An In­cred­i­ble Time Cap­sule

Muscle Car Review - - Content - By Scotty Lachenauer

An in­cred­i­ble time cap­sule

Kevin Beal has ev­ery Pon­tiac lover’s dream job, coown­ing and op­er­at­ing Ames Per­for­mance in Spof­ford, New Hamp­shire. He over­sees the largest Pon­tiac-only parts sup­ply house in the coun­try, cater­ing to Pon­cho en­thu­si­asts around the world. If you live and die by driv­ing Tin In­di­ans, chances are you have comes across Ames Per­for­mance on the hunt for those elu­sive parts and per­ti­nent pieces.

Kevin likes to mix his pas­sion for parts by also col­lect­ing great cars that have come out of GM’s per­for­mance di­vi­sions. For a few years now he has ad­ver­tised in his ex­ten­sive cat­a­log that he’s in­ter­ested in low-pro­duc­tion, low-mileage orig­i­nal cars to add to his col­lec­tion.

That ad has al­ready borne fruit. Through it, Kevin lo­cated the first Trans Am off the assem­bly line (“Forged From Fire,” May 2018). He then set his sights on find­ing a low-mileage, first-gen­er­a­tion GTO to add to his garage.

It was Kevin’s son Kyler who got the call. A man in the Mid­west said he had an orig­i­nal 1967 GTO that he had “pam­pered” since he picked it up at the deal­er­ship. With less than 10,000 miles on the odome­ter, and hav­ing never been through any sort of restora­tion, this time cap­sule sounded like it was ex­actly what they wanted for the col­lec­tion.

In Feb­ru­ary 2017, Kevin and Kyler made their way to snowy Michi­gan, trailer in tow, to get their prize. The trip through near­bliz­zard con­di­tions was well worth it, as the GTO was ev­ery­thing the owner said it was and then some. The Goat was loaded up and care­fully brought back to New Hamp­shire, where it went on dis­play at Ames Per­for­mance.

One Goal

The story of this Goat starts way back in the early 1960s. The first owner was a kid on a mis­sion at an early age. He wishes to re­main anony­mous. He says, “I started work­ing when I was 10, do­ing a pa­per route. I saved all that money with one goal: get­ting a cool hot rod to call my own.”

His brother was do­ing the same, work­ing odd jobs and sav­ing his money, both with the same in­tent of buy­ing a hot GM of­fer­ing from De­troit.

At 16 he bought his first car, a Mor­ris Mi­nor, for $100, which would serve him well over the years. A year later the time had come to pur­chase a new car. His brother had re­cently gone to the lo­cal Pon­tiac dealer to scout a GTO, and he soon found him­self at the same dealer look­ing for his dream car.

He, too, be­came quite smit­ten with the 1967 GTO, though he had a list of things he wanted for his Goat. First, he wanted a dark green car, so he cus­tom-or­dered Sher­wood Green (code 36), which was an avail­able Cadil­lac color. The deal­er­ship obliged, and that started a short run­down of nec­es­sary op­tions and dele­tions for our young owner.

“I got the per­for­mance dif­fer­en­tial, the Safe-T-Track, with 3.36 gears, a Hurst­shifted four-speed, and did not get power any­thing, as I did not want to rob power from the en­gine,” says the owner. The only other op­tions were an AM ra­dio, Rally gauges, Soft Ray glass, and a set of Rally II wheels.

Be­cause he was only 17, he had to get an adult (his 20-year-old brother) to sign off

“In 50 years the car racked up a measly 9,820 miles”

on the deal, which he paid for in cash. His brother also picked out a GTO for him­self, nearly iden­ti­cal in op­tions (ex­cept for the color), and paid in cash as well! His brother’s choice for skin tone was Mariner Turquoise Metal­lic topped with a roof painted glossy black.

