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Discussion Starter #1
So I have finally pulled the funds together to restore this 64 Convertible GTO in my garage.

The car is nearly all original. It is just tired. I have the original motor, heads, but they are not in the car. 4 barrel carb with 2 speed auto transmission.

Trunk Pan is rusted out and will need to be replaced. Car will need to be painted.

So here is my question and my dilemma. I drove the car daily for a month. It sucks. No power steering and the drum brakes suck. It handles like a hog, But it is fast going in a straight line.

I want to enjoy the car but not ruin it. I plan to put the orginal motor back in and I do not have a the original carb for it. I wanted to put in a fitech efi. I wanted to put new jig welded a arms, and coil overs and a Willwood 4 wheel disk brake kit. I was also going to put in a new wire harness. I was going to do the painless update with the new fuses, and add power steering, oh and some boss 338 rims.

Am i going to ruin this car if I do this stuff. I was planning to keep the original parts in case some one wants to go back to original, but I have been told by some to not screw with it and by other to make it so I can enjoy it. I dont want to be the guy ridiculed at a car meet with people saying why did he do that to the car.

The harness is the most concerning to me. Should I get an oem one with the glass fuses or the plastic updated ones.
Adding powersteering, adding the willwood brakes, coilovers and a arms and the efi or just leave it stock.
 

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In all honesty, you gotta do what makes you happy. If keeping it original makes you happy then there's your answer. If you like to make it your own then that is your answer. If you plan on keeping it forever then you can do what you want. If you plan to sell it soon then I would stick with original as more buyers are open to "original" then the last owners "modifications".

My GTO was originally a green car, but the last owner changed it to red (main reason I bought it) which helped me feel ok with straying from being original. Now my 61 Cadillac is all original (survivor) so nothing changes on it unless it's a safety concern, broken or unfixable.
 

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So I have finally pulled the funds together to restore this 64 Convertible GTO in my garage.

The car is nearly all original. It is just tired. I have the original motor, heads, but they are not in the car. 4 barrel carb with 2 speed auto transmission.

Trunk Pan is rusted out and will need to be replaced. Car will need to be painted.

So here is my question and my dilemma. I drove the car daily for a month. It sucks. No power steering and the drum brakes suck. It handles like a hog, But it is fast going in a straight line.

I want to enjoy the car but not ruin it. I plan to put the orginal motor back in and I do not have a the original carb for it. I wanted to put in a fitech efi. I wanted to put new jig welded a arms, and coil overs and a Willwood 4 wheel disk brake kit. I was also going to put in a new wire harness. I was going to do the painless update with the new fuses, and add power steering, oh and some boss 338 rims.

Am i going to ruin this car if I do this stuff. I was planning to keep the original parts in case some one wants to go back to original, but I have been told by some to not screw with it and by other to make it so I can enjoy it. I dont want to be the guy ridiculed at a car meet with people saying why did he do that to the car.

The harness is the most concerning to me. Should I get an oem one with the glass fuses or the plastic updated ones.
Adding powersteering, adding the willwood brakes, coilovers and a arms and the efi or just leave it stock.
While I appreciate classic cars that are restored to original condition....I also believe folks should build cars for themselves and not for the next guy (few notable exceptions aside of course...)

Everything you mentioned is reversible if the next owner so chooses. Just keep the parts like you said and you should be good. Even the wiring harness can be changed out later.

Now get that thing back on the road and enjoy the heck out of it! :)

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

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If it is an original parts matching car I would sell it and buy a different one to resto mod.
It's yours so do whatever you want but it is only original once.
Every time someone destroys another original car the value of mine goes up.

:bannana:
 

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I vote for selling it to someone who can & will restore it somewhere near original. Then buy something that is not so rare, so that the changes you plan won't offend anybody. Maybe something like a basic 326 or 350 2-barrel Tempest or Lemans.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This morning I drove the car an hour to this guy in the central valley who does impeccable body work. On my way out there I nearly wrecked. This car does not want to stop. I was extremely lucky no one was on the shoulder. I was able to stop the car in an 1/8 of a mile on the shoulder but it scared the crap out of me.

