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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

I want to start off by saying that I am being VERY cautious in this research, as I would rather avoid trouble than to buy something that will be a headache. I have a few questions to ask you all.

I'm looking at a 1969 Pontiac posted for sale. It has had the VIN plate removed from the dash, and a green tag on the door jamb from the WA state patrol with the VIN. It shows as a "242379Z" as the first portion of the VIN. Now, this would imply that it is a "true" GTO, right? It also seems like it would imply that this vehicle has a salvaged or rebuilt title. However, the seller (he and I both live in CA) says he has a clear title for it?

He also said the title shows the car as a 4-door?

Lastly, the car has the Pontiac "Arrowhead" marker lights on the rear quarters rather than the wider "GTO" lights.

I know that, if I look at this car, I should have it put on a lift and have the frame and suspension completely checked over. It needs some bodywork on the driver's quarter (dent), but nothing devastating. It has all the correct GTO badging inside and out, along with the hood and bumper. I can post pics if you like, but assuming the frame and structure of the vehicle look good, is it possible that this is a "true" GTO?

Thanks all for your help. I really appreciate it! Like I said, I'm trying to do as much research and be as cautious as I can be to completely check this thing out before I try to make a decision.
 

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Depends on why you're buying it. It sounds like you want a good specimen and not just a "beat on it 'til it breaks - just for fun car. If this is the case - spend the money and get the PHS documents.

Sounds like the title has an error can't be a 242 and 4 door.
The rear quarters must be from a '68....

IF you have doubts - pass on it. Many folks have purchased pretty nice cars but over time found lots of WTF is this - situation. You want to enjoy it - don't start with something iffy.

My 2 cents.
 

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Verify the stamped VIN found on the drivers side rear frame rail behind the arch. It should be on the side.

x2 on getting the PHS documents to further ID the car as a true 242/GTO.
 

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Sir - I actually just looked into this GTO forum because I have a 1969 GTO I am trying to sell, located in Columbus, OH. I have pictures of it on Craigslist (search for GTO in Columbus). It is not a numbers matching car, but it runs and looks great. I bought it to drive, not to show. Have had it for about 15 years. It is a true GTO per the vin # starting with a 242. Price is somewhat negotiable. It is matador red with black interior. Or my cell is 614.306.6881.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Depends on why you're buying it. It sounds like you want a good specimen and not just a "beat on it 'til it breaks - just for fun car. If this is the case - spend the money and get the PHS documents.

Sounds like the title has an error can't be a 242 and 4 door.
The rear quarters must be from a '68....

IF you have doubts - pass on it. Many folks have purchased pretty nice cars but over time found lots of WTF is this - situation. You want to enjoy it - don't start with something iffy.

My 2 cents.
I actually would rather have a "fun" car. I wouldn't want something that's completely original or numbers matching, because I want to feel comfortable making it my own. I'm just trying to figure out what it is I'm starting with, as this will influence what price I consider if I decide to go look at it. TBH, I already know about the body damage present, and it isn't too bad, probably just need a driver's rear quarter panel. Unless there's rust I can't see, the rest of the body looks solid. The interior looks decent, and it runs well, so it seems like a solid place to start.

I hadn't considered that they could be '68 rear quarters, I guess that would explain it.

Verify the stamped VIN found on the drivers side rear frame rail behind the arch. It should be on the side.

x2 on getting the PHS documents to further ID the car as a true 242/GTO.
I will definitely do that if I drive up to look at it! Thanks!

Does anyone know if there is a way to get a replacement VIN tag for the normal dash location? I obviously have that tag on the door jamb, but it seems like, if the title is clean and matches the car, it should be possible, right? I know it might be difficult, as they can't make it too easy to create fake VIN tags, but is it at least possible?

I'll probably post some pics of the car tomorrow and see what you all think would be a fair value for it. I appreciate the help!
 

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Sounds like it could be a 1968 Tempest/Lemans with a VIN number from a 69 GTO.
The partial VIN on the frame is on top of the frame rail. Very hard to see with the body on the frame.

Things that are different between 68-69 off the top of my head
Rear bumper, deck lid, rear portion of trunk pan, trunk pan hump (over axle), steering wheel, dash, door panels, upholstery style, bucket seat back latch release, fan shroud, under hood bracing.
 

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Sounds like it could be a 1968 Tempest/Lemans with a VIN number from a 69 GTO.
The partial VIN on the frame is on top of the frame rail. Very hard to see with the body on the frame.

Things that are different between 68-69 off the top of my head
Rear bumper, deck lid, rear portion of trunk pan, trunk pan hump (over axle), steering wheel, dash, door panels, upholstery style, bucket seat back latch release, fan shroud, under hood bracing.
X2. The PHS documents are your best bet here. A '68 could certainly be re-badged as a '69. And, yes, crooks do replicate VIN numbers as I learned from the auto theft detectives at our Sheriff's office. (Long story there.)

Good luck with this potential buy!
 

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First, '69 Tempest & LeMans had the same 1/4 panel marker lights as the '68 Tempest/LeMans/GTO bodystyles.
The dash structure as well as the rear tailpanel structure are considerably different between '68 and '69 2 door Pontiac A-body's, there are also minute differences, that I'm not going to detail between the 2 years of body shells.

Whether the "car" consists of a '69 Tempest or '69 LeMans body with a '69 GTO VIN tag attached, OR a ' 68 Tempest/LeMans/GTO with a '69 GTO VIN tagged attached, not a good place to be legally to put the "car" onto the strret. It's one thing if the buyer is building a racecar that doesn't have to be legally licensed. It's something else, if the car is a '69, but didn't start out as a '69 GTO which merely had the rear quarters replaced with those of a partscar. After close examination, if a sale is in the works, the purchase price needs to be appropriate to what the "car" actually is.
 

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Good point....didn't know the 1969 non 242 A bodies had the arrow marker lights like the 68s. Any car without its original VIN tag is always going to be difficult to sell later. Buyer beware. I would value the car about half what I would pay for a base Tempest in similar condition.....or scrap value, whichever is higher.
 
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