1970 Pontiac GTO
Born in October 1963 as a $295 option package, the Pontiac
GTO put a 389-cubic-inch V8 in a Pontiac Tempest/LeMans body, and is considered
to be the first factory-built "Muscle Car." The GTO was produced
from 1964 through 1974, when high insurance rates and emmisions regulations
forced the dropping of its legendary horsepower down to a meager 200 h.p.
John Z. DeLorean, then a Pontiac chief engineer, gave the
GTO its name by appropriating the Italian racing designation Gran Turisimo
Omologato, a name associated with Ferrari. Pontiac expected to sell 5,000
1964 GTOs, but demand skyrocketed and GM built 32,540. Sales reached a high
of 96,946 GTOs in 1966.
Starting in 1966 the GTO went from being a package option
to its own model and remained that way until 1971. In 1970 the GTO underwent
a major design change that stayed with until 1973 when the front end was
changed due to government safety regs concerning bumpers. In 1972, due to
declining sales, the GTO reverted back to being an option package on the
LeMans and Lemans Sport, costing just $353.88.
The Judge was designed to help boost 1969 GTO sales, and its
popularity carried the new model into the 1970 model year. Unfortunately,
sales of all GTOs started to slide; only 3,635 Judge hardtops and 162 convertibles
were sold, and total 1970 GTO sales of 40,149 units were down from '69.
The '70 GTO was mildly facelifted and, mechanically, they were as strong
as ever. The economy two-barrel 400 engine was dropped, but a 360-horsepower
455-cubic-inch with an amazing 500 lb.-ft. of torque was added. Extra-beefy
12-bolt rear ends were mandatory when the 455 was ordered. The 455 wasn't
offered on The Judge until late in the model year, so only 14 hardtops and
three convertible Judges were built with the 455.
Back from the dead, this old Goat has re-entered the ranks
of "The Great One's". This muscle-car resto was a complete, rag-top
to bottom, frame-off project.
There was not a lot of customization on this project. The
object was to bring the car back to stock condition with a few upgrades.
We rebuilt the original 400 cubic-inch motor, TH-400 trans, and 10-bolt
rear. We rebuilt the motor ourselves and added an Edelbrock carb and intake
manifold, Hooker headers, and a Crane Fireball ignition system to give the
American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels a bit more power to play with. The Turbo-400
trans was rebuilt by Jet Performance.
Original Parts Group and Frank's Pontiac were the sources
for most of the restoration parts that made this restoration possible.
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA.,
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services
and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.