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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Recently I have saved up enough money to afford to buy something. One of the many things that came to mind was to get a new car. So for a couple months I have been browsing the internet at cars from a new Mustangs or a GM muscle car. I don't really like the new Mustangs but their easy to buy and you know exactly what your getting. I really would rather own an old muscle car but their a great distance away from me to go look at and I am not experienced or knowledgeable about what to look for so I know what condition the car is in and what it is worth. I am not looking for a show car but just a Sunday driver that I can take to car shows. So I don't care if the numbers match or the color is original. I just want a solid car that has never had major rust damage and never been wreaked.
I have found a few 70 GTO's I like but I'm not sure how to proceed. I can't travel 100's of miles just to find out it was not as advertised.
Is the old muscle cars market something that should only be played by wealthy collectors? I mean are they only for museums or do people drive them like normal fun. Back in the late 70's early 80's I owned a few muscle cars but I was 20 years old and a poor dumb kid that couldn't afford keep them. Now 40 years later I start thinking of buying one only to find out very few were good cars before they were restored.
Is it possible for me to hire someone to either help me buy one or find one for me without charging me more than I could afford? Or is this something I can do myself because I have wrenched a lot on my previous Chevelle's.
 

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I've seen "places" on the net that advertise providing a "car check out service" for folks in your situation. I have no direct experience with one so keep that in mind. Personally, I do not believe that the muscle car hobby is just for old rich guys --- I'm olde, but I'm a darn long ways from "rich". I wouldn't recommend having one as a daily driver that you have to depend on for most people, but other than that there's no reason to hesitate in my opinion. The 'daily driver' thing is an acknowledgment to the fact that most folks including me like to warm these cars up significantly from their factory state, and l have to admit that does have an effect on reliability, plus when they do "go down" for some reason it tends to take longer to get them up again just from simple parts availability if nothing else.

One thing to consider is insurance. Covering one of these cars is a little different. I recommend getting some sort of classic car coverage that allows you to specify the valuation as opposed to being subject to what some disinterested adjuster "thinks" your car is worth in the event something bad happens. Some of these policies have restrictions on how much and under what conditions you are "allowed" to drive your car so be careful. I personally have my GTO covered through Hagerty. I have no restrictions on where or how much I can drive it, there's a 'rider' on it that will provide long distance towing coverage if I need it, and there's no hassle over value. Several years back I had an engine fire in this car that was emotionally devastating in addition to the damage it did to the car --- and the way they handled the whole incident, with caring and absolutely ZERO friction or conflict, made me their customer for life. There are probably other companies that will take similar care of people.

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No it won't be a daily driver just a pleasure driver. It's more a time capsule for me to go back and have the muscle car I always wanted but was too young dumb & poor to achieve.

glad you mentioned insurance and the different coverage and all. Good information to know for sure thanks. I should find an insurance Co before I go out and buy a car.

I've seen engine fires burn the whole car up. VW beetle engines are made of magnesium and can't be put out with Co2, they just sit and watch the whole beetle bake. Sorry it had to happen to you cause it feels as bad as wreaking your car.
 

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You might be a candidate for an 05-06 GTO. Have you looked at those at all? I have both a newer 05 and older 68 and each has it's own reasons for enjoyment. Over the years I have owned several different models

I have to admit....the 05 GTO ranks right up there among the most enjoyable cars I have ever owned. There are folks that prefer the classic GTOs and really don't care for the newer versions but I like them both. The 05-06 comes with the LS2 engine and some performance upgrades compared to the 04 model. If you are a car guy, there are a lot of interesting and fun things about these later models.

1970 is cool as well. Just tossing out some alternate ideas for your consideration.

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No it won't be a daily driver just a pleasure driver. It's more a time capsule for me to go back and have the muscle car I always wanted but was too young dumb & poor to achieve.

glad you mentioned insurance and the different coverage and all. Good information to know for sure thanks. I should find an insurance Co before I go out and buy a car.
Sounds like a plan! You might just do some general research into companies available to you and compare features, restrictions, coverage, etc. an see if one seems to fit. Most won't cover you until you have a specific car so there won't be a lot you can do in detail. You'll notice I didn't mention price or cost. This kind of insurance is not something you should buy based on price. This is something you buy for when you actually need it and hope to goodness that you never do. Where the rubber meets the road so to speak is how well they treat you if you ever DO need them. That's all that matters, and it's why like I said, I'll be with Hagerty forever.