The next is­sue was where to store the car, as our owner didn’t want his GTO out in the el­e­ments. His mother’s car al­ready oc­cu­pied the one-bay garage at home, so he had to think fast. His brother lo­cated a three-car garage with just one bay oc­cu­pied. A pair of el­derly sis­ters owned the build­ing, and they were will­ing to rent out the two spa­ces to the broth­ers. The only prob­lem was that it was 5 miles away from home. So the Mor­ris Mi­nor was used to shut­tle back and forth. The owner fig­ured it was a small price to pay to have his dream car safe and sound.

Since his brother owned a nearly iden­ti­cal Goat, it was only nat­u­ral that the two would take them to the out­skirts of town and pit them against each other. “It was al­ways neck-and-neck. I mean, there was re­ally no dif­fer­ence be­tween the two cars,” states the owner.

How­ever, one day our owner de­cided he needed to try some­thing dif­fer­ent. He bought a “sneaker” ex­haust by­pass and in­stalled it with­out telling his brother. “That gave me the slight­est edge, and I pulled away from him on our next drag race.”

The Easy Life

The GTO lived a quiet life over the next few years. The owner ended up buy­ing his mother’s house, and built a nice twocar garage to house his prized GTO. The Pon­cho was taken out spar­ingly, and in the win­ter it was put up on 10-ton jack­stands and run reg­u­larly to keep it fresh. He also used avi­a­tion gas in the car, as his brother had a pi­lot’s li­cense, and the go-juice was avail­able for the tak­ing. In 50 years of own­er­ship, the car racked up a measly 9,820 miles.

Af­ter all that time the owner de­cided that the car needed to be passed on, as his fam­ily just wasn’t in­ter­ested in mus­cle cars. Of course, it had to go to the right kind of car guy, and he knew that Kevin Beal would care for it the way he him­self had for the last half-cen­tury.

The stun­ning GTO con­tin­ues to lead a tran­quil life sit­ting with other rare GM mus­cle in the Ames lobby, pre­served for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to ad­mire.

n This win­dow plac­ard was used to in­di­cate the day the carwould be de­liv­ered. It can be seen in the vent win­dow in thephoto of the car sit­ting in the deal­er­ship park­ing lot the day the owner picked up the GTO. n In a photo dated Oc­to­ber 1967, this GTO is parked with the owner’s brother’s GTO, painted Mariner Turquoise and with a black glossy roof.

The 1967 GTOs were avail­able in three body styles. The hard­top (pic­tured) was the most pop­u­lar at 65,176 sold. Pon­tiac went on to sell 9,517 con­vert­ibles, fol­lowed by 7,029 post coupes.

Fac­tory spe­cial-or­der paint jobs came with a quart of touch-up paint. With it here are the GTO’s orig­i­nal assem­bly-line tags; the one on the left des­ig­nates this as a spe­cial-paint ve­hi­cle.

n Though this GTO is re­mark­ably orig­i­nal, one thing the first owner did was mod­ify the ex­haust sys­tem, adding “cheater” pipes to get the edge on his brother. They exit un­der the car, which the owner liked bet­ter be­cause that way he wouldn’t get any un­sightly soot around thetips or bumper.

n With south of 10,000 miles on the odome­ter, this Goat has been ba­bied since the day it came home. Only the hoses and belts have been re­placed. The buyer did re­move the orig­i­nal ra­di­a­tor cap and master cylin­der reser­voir cover so they wouldn’t cor­rode, but re­placed them be­fore sell­ing the car.

n This car rides on its orig­i­nal F70-14 Fire­stone red­line tires. Yes, the ones put on at the fac­tory. They are still in good shape, with no vis­i­ble dry rot and still hold­ing air. The Rally II wheels are orig­i­nal to the car as well, and have never been touched up.

n Some 1968 parts showed up on 1967 GTOs built late in the model year, as this one was. The wooden shift knob, for ex­am­ple, was new for 1968 but orig­i­nal to this car. The op­tion cost $3.96—money well spent!

n The in­te­rior on this car is noth­ing less than stun­ning. It shows lit­tle or no wear any­where. Even the card­board assem­bly-line floor mats are still with the car!

n All the orig­i­nal fac­tory mark­ings are eas­ily vis­i­ble in the pris­tine en­gine bay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.