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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new member. I just bought a 67 GTO convertible in decent shape that I plan to restore, and I wanted to introduce myself because I'm sure I'll be asking a lot of questions. First, a little bit of background...

I had two 67s (a LeMans and a GTO) about 25 years ago that I wanted to restore, but they were both horribly rusted and rotted, and I had no money to do anything correctly (I was in high school at the time), so I'm excited to start a restoration project with what I beleive to be a pretty solid car and a bit more discretionary cash. Working on these cars with my dad brings back fond memories, and now I have a son who will be involved with this one (OK, he's only 4 now, but this is gonna take awhile).

The car has the correct number matching engine (WS) transmission (W) and rear end (YH). It's been sitting in a garage for about 8 years. The previous owner started a restoration but gave up. The engine hasn't been started up for a few years, but I know for sure that it ran fine before it went into storage (I looked at the car back then, but I didn't pull the trigger). In any case, he had the front suspension rebuilt, added a quicker ratio steering box, and converted to front discs. He also had both bumpers rechromed, and installed a new 4 core radiator.

From the records I was given (a couple thick manilla folders) the car was restored about 25 years ago (the owner previous to the one I bought it from). The engine was overhauled, the car was repainted, and the wire wheel covers were replaced with Rally IIs.

Although everything looks straight (and I couldn't find any obvious prior repairs), there are some obvious areas that need attention. There's significant rust around the tail lights, a couple pencil sized rust holes in the trunk, and a little rust around the winshield. I'm sure there are other issues as well hidden beneath the paint. The seats have some rips, the simulated wood stuff is peeling off the console, and I didn't see the power top stuff in the trunk.

My goal is to restore the car to the point where it is a really solid driver and it looks original. It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect or perfectly original, but I want to know that everything is done the right way--I don't want to worry too much about getting stuck across town with my kids in the back seat, or that it's rusting out beneath the surface.

So here are my first two questions.

1) Do any of you have recommendations of places in central Florida where I can get high quality restoration work done? I'm looking for a frame-off type of job where I can be confident that panels are welded in correctly and where the body work and paint can be done.

2) How far should I go myself in disassembling and reassmbling the car? I would be comfortable taking a lot of the car apart myself and hauling it somewhere for the body/chassis work, but if it's better/more cost effective to let the repair shop do it, then I could go that route as well.
 

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Former Super Moderator
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Welcome to the forums! We want pictures!! :cheers
1) Put it on a trailer and drive it up to Wisconsin, I'll fix you right up. ;)
2) As much as you can. I would remove all the chrome and lights, interiour, engine and tranny, exhaust, front clip, doors, trunk lid, gas tank and straps, etc. Get some zip lock baggies and label and bag all the screws and bolts. Talk to the shop that's going to do the work, they may want to take the body panels off instead of reassembling a car they didn't take apart. Unless you plan on reassembling the painted parts yourself. Be sure to have the vissable bolts repainted too.
 

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64-67 Expert
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If you want a frame off restoration, and you're not prepared to do the work yourself, you should consult a professional outfit, if you can find one. (Or trailer it to Rukee, who loves these cars!). You want someone who is INTO GTO's, not just making $$$. That said, if it were me, I'd get it running first, and drive it. I know of a LOT of GTO's (and other neat cars) that were "disassembled for restoration" that became worthless basket cases. Good intentions fade as the years and other priorities take their place. DRIVE THE CAR!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just had the car delivered. Now it's sitting in my garage with 10 years of dust on it. After thinking about what you said Geeteeohguy, I'm going to start the project by getting it up and running--in the meantime, I'll have to figure out where I can go in the central Florida area to connect with other GTO enthusiasts and/or reputable shops where I can get the work done. Any ideas?
 

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64-67 Expert
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NICE CAR, NICE COLOR!!! Much nicer than expected....I would get the necessary missing trim, etc, get it running (All fluids checked/changed, ZDDP in the engine oil), and clean it up and drive it around.....it looks like a decent original car, nothing to be ashamed of. They're only original once, after that, they're just another of the many restored cars....nice, but not original. Once you start to cruise it, you won't want to tear it apart!!! For the record, I know a lot of GTO guys out here in CA, and the average "frame off" restoration time seems to be anywhere from 10 to 30 years.....with the car still in pieces.
 

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67 Basket Case Restorer
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Welcome and I'm with Geeteeohguy.......get it safe and reliable and drive it while researching for a restoration shop and missing pieces. Once you know where you will take it and how much they want to remove themselves, make a time plan, have the funding in a safe place, and stick with it. Once they get torn apart and spread all over, it's hard to get it all together again. I started with a basket case and was making decent progress until I had to go back to work....:rolleyes: Now it sits here while I continue collecting parts for it. Maybe over next winter I can get the body on a rotisserie to replace the floor and the frame painted, assembled and rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your suggestions. The car actually came with trim pieces, they were just removed by the previous owner. In fact, I can't think of anything that's actually missing other than the jack. There are some interior pieces that need replacing though. In terms of starting it up for the first time, is it necessary to oil prime the engine with a tool inserted through the distributor (I seem to remember seeing someone do this way back when) or is it sufficient to just turn over the engine a few times with the coil wire removed?
 

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67 Basket Case Restorer
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The primer tool is primarily for newly assembled engines to get oil on all surfaces before initial startup. You should be fine cranking it over with the coil wire off. The oil light on the instrument panel will go out when the pressure has reached the switch. Look at the oil in it to see if it's very black or milky. It might need changing before you turn the engine over, in which case, the filter will need to fill before the light will go out. That could take a few minutes of on and off cranking to prevent overheating the starter motor.
 

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Former Super Moderator
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cranking with the coil wire off will serve two things, let oil get to all the parts before excess rpms, and help verify that the car has spark. Lay the coil wire 1/2 inch above something metal were you can see it while cranking. Nothing worse then trying to start a car with no spark! ;)
 
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