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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all! First post here so if I'm doing something wrong just yell at me. ;)

Me and my buddy been looking for a muscle car for cheap for a long time. So when this popped up for $2500 i jumped on it and got it at $2000. Bringing it home tomorrow. SO EXCITED!!!! Had a '81 z28 camaro but sold it due to a title issue.

Anyway, From what I decoded of the vin it "should" be a true gto. The guy I'm buying it from has owned it since 1980, bought it back twice during that time. Know's every single person that's ever owned this car. He blew up the original 400 motor at some point and put a 350 in with eldelbrock intake and carb, mild cam, and 400 headers. Was running when parked for a restore in 1992, but he's doing a '71 demon instead. So awesome to be able to hear all the crazy stories and history on this car and see the pics from back then, all from the guy that did all this. Car was originally gold with a black stripe.

Anyway, now for the questions.

1. It has 4 good "knock off" rims. were these original rims? And if not how much are they worth? I've heard their like really rare but I don't have much clue other then that.

2. Was $2000 a good buy for this car?

3. There's been a sun roof added to the roof of the car, not the greatest job in my opinion. How much does that hurt the value?

4. Where would you buy parts?

5. Should I go through the effort to paint it gold again, or just repaint red?

I'm almost 16, so don't have a ton of money to blow on this. Hoping to have it done for under $5500 but we'll see how that goes. Will have to sell the '72 super beetle now.

Sorry for the long post, Looking forward to hearing any opinion and answers!

Tried to attach some pics, hopefully they show up...
 

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1. Those look like old Cragar SS. Might be worth something, but I'm guessing they are trashed.

2. You won't know until you get into it. You're not going to restore and make a profit. Just saying. Those cars had a LOT of rust issues.

3. A bit, but that is the least of your worries. Just hope it doesn't leak.

4. Ames Performance. Or any of the other vendors. You're going to have some trouble getting repro stuff.

5. Paint it whatever color you want.

Good luck with this project! You're in for a long haul here, so don't get too discouraged. If you find the car is beyond repair you can probably get a good penny for the hood.
 

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Got it home finally. Frame looks almost rust free, doesn't have much rust for a Michigan car at all, and most of what's there has already been repaired.

Does have a posi rear end in it.

Gotta order some front tires first so I can move it around. I'm thinking hankook? Any better ideas?

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Got it home finally. Frame looks almost rust free, doesn't have much rust for a Michigan car at all, and most of what's there has already been repaired.

Does have a posi rear end in it.

Gotta order some front tires first so I can move it around. I'm thinking hankook? Any better ideas?

Thanks for the reply!
I would get some "cheap tires for it first as you're not going to be driving it much for awhile until a lot of resto work is done....then get you some "real" tires.

Ames Performance is the most complete vendor and they tell you about the part (fair, good, excellent), there is also NPD and OPGI. Here are links:

Ames Performance Engineering, Classic GTO Parts, Firebird Parts, and Full Size Pontiac restoration parts.

https://www.opgi.com/restoration-parts-catalog-gto-lemans-tempest.asp

https://www.npdlink.com/store/catalog/GTO_Tempest_Le_Mans_Parts_Accessories-10000-1.html

All of these vendors will send you a catalog if you contact them.

You've got some work ahead of you but you have a rare car....enjoy

(I know there's a guy with a '73 on the PY forum ( Pontiac - Street - PY Online Forums ) You may try joining this forum too as they can also be helpful. For now, welcome to the GTO forum, glad to have you!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just joined the Py forums.

Found out I still had a spare from my '81 camaro, and a buddys got another of the same size, so for now I'm putting those on there just so i can actually move the beast around a bit, and hopefully save those rims.

Just gotta rebuild the carburetor and try to fire it up, hopefully by this weekend. Current plan is get her on the road again, then a complete restore over the winter. Talking with the PO again, he said the car actually spent most of it's life in Tennessee, which explains the very low amounts of rust on it.

Will let y'all know and get some pics up when it's back up and going again!

Thanks all for the replys!
 

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On projects, I usually suggest a "chip a way" plan. Knock out suspension & bodywork then engine internal upgrade parts & engine build. Interior refresh, as one can afford it. When money is tight, or when money is not tight, use common sense, dont waste it on silly stuff. New expensive tires to set on a project are a total waste. The last ten years, it seems unused tires go bad just setting, id bet you can find several half tread used 15" tires for next to nothing. Down here, I have guys that literally give them to me, make great roll around tires for projects that won't be driven for years. Good luck on the '73.
 

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Congrats on your purchase. Seems like a great car to get started on. Once you go Pontiac you never go back. The most important place to start with your restoration is on safety issues. Make sure your fuel delivery system is safe and make sure you can turn and stop. All the rest is dressing. Focus on what you want the car to be and not what others tell you it should be. Keep us posted on your progress. Have fun!
 

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1973 gto

Congratulations on your acquisition!

It should make a great project car. Do things right and have something to be proud of! Keep it forever and have something truly rare as you grow older.

Now, here's where I am going to have to play the role of the bad guy.

It's my understanding that in 1973, GTO was back to being an option on the Lemans and not a separate model. Therefore, you can not verify that it is a "Real" GTO from the VIN number. To do that, it will require authentication via PHS data.

I would enjoy hearing from others more knowledgeable than I about the 1973 GTO.

If it is authentic, you have a nice find as I believe that 1973 was the lowest production number GTO of all from 1964 to 1974!

Keep us updated and good luck! (I do hope it is a "Real" GTO)
 

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Couple of on-line articles that may be of interest if you have not already read them. https://pontiacoaklandmuseum.org/sites/default/files/storypdf/73-GTO-The-Black-Goat-of-the-Family.pdf

https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2011/02/1973-Pontiac-GTO/3695361.html

https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2005/03/Forgotten-Goat---1973-Pontiac-GTO/1280632.html


I have a 1976 Lemans, 2-Dr Ht, 350CI, TH-350. Owned it for about 20 years now and I think I drove it about 5 years, its just wasting away behind my house. My brother bought it with 38,000 miles and I got it with 76,000 on it. Odometer now reads 152,000, but I took out the front end in an accident. Just had the engine running a couple weekends ago, but it needs a carb rebuild.

These cars are heavy - at least mine is due to all the crash protection mandated items of the era. What I learned was that the brakes (disc on front) will indeed work well on these big boats. What did not work so well were the narrow tires because the weight of the car simply overpowered the traction/bite of the factory sized tires and I slid into the car in front of me. Momentum has a way of doing that. I owned a 1975 Lemans Sport that I bought - same front end damage. Owned a 1977 Can-Am (rough but complete running car) - same front end damage. Others 1973-77 Lemans cars I have seen on the road or in scrap yards seemingly had front end damages. So there may be a theme here and why you don't see too many around anymore. It also was a gas hog around town with the 350CI and stop light to stop light driving trying to get all that weight rolling.

I feel that if I had had some wider rims/tires on the car that I would have stopped with no problem. My factory 15" rims and tires just were not enough rubber on the pavement. Just something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's being a real GTO was something I was quite concerned about when we went to look at it, so I used vin number code to verify that it at least could be a gto. Hearing all the stories from the PO and the fact that he remembers his dad driving it home from the dealer kinda got me convinced. The inside of the doors say gto which doesn't prove much but looks really cool! LOL!

That being said, I would love to get the actual build sheet or whatever it takes to prove it if that's still possible? If anyone knows anything about that that would be awesome.

Good to know about the front brakes.

Got some stuff figured out on it and messed with the carb this evening. Was gonna turn the engine over but my jumper pack didn't give it enough juice.

Thanks everyone for all the info!

Couple more pictures...
 

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