Family friend, Joe Ellingburg restored the GTO over a 5-year period. Code 67 (R) Regimenta
Bob and Ginger's son Sam was born in 1973, and over the next few years the new dad's priorities changed. By 1975, Bob was once again considering trading in the GTO. Now that the Goat was 8 years old, he thought that a new Chevy might be a good idea. It wasn't. "After I got insulted again at the dealer, I just decided to keep the GTO," he says. "Once I reached the 15 year mark with it, I thought, 'It'll be a classic car in 10 more years, so I might as well keep it and enjoy it.' At the time, I had no concept of it being worth a lot of money as a collectable."
Bob wasn't the only one who had grown to love the GTO. Young Sam found it to be a perfect playmate for his friends and him, in the then-rural town of Madison, Mississippi. "Since Dad was driving a pickup to work at this point, the GTO stayed home," Sam tells HPP. "When the Dukes of Hazzard got popular, my friends and I used to pretend to jump bridges and run from the sheriff in the GTO. Since it was built before the days of steering-column locks, the wheel would turn, even when no key was in the ignition. I used to joke that Dad put the first 100,000 miles on the GTO and I put the second-in play miles."
Originally 400 cubic inches and 360 horsepower, this engine has been bored to 0.040 over a
Over the years, it had become apparent that the Pontiac was in the family to stay. With that in mind, Bob had some mild resto work done in the '80s. At one shop, the GTO was put outside and kids got into it and left the windows opened. It rained and damaged the original Parchment interior.
A few years later, the local Chevy dealership refurbished the body, replacing the tail panel with an NOS piece and the metal between the rear window and trunk. Then the GTO was repainted.
Another restoration began in 1994 and was completed in 1999. It was performed by family-friend Joe Ellingburg, who owned Classic Restoration and Body in Brandon, Mississippi, at the time.
Joe separated the body from the frame, chemically stripped the shell to bare metal, and began the repairs. There were mainly minor dings and a previously repaired dent in the left quarter that needed attention, but very little rust, according to him.
The Custom wheel covers are original and were restored by The Finishing Touch in Chicago.
The flanks were treated to a regimen of PPG epoxy-primer applications followed by block-sanding sessions. Once the body was straight, epoxy primer was applied again, followed by three coats of PPG Concept single-stage in red. Joe said he likes Concept because it has a hard, durable finish and provides a great foundation. He then wet blocked with 400 grit in the bad spots and used 600-1,000 grit over all, sanding most of the paint off before the next three-coat application. This process continued until all the waves were out.
Next came three coats of PPG Deltron Acrylic Urethane in Regimental Red, followed by two coats of clear, mixed 50/50 with color. Finally, the GTO was wet-sanded with 1,200 to 2,000 grit and buffed, cut with 2,000 grit again, buffed again, and polished with 3M products.
The chassis was restored to stock with fresh parts and was detailed to concours quality, as was the four-wheel 9.5-inch drum braking system. Joe says, "We worked hard to get the correct part numbers and date codes on everything for all the replacement parts that went in to the restoration." At the time, the engine was rebuilt as well, and bored 0.030 over.
Remember, this work was completed back in 1999, so just a couple of years ago, Joe, now at Clinton Body Shop, removed the front clip from the GTO to detail the engine compartment and the front suspension once again, prior to reinstalling the newly rebuilt original 400 H.O. engine.