Next, the front clip and suspension came off the car for a good detailing, while the frame received Eastwood Chassis Black in the spots Dave could reach. After the work underneath, he reinstalled the underpinnings. Looking the GP over, you'll find 14x7 Rally II's wrapped with G70x14 Firestone narrow whitewalls at all four corners, 10.9-inch power discs, stock springs and Delco shocks in front and 9.5-inch drums and stock springs in back. The '69 rides on a cloud thanks to the rear factory Automatic Level Control air-ride system with AC Delco air shocks.
When purchased, the GPSJ was...
When purchased, the GPSJ was missing the A/C brackets and compressor, and the Automatic Level Control air ride pump. A quick trip to a salvage yard and a swap meet turned most of the woes into wows. Met's Auto Supply in Mansfield, Ohio, worked its magic to get the 428's 370hp heart beat like new.
With the chassis worked out, the 428 engine was next. Upon its removal, Dave found the original body color paint on the firewall-Castillian Bronze-a "special paint" hue that cost $12.64 in 1969. The factory 428, 370-horse powerplant (a 390hp H.O. was optional that year) was treated to a stock rebuild by a previous owner with a 0.030 overbore and other machine work performed by Met's Auto Supply in Mansfield, Ohio. For that reason, only exterior engine detailing was required.
This engine features a Q-jet carb on a cast-iron dual-plane intake manifold. The heads are casting number 62 and are fitted with 2.11/1.77 valves. Rated compression ratio is 10.5:1. An 066 grind cam with 273/282 degrees duration and 0.410/0.414 lift was used by Pontiac, but a hotter 068 cam with 288/302 degrees duration was installed during the rebuild. The XF-code 428 four-bolt main block is home to a cast crank, rods, and pistons. Ignition is Delco single-point, and the exhaust is handled by standard log manifolds and dual pipes and mufflers. Replacement parts were employed where needed, and aside from the overbore and cam upgrade, no other specs were altered from stock in the process. Even the original M40 Turbo 400 transmission and 3.23 rear were untouched.
The insides of the aircraft-inspired...
The insides of the aircraft-inspired cockpit were replenished by Mansfield Seat Cover of Mansfield, Ohio. The only real wear and tear was on the carpet and seat covers. Everything else has been left alone.
The GP was reassembled and shown with its "as purchased" red paint until 2002. In that year, David started an on-the-frame restoration using PHS documentation as a guide. It was on the frame because David says, "The underside was immaculate and the body mount bushings were still soft and not dry rotted." The SJ was stripped to bare metal for a repaint, when a discovery was made. It had been in an accident several years ago and the left rear quarter-panel was in pretty rough shape thanks to an improper repair. This entire panel would need to be replaced, so Dave drove more than 900 miles to retrieve one he uncovered in Tennessee. The new panel was installed, and he then spent his available time over the next several months working on the body before the entire car was covered in three coats of Sherwin Williams' primer and three coats of PN U7-3426 Castillian Bronze made by the same manufacturer-no wet-sanding in between. Next, three coats of SW's clearcoat were applied with a 1,500-2,000-grit wet-sanding used to smooth everything out to a show-quality finish.
Attention was then turned toward the interior. Ames provided a new carpet and seat covers for the black knit and Morrokide bucket seats, while Mansfield Seat Cover of Mans-field, Ohio, stretched the stock-like material over the original seat frames. Mansfield then signed on to replace the Cordova top. Everything else-the aircraft-inspired dash, the AM-FM radio and 8-track (mounted behind the console), and the Rally gauges-were still in excellent condition.
In early 2004, Dave completed the SJ with help from Mike Kelley, and he was ready to present it to the Pontiac hobby. Out of the gate, his (as he calls it) "luxury man's musclecar" picked up a First in Class in the Grand Prix class at the Ames Performance Pontiac Nats in 2005. Pretty good for an undesired Pontiac!
Dave's not stopping here, though. The POCI member is contemplating a future body-off and perhaps purchasing a '67-'69 Firebird for his wife. Who knows, maybe he'll find another "unwanted" Poncho soon. Nevertheless, DeLorean would be proud of how his vision has endured through this '69 Grand Prix SJ.