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Hey guys and gals, how is everyone doing? Well, it's my first time posting here, so I will give you guys my story.

My name is Tony and currently in the USMC (Semper Fi!!!), but this story is not about me. This story is about my father and his 1969 GTO. He came to America (from Mexico) in the early 70's. He didn't have much money and he needed to buy a car to get to work and back. Luckily he found someone selling the aforementioned car for cheap. Well, since that day in the early 70's, he has had it. He met the woman that would later be his wife (my mother) while driving in that car. They still tell me stories of their dates and what not...and always the GTO (with the 8-track) is mentioned. Well, family came before fun and my dad had to put the Goat to the side and get more family oriented cars. Over the years the GTO went from driven every weekend, to every month, almost never. We moved to a new city and didn't have the garage space to store it inside, so it spent a lot of time covered outside (in Southern California). We didn't have much money when I was growing up, so when I turned 16 my father gave it to me. Problem was I was expected to keep all my AP courses and continue playing sports...while paying for insurance. Needless to say that did not happen. The very same year that the title was signed over in my name, the city I lived in told us that we had to move the car...so it went to a family friend's garage in LA.

I would go and see the car from time to time, but as I progressed further and further into my studies in high school and eventually college...I went less and less. Well, I decide to go visit the car and I find a huge surprise. The car has been raped (dash taken, seats all messed up). Turns out that friend of ours had a few enemies and they thought that the Goat was his...so they had a field day messing it up. Luckily they left the body alone, but like I said, the interior is completely messed up. Because of this, my parents end up buying me a Civic for graduation (which now has 315 whp on pump gas :)), and we put the GTO in storage yet again (this time we pay for it). Well, I have been doing pretty good for myself...and now it is time for my master plan...however I need help.

I want to get the car back into driving shape, and give it back to my father. I have discussed this with my mother (who knows that this is a secret) and she has all ready put the GTO back in my name in the will. So needless to say, the car will eventually be mine...and since it belonged to my father...I never plan on selling it (I'd sell my civic first...and I doubt that will ever happen). So original restoration really isn't that big of a deal for me. I know that if I ever chose to sell it...having all Pontiac//original parts would sell better...but let's just assume I will never sell it. Here is what I am thinking of doing...and the questions that follow them (where you guys come in).

I am thinking of powering it with a 454. I have read posts on people dropping all types of different combinations in...as a ball park figure, how much will this run me (not counting the engine). Full custom interior (new dash, seats, everything...like I said...all the old stuff is trashed). And finally, the minor body work to get the dings and scratches out...and some new paint (I am thinking a Judge color...but haven't made my mind up yet). I would like to put a modern touch to it...so the car can be taken out as more than a cruiser (A/C if possible, mp3/cdplayer, PS). Now here comes the biggest problem. Right now I am stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, and the car is in Southern California. Does anyone know of any reputable shops (for all three, engine, interior and exterior) that would be familiar with this car? I did some asking around when I was on leave last time, but I never got a solid vibe from any shop that I went to.

I thank you for reading my story, and for any advice, and future advice that you all may offer to me. If this is in the wrong section I apologize. I am open to all suggestions, and even to some flaming (if my ideas manage to piss you off). Thank you again.

Tony
 

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Whew! What a story!

I bought my car in La Mesa, CA. A guy had a friend who brought it in to fix up and couldn't pay the bill. He rebuilt the motor and transmission, so it runs like a top. I'll see if I can find their number. The name of the shop is La Mesa Auto Care.
Hope this helps.
Linda
 

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Awesome story! Welcome to GTOforum! I am a midwesterner so i can't help you on the shops, but if i were you i would put a pontiac 455 instead of chevy's 454. Maybe its just me, but i like to keep it in the family somewhat. Otherwise i love resto-mods, and my next project certainly will be one. Good luck and thanks for your service!
 

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Thanks for the reply guys and gals! I will do some research into the 455. The only reason I was thinking a chevy engine was because they are abundant in So Cal. Linda, what kind of engine was it that was rebuilt? I appreciate all the help so far. Thank you!!!

Tony
 

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Engine work

Hey Tony! I tend to agree with Rukee and Tripower. I'd stick some nice 400 or 455 in there. :agree Mine was the stock 400. It's beautiful! I'm getting the body work done soon, so I drive it as much as possible. I tell ya, there's nothing like the feel of that motor...