It just solidified the car has to be gone though so it is enjoyable to drive. A 60's muscle car with no PS or PB is a literal death trap. It goes extremely fast in a straight line and that is it. It cant turn or stop worth a damn. And this is witht he wrong motor. I suspect this motor is putting out 250hp. When I get the right one in there with 325hp it will be even worse.

Anyway I got a quote for a frame off restoration with the trunk pan being redone, hood being fixed, and since he was stripping the car he said he would install all the new parts I have. Minus the bumper re-chrome and install of the new top. I just was not expecting it to be so much.

I will probably execute on it in the next week or so. So I now have what I believe to be a 1973 400 running block with 4x heads if anyone is interested in it. I cant get the cast id off the block but it is stamped XZ and the heads are 4x. I am pretty sure it is a 1973 400 block. It is coming out of the car and the 79j with the 716 heads are being rebuilt right now. I was able to get the corect carb over the weekend and it is supposely rebuilt. So i will try that first.. if I dont like it onto FITECH...

photo attached.
I also put a picture of my car on there because there seems to be some grief on people who dont post pictures of their cars. The rims look out of place. But I swear I drove the car 1100 miles on the tires that were on there since the 70's.. they were bias tires and for the most part pretty good. One blew out on me, and I elected to save the 300 dollars on 14inch tires and spent 1300 on 17inch rims and tires. I dont like the current stance of it and think I should have got a slightly smaller tire in the rear. It rubs a little. I am hoping the stiffer suspension will help it out.
 

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This morning I drove the car an hour to this guy in the central valley who does impeccable body work. On my way out there I nearly wrecked. This car does not want to stop. I was extremely lucky no one was on the shoulder. I was able to stop the car in an 1/8 of a mile on the shoulder but it scared the crap out of me.

It just solidified the car has to be gone though so it is enjoyable to drive. A 60's muscle car with no PS or PB is a literal death trap. It goes extremely fast in a straight line and that is it. It cant turn or stop worth a damn. And this is witht he wrong motor. I suspect this motor is putting out 250hp. When I get the right one in there with 325hp it will be even worse.

Anyway I got a quote for a frame off restoration with the trunk pan being redone, hood being fixed, and since he was stripping the car he said he would install all the new parts I have. Minus the bumper re-chrome and install of the new top. I just was not expecting it to be so much.

I will probably execute on it in the next week or so. So I now have what I believe to be a 1973 400 running block with 4x heads if anyone is interested in it. I cant get the cast id off the block but it is stamped XZ and the heads are 4x. I am pretty sure it is a 1973 400 block. It is coming out of the car and the 79j with the 716 heads are being rebuilt right now. I was able to get the corect carb over the weekend and it is supposely rebuilt. So i will try that first.. if I dont like it onto FITECH...

photo attached.
I also put a picture of my car on there because there seems to be some grief on people who dont post pictures of their cars. The rims look out of place. But I swear I drove the car 1100 miles on the tires that were on there since the 70's.. they were bias tires and for the most part pretty good. One blew out on me, and I elected to save the 300 dollars on 14inch tires and spent 1300 on 17inch rims and tires. I dont like the current stance of it and think I should have got a slightly smaller tire in the rear. It rubs a little. I am hoping the stiffer suspension will help it out.[/QUOTE
Nice car and its yours to do what you want. You might save some money on not doing frame off vs frame on. You would be surprised at how nice the come out. Please do what you want so that you will drive and enjoy with your family . This is My opinion only . Best luck. Doug
 

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. A 60's muscle car with no PS or PB is a literal death trap. It goes extremely fast in a straight line and that is it. It cant turn or stop worth a damn. And this is witht he wrong motor. I suspect this motor is putting out 250hp. When I get the right one in there with 325hp it will be even worse.

If your factory brakes and steering are worn out then yes....dangerous. But that goes for all cars....regardless of PS or PB. I will tell you that a set of drum brakes in good working order should put you through the windshield when you stomp on them. Without PB or PS it will take more effort to drive (the steering ratio IS slower on manual systems) but they can perform adequately.
 

