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Hi, I'm a new member to this forum as of today and wanted to tackle a recurring topic of conflict I've had for years... to clone or not to clone a GTO?

A little background on my pure love for GTOs... specifically '67's... my dad started taking me to car shows when I was little, and I believe I was 12 when I first realized I was drawn to this car in particular amongst the thousands of other makes and styles of cars at the shows. I'll always remember the time I saw a turquoise hardtop, original-owner '67 for sale at a Goodguys show with my dad at age 15 (1997). The elderly owner told us the car had been garaged since he bought it new, and was selling it for only $4,000!!! As I had to commute to high school, my dad (though a passionate car guy), thought it was not the best option for me economically to have as my first high-school car. Though I was sad we didn't buy it, I understood his reasoning. I wasn't the kind of kid who pitched a hissy-fit if I didn't get my own way. Still haven't forgotten about that car, though (and have to mention here, it would probably be worth at least 10x that today! :D) Hindsight's 20/20... Moving on...

Today, I am 30... don't have my '67 yet, but still lust after them. I believe the '67 Goat is truly my "soul car", if those exist. I always keep my eyes casually on the market just for fun, but as a small business owner, how can I really afford a numbers-matching real GTO for at least $20,000, and at that price, likely requiring thousands more in restoration costs? So naturally, the idea of cloning a GTO has come up in an attempt to look at this issue realistically and economically.

I was raised by an orthodox car guy though, and the appreciation for bone-stock vintage vehicles was instilled in me from a young age. So when over the years I've been asked by friends "why don't you just buy an inexpensive, solid Tempest or LeMans and clone a GTO?"', that question made me sick. How could I do that? How could I be okay not driving the REAL thing, and furthermore, having to admit to people it's a clone? What's the deal if I took a cloned car to a car show (though that's pretty insignificant to me, I just want the car as my daily driver, not an overly-pampered show car...)?

To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to wait 30 or 40 more years to be driving my '67 Goat, as I'm assuming it will take me that long to save for a TRUE one. So again comes the perpetual question... do I open my mind to cloning one, despite being somewhat of a purist? Or do I wait (and wait, and wait, and wait...) till I'm able to afford the REAL thing? :confused

Any and all feedback on this matter would be appreciated... :seeya
 

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Not to clone. In this economy, a nice solid '67 GTO hardtop can be had for less than 20k, ready to drive and enjoy. Really nice examples can be had for around 30k or a bit less. Go with your heart. Get a real GTO. Tempest's and LeMans's are great cars too, and are in my opinion, above cloning. If you get a Tempest or Lemans, enjoy it for what it is or build it up with an awesome drivetrain. These days, clones are everywhere. Pretty rare to see a real Tempest or LeMans anymore. Also, consider financing for your classic. It's done all the time, and you'll be making payments on a car that is going UP in value as time passes, not going DOWN like a new car.
 

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Why not buy a clone that someone else has already completed for ~$12k? Save yourself several thousand dollars and alot of work. To me there is no shame in driving a really nice muscle car, clone or not.
 

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Here's a moral question that I believe was part of the OP's questions: do you freely admit the clone at a local cruise? (Assume the car is a 64, 65 where the VIN didn't immediately give away the family secret.)
 

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I faced the same questions through my build, even to the point of filling all the trim holes before paint, but in the end i chose to keep the 99.9% intact and factory Tempest Custom for the most part as was and updated the suspension, Interior and drive train to GTO++ specs. I still have all the parts including the 326 in the shop to make it back to factory. As far as restoring or cloning anything the only value is in the lower price of the foundation car, and by the time you add up parts (all GTO demanding top dollar) and labor even on a body on re-paint you will be over 20K, so like the guys say if you want one to drive NOW, get 20K in hand and find one done. Welcome to the forum.....and i have parked next to 100's of GTO's at shows, but only two other nice Tempest/LeMans.
 