Check out Ames Performance and Performance Years online and they'll send you a catalog of all their parts. You'll find pretty much everything you need to fix that ride.

And by the way, thank you!

Linda
 

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Thank you very much for all the info guys/gals!!!

You don't need to thank me for anything...I'm just doing my part :)
 

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Tony,

Welcome to the Forum. What you are planning is a magnificent gesture. Your dad will be overwhelmed. Anything I can do to help is yours for the asking. I can't offer much in the way of recommending shops to do the work on the left coast, but I can definitely recommend some good sources for reproduction parts. Linda already mentioned Ames. They're out of New England with excellent service on their products. OPGI in CA has been a solid provider for me as well as Year One, also in CA. Just Dashes is a great bunch of folks who can restore your dash, gages, plastic chrome parts. The guys and gals on this forum are an excellent source of information and can provide lessons they learned the hard way so you can avoid them. I would strongly suggest getting some books for your library. The ones I use most are the Helm Pontiac Factory Maintenance manuals. They are available from Helm for your year or you can pick up a used set on EBay. Doug Roe wrote an excellent book on Rochester Q-Jet carburetors that is a great source of general information on how things work together. Also, the GTO Restoration book will make you smarter when talking to a restorer about work you want done.

I agree with Rukee on the engine choices. While 454's are plentiful, there are plenty of 389-400-421-455 blocks out there waiting to pull your dad around town. If all else fails, Jasper is a decent source for a complete long block. If you want to go more radical on the engine, the guys at Kauffman Racing and Butler Performance would like to hear from you. Given what you have in that Civic, I'm thinking Jasper might be a bit mild for you. All of these places have websites. If you need snail addresses, let me know.

Best of luck with the Goat and thanks for doing what you do for a living. I'm USN (Ret) myself.

Bill
 

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Tony, Great story! Thanks for taking the time to post it. In my opinion, I would redo the car as close to original as possible, with the exception of A/C and tunes as you mentioned. We're all getting older, and creature comforts are nice! All of the original interior stuff that was trashed is available from the vendors. It fits and looks great, and is probably cheaper than a custom interior. Also, it will bring back those precious memories to your dad when he sees it! (As an aside, the car will be worth more). I recommend rebuilding the original 400. They are great runners. Also, the car will be as original for memory's sake. Not to brag, and with all due respect, I have NEVER been beaten by a big block Chevy. I beat an LS6 454 with my '67 ragtop with a stock 400. I don't know what his problem was. I beat a friend who put a built 396 in his '67 Firebiird, with the same '67 ragtop, with 167000 milles on the clock and a burnt intake valve! I beat another friend with a '66 SS396 with my automatic, 2 speed, 4 bbl '65. Bad. So bad that he sold the SS and bought a 67 GTO!!! Another friend had a built 69 Chevelle with a 396, and my buddy used to smoke him all the time with a bone stock, '67 GTO hardtop with AC, Automatic trans and 2.93 gears!!! The closest I ever came to losing was to a '68 Z-28, with the cross-ram 302. I beat him by two car lengths with my '66 GTO with a 389. He had over 5k in his motor (1981) and mine cost me 1200 to build. (Yes, I did get smoked by a 440 roadrunner one time....ouch!). The list goes on and on....It sounds like you're doing a really honorable thing, and I think all here can appreciate it. Whatever your choice is, good luck, and we'll help all we can. Oh yeah.....did I mention to keep a Pontiac engine in the car??
Jeff
 

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440?

Hey Jeff,
Yeah, we've got to watch out for those 440's!!:lol: I used to have an old Dodge Dart (okay don't laugh guys), and it had I think the smallest V8 made, a 273? It had two dead cylinders but it still would move. The car had no weight and I would race everyone at every stop light. I can't wait to take my 67 tearing around town. The previous owner lowered the gears so I'd like to take it back to stock so I can drive it on the freeway!
Since Jeff was sharing.....

Blondie should have been race car driver 67
 

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Hi Tony..Welcome to the GTO Forum.
As with suggestions to your engine etc I agree with the others.

If I can offer a suggestion..

In your pursuit of resto modding your 69' particularly in wanting to Judge it, refer to the following link... 1969 GTO Specifications - UltimateGTO.com

Most information you'd want can be obtained there especially Judge correct stripe kits for the color car you have.

