Owning a vintage (1970) Pontiac GTO is about as good as it gets… except for:
- It drives like a 40 years old car.
- You’ll only drive it on nice sunny days, when it’s not too hot and not too cold – lets say some where between 60-65 degrees.
- That famous question: “Hey guy, nice car… wanna trade?” Ah, NO!
- Looking for a parking spot where the guy driving the rusted out ’84 pick-up won’t park next to you, just to door ding your classic ‘cuz he doesn’t have one and therefore you shouldn’t either. Who am I kidding – you can’t leave the dang car unattended.
- Insurance. Need I say more?
- Gas: $6.00 a gallon – no that’s not a typo.
- Gas: 4 miles to the gallon – maybe 4, if you keep your foot out of it and have a good tail wind.
- Your 15 year old son and daughter asking, “Hey dad, can I drive the GTO?” Ah, NO!
- There’s always something that either needs fixing or more likely improving.
- When driving it’s hard to pick your nose with everyone looking at you.
Only its not Monday…
So I never got around to updating how the GTO rebuild went. Well, like many things it was so much fun I decided to do it again! Actually, once I got it running and took it for a drive something didn't feel quite right. So, I got out my trusty pencil, calculator, and double check the numbers – crap!!!! O.K. it happens to all of us sooner or later(at least that's what I keep telling myself); turns out when I installed the cam, I was 3.5 degrees off. For most, its not that big of a deal – few guys out there take the time to properly degree their cam during installation. But for me, it wasn't right and there is only one way to fix it (fix it right anyway) – tear the engine back apart and get my head out of my rear! So for about I week or so that's just what I did and boy was it ever worth it!!! Guys/Girls – fellow hot rodders – there is no substitute for taking your time and checking your work. I checked the cam placement 5 times before buttoning it back up. It used to stumble a bit once the second 4 barrel kicked in, but now it just flat gets with it. Back in 1999 I purchased a Pontiac Firebird Formula – then one day 6 months or so later, my wife came home from work to find it in pieces all over the garage floor. Yeah, I couldn't leave it alone either. That was the fastest car I ever drove, which is why I got rid of it – just wasn't responsible enough at the time. Well I'm proud to say the ole goat reminds me of that car now. Considering the goat is giving up 500 lbs or so and 30 years of technology advancements that's saying something!
It's been awhile since my last post. I took a long weekend and spent the 3 1/2 days rebuilding the engine in my '70 GTO. It's a project thats been in the works since this past April, acquiring parts, figuring out what to do, etc. I finally teamed up with Bruce Fulper of Rock & Roll Engineering; he's been building Pontiac engines with amazing results for quite awhile. Bruce seems to be a pretty cool cat, always eager to lend some advice.
Anyway, after becoming tired of mixing fuel and plotting trips, airport to airport looking for 110+ octane to keep the goat happy, I caved. Bruce spec'd out a custom cam and reworked a set of cast iron heads for me to lower the compression in the ole 400. I know, I know – but this is right up Bruce's alley. Added to the mix is an Offy 2X4 intake with a pair of Edelbrock 750's, a MSD 6AL box and their Ready-to-Run distributor – I'm using a progressive linkage on the dual carb setup.
So after three very long days, she finally roared to life last night and sounded great. I still have some tweaking to do, timing, carb adjustments, figuring out the throttle linkage, etc, but it's been a blast. Hopefully I'll wrap-up this stuff tonight and take it out for a seat-of-the-pants run. Stay tuned.