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Hello all,

New to the forum and to the GTO world. I am 28 years old, no house, no kids, free as can be with a job making around 65k. Recently I've fell in love with the 66-67 GTO convertible and would love to own/restore one. I've always been mechanically inclined and can take a apart things and put them back together. Good at painting, details, etc. Always did my own work on my vehicles except the motor. Have a buddy that has a shop, has restored Mustangs, Novas, etc.

1.) How do I start the search for my dream GTO?
2.) How much can I expect to spend on motor, body, details, etc?
3.) Can you typically get your money out of the car after restoration when trying to sell if its clean? (if you dont go overboard)
4.) How much can I realistically expect to spend if i do bodywork/painting myself and some engine work by others. All other details I should be able to figure out.

Tell me if I am way off base or what can I expect?? I dont want to put a fortune into the car, but have it as a hobby and eventually a cool car to drive on the weekends. Doesnt have to be show quality or anything.

Oh and by the way, let me know if you know of a 66-67 project convertible for sale and make my dream come true!!!!
 

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Your best bet is to buy your dream car already done for 25-40k. Money spent on restoration is generally not regained at resale time, even if you do the brunt of the work yourself. My good friend recently completed the restoration of his '67 GTO, and did 100% of the work himself (with some help from myself and others) and it cost him about 28,000 with NO engine work done. Add 5,000--10,000 for engine and overhaul. In today's economy, it simply does not make economic sense to restore a vehicle unless the vehicle is given to you for free, and you already have a pile of parts. That said, most of us here on this forum DO restore or refurbish our old cars, because we like to. We're proud of what we do, and we are gearheads like you are. We are not doing it for resale value. Keep in mind, that the cost of parts, materials, and labor are higher than ever, but the value of these cars is lower than it has been for quite a while. Check out pyforumsonline, there is a ton of info on that forum as well. I've driven and owned GTO's continually since the 1970's, and have a '65 and a '67 that I've owned for the past 30 years. One thing is for certain: as time goes by, I appreciate these cars more and more!! Good luck....others will chime in.
Jeff
 

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Well I am doing at this time what you want to do. EXCEPT mine is a lemans convertible not GTO. Since most after market parts are geared to the GTO option and not lemans or tempest (although there are some parts for lemans/tempest only) But it's technically the same car. So it all interchanges. I got lucky and have a solid body with minimal rust (it had been fixed before) Anyway I bought mine for $4k. Expect a gto to go for $6-8000 in rough condition. (good luck on finding a saveable "rough" convertible. I got lucky on all the trim being there and in great shape My grills are good too. I'm sticking to a lemans although it could easily be cloned but a GTO is not a priority. The body lines are. (love these cars) I have purchased what I believe to be every part needed to complete it. This set me back another $7-8000. seat covers carpet new top new convertible top motor and lines wheels tires brakes floor pans (had a lil rust) in dash tach tri power dash radio blower mtr mirrors rear bumber carpet ect ect ect. I got lucky and found a complete 66 starchief with 39k orginal miles. I freshened up that engine and installed it included in that parts price. 389 tri power woohoo!! So right now I have right AT $12,000 in it and doing the body work now. Still have paint to buy. Been working on it almost a year. Have countless hrs invested too. If you have the place to work on it, the time to do it and the patience to learn and do it right I say DO IT!! If not I would take GeeTee's suggestion and find a drive somebody else has already spiffed up. I even saw a pretty slick lemans convert for 12k while looking for mine that woulda made a great driver. Honestly if I had known how somethings were goona play out last year I may have borrowed the money and just got a driver. Since I do this for a living and enjoy my toys I don't care if it has to sit for awhile longer. Staying motivated for a year or two can be tough. Wish ya luck on whatever you do. just keep us informed. Oh and some guy up east has 30 GTO's alot of them converts going up on ebay one by one. I think he's posting over at py when each one goes up. They have supposedly been garage kept for 20+ years. Should be fairly rust free.
 

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What He Said^^^

Now, failing finding a completed resto., or you simply must have a project, find the BEST car you can afford. Stretch, if you have to! It''ll save you money in the long run.

#1 Stay away from rust! At the very least have a thorough understanding of any rust issues that do exist. Also understand that if you find rot, you're more than likely seeing less than half of what's really there!

Go forth and seek!

Chuck
 

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Thanks again for all the responses and help!

Basically what I am hearing as I ask different people about these cars is that 1.) They are pretty hard to find in project salvageable condition, and 2.) Be prepared to spend an average of 30k restoring it. I've had responses that are all over the place.

I mean GeeTee is saying it takes 28k with NO engine work?? Say the vehicle was 8k then you can expect 20k just in parts?? Maybe I am dillusional but it seems like you could get the job done for cheaper than that trolling ebay and craigslist finding deals on things.

Then you have facn8 saying he's only 12k into the car and just have the body work left to do. This coul be completely doable and seems like a more reasonable number? I understand his was in better shape but it seems like the opinions vary widely.

Again like I said, i'm not interested in having a pristine vehicle with all original parts. I'm willing to do some cutting/welding, finding replacement parts. Not trying to create a 50k driver.
 

