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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Im making this thread as a way to track what Ive done and to learn from others on the best way to get it done. First a little backstory on myself.

My name is Nick and I am 33 and have been working on all kinds of cars since I was 21, so not that long. I was fortunate enough to work with a guy who became a good friend of mine whose dad was a mechanic. I worked on cars through college as a way to have fun, not waste my time, and make a little money. Graduated in 2011 with an Electrical Engineering degree and married in 2012 and now have three young kids (5,3,1).

For the most part I can handle most mechanical and electrical things but I don’t have any welding or body skills. Its on my list of things to learn. Ive done a 1980 Jeep CJ7, 1966 Mustang, 1969 Mustang, 1971 Datsun 510, 1995 Nissan 240sx, 1993 Mazda RX7, 1973 Dodge Charger and various others. Mostly I would get them running and driving but never had the money or the skills to do paint so I would sell and move on.

A GTO has always been on the wish list. About a month ago I got a message from a fellow classic car friend and it was a craigslist ad for a 1967 GTO convertible. It was listed as a running and driving car that needed new floor and a new interior. It was also listed with no price. I figured I’ll call and see what he’s asking just to see where the market is at. I called and as I imagined it was a lot. Then I figured Id go see it to see for myself a convertible GTO so I can put a condition with a price and use that experience later when I could buy one.

I happened to preplan before I went to look at it and even asked the wife if she wanted to buy it with me. I expected her to say no but to my surprise she said yes. So off I went after work to look at it, no real intention of buying it. An older guy was selling it and he is a big car collector but preferred to work on hot rods. He likes the engineering behind hod rods and the welding and modifying those projects typically have. The GTO he bought from a friend but is what he called an easy project for him. He had some friends of his who looked at it and told him they would think on it and let him know. The more I looked at it the more I thought it was in better shape then I thought. On top of that he had most of the sheet metal needed to fix it and lots of other parts needed for the project. Carpet kit, new grills, lights, trim, bumpers, etc. I left my deposit that day and picked it up a few days later.

Shocked to have a GTO.
994186AB-D2CC-4A10-9496-A47847E9DE1B.jpeg
 

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Hello Nick. Welcome to the forum.

Although you are quite a bit younger than me, your story is similar to mine. I am in IT as a career, but have always been a shade tree mechanic, making a little side money in high school and college. Before my current project (67 hardtop), I really hadn’t done any serious restoration and only a little welding here and there. I had played with some body work on some things that really didn’t matter. Nothing I really valued.

On this project, I did significant rust repair, replacing 12 pieces including both rear quarters. There was some learning as I went, but it turned out to my liking. I recognized my limitations and left the body work and paint to the pros.

Decide how far you want to take your car and dive in. You will do great. I quickly learned that this project was not about building monetary value or completing on a deadline, but just enjoying the hobby even if it takes a while to master the skills.
 

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Before I bought the car I got the PHS docs to verify everything is as it should be. Even though the VIN checked out I wanted to be more thorough here than I normally am. The PHS docs were super cool and helpful. It helped verify how original the car is and how honest the seller was. In the end honest guy. Non original motor and it has a 4speed with a hurst shifter, that I hope is original, instead of an automatic. Im ok with this. I verified the other options it came with and off to my house it went.

Then the strip down and bag and tag. I feel like I went over board with pictures but something tells me I should’ve taken more. It will need patches on both rear quarters. Driver side whole pan and the passenger side had some pin holes but not too bad but I just decided to replace it all anyway. Needs new trunk and the taillight panel is dented and a little crunched so we’ll see how it looks when I get it stripped down, I do have the panel to replace it but if it can be saved Id rather save it.

136558

136559
136560
 

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You have some work ahead of you, but what car that old doesn't? If you can do a lot of the work yourself, you are good. If you gotta pay, you'll need deep pockets. It's all part of the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
You have some work ahead of you, but what car that old doesn't? If you can do a lot of the work yourself, you are good. If you gotta pay, you'll need deep pockets. It's all part of the fun.
Lots of work. The most i’ve ever seen that needs to be done. First on the list is fix the rust spots. What do you think would be reasonable to get that done? I have all the parts, just need the labor. It isn’t something I know how to do. $5000? More???
 

