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This summer my Dad and I decided to take on a monster project that he had been putting off for years - his 1970 GTO Convertible (numbers matching, non clone car). He had the car built for drag racing a little over a decade ago and crashed the car while he was driving with my brother on the street. The throttle stuck and he lost control of the car. They went barreling in to a bank on the side off the road and destroyed the car. He thought the car was beyond hope of repairing, so he let it sit in his garage for over a decade as a part car for his other projects. He eventually decided the car was too valuable to waste away to nothing, so he decided to restore it. The car needs countless hours of body work to make it right, the frame needs pulled, and the entire thing needs to be sand blasted in order to restore it to its former glory.

I just finished my freshmen year in college, so I was stoked to find out that he wanted to restore it when I came home for the summer. I go to school in California, so we thought that it would be a good idea to drive it from our home on the east coast to California together after the car is finished. With that being said, we are planning on putting an LS3 crate motor in the car with a 6 speed manual transmission. We will be doing 95% of the work to the car since my dad runs his own body shop and I've been messing around with cars since I was a little kid. Let's get to some pictures.

Here's a picture of the car in its racing days:



This is how the car sat for over a decade:



Here's a few pictures of our progress so far:









We replaced the bent steering knuckle and rolled it outside for the first time in over 10 years!



I started tearing the interior out and cutting out the roll cage...

...I stripped the rear valance and trunk lid. The trunk lid had rust in it so we cut out the rust and welded plates in and filled it.


 

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Discussion Starter #2



We pulled the car over to the other side of the shop to get it ready to be sent to the frame shop.



I have more pictures of our progress that I will upload very soon. Thanks for checking our thread out! Stay posted.
 

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Sounded like a good project until you mentioned the LS install.:nonod: Would have been a nice GTO with a Pontiac mill. Oh well:banghead:
 

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The car went to the frame shop earlier this week and I stripped the fenders and the doors when it got back. The fenders are the original ones from the factory and they're pretty rough. The doors are nearly perfect, we stole them from a 71 lemans and they have no rust. I sprayed epoxy primer on the doors and fenders yesterday and some friends of mine helped me take just about everything out of the car including the convertible top, wiring harness, kick panels, etc. Next step is to get it blasted!



 

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Sounded like a good project until you mentioned the LS install.:nonod: Would have been a nice GTO with a Pontiac mill. Oh well:banghead:
We would like to put a pontiac motor in the car but we would have just as much money in fuel injecting an older block as a new motor. And we like the idea of having the warranty that comes from GM so if something happens on our trip cross country we'll be covered.
 

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All the panels on the car are stripped and in epoxy now, and we are starting to work some mud on the driver's side quarter.
 

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In your first post you mentioned the car was numbers matching. Did your dad part out the original engine/tranny after he wrecked it? It would be a shame to put an LS engine in if you still had the numbers matching engine. Then again, if you don't have any concern for resale value or originality, and you don't mind hearing every Poncho head groan when you pop the hood, go for it. However, there are much cheaper ways to do an LS swap than buying a brand new LS3 crate engine.

This is the best write-up I've found on doing an LS swap for dirt cheap. Requires a bit of elbow grease and getting your hands dirty, but you can still achieve huge power output, great mpg, and reliability, while saving lots of money over a crate engine.
Junkyard LS Engine Builds: Going From Rags To Riches - LSXTV
 

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In your first post you mentioned the car was numbers matching. Did your dad part out the original engine/tranny after he wrecked it? It would be a shame to put an LS engine in if you still had the numbers matching engine. Then again, if you don't have any concern for resale value or originality, and you don't mind hearing every Poncho head groan when you pop the hood, go for it. However, there are much cheaper ways to do an LS swap than buying a brand new LS3 crate engine.

This is the best write-up I've found on doing an LS swap for dirt cheap. Requires a bit of elbow grease and getting your hands dirty, but you can still achieve huge power output, great mpg, and reliability, while saving lots of money over a crate engine.
Junkyard LS Engine Builds: Going From Rags To Riches - LSXTV
Hi there! Thanks for the input. Yes, we still have the numbers matching engine, but it was swapped out long before the crash for a 455 that my dad used to race the car. We're definitely open to any suggestions involving the build, but we do not plan on selling this car. Our plan is to make the car a one of a kind, nothing else like it. We want to mix the old school muscle car look with the new technology available today. If we really wanted to we could swap the original motor in later down the road (that being a major pain, however).

On another note, we have plenty of pictures that I need to put up. Moving in to my apartment and lack of internet has slowed the posting process a bit. They will be up shortly!
 

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So a good bit of progress has been made in the past few weeks. I apologize for getting behind on posting - I've been busy with moving in to my apartment and starting school. Anyway, my dad has made a lot of progress since I last posted pictures. The driver's side quarter panel has been stripped down to bare metal. He also ordered floorboards for the car, and discovered that the cross members are a bit more rusty than he anticipated. The floorboards were mocked up and fitted, just need to be welded in now. The small dings in the deck lid have been fixed and is now in primer. I've also included some pictures of the dash - it's pretty rough, we're looking to find a replacement/fix. Any suggestions?

We plan on welding some plates in the crossmember to help strengthen the car.

What's left of the old floor board:
 
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