Ed's 1966 GTO Restoration - Initial Restoration Work

Again, the  original plan was for me to do a quickie paint and body job over the summer of 1984, replace the interior carpet, and have a nice second GTO to drive around while I worked on the long term frame-off restoration of my '66 GTO hardtop. Well, I gave it the "old college try" back then, but got in way too deep, and then distracted for 15 years.....

This page covers the initial work before the long sabbatical.


After spending the winter as shown, it was time for the "quickie body and paint" job to commence in the spring of 1984.

First thing was to get a proper '66 front end back on the car, so I did that with leftover pieces I had lying around from my '66 hardtop.

Evidently, the old goat was a "field car" for a number of years, and as a result, the lower part of the car was rusted badly. This was quickly discovered when 1/2" thick pieces of body putty started falling off the lower quarters. So the rusted out lower quarters, and entire trunk floor were cut out. The lower front fenders, interior floorboards, front and rear window channels were patched with new metal.

The entire interior was hauled out (so much for the "quickie" carpet replacement), so the window channel and floorboard rust could be fixed.


At this point the "if I remove XXX, I can do a better job of YYYY" philosophy took over big time. The engine (which I had touched up in the car, in 1984) would now come out so the engine compartment (and engine) could be better detailed. Who is that greasy punk kid in the picture???

This cleaned up and repainted appearance was sadly temporary....

...for after a few weeks, a nasty paint chemical incompatibility showed up.....

...forcing me to strip the entire front end and start over again. At this point there was no turning back, we were now disassembling it down to the bone.

Why not go through the engine too while we're at it? So at the end of 1985, I checked out the entire engine (lower end was fine), and I gave the engine a "top end" rebuild, adding high compression heads, Ram Air IV cam, and the spare rebuilt '65 tripower unit I had lying around.


No work was completed in 1986 (women got in the way that year). Then in 1987, I got distracted by a certain black, non-Pontiac car, and went drag racing in NHRA Stock (and a bit in SuperStock) class for 15 years, while the GTOs waited.

NEXT: Recent Restoration Work

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