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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a 1971, numbers matching, GTO.

It sat in a garage for years and the body is in terrible shape. The worst is the interior. For instance, the seats are rusted out. There isn't a piece of metal in the interior that isn't covered in rust.

The floor is gone. The roof is rust.

I finally was able to get to the fuse panel, and it is rusted as well. Many wires are either cut or have metal showing.

I have a 1971 Lemans donor car. It is in much better shape.

I plan on merging the two into a fairly correct GTO, but with new wiring...different paint....and probably a few hidden electrical additions.

Any thoughts out there on whether I'm heading in the right direction?
 

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if i had 2 of them i would fix the good one, but dont scrap the other one. people are fixing cars that are far worse than that and would be excited to have yours as a starting point.
 

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Did the garage it was in have a roof on it???...:willy:

:agree with 66Tempest fix the LeMans and get it on the road. If the frame and firewall on the GTO are savable restore that and re-body it later to get your GTO.
 

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I guess the answer to your question depends on your ability, available time and funds. Looks like quite the project.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My thinking

I bought the GTO because I wanted a to do a frame up rebuild with my son. He's really into cars (12 years old, going on 30).

I bought it and brought it home and realized it needed LOTS of work. My son found a 1971 LeMans for peanuts that was not rusted, but had no interior, the engine was not complete, so it seemed a good match.

This was all in the middle of a Georgia summer, so I didn't have much time to really look at either of them, I just bought them.

So this is what I have:

A. A very body rusted 1971 GTO, but the frame, engine, tranny, etc are solid.

B. The body and frame of a 1971 LeMans. The engine is missing half its parts. The interior is stripped out as they wanted to make it a dragster.

The only thing I care about is getting the GTO up and running.

When I first brought the GTO home, I had delusions of a full restoration. Two things killed that for me. The amount of body rust and interior decay, and I'm not real fond of the original colors.
 

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I wouldn't let the original color discourage you. From what it sounds you'll need a new paint job either way and you don't have to stay with original paint colors. My car is a 70 455, came cardinal red with sandalwood interior and a 3 spd. Motor is long gone with original trans, now it has a 350/400 setup which will be ditched for a 455 or now the more I find out about these cars might just do a 400 with a 4spd. I guess what I'm getting at is if so many parts of the car are not original, then a non original paint color won't hurt the value or enjoyment.
 

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LeMans to GTO clone would be the easier route. gonna take a whole lotta work, time and money just to get that 242 VIN. If you just get the LeMans back to driver status first it will do two things.
1.) Get your feet wet for the project that would be ahead of you if you did decide to tackle the frame off on the GTO.
2.) Give you a cool LeMans to run with your son for parts while your building the frame suspension and brakes on the GTO for a future body swap and all the parts and work from the LeMans will swap to the GTO.

Its always more fun to have a running car, than to just have a dream of one running that is sitting in a million pieces in three outbuildings for years......JMHO
 

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My roof skin was a total loss due to neglect. I found a roof donor in Victorville, and it was all back to normal in a few days time. It's all very doable, good luck with your build.
 
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