Very few '67 GTOs were produced in Plum Mist, this gorgeous and rare color, but Bill Kirk of Canton, Mississippi, had to have this one. His plan didn't stop there, however. He wanted a Ram Air ragtop loaded with options, but since these Goats are so scarce-only 56 Ram Air convertible '67 GTOs were built-Bill realized that finding such a Pontiac in a rare color was very unlikely. Instead, he decided to purchase a nicely-optioned, uniquely-hued, numbers-matching '67 335-horse drop-top four-speed GTO and build it into his version of a Ram Air dream car. By adding a factory Ram Air pan and exhaust manifolds, and other rare options, his Pontiac has become "plum mystifying."
It takes desire and determination to build a Pontiac like this, and Bill is no stranger to the allure of PMD's finest. Previously, he was a GM factory rep (Did you notice the manufacturer's plates? He is especially proud of those as they aren't easy to get without "connections.") and has been, according to him, "infected with the Pontiac virus since he was 12."
Not many '67 GTOs were factory painted Plum Mist. Add in the convertible top, four-speed,
A Family Tradition
It began when his father purchased a Catalina "brass hat" two-door hardtop in 1962. Bill's first Pontiac experience came as a newborn when his parents took him home from the hospital in the back seat of a Reef Turquoise '66 Catalina station wagon. By the age of 12, with constant exposure to Pontiacs, he "began to realize how neat they really were." Model-car building became, and still is, his hobby and he built all of the Pontiac kits available at the time.
Bill's interest in Pontiacs grew as he did. His older brother purchased a Regimental Red '67 GTO convertible for daily transportation while he was in college (must be something to that family tradition thing). Bill said, "Occasionally, I would be treated to a top-down ride, which is where I learned what GTOs were all about."
In high school, Bill and his dad purchased a '67 GTO hardtop, which they repainted. It was later destroyed in an accident when another driver ran a yellow light and slammed into the back of the GTO. "My dad and I were both devastated, and he decided never to get involved in restoring cars again."
This GTO is built to reflect the options the current owner would have chosen in 1967.
For many years, there was a void that Bill needed to satisfy. When he finally purchased his first car in 1985, it was a '65 Bonneville convertible. In September 1986, Bill bought a '66 Montero Red Grand Prix, which was later shown in HPP (Feb. '90) as part of a historical feature on GPs. When that Pontiac was subsequently destroyed in September 1990 by a drunk driver, Bill decided it was time to look for another GTO.
Finding "The Great One"
After many calls and many cars, he finally found this one advertised at Hemmings Motor News and purchased it in November 1990 from Bruce Bethel of Bethel's Goat Farm. Bill knew that from this source the Pontiac would be "as advertised" and have the correct parts. He especially wanted this color.
Since the California emissions system is so rare, parts are difficult to find. Though not
Bill adds that, "Plum Mist was originally slated as a standard color for the '66 model year, but was changed to a special-order color. In 1967, GM decided to make it a standard color (code M) at no extra cost. It was not widely accepted, however, and in 1968 was replaced by Verdoro Green."
This GTO was factory-equipped with the base 335hp 400 engine, four-speed manual transmission, Walnut shift knob (code 524), wood-grain steering wheel (code 471), AM/FM radio (code 345) with reverb (code 352), factory Rally gauges (code 444), and California emissions, which included the A.I.R. equipment rarely seen today on any GTO.
Bill points out, "This Plum Mist ragtop was built in the third week of December 1966, probably a Christmas Eve vehicle. It was assembled at the Fremont assembly plant (code Z) in sunny northern California ... then shipped to Dexter Pontiac, a dealership in San Rafael, in January 1967."