Much GREAT information can be obtained from the members of this forum. While fixing the car up and should you want to keep it as original as possible you could also contact the GTOAA GTO Association of America

The GTOAA have experts for every year GTO and by communicating with their 1969 contact, he could offer you invaluable information. I have learned TONS off of John Johnson their JUDGE expert by talking to him on the phone and emailing. We still stay in contact. You may also learn of places from them as to where to inquire about shops to work on your car.

The GTOAA site did list their consultants with emails but since reformatting their site, those contacts were not re-listed. You could PM Dan E. He is on the GTOAA board and is a member of this forum, perhaps he can get you in contact with the right person at GTOAA.

If you are going to invest in your father's gift you will want to do it right, and listening to the best will guide you.

Good Luck!
 

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Hey Jeff,
Yeah, we've got to watch out for those 440's!!:lol: I used to have an old Dodge Dart (okay don't laugh guys), and it had I think the smallest V8 made, a 273? It had two dead cylinders but it still would move. The car had no weight and I would race everyone at every stop light. I can't wait to take my 67 tearing around town. The previous owner lowered the gears so I'd like to take it back to stock so I can drive it on the freeway!
Since Jeff was sharing.....

Blondie should have been race car driver 67
In the old days -- for me the Seventies -- the 426 Hemi and 440 Six Packs were tough. However, my bone stock 400/335 with a four speed killed any 383 Mopars or 396 Chevys. However, now I simply appreciate the engine power and the rumpity rump sound. Maybe in the future, I'll go with quieter, more efficient gears, but not yet. Best story so far -- I'm on the road cruising one Sunday in the quiet countryside of Connecticut when a young kid in some sort of Far Eastern vehicle pulls up to me with the worst "music" I've ever heard on top of the typical "muffler" noise from his car. I simply revved my GTO up a little and voila, no more music or muffler pollution. It's great to go back in time once in a while...
 

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noise pollution

I like it when you rev up the motor and they get a blank look on their face. There's just nothing they can say! It puts them in their place...:lol:

Lovin' every minute of it blondie67
 

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I was at a stoplight here in town last year, in the '67, and a kid pulls up next to me in a primered out, clapped out, POS pick-up truck....loud music, loud pipes.....He looks over at me, and shoots me The Look.....Revs his engine to the moon, looking at me....I looked back at him, in utter astonishment, and yelled: "WOW.....A REAL HOT-ROD!!!! NEAT-O!!!!!" He just shrank down into his seat and putted off.....I turned right and idled away...........Teddy Roosevelt said it "Speak softly and carry a Big Sick."
 

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I was at a stoplight here in town last year, in the '67, and a kid pulls up next to me in a primered out, clapped out, POS pick-up truck....loud music, loud pipes.....He looks over at me, and shoots me The Look.....Revs his engine to the moon, looking at me....I looked back at him, in utter astonishment, and yelled: "WOW.....A REAL HOT-ROD!!!! NEAT-O!!!!!" He just shrank down into his seat and putted off.....I turned right and idled away...........Teddy Roosevelt said it "Speak softly and carry a Big Sick."
Geeteohguy, you shut him up without wasting gas revving your Goat. Kudos to you, although drowning out the claptrap music in my case was worth a little gas..........
 

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The Look

Sounds like you put him in his place, Jeff. Now just picture what "look" the kid would've had with a woman (me) behind the wheel? I would've blown his pickup off the road and he would have to live with being beat by a girl for the rest of his life:rofl:!!!!!!!!!!!

Linda
 

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Hi Linda. Yes, it's Darwin's Law: the young, inexperienced, new Little Fish often find themselves devoured by the older, experienced Bigger Fish. The secret of the Bigger Fish is to use discretion and moderation....The brash little fish knows little of the subtlties of life. The kid actually felt like a fool. I think, if he had the COURAGE to challenge you, and the inevitable happened, he would have felt utterly ashamed. You probably would have felt okay! I think if you looked over at him, sneered (or laughed) and said "You've got to be kidding!!?" It would have been even more humiliating!!! Have fun, and be careful out there......we don't need no stinkin' street racing tickets!!!
Jeff
 

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Jeff,
I'll be careful...It's just nice to know that I could outrun any young, music blaring, think their the stuff dude if I wanted to.
Linda
 

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Tony,
Awsome story, but quite the bummer as well.

You know what I would do. Contact the overhaul shows on TV. This story sounds exactly like what they specialize in. Getting a car that has a great family story and needs restoring. Not to mention, I haven't seen too many 69 GTOs being overhauled, pimped, or whatever.

Dale
 
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