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Lots of work. The most i’ve ever seen that needs to be done. First on the list is fix the rust spots. What do you think would be reasonable to get that done? I have all the parts, just need the labor. It isn’t something I know how to do. $5000? More???
With todays rates, I would set an initial stash of cash between $8,000 - $10,000 to begin with. With the rot in the places shown, ie hood & cowling, that could just be the tip of the iceberg. When I see rot in those places, there is usually more. I would not fix just the rot spots, I would want to know exactly what is underneath. The rest of the cowling could be just as bad, just not busted through yet. Same goes with the fenders. I have seen where some will do a half-baked job and put a paint job on it only to have rot bust through and show up a year later and the money you spent was for nothing.

If you are just looking for a driver and don't care about getting all the rot/rust out, then the price comes down. Convertibles always suffer because they get worn out and the tops usually go and when the owner finds out how much it will cost to repair, out comes the duct tape, but it still leaks all over and rots out the floors, trunk, & quarters just like I am seeing.

Have you examined the frame to make sure it is solid? If I didn't know better it looks like the car had some time up "north" on salted winter roads which rots things in places you would not think.
 

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The frame looks pretty good overall. No obvious issues. The auto to manual conversion isnt the way I would’ve done it but that can be fixed. I am planning on blasting and re painting the frame so we’ll see what it truely looks like then.

Thanks for the response.
 

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Got the body off the frame time to start stripping it down and get parts on order. Its almost talking me as much time finding the right parts to get and from where that I spend actually taking the car apart.
 

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137094

137095

137096


Who likes the custom “hold the trunk up” I mean chassis stiffening for high horse power support?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
GTO frame is ready for sandblast and paint. I also got my list of parts together.

Front disc brake conversion 2in drop from right stuff.
Rear disc brake rebuild (Ames)
Four corner suspension rebuild all stock (Ames)
Front end rebuild and steering kit (Ames)
Box up rear control arms (Ames)
Rear Sway Bar to match front (Ames)
Body bushings and hardware (Ames)
Coil spring isolators (Ames)
Trans mount and “crossmember ears” (Ames)
Chassis hardware kit (Ames)
1/4in gas return line and new sender (Ames)
All new gas and brake lines as well (Ames)
New proportioning valve for the front discs (Ames)

I looked around and Ames seemed to have the best prices and best quality stuff. Their hardware kit is amk and the brake lines and stuff come from right stuff. I will check Summit before I buy as one of their warehouses is just down the street.
 

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GTO frame is ready for sandblast and paint. I also got my list of parts together.

Front disc brake conversion 2in drop from right stuff.
Rear disc brake rebuild (Ames)
Four corner suspension rebuild all stock (Ames)
Front end rebuild and steering kit (Ames)
Box up rear control arms (Ames)
Rear Sway Bar to match front (Ames)
Body bushings and hardware (Ames)
Coil spring isolators (Ames)
Trans mount and “crossmember ears” (Ames)
Chassis hardware kit (Ames)
1/4in gas return line and new sender (Ames)
All new gas and brake lines as well (Ames)
New proportioning valve for the front discs (Ames)

I looked around and Ames seemed to have the best prices and best quality stuff. Their hardware kit is amk and the brake lines and stuff come from right stuff. I will check Summit before I buy as one of their warehouses is just down the street.
Moving forward, looks good. That's the way to do it then you know what you have and that it's done right.

I used the Eastwood Internal Frame Paint to get inside the frame areas that were boxed. I used about 3 cans on my '68 Lemans frame which has the open side rails. Your convertible are boxed, so it may take 4 cans, but I'd start with three. The stuff is runny and it was green in color - at least mine was. So you want to use this before painting the outside of the frame. Obviously you can paint over it as well if you do it after frame painting - which is what I did.


Was the 4-speed added? Add to your list "Rear Upper & Lower Control Arm Braces." The 4-speed cars had these factory installed. It ties the upper control arm to the lower control arm using the control arm bolts and adds stiffness to the frame and is a plus if you plan on exercising the HP with the 4-speed.

You can go repop and get a set that is like the original or aftermarket. I went with a set from UMI which are tubular, have a bend to clear the floor pan, adjuster nut to adjust length should there be anything out of alignment, and new bolts/nuts. The factory are fine and should be used as a minimum. The UMI pieces are more money, but much heftier.

Not knowing what HP/TQ level you are looking for if you rebuild the engine, but keep in mind the 10-bolt is good, but once you go over stock HP/TQ numbers and then add wider/sticky tires and/or a posi you can break them. I have wailed the heck out of them with stock engines and never had an issue, but single leggers and the old bias-ply tires so the tires would just light up and smoke rather than grab. Left nice burn-out marks on the pavement. LOL
 
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