The bumpers were rechromed...
The bumpers were rechromed at NuChrome in Falls River, Massachusetts, as were the tail panel and taillight and headlight bezels.
Both the current owner and...
Both the current owner and restorer think the black Morrokide upholstery is original. It was removed, cleaned, and reinstalled during the restification. The carpet, however, is new from Ames, as is the dashpad and rear panels.
Pontiac's optional Rally gauges...
Pontiac's optional Rally gauges were comprehensive for '65, and this GTO came with them.
There is plenty to be said for having things just the way you want. Satisfaction is guaranteed, you're the envy of your friends, and life is just better all around. So when Frank Platt decided that he wanted a '65 GTO convertible, in the back of his mind lurked the idea of creating the '65 GTO he had desired since he was 20 years old.
In fact, Frank owned a new '65 Goat back then, but it was a post model with a four-barrel, and his tastes gravitate more towards a Tri-Power convertible with a few other accoutrements. Of course, his wallet was ten sizes smaller than his aspirations, and to add insult to injury, his '65 post coupe was sold out from under him by his father due to a "speeding indiscretion," Frank tells HPP.
Fast-forward a few decades and the HPP time machine lands at 2002, and 58-year-old Frank, now a successful New York attorney, is trolling for a Goat on the Hemmings Web site. His search lands on a Nightwatch Blue '65 drop-top from New Mexico, and at this stage in his life, he has the financial security to bankroll his automotive dream. "I paid someone to inspect the car for me," Frank recalls. "The guy sent me a bunch of pictures and told me not to buy the GTO because it needed too much restoration. I ignored the advice and bought it for the asking price anyway."
Frank describes his find as a "40-footer: It had a leaky gas tank and dead battery when it arrived." Its interior was in good shape, the body was fair, and the top was frayed and white when it should have been black, but it was a factory Nightwatch Blue '65 GTO with the original 389 four-barrel engine backed by a four-speed, and it had a set of Rally gauges and a Custom Sports wood wheel.
Once it was running, Frank resigned himself to cruising in the GTO and made weekly visits to the Bear Mountain car show near his home in New City, New York. It was at his first show that he met restorer Dean Mastrangelo of Valley Cottage, New York. Dean checked out the GTO and warned Frank that it had a steering problem (the bolts fell out of the rag joint and chewed it up), and the Pontiac really shouldn't be driven that way. Little did Frank know that this chance meeting would lead to a three-year, body-off restomod buildup for his arrowheaded suntan machine.
It started simply enough. First, Frank asked Dean to fix the steering. Then he asked if Dean could install power steering and power brakes. Finally, it was decided to go all-out with the GTO. If that were to be the case, Frank was going to build this one the way he wanted: a mild modified with concours credentials.
According to Dean, thanks to its Southwest upbringing, the body required very little metalwork aside from replacing some poorly installed lower quarter patches done by a previous owner.