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Matt Baker & Roxann Lane 1966 GTO Hardtop
Harold & Chrissy Bendlin 1967 GTO, Hardtop Coupe
Signet Gold, Original Owners
400c.i., 325 h.p., 4 speed manual transmission, Actual mileage: 90,000
We ordered this car thru a dealer in 1967. From that time on our GTO served many years as the ‘family car’, driving us to work, dropping kids off at school and other various activities, taking us on vacations, and even pulling the camper once! We restored the car to original condition in 2003, using GM parts where available, some after market parts were used. Restored by owner; new base coat/ clear coat paint by Innovative Auto Body Shop (Jim Hayes & Jerry Umdenstock) Thermopolis, WY. Upholstery done by Bob Stephenson of Bob’s Upholstery in Thermopolis, WY
Jon & Mary Chevalier 1969 GTO Convertible
Wade Ettleman 1967 GTO Convertible
Gold/gold interior/white top 67 convert. I bought it in 87 from the second owner. The original owner bought it from the dealer in Brookings, SD. It was made in Pontiac, MI, and stickered for $4,364.42. He later sold it to his brother, who brought it to Sheridan, Wyoming, where I lived. The car was in town for 8 years, but was only out of the garage a few times and none of my friends ever saw it. I bought it the day before the guy was moving out of town, due to work, and was the only offer he got on the car. This was early in the muscle car rebirth, so only real car people were snatching up cars at that time.
It was in nice drivers shape, not torn up, but in need of freshening up. I pulled the motor, tuned it up, checked it over, detailed it up, cleaned up the engine bay, and put it back in. It ran fine, so I didn’t need to pull it apart. The car needed new exhaust and new tires, but otherwise, ran fine. It was well optioned with power steering, power top, Hurst His/Hers, A/C, working 8-track stereo, lamp group, tach and rally gauges, and very rare factory cruise control. Why they ordered up a nice car like this without power brakes is kind of odd. It’s a base 335 hp car with 2:73 open rear end. The original drive train was still in the car and worked fine. I’ve driven the car on many nice vacations over the years. It’s been to Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Zion National Parks. I’ve had it to the Black Hills numerous times, several times to Cool Deadwood Nights. It’s been to the Good guy’s shows in Colorado Springs, Des Moines, and Kansas City. I had it in Vegas one summer when I was working near there. About 5 years ago, the motor was getting tired, needing a valve job and freshening up. I was not happy with the gas mileage and drivability of the 3 speed automatic, so I made the decision to upgrade the car. I pulled the original drive train out of the car and stepped it up a notch. It now sports a .030 428, a 200-4R overdrive tranny, and 3:55 posi rear end. It now has way more bottom end punch, but cruised along in overdrive at 70 mph. I get 16 to 17 mpg running 70-75 on the interstate with 3:55 gears. The best of both worlds, in my opinion. Looking at the car, you’d never know it’s been upgraded. I’d highly recommend this upgrade to anyone who wants to really enjoy their car and not worry about numbers freaks at car shows.
Paul Dreyer 1964 Tempest Race Car
Jack Curzon 1972 GTO Hardtop
Bill & Linda Griffin 1964 GTO Convertible
Stock 389 tri power engine. It is the original nocturne metallic blue color, repainted in1989. I have had this car since November of 1969. I have kept it original within reason. The convertible top is black. This car is well optioned.
Rob Harmelink 1970 GTO Judge Hardtop
Brian & Kaylene Schachtner 1967 GTO Hardtop
Red with red interior 400 with turbo 400 Trans, 3.36 safe-t-track.
Scott & Karen Van Hoorne 1968 GTO Hardtop
Shane Swett & Nicole Candelaria 1970 GTO Hardtop
Bill & Elaine Spencer 1965 GTO Convertible
was bought in Berthoud, Colorado just a stone’s throw away from where the
2012 GTO Nationals will be held. The engine was long gone but a good looking
1970 Pontiac 455 block was purchased at the same sale, perhaps in haste. It
was later to cause a several installation challenges, including building
custom brackets for the air conditioning, a remote oil filter for frame
clearance, modification of the motor mounts, and some space issues with the
starter. Our decision to go with a non-date code correct Pontiac engine also
meant that we were squarely in ‘Mild-Modified’ territory.
For the paint, we chose to stay with the car’s beautiful original - but rare - Fontaine blue. We hired Colorado auto painter and body man Kurt Rommel, who is famous in these parts for his attention to detail. He suggested BASF’s R-M epoxy primer and base coat clear coat system. Kurt’s weeks of massaging, sanding, and buffing made for a great finish.
Years ago, Dad bought a new '65 GTO hard top and promptly burned out the transmission. This experience, our wish for highway drivability, and the extra torque from the 455, were all in our thoughts when we chose a TKO 600 five speed transmission. We mated this with a 3:36:1 ring and pinion and an 8.2” ten-bolt Saf-T-Track rear end. We also added four-wheel disk brakes and, at the insistence of our wives, splurged on a Classic Auto Air, air conditioning unit. This unit fits beautifully under the hood and uses the original controls on the dash--making a clean factory look.