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just my opinion but i would buy a GTO clone before i would build one.
reason be is that you could purchase one at a great price due to being a fake.
but if you try to build one then you put more in it than it's worth.
captilize on someone elses project.
I just have purchased a 69 GTO (#'s matching) and my original plans were to make a Judge clone after a lot of thought and since i don't have the funds to change everything on it to make a great fake i decided to just stay with a great looking GTO and then everyone who walks up(if it was a judge clone) would not ask is it a Real Judge ?
 

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All good feedback for you to consider. When looking for my car last year, I was open to any 65-67 GTO/LeMans/Tempest, as I personally think the "GTO thing" is a little over-hyped. My requirements were that the car had to have vertical headlights and a 4spd.

Nontheless, I did end up paying $20K for a solid 4spd GTO. Was orignal tri-power car, but came with a smogger 400 and Olds "12-bolt" rear (just sold that for $140). Big advantage with my car is that it was local, and did not have to spend $$$ on travel and/or shipping. It seems that car values have even dropped more from last year, so again, you can probably find a pretty nice ride for $20K, especially if you are open to an auto trans. The area you live will also play a role. When I was looking, it seemed every car was on either coast or texas, and the cars were bringing more money in the upper midwest.

All said & done, I will have about $25-26K in my car and on a good day, still should be worth about $20K... :)

Good luck, and spend plenty of time looking and kicking tires!!
 

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Not to clone. In this economy, a nice solid '67 GTO hardtop can be had for less than 20k, ready to drive and enjoy. Really nice examples can be had for around 30k or a bit less. Go with your heart. Get a real GTO. Tempest's and LeMans's are great cars too, and are in my opinion, above cloning. If you get a Tempest or Lemans, enjoy it for what it is or build it up with an awesome drivetrain. These days, clones are everywhere. Pretty rare to see a real Tempest or LeMans anymore. Also, consider financing for your classic. It's done all the time, and you'll be making payments on a car that is going UP in value as time passes, not going DOWN like a new car.
:agree. I'm not against clones but when you have one it seems that you have to spend time explaining it. If you have a really nicely done Lemans you don't have to explain anything and the car will likely be worth more than the clone. Your choice, your money, but you asked for opinions and I just gave you my 2 cents. Good luck with your search and final decision.
 

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Dont clone, I bought a Judge clone because I liked the color combination. I removed "The Judge" decals since it was a clone. I would have like to of purchased a Judge but it was out of my price range.

Of course about 6 months after I bought my GTO, one did show up on ebay without an engine that was in my price range.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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clone it

your answer is in your question .."To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to wait 30 or 40 more years to be driving my '67 Goat" ... who says you have 30/40 years ...I bought a 65 Tempest that is now a 65' GTO ..I go to cruise nights so I made a sign for the dash .. NO IT WASN'T BORN THIS WAY ..
I'm an old gray beard and I can't spend 15/20 grand on a hobby car so my 8 grand "GTO" looks like I want it to look ..I don't lie about it or care about others attitude concerning it ...when I sell it I will tell them exactly what it is ..
 

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Make the car what you want it to be. Anyone who would scoff at you for cloning a car isn't worthy of the hobby. There are purist snobs in every pass time on earth, God bless em' for keeping the roots alive but they shouldn't look down their noses at everyone else... just my .02 ;)
 

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Hi, I'm a new member to this forum as of today and wanted to tackle a recurring topic of conflict I've had for years... to clone or not to clone a GTO?

A little background on my pure love for GTOs... specifically '67's... my dad started taking me to car shows when I was little, and I believe I was 12 when I first realized I was drawn to this car in particular amongst the thousands of other makes and styles of cars at the shows. I'll always remember the time I saw a turquoise hardtop, original-owner '67 for sale at a Goodguys show with my dad at age 15 (1997). The elderly owner told us the car had been garaged since he bought it new, and was selling it for only $4,000!!! As I had to commute to high school, my dad (though a passionate car guy), thought it was not the best option for me economically to have as my first high-school car. Though I was sad we didn't buy it, I understood his reasoning. I wasn't the kind of kid who pitched a hissy-fit if I didn't get my own way. Still haven't forgotten about that car, though (and have to mention here, it would probably be worth at least 10x that today! :D) Hindsight's 20/20... Moving on...