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".. A 60's muscle car with no PS or PB is a literal death trap..."

No offense meant, at all, BUT, that's one of the most ridiculous statements I've read on a Pontiac forum, lately !

I bought a new '69 RA3 GTO. It had manual brakes & steering. I drove it over 60k street miles, then put it on the strip. Made many hundreds, if not 1000+ passes. Also built a '68 drag Bird for my girlfriend, with manual steering & brakes. At the end of the racing season I put it on the street. It was her daily driver for nearly 3 years. She also drove 4 other Bird bracket cars, over a 15 year period, with manual steering & brakes. And she only weighed about 100 lbs. Never any problems or accidents with manual steering & brakes.

Unless you're gonna do some road racing, or REAL wild street driving, properly functioning manual steering & brakes are just fine.

What's dangerous is when there is a problem with your PS, such as anything that cases the power steering to fail. When this happens the car is VERY hard to steer. I had the PS to quit, on an old Caddy I had one time. I was pretty stout back then. But, it was all I could do to get the car home. Had to go real slow thru the sharp turns & corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I started driving in the 90's and always had the benifit of PS and PB. I have a heavy foot and am really aggressive when I drive. I have done the Skip Barber thing and am replacing tires all the time. I am not kidding when I say I want to drive the thing. I live in California where the traffic is not as bad as LA but getting there. I have difficulty driving this in SF because the streets are narrow and the car will not respond as well as we would like. My wife can barely turn the wheel and she nearly has to stomp on the brakes with both feet to get the thing to stop. She does not like driving it at all. Her other car is a Tesla and she like the look and idea of the GTO but does not want to get into it to drive.

I have sweat under my arms after driving this thing because it is a literal work out and my head is always swiveling around because you have to pay more attention driving because you have to plan everything you do in it. I guess I am spoiled on modern technologies.

It is funny because until I actually had this car i was always wondering why everyone thought the scene in Bullet was so awesome and marveled at McQueen's driving abilities. I did not understand it until I got into an older car. That kind of driving in that kind of car with the tech of the day was truly impressive.

It doesn't matter a whole lot at this point.... part of the wire harness melted yesterday because it grounded out and as a result I decided to do the restomod .. the coil overs, power brakes, exhaust, the wire harness will get done to bring it up to a modern standard and done with out making irreversible changes.. I need to make this thing reliable and comfortable to drive for the wife and eventually the kid.....

But as a side note.... I heard what you folks were saying... And I felt conflicted about it and believe it or not, I went out to look for another car I could do this stuff to so I would not ruin the originality of this one. Trouble was i found another 1964 convertible that is even more original than the one I have. It had been in storage since 1976 and although it is in rough shape and needs more repair work than the one I have, I went ahead and bought it to the dismay of the wife. This one I will do what you folks suggested and make it as original as possible. I have not got it yet but it should be here in the next couple of weeks and you can bet I will be on this forum picking you guys to help with the intricacies of the restore. Luckily this one has power steering and power brakes. I did not snap these photos of it. They are from the seller. I should get it here in the next 2 weeks.
 

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Born to Run in Suicide Machines. I'm 60+ now and I feel your pain. I have a '72 with power steering and manual brakes. And sometimes one foot on the brake doesn't cut it. So as not to commit suicide I drive slower and anticipate stopping. My buddy who has been driving fast for 40+ years will not drive or own an old technology car again. He drives a 2016 Charger HellCat. The Fastest car I've ever been in. But it stops. Your decision isn't what mods to make on your car but how you want to enjoy it. IMHO a high end well built resto mod has more value than a stock 421 with drum brakes. Good luck and whatever you decide I hope it keeps you smiling for many years to come.
 

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Well it looks like I'm too late; but I have the same dilemma, and it has caused paralysis on moving forward. However, mine is just a '69 Lemans 350, though it is very original with the exception of paint color. I think I have finally realized that I should just go ahead and resto-mod it as originally planned since it's not a GTO.

Your numbers-matching GTO convertibles (both of them now :smile3:), to me would be much harder to modify vs. restoring. I guess doing one of each is the best of both worlds!
 
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