As the restoration got farther along, we agreed we wanted our car to handle better than a mid-1960’s GTO so we added a new rear stabilizer bar from a 1970's design, beefed up the front anti-sway bar, used poly-graphite bushings and modern GM heavy duty shocks. The Rally II rims have redline tires that are slightly wider than stock, although you would never know it from the profile of the car. Scott Tiemann, Chief Technical Advisor for the Legend helped with the tire size. We ended up with B.F. Goodrich red lines P125/70R 15 on the front and P225/70R 15 on the rear. A little extra rubber on the rear never hurts.
For the engine, our goal was a reliable street engine that could still hold its own over a 1/4 mile. Our wish list went on to include running on pump gas (91 octane), a bias for torque over horsepower, and an original GTO sound. We were asking a lot of questions and, after a while, word of our efforts to create a "Restro-Mod" ‘65 convertible made it way around the local Northern Colorado club. We joined both the Northern Colorado GTOA, and the National GTOAA. We got a lot of useful advice about how to get the most muscle from the 455 block. In the end, we had the rebuild done by Gordon Hill, a race engine specialist in our hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado. Gordon had years of experience on the Indy Circuit and specialized rebuilding big block GM engines for the track. Our goal was a powerful and reliable street engine that could still hold its own over a 1/4 mile.
Other upgrades to the 455 included, 4X heads, which Dad found in a Wyoming junkyard, a high performance street cam ground to Gordon’s specs, a compression ratio of 10:1, and an electronic ignition system from Pertronix. The VIN showed the car was originally equipped with a Tri-Power carburetor set up and in this spirit we choose a Barry Grant ‘SixShooter’ triple 2-barrel carburetor and manifold package. It keeps the engine looking like it should while delivering the fuel needed for high performance. A 3/8” stainless fuel line was also installed. These changes are all invisible to the inexperienced eye and the car sits and sounds like it was new in 1965. A computer program Gordon ran showed out 455 with peak torque of 465 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm--We have our torque machine!
Several seasoned Goat owners told us to take steps to avoid overheating. One easy modification Gordon made was to the coolant recirculation pattern. Essentially, he bored a 1/2 inch hole in the block to open up and even out the coolant flow. We also replaced the ‘65 vintage three core radiator with an Aluminum Desert Cooler 15 1/2 inch unit, which looks very original. The result is a cool running GTO even in hot, high altitude weather.
Jay & Mary Robinson 1969 GTO Judge Hardtop
I purchased this car October 13th, 1981 for $150 along with a few car parts off of my first car, a 1968 GTO. I had owned two 1968 GTO's prior to buying this car, both of them destroyed - the first one by fire, and the second one by another car. When I purchased this car, it had no motor or transmission. The wiring on both sides of the firewall had been cut. The rear seat was missing, as was the spoiler. The front buckets were missing. I had to sit on a milk crate to tow the car home. The car had no exterior Judge decals left, but the factory stripes were intact, and the factory Judge glovebox emblem was there. The car was a complete basket case, but a genuine (PHS verified) 1969 GTO Judge.
The original rear seat, spoiler and ram air pans were located in a previous owner's barn. I purchased a set of front seats from ebay in 2005 with the original upholstery matching the factory color, and had new pads installed. The first repaint on the car was by the Carriage Shoppe of Fort Collins, in 1982. In May of 2012, Chief Auto Restoration located in Hygiene, Colorado painted it again, the original factory Antique Gold (code 65) color. The Judge decals and stripes were then added, using the White/Yellow/Olive color combination it came from the factory with. The frame and under carriage were sandblasted and repainted along with the suspension in the spring of 2005. This Judge was sold originally on April 30, 1969 at Weld County Garage in Greeley, Colorado. It has never been owned outside of Colorado, and I am the 5th owner.
Pontiac made 6,725 Hardtop Judges in 1969. The first 5000 Judges off the assembly line were painted Carousel Red, with the rest painted any color available for that year. Although no records were kept by Pontiac in 1969 as to how many of the remaining 1,725 Judges were painted any one color, it is assumed anything other than a Carousel Red Judge is a rare car, making this factory Antique Gold Judge a truly rare find.
The Paint and motor rebuild are the only things done to this car outside of my garage. This car was restored by me in my garage, not by a professional Restoration Shop. It is the best I can do, and I am good with that.
Don & Leslie Polson 1969 GTO Judge Hardtop
This ’69 Goat was originally purchased from Leo Rice Motor Company of Gooding Idaho. It came from the factory with the Judge package, Ram Air III engine, 4-speed manual, power steering, in-dash rally gauge cluster, AM radio with rear speaker, and the very un-Judge-like vinyl top. The car is paint coded 51-E (Liberty Blue - Parchment) with 250 interior trim (Blue).
I spent eight years looking for the perfect companion for my 1969 Trans Am, and from the beginning knew that only Liberty Blue with white highlights would do. As fate would have it, I sadly missed out on half-a-dozen nice Judges, but couldn’t be happier with the way this turned out. The Judge spent the first 32 years of its life in the high desert of southern Idaho. I was very fortunate to find it rust-free, 54,000 miles on the clock, and with all of the original equipment sans the radio. It came with extensive documentation, and I’ve talked to all of the previous owners.