I've since repaired nearly all the aftermath of that fire. There's still a couple small places in the hood where the paint is slightly bubbled, and you can see some slight warpage if you get it in just the right angle, but it's not horrible. I might go ahead and fix that over this winter - maybe. I'm in Texas near Fort Worth so I can drive it pretty much year 'round though, and I did just finish a fresh engine build so.... who knows?

:D

Bear
 

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To me, this is a very interesting thread. Makes me think of what I'd do if in the same situation.

My favorite car is a '69 GTO. The only new car I've ever bought was a '69 RA3 4-speed GTO, and I loved it.

But, what would I buy now ? For me, or anybody else looking to own a GTO, I suppose the 1st thing to consider is exactly which year body style you like the best. For me, that happens to be a '69 1st, followed by a '65. But, opinions differ.

Since this car, nor one I'd buy, would have to be numbers matching, or anything even close, that opens up the options quite a bit. For example: I like the torque of a 455 or similar size Pontiac engine. Well, neither a '65 nor a '69 came with a 455 engine. But, in this case, that don't matter. You can buy either one today, with the bigger engine, if you don't require numbers matching or period correct. Or, you can buy one with a smaller engine & swap in a bigger engine, keeping the smaller one for possible future use or sale, with the car.

For me, price would be a big concern. Many, if not most nice real GTO's are, to me, WAY overpriced.

Therefore, I'd probably look for a Tempest or Lemans, rather than a real GTO. There are lots of real nice clones out there. Hey, I like many of the non-GTO A-bodies just fine. And, they can run & drive just as good, when properly equipped. I especially like the looks of the '71-'72 Lemans & T-37.

I also like the looks of the rear deck Judge wings, on the '69-'72 A-bodies. Some don't. Color is a big thing to me. Obviously, any car can be painted some other color. BUT, at today's prices, a good quality paint job can cost many thousands of dollars. So, color & paint quality has to be a consideration, when car shopping.

With all this in mind, if I had unlimited funds, I'd look for or have built a Black '69 Judge. Wouldn't have to be a real GTO, just a good clone. But I'd want a good 455+ engine, probably with Edelbrock alum D-port heads, an original 455HO alum intake, a correctly built 800 cfm Q-jet, & a 4-speed Muncie, with a Hurst shifter & T-handle. I'd want a good aftermarket 12-bolt rear, with 3.55 gears.

And, since I'd have unlimited funds, I'd also have a Silver '65 GTO clone, with the same engine, trans, & rear. And, since I love bracket racing, I'd have a Pontiac bracket car set up like I want it, plus a real nice dually truck & alum trailer. But hey, enuff(too much) about me.

Hope some of this will give you some idea to help you decide on what kind of Pontiac YOU want.

Just for kicks, it might help some of the guys here to know what your max budget is for this car. A $25k car & a $50k car can be worlds apart. And there are lots of GTO's advertised for well over $50k. But, in some cases, you'd be paying mostly for the numbers matching, and originality, which doesn't sound like what you're lookin for.

Anyhow, good luck. Hope you find a good deal on exactly the car you want ! :smile3:
 

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21'st century GTO's were mentioned.

I'm an old school Pontiac freak. To me, the last Pontiac engine was a 301, & the last decent Pontiac engine was a '79 400.

I'd much prefer a 455 powered X-body '74 GTO, to a late model.

But, if you wanna save lots of money, you can go with '82-up Chevy powered stuff. There were some nice lookin 3rd gen Birds. And some of the 4th gens look real good. You can have a real nice late model Pontiac for 1/2 the price of a real nice REAL '64-'72 GTO, and in many cases you can save a lot more than 1/2.

But, then you won't have a '60's -'70's era Pontiac powered Musclecar. :frown3:
 

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A 1970 GTO is a classic year, desired by many. Do your homework and buy the best car you can. You are better off with a western car or southern car that has never been restored, and has always been a 'driver',IMO. It will be a more 'honest' car, without covered up rust or flaws, or shortcut restoration hacks. It is very expensive to restore one of these cars properly, upwards of 60 grand, so you are better off buying a 'survivor' type car for less than half that, or a PROPERLY restored car with DOCUMENTATION. There is an original paint '70 here in town, original owner, with a 4 speed. Car is in solid #3 shape, and is daily driven. Not for sale, but they are out there. I recently (well, 2 years ago) missed the boat on a very clean original loaded '68 GTO that was a one owner car that sold for 12k. You never know. Again, buy the best car you can, and if in doubt, get it inspected by a pro. Money well spent. I have two GTO's, a '65 and a '67, and have driven them for the past 35+ years. They've never been restored. I just got back from a 700 mile weekend trip in the '67. Living the dream!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for the reply post guys, I've just started my research into buying a 1970 GTO and this being the 1st & only forum I feel like I'm making good progress. Which gives me hope that I can make it happen.

