GTO Restoration

billg_51billg_51 Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Pontiac
Looking to restore a 1967 GTO from the ground up for a retirement project. I'm in no real hurry but would like some ideas as to where is the best place to find inexspensive junkers... YEAH RIGHT to restore. I live in Columbus Ohio but if the price is right I'm willing to take a road trip if I have too.


  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    Ebay will give you the lay of the land, make sure to look at completed items to see what they actually sell for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    eBay's good, also Hemmings Motor News (

    If you are buying out of state, you should hire an inspector to at least check out the basic condition of the car and all the numbers. There are a lot of fake GTOs and incorrect ones as well.

    If you are going to invest in a GTO restoration from the ground up, you'll need to start with buying some books and doing your homework (if you already don't know all there is to know--maybe you have the background already?).

    The best cars to invest in are the ones with some documentation.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Well, in Columbus all of the local ones are probably rust buckets. The others have given you good suggestions on where to look. A lot of phony ones out there so be careful.

    Also remember you can buy one already done for far less (usually)then doing one yourself unless you are VERY talented.

    Good choice of cars, just keep it stock!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Well he suggests that he wants a retirement project, so maybe it's okay to just take one's time over many years.

    But yeah, I'd buy a west coast car for sure. Restoration is hard enough without having to deal with rust issues that have eroded the frame.

    These GTOs are very simple cars in many ways but they still have a lot of pieces.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Sold his 1965 GTO last summer. It was stock and decent but nothing really spectacular and it was an automatic.

    It had been put together from two wrecked '65's but that part was undetectable. It had been done as well as possible.

    It looked and ran fine but it didn't have many options and it had the two speed automatic that no doubt hurt it.

    He put it on Ebay, disclosing everything and the bids quickly wnet ot 14,000.00 when he sold it.

    I didn't think it would bring anywhere near that.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    Those three magic letters. Another option, do your own conversion, get a clean Tempest for less $$, upgrade it to GTO specs over time - how much differs?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Well, I suppose he could do that but it wouldn't be the real thing, just another fake.
  • billg_51billg_51 Member Posts: 4
    Yeah.. thanks for the info. My options are open and I'm not what you would say talented but with all of the books and web sites I think there would be more pride in completed restoring a fairly decent rust bucket. I most likely will need some professional help tho. I'll keep looking.
  • billg_51billg_51 Member Posts: 4
    What are some good web sites or books? I've found a few but not what I'm looking for. I would like to get my hands on a factory assembly manual.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    You might check for a GTO restoration guide as a starter.

    Also a reprinted Chilton's manual for 1967 domestic cars would be helpful.

    Then a general book on restoration procedures might give you a good idea on how to get organized before you take anything apart.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    There's a wealth of information available on these and most everything is available in reproduction. Shop manuals can be found without too much trouble.

    Probably the single best book for your situation is Pontiac GTO Restoration Guide 1964-1970 by Paul Zazarine and Chuck Roberts, published by Motorbooks International, Osceola, Wisconsin. I was lucky to pick up a copy at Half-Price Books on Lane Ave. for 10 bucks a couple of years ago. Now all I have to do is find my dream '68!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    That's a good book. I have a copy.
  • billg_51billg_51 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info... I will do that. I'm also going to look into possibly a conversion from a Tempest if it would fit my budget. Just depending on what I would find. My dad was a mechanic and body man for some 30+ years and with his knowledge and what I have learned over the years in doing my own repairs on my family cars I shouldn't have much trouble. Oh I'm sure there wil be some hurdles to jump but I'll get through them with some professional assistance. My wife wants me to build from a kit or restore a 32 ford but I always wanted to own a Goat. A 67 Goat was almost my first car when I graduated from high school in 69 but bought a new 1970 Nova SS 350 CU. IN. instead. I sure wish I would have kept it. You know what I would be doing now.
    Again thanks for the insight. I'm planning on visiting a couple salvage yards just for kicks. I doubt I'll find anything but you just never know what you might stumble across.
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    As Mr Shiftright said, hemmings is a good source.
    Also check Year One for parts and information, they are the leading restoration company for muscle cars.

    I use them a lot.

    Another source of information is High Performance Pontiac. They have quite a few articles that may help.

    Also, be aware that some of the parts for Chevelles will fit the GTO. door handles, latches, some trim pieces, door hinges and that.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    You can do that if you want but you won't have a REAL GTO.

    As long as you are happy with the end result I guess that's all that matters.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    My reason for mentioning the Tempest option was not so much $$, it's the problem finding any decent GTO bodies. Now that Bill's mentioned he's handy both with mechanicals and with body work that's not as much of a concern.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,341
    Oh I hear you and I agree.

    He should just leave the GTO emblems off in that case and leave it a Tempest or a Le Mans.

    Finding ANY of these bodies may be a challenge.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    If the value for muscle cars takes a drop, you'd think some half-done restoration projects might come on the market, once the owners discover they're already upside down on their great "investment"!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Not all GTOs are that valuable. If it's just a hardtop coupe without tri-power and no desirable options, they shouldn't be very hard to find. There are as thick as flies out in California, with good bodies but many cobbled-up with aftermarket junk or just a bit too ratty for the price. And after 1967, the price drops a bit more. No reason you can't find a running and complete car under $10,000. Might not be pretty but it won't be junk either.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    When (if?) I get around to a project car, I'd want to start with a running one to avoid the "it just needs a battery/tuneup/fresh gas" bs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    My motto is: "If you can't drive it, buy it REAL cheap".
  • geargurlgeargurl Member Posts: 2
    I just found my first GTO and i need to convince my family that it is worth the is a 1967 hard top and i am not going to lie it needs a lot of work but do you think that it is worth $3500?
  • geargurlgeargurl Member Posts: 2
    How cheep is real cheep?
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,299
    Hard to tell without lots of info about the car (condition) and you (can you do the work?). What do you want to end up with? And, finally, how much are you willing to spend to fix it up?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Depends on how screwed up it is, how complete it is, if it has the right engine, which transmission it has, how rusted it is, etc. I can tell you that the only way to put money into a very needy car is to start from scratch and do it right, and this costs big bucks.

    If you had photos and more info, that would help.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724

    Personally, being mechanically and repair-ability challenged (and that's being kind, trust me), I'd rather "bite the bullet" and buy a car that's already done. Of course, that's easy for me to say when I'm spending someone else's money. LOL! But, I can't begin to tell you the number of old timers I've met in this hobby who have all told me to get a car that's "done". But, if you have the time, talent, tools and inclination (sadly, none of which I possess), I can also see the other side of the coin and the pride/satisfaction factor of doing it yourself.

    The link above is to a collector car dealer located in Springfield, Ohio who specializes in Corvettes. However, he carries other makes/models too. All of his stuff looks pretty nice and he typically has 1-2 GTO's in stock - though, at this moment, his GTO cupboard is bare.

    Speaking of a '65 Tempest, that's what I learned to drive when I was a kid. It was even a convertible too. But, by 1977, it was simply a "used car" and my Dad got rid of it. Gawd, how I wish I still had that car.
  • johnlang1johnlang1 Member Posts: 1
    My significant other has the shop manual from a dealership for both electrical and mechanical aspects of the 1967 GTO. He is computer illiterate and I am car illiterate, so I am sending this note for him. If you are interested, please e-mail me at [email protected] Thank you.
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