Although in pretty decent shape to begin with, the Judge underwent a complete body-off restoration during the summer and fall of 2003. Today it is completely numbers matching top-to-bottom, front-to-back, with only a few minor details to finish up.
Kris & Michelle Nicklaus 2008 G8
Chris Jaworski 1967 GTO Convertible
John Green 1970 GTO Judge Hardtop
I bought this Judge in Oct. 2002 from a friend. I had known about the car since 1984 and Jeff had been in an out of the Northern Colorado GTO Club since 1985. I had told him to contact me if he ever wanted to sell it and had reminded him a couple times over the years. He and his wife moved into our neighborhood in the late 90s and I would see the car in his garage, although it was rarely driven. As I was walking past his house in August 2002 I stopped to talk and he asked me if I was still interested. I said yes and he asked if I would restore it to the level I had done my other GTOs and if I would sell it or would my boys sell if after I passed. I said I would restore it to the same level and then talked to Kevin, my oldest son. He said if I restored a Judge he would never sell it, nor would he ever sell my original owner 67 GTO hardtop. I related that to Jeff. In Sept. 02 Kevin and I got the car for a day, went over it in detail, and costed out how much it would take to restore it. I subtracted that from what it was worth at the time (#1-2 condition) and made Jeff an offer that he accepted in October. The car was white when I bought it but is originally Orbit Orange with a black vinyl top. The car is identical to the car in the movie Dazed and Confused except that car was an automatic. The car was sold new in Estherville IA in Feb. 1970. I have talked to the original owner and he is providing pictures and memories of it when new. He traded it for a new pickup to a Chevy dealer near Des Moines in 1974. A friend of the guy I purchased it from bought it from the dealer and my friend purchased it from that person in 1978. Jeff had the engine rebuilt and moved to Fort Collins in 1982. Thus, I have the complete history on the car and have talked to everyone except Jeff's friend, the second owner, who is somewhere in California. The car now has 108,000 miles on it. I had the pleasure of driving it when it went over 100,000, two miles north of Fort Collins on Highway 1. The car is an original, numbers matching GTO Judge RAIII, 4-speed. The only thing that is not original is the carb but I have restored a 7040270 carb for it. The RA exhaust manifolds are original but date coded too late for the engine. The original manifolds rusted out and were replaced with OE but non-date matching ones. I removed the interior (except dash) in summer 05 and completely restored it and installed a Tremec 5-speed, rebuilt 12-bolt rear, scatter shield, new clutch and 11 x 3 inch rear brake drums. I did this for safety and gas mileage on the long road trips I take in the car. In Spring 06 I restored the trunk area. In Summer 06 the car was driven to Tiger Run in Oregon in May and then stored in my son’s garage in Hillsboro, OR until August. In August it went with the The Goat Herd GTO Club to Kamloops, BC, Canada to a big car show, then east to tour vineyards and cruise the Rockies in Canada, down to Hamilton, MT to visit relatives and then back to Fort Collins (4,000 miles).
Tom Graves 1966 GTO Hardtop
One of the rarest and least known GTOs has to be the 1966 with a factory equipped Ram Air engine. These are commonly known as “XS” GTOs, after their block code. I should point out that XS was also used as the block code for 1967-68 Ram Air I GTOs with four speeds (as well as more pedestrian V-8s like some 1969 350s). However, 389s only have two freeze plugs on the each side of the block while 350s and 400s have three. Blocks stamped XS with two freeze plugs per side are extremely rare.
By now it is well-documented that the first over the counter Ram Air pans were available for 65 GTOs with Tri-Power on August 17 near the end of the model year as mentioned in my February, 2007 article in The Legend. All 65 pans were purchased over the parts counter: none were installed on the assembly line as part of a Regular Production Option. The next year, the factory released an accessory Ram Air package for Tri-Power GTOs on January 31, 1966, again later than one would expect, especially since it was modeled after the previous years’ version. Again, the 66 pan could be ordered and purchased at the parts counter and installed by the customer or dealer.
However, in February, 1966 the factory released a special Ram Air engine package that included several unique parts incorporated into the engine on the assembly line, in addition to the Ram Air pan.
Because of the special nature of the engine certain performance options were required including a close ratio four speed, heavy duty Saf-T-Track differential with 4.33:1 ratio, heavy duty radiator, seven blade declutching fan and metallic brake linings. The camshaft had an advertised duration of 301o intake and 313o exhaust and was the same as used on 1967-68 Ram Air “I” GTOs and early 1969 Ram Air “III” cars.
Jack & Thelma George 1964 Lemans Hardtop
Art & Connie Floyd 1969 GTO Judge Convertible
This is a numbers matching car with a frame-off restoration and I'm real fussy about detail. The car has taken me much longer than I want but when I got in to it I wanted to enjoy working on it and do all the work myself.
This is a Judge convertible one of 108 produced a ram air III 4 speed, it is one of three Matador Red cars produced I bought the car in 1990 and have been restoring and collecting parts every since. I find a lot of pleasure in my time with the car and looking forward to brining the car to the club events.