To be more specific I have a cash in hand budget of $50K. But I would be willing to do 60K if the car is really great or a solid frame & body that needs restoring. And I am looking for a 70 GTO with Muncie in white, red, silver/gray or blue. I like the 69 GTO's and Chevelle's too. But to be honest with you guys there's a hole in my heart where a 70 GTO once was but I'm sure a 69 would close it up. It don't need to be numbers matching or a winning show car, just needs to be rust & crash free, and a real GTO. The one I use to own was a white Judge.

BTW that video BearGFR really gave me a kick, felt 10 years younger. Awesome that it's recent, meaning it's live now not a long time ago.

I think it's truly amazing when like somebody has owned a car for 30+ years and has kept real good care of it, kudos for being able to not sell it for profit. true dedication and love there gotta respect that.

It'd be real easy for me to go to the dealer and buy a new Mustang GT 350. It so simple compared to finding a good 50 year old muscle car. But its not what I really long for. It doesn't fit my personality , I just never evolved past year 2000. Instead I got stuck. And I'm not alone I have meet other people. For some reason I felt the need to share that. (its been on my mind).
 

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For that much money you should be able to get a really nice car. You might consider joining up with the GTOAA (GTO Association of America) - just to start getting the monthly newsletter, The Legend. In the back there's a classified section and there are always cars for sale. - Nice ones too.

https://www.gtoaa.org/

Bear
 

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For that much money you should be able to get a really nice car. You might consider joining up with the GTOAA (GTO Association of America) - just to start getting the monthly newsletter, The Legend. In the back there's a classified section and there are always cars for sale. - Nice ones too.

https://www.gtoaa.org/

Bear
I agree with Bear. As a member of the GTOAA their Legend magazine is great with a good ad section. Also there are guys who advertise in this forum:

https://www.gtoforum.com/f13/

And on the PY forum:

61-77 GTO LeMans & Tempests FOR SALE - PY Online Forums

I belong to both this forum (my fav) and to the PY forum:

Pontiac - Street - PY Online Forums (This is the street tech modify/repair forum)

And this is the model specific forum (for your "70):

70-72 GTO Tempest & LeMans TECH - PY Online Forums

Hope we're not overwhelming you with all this but being well informed is always helpful and the folks here are great at being helpful---don't hesitate to ask.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hope we're not overwhelming you with all this but being well informed is always helpful and the folks here are great at being helpful---don't hesitate to ask.:thumbsup:

No your not overwhelming me, in fact i'm interested. Eventually I will understand how to know what to look for in a good car. So then I can make a smart purchase. I didn't consider getting an old muscle car until just recently, I always thought they were way out of my budget. So now I'm starting off knowing nothing about matching # and restoration. It's gonna be a lot of work I know that much. But I only got 2 cars on my shopping list, a 69 or 70 GTO manual.
 

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Machinist, you appear to be a real car guy, which is a good thing. All of us here are that way...we feel about old musclecars the way we feel about WWII fighter planes....and love the raw, visceral, rough-around-the-edges experience of driving one (or more!) I fell in love with GTO's decades ago, and have owned a bunch. I bought them because I liked them, and at the time, cheap, used, gas-guzzlers. 40 years on, I am enjoying them more than ever. For many, many years, all I HAD were GTO's. To this day, the newest CAR I've ever owned is my '67 GTO. I do have an '05 pickup, though. All of the guys have given you excellent advice. Pontiac people are a much closer, genuine group of people than a lot of 'other' fans, although most of us love ALL high performance and special cars. For your price area, you should be able to buy the very best '70 GTO out there. For half of your price range, you should be able to get a very, very nice car that you can drive for years. The best thing? A 1970 model won't depreciate like a 2018 model. You can drive it and sell it and break even or make a profit, depending on the market. But the REAL reason for owning these cars isn't profit....it's all about driving them. You are on the right track. Don't be in a hurry, ask questions, read all you can, and look around. I'm an early GTO guy, but have to admit, the '68--'72 cars, in stock form, are more modern and are better road cars. 1970 was, in my opinion, the pinnacle year for GM....everything they did was right on the money. Have fun!
 

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I agree with Shake and Bake. My first car was a 65 GTO and I loved the car but wore it out. I longed for another GTO for decades and recently drove several 70's to buy one. However the cars were not very drivable. After much soul searching I bought a 2006 GTO with low mileage. It has leather seats, power everything, disc brakes, 400 hp and a 6 speed. I love this car and get an unbelievable amount of positive comments on it. I am really glad I bought it and use it as my everyday car. Can't recommend it enough.
 

