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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm Brandon and I'm 27 years old and live in central California. I have a '65 GTO that runs but is far from reliable. Two weeks ago I had to push it a quartermile after it broke down on the middle of a fairly busy street. Anyway, there is a bit of rust, but not bad, and it was recently painted in 2003, but by MAACO and it is peeling everywhere. I'm willing to learn, but know very little about mechanics.

What I'm looking for is an engine overhaul that would make it close to like a new car. I want it to start up everytime and be a reliable vehicle. I will also need to do something about the body since the rust will eventually get the best of the car. Is it possible to make this run like a new car? Would it cost a fortune? What kind of shop/person would I take it to and how would I find someone?

Not sure if this pic will work...but here's my baby.

 

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You're on the right track. The best thing to do is find someone with experience working on classic GTOs.

I would start by doing a web search for GTO Clubs. For example, in Northern California, there's a club called Golden Gate GTOs (or something like that). Ping a couple of members, or visit their site, and find out who they'd go to for a rebuild. Who knows, the guy might give you a break.

Regarding the rust, do the same. Since it sounds like you're on a budget, a complete overhaul isn't an option. However, topical rust can be treated -- but where there's smoke -- there's fire -- so there's probably a lot of rust in areas you can't see.

Overall, you're on the right track -- but I'd do the following:

1. Get the drivetrain in good working order. Forget about aftermarket mods and that kind of stuff for now. Just put your money into the basics and make sure they work.

2. Have someone look at the rust -- and fix what you can. You're in California -- which is a semi-arid region -- so it's not like you're driving around in salt and snow. Start saving your dough for a complete redo, consisting of media blasting down to bare metal, later on.

3. If your car's outside a lot, get a cover for it. You don't want the UV rays from the sun cooking your interior while you're getting the drivetrain and exterior in shape.

Hope that helps.
 

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Contact the Central Valley Pontiacs since you are living in the central valley of CA. There are quite a few people down by Fresno that are knowledgable about old Pontiacs. They will be able to tell you who knows how to rebuild the old Ponchos down that way. Get all you mechanicals buttoned up before you do anything including body, unless you are doing it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks

Appreciate the comments. I really don't know much about restoration...just know that I LOVE my car and want it to be as perfect as I can afford. I will look for GTO clubs right away.

As far as the rust...if I get it treated somewhere...do they remove EVERYTHING and fix the rust? or do they somehow work around the interior and stuff to remove it? I'm guessing it depends on how thorough of a job I pay for!

Thanks again,

Brandon

ps - any more suggestions would still be greatly appreciated.
 
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