Jon. This is the 3rd vehicle he has painted for my family. I’ve attached a copy of his business card below. The truck on the card is a ‘52 Chevy that he painted for my dad. Shoot him an email and he will answer any questions.
 

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