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ChuckHa -

I dont necessarily have to find a restore project, but yes they have been hard to find. My original thought would be that I would enjoy the car more if I did all the work myself and could make it exactly how I want it. Basically it would be a Hobby.

That being said if the right 'driver" condition one came along I would consider it if it was the right price and had the right options. Maybe would want to change the color. or interior. Would love to find one in this condition for 12k-15k. What are the odds of finding this?
 

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Facin8 and GeeTee are right on the mark real world numbers from guys that can and do do all of thier own work and here is another

- 1966 Tempest Custom (almost lowest of the low...lol) all original hole free metal with a seized 326 and 99.9% of the parts it came from the factory with (dealer serviced). Used as a carport shelf since 1976 $2500 add $5,000 if it was same shape and a 242 (GTO) and another $2,000 if its a vert

- Shipping of said Tempest from Idaho (hence the rust free part) back to its home near the Motor City $800

- parts to complete the car $15,000+ (and i bargain shopped everything on e-bay, craigslist, racejunk....etc.)

- Labor $0.00 did it ALL myself in 8 months

- now remember me and Facn8 did not have to do any extensive body/metal work and did ours with the body still on frame add $1-4000.00

- we also were able to save most of our trim add $2000.00 (bumpers included)

- As for GeeTee, he is one of the few guys around here who has any equity in his cars because he bought them 30 years ago when the gas crunch had them down below what they cost originally and kept them like most of us wish we would have....69' and 73' firebirds...:shutme

- Amex Platinum.......PRICELESS!!!!

so like said a 20-30K clean driver is a bargain unless you love working on them. In that range look for a LeMans or Tempest and make it a sleeper, you should see the look on Chevelle SS guys when they get their ass handed to them by a 326 tagged "whats a Tempest?"........:rofl: and welcome to the forum...:cheers Do It NOW before you get a wife and kids, or you won't get it till the kids get out of college.....i know....:D

Check out the thread on "Craigslist cars for sale", us web watchers always post the promising ones on there as soon as they pop up....unless we have an eye on them....;)

check out the pictures of the full resto below
 

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Clint, the 28k resto also included many parts my friend had purchased in the late '70's and stashed: emblems, grilles, exhaust system, etc, etc. The price of many of these parts was not even factored in. Get an AMES, PY, OPG, or Year One catalog, and start adding it up. I recently looked at a rough but rust free '66 GTO convertible for 6k. I tallied up the needed parts and the cost of the painting materials, and with no labor costs, I was right at about 32k....and that was without the paint applied to the car. Having that done in CA would add another 5-10k. So, 37 to 42k for a car that I could buy done for about 27k around here. Not a great deal. I passed. The guy face mentioned is called "6T5GTO" and he's on pyforumsonline. He has 28 GTO convertibles left, all 1964-67 model years, and all have been in inside storage for 30 plus years. He ;has sold two so far on ebay, a '67 ragtop all original and running/driving for about 13k, and a '66 ragtop all original, running/driving for a bit over 15k. Both cars need restoration, but are rust free, the tops go up and down, etc. Solid buys. You might want to go that route if you are looking for a ragtop. Also, bear this in mind: It costs exactly the same amount of $$$ to restore a LeMans or Tempest as a GTO, but the end product is worth less $$ than the GTO. If resale is not a consideration, don't worry about it. Nothing wrong with a driver Tempest or Lemans, especially at a reasonable cost.
 

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I have $1600 in the tri power. As for the engine I bought that car for $1400 pulled the engine and trans and sold it for the same amount. $400 in gaskets cam bearings and oil pump. If I had not gotten such a deal that price would have easily doubled to rebuild one. As GeeTee said. Mines only a lemans and the resale is only what I have in it. If it was a GTO it would be worth double. Of course once all the lemans and tempest get cloned to GTO's mine and Insta's will be worth a million each. hahahahahaha
 

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Let's not forget some did tranny work to $1000+ some had to find consoles and shifters $1000 + Some had to find chrome trim. $$$$$ Windows window tracks. I spent very little on wheels and tires. Radiator and fan shroud aren't cheap thankfully I didn't need a radiator. . Grills aren't cheap. Ram air pans and manifolds aren't cheap. Some put new wiring harnesses. I was amazed at what exhaust cost. I got off as cheap as I could and installed myself..Almost $400. Priced a posi lately? . At this point nobody but me has put a hand on this car. That is what keeps the price down.
 

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That is a great project, and the price is right. Still, no way to make money on it. It would be fun to restore, though. And AC to boot!!!!! I'll bet 4500 cash would get r done......
 

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I inherited this car from my brother 1 month into a resto mod build
car 8000 1 owner no rust california car Tempest
drive line 3500 02 LS1 and 6 speed trans
body and paint 7500
I did ALL the other work myself complete frame off, new everything -wiring,interior, all global west suspension, every nut and bolt either replaced or restored, power windows tons of custom carbon fiber bits, 06 gto seats etc etc etc etc
I bought quality stuff as cheap as I could and I spent about 10k-12k( maybe more)
and it took me 4 years (14 months at body shop)
so full total is about 30k-35k
the looks I get EVERY time I drive the car, priceless:D
just do it for the fun factor
 
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