Today, I am 30... don't have my '67 yet, but still lust after them. I believe the '67 Goat is truly my "soul car", if those exist. I always keep my eyes casually on the market just for fun, but as a small business owner, how can I really afford a numbers-matching real GTO for at least $20,000, and at that price, likely requiring thousands more in restoration costs? So naturally, the idea of cloning a GTO has come up in an attempt to look at this issue realistically and economically.

I was raised by an orthodox car guy though, and the appreciation for bone-stock vintage vehicles was instilled in me from a young age. So when over the years I've been asked by friends "why don't you just buy an inexpensive, solid Tempest or LeMans and clone a GTO?"', that question made me sick. How could I do that? How could I be okay not driving the REAL thing, and furthermore, having to admit to people it's a clone? What's the deal if I took a cloned car to a car show (though that's pretty insignificant to me, I just want the car as my daily driver, not an overly-pampered show car...)?

To be perfectly honest, I just don't want to wait 30 or 40 more years to be driving my '67 Goat, as I'm assuming it will take me that long to save for a TRUE one. So again comes the perpetual question... do I open my mind to cloning one, despite being somewhat of a purist? Or do I wait (and wait, and wait, and wait...) till I'm able to afford the REAL thing? :confused

Any and all feedback on this matter would be appreciated... :seeya
Do what you want to do. There are good reasons to keep the car original and good reasons to clone or resto-mod the car. My car is resto-modded with updated suspension, carburetor, camshaft, steering, brakes, 2005 GTO seats, three-point seat belts and American Racing wheels. In my view, it's just a matter of taste and your budget. Do whatever brings a smile to your face..........
 

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Don't have a second thought about buying a clone and enjoying it. I love cars, originals, restored, hot rods, doesn't matter. I know there are a lot of different factions within the car hobby, but do what ever you enjoy. I've got a clone now, fastest and most fun car I've ever owned. I like to look at the correct numbers matching examples at shows, I think there great, but I also like modified/hot rods. My '68 LeMans/GTO clone I currently have would blow the doors clear off the stock '70 "real" GTO that I had previously. With a Butler 474, jacked up Buick 200 4R tranny and 373 gears this car is a beast. The only comments I get are, "love your car, man thats bad-ass," and lots of thumbs up. The only way 99.9% of the people would know it's a "clone" is to look at the VIN number, but I make no bones about, I list it as a LeMans/GTO and will tell anybody who inquires it's a clone, it's not a big deal to me. I also feel that with all the mods on this car I haven't altered a real piece of the automotive history, the legend, the GTO. If I get a purist who turns their nose up at it at a show, I just tell 'em to bring there "real" GTO out on the blacktop and I'll send them home with there tail between their legs! If you Love and want a GTO, don't wait for years to save for an expensive original. Get one you can afford and enjoy your passion! You might get run over by a truck tomorrow, tomorrow is promised to no one.
 

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Don't have a second thought about buying a clone and enjoying it. I love cars, originals, restored, hot rods, doesn't matter. I know there are a lot of different factions within the car hobby, but do what ever you enjoy. I've got a clone now, fastest and most fun car I've ever owned. I like to look at the correct numbers matching examples at shows, I think there great, but I also like modified/hot rods. My '68 LeMans/GTO clone I currently have would blow the doors clear off the stock '70 "real" GTO that I had previously. With a Butler 474, jacked up Buick 200 4R tranny and 373 gears this car is a beast. The only comments I get are, "love your car, man thats bad-ass," and lots of thumbs up. The only way 99.9% of the people would know it's a "clone" is to look at the VIN number, but I make no bones about, I list it as a LeMans/GTO and will tell anybody who inquires it's a clone, it's not a big deal to me. I also feel that with all the mods on this car I haven't altered a real piece of the automotive history, the legend, the GTO. If I get a purist who turns their nose up at it at a show, I just tell 'em to bring there "real" GTO out on the blacktop and I'll send them home with there tail between their legs! If you Love and want a GTO, don't wait for years to save for an expensive original. Get one you can afford and enjoy your passion! You might get run over by a truck tomorrow, tomorrow is promised to no one.
You said it awsomely. If you want numbers matching get it, but if you are gonna mod at all, why pay a GTO premium that will get modified. I am starting with a inline 6 Lemans, putting some GTO body modifications on it (not all they way) and throwing in a modern LS engine.
 