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I agree with Shake and Bake. My first car was a 65 GTO and I loved the car but wore it out. I longed for another GTO for decades and recently drove several 70's to buy one. However the cars were not very drivable. After much soul searching I bought a 2006 GTO with low mileage. It has leather seats, power everything, disc brakes, 400 hp and a 6 speed. I love this car and get an unbelievable amount of positive comments on it. I am really glad I bought it and use it as my everyday car. Can't recommend it enough.
What do you mean they were not very drivable?

Yeah I know the newer GTO's are really nice and there's a lot of them for sale and less money that an old GTO. But the idea I had that got me started pursuing, was to own a muscle car to makeup for the 69 SS Chevelle I had that got taken from me in 1977 and the 70 Judge I had that I could not afford to take care of it so I sold it in 1982. Both cars I barely got to drive and I don't even remember what they drove like. I mean there's a night & day difference between the old & new. I want the old raw loud & proud carbureted polluting rude & wild deathtrap on 4 wheels. I owned a 2008 Mustang GT for 9 years, I would have just kept that car instead of buying a 2006 GTO. You can call me names, but the look of the 2004 -2006 GTO's bores me to death. If I do end up buying a post 2000 car it would be the 2019 Bullitt Mustang.
 

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To give you an idea of what some options are, I bought a '71 GTO almost three years ago. It was in Tennessee, fair condition, but engine and tranny both out of the car and neeeding rebuilds. I had the engine and tranny (400, auto) rebuilt in Tennessee, before I ever picked up the car. I paid $12,000 for the car, had the engine totally redone, Edelbrock D port heads, aluminum intake, new Holly carb, custom ground cam. On the dyno it puts out 445 hp. By the time I picked it up, it had a new exhaust, radiator, etc. I replaced the gas tank, total a/c system, all body and suspension bushings, 4 wheel disc brakes and posi. Had it stripped to bare metal, any rust replaced (very little) and repainted. Replaced the interior (changed colors). It's being reassembled now,and I hope to be driving it soon. This was not to restore as a show car, but a dependable fun driver that will scoot and stop. Because of some hiccups (like a shattered harmonic balancer shaft, that required a total tear down) the project is over budget. I have about $35,000 in the car to date. If I had just wanted it to run and drive, I probably could have gotten there for about $18k.
 

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What do you mean they were not very drivable?

Yeah I know the newer GTO's are really nice and there's a lot of them for sale and less money that an old GTO. But the idea I had that got me started pursuing, was to own a muscle car to makeup for the 69 SS Chevelle I had that got taken from me in 1977 and the 70 Judge I had that I could not afford to take care of it so I sold it in 1982. Both cars I barely got to drive and I don't even remember what they drove like. I mean there's a night & day difference between the old & new. I want the old raw loud & proud carbureted polluting rude & wild deathtrap on 4 wheels. I owned a 2008 Mustang GT for 9 years, I would have just kept that car instead of buying a 2006 GTO. You can call me names, but the look of the 2004 -2006 GTO's bores me to death. If I do end up buying a post 2000 car it would be the 2019 Bullitt Mustang.
Fair enough...no name calling here. I suggested the 05-06 GTO for the driving experience. A day behind the wheel is the only way to fully understand what they are about. I get that some cars aren't for everyone so that is totally cool.

I find the styling appealing because it is understated. Then again, I was that guy who wouldn't be caught dead driving a Judge or anything else with graphics or stripes. To this day, I prefer the 'sleeper' look.

Your budget is plenty for what you are hunting for. I would recommend you buy the best example you can afford. Don't get a project or anything that requires assembly. Those cars will almost always cost you more in money and time.

It is a buyers market right now. Be picky.

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I realize I'm late to the party here, but hope you are still checking this thread and this helps.

I had to have an appraisal on mine a few years back for insurance purposes. I used AAG. They also do pre-purchase inspections. This was a few years back but I seem to remember the service for a car you own was a few hundred dollars with a pre-purchace being around $500. With how high your budget is, $500 is a small price to pay, is cheaper than a plane ticket depending on how far out the car is, and way cheaper than buying a car that is not what you expected it to be. The guy who did my car was very thorough and I received a very realistic evaluation of what I have. I did not have the pre-purchase done and got lucky that the appraised value was really close to what I paid for the car.

As some free advice; if you have $50K to spend, don't settle for a non-matching car. If originality is not important to you, cut the budget in half. There are plenty of really nice cars out there priced under $30K.

I have attached a link for AAG. I hope this helps.

https://www.autoappraisal.com/contact-us.htm
 
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