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I bought my first Tempest Custom post car for my wife in 2007 because she fell in love with the 67 GTO body style. It was a solid car and I collected most of the parts to clone a GTO. A large amount of the new interior pieces that came with it were the GTO style as well. It was an OHC 6 car that had a 350 Chevy in it. I changed my mind and started looking for "Custom" specific parts to finish it to factory specs. I later found another 67 Tempest post (326 car) with a Pontiac 400 that was a well optioned factory air car with disc brakes. I sold the first and am building the second. It currently wears a set of Lemans tail lights (Tempest tails are hard to find) and some GTO buckets. I've decided that I am building the car as I would have had it optioned. A Tempest with a 400, overdrive auto, air, 10 bolt with 3.73 gears, console, buckets, a GTO hood, grills, parking lights, and all Tempest badges in a 67 color - Montreaux or Tyrol Blue (undecided). It will have a custom dash based on the original with modern gauges, CD player w/ iPod and a good sound system. I want it to drive like a more modern car so I plan to improve the suspension with tubular control arms, stiffer springs, and thicker sway bars. That way my wife can enjoy it on nice summer days or drive it to work on occasion to give her 05 GTO a rest. I say build it like you want it. If you aren't trying to make money off of someone else selling a Tempest or LeMans as a GTO then no one will care. Personally, I am proud of my Tempest because I never see one at a car show or cruise in. I get annoyed (just a little) when someone calls it a GTO or LeMans. But that's just me...it seems the Tempest is the more rare of the cars today.

This is my inspiration - although I like the emblems in the stock locations. It's too low for my taste, but it's a post car.


I want the Pontiac script on the tail panel of my car.


I want these wheels and probably this color and all of those pretty emblems.
 

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Buy the best car you can afford, whether it is a GTO or not

I jsut bought my 68 "GTO" convertible at MECUM in Kissimmee, FL.

When I saw the car, I knew I had to take it home. I did not care if the GTO badges were original or not.

The seller gave me the history of the car since he first got it, and it made sense to me.

A 70 year old man brought the car to his shop to be painted. The man had always wanted a GTO convertible, but could never afford it. he finally found this LeMans and started the restoration. He had the engine and transmission rebuilt, new exhaust put on the car along with front and rear bumpers. he rebuilt the brake cylinders and all the suspension bushings and ball joints. The original interior is in great shape. He put new Michelins on the 14" steel wheels. He had to replace the carpet, but everything but the radio is factory original.

Al the sheet metal and glass is straight and original. The frame is clean and even the body mounts are like new. No rust anywhere.

The painter bought all the GTO badges, hood, and grille, and started working on the car. The owner passed away before he finished the conversion, so the man's widow sold the car to Jimmy. He decided to continue the conversion to a GTO and bought some 17 x 9 Rally II wheels and redline tires for the car. He then put a 2.5" exhaust system on the car with Flowmaster mufflers. He did not go so far as to replace the tail lights, or change the steel front bumper for the Endura bumper or put the hideaway headlights in it. A purist can spot the fact that it is a LeMans right away. I kinda like that.

The paint is perfect, the top looks like new, and the interior is super clean. The car runs and sounds great. It is a perfect addition to my Corvette collection.

I got a great deal on the car, and don't really care if there are 6 letters on the rear quarters or only 3.

The car is awesome, and I call it a LeMans. People read GTO on the car and call it a goat.99 percent of the population just think it is an awesome ride, and I tend to agree with them.:cheers
 
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