Two coats of PPG DP50 primer were laid down and block-sanded until the body was straight. It was sealed with Sikkens sealer, and three coats of PPG Deltron Urethane in Admiralty Blue were applied. A progression of 1,500- and 2,000-grit paper was used to wet-sand the finish before it was finally polished off with Farecla G3 compound and G10 polish. Ron ordered restoration decals from Stencils and Stripes Unlimited in the original blue and dark blue hues. All of the exterior metal trim pieces are original.
Once the outside was taken care of, Fred turned his attention inward. Everything had to go with the exception of the dash, console, and seatbelts. Just Dashes restored the console and dash back to like-new condition, and Ssnake-Oyl restored the seatbelts. Then the seat covers, front seat foam, carpet, headliner, trim, door panels, and some gauges were ordered from Classic Industries. With the fresh parts installed, the interior was screaming red!
Underneath, the control arms and sway bars are stock, and the springs, shocks, and all the wear items were replaced with reproduction parts. With the debut of Radial Tuned Suspension for '74, spring rates, shock valving, and bushing firmness were dialed in to work with radial tires.
Another change was the rear swaybar diameter. While the front remained at 1.25 inches, the rear was reduced from 0.875 for '73 to 0.812 inch. The original 15x7 Rally II wheels now wear 225/70R15 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. Behind the wheels sit rebuilt 11-inch power front disc brakes and 9.5-inch rear drums.
With the rest of the car completed, the 455 engine was sent off to Fleet Star and Central Florida Machine and Speed in Winter Garden. There, the all-original engine was torn down for a rebuild. The block was bored 0.030 over to 4.180 inches and filled with flat-top forged TRW/Speed Pro pistons. The 140,000-mile mill received new bearings; a high-volume oil pump; refurbished, original 6.625-inch cast connecting rods; and a 4.210-inch stroke nodular-iron crankshaft. The cam is an "067" replacement with 273/289-degrees duration and 0.410/0.414 lift that bumps 2.11/1.66 valves in 4X heads via pushrods and 1.50:1 rockers. The original #7044262 Q-jet was rebuilt to stock and bolted to the factory #495106 cast-iron intake, and the ignition was upgraded to HEI. Factory log manifolds dump into a 2.5-inch exhaust system with twin GM replacement mufflers.
Both the rearend and code-PZ Turbo-400 transmission are original to the car. The Safe-T-Track rear came with 3.08 gears (code GYG) since the T/A has A/C, but it now has a set of 3.73 gears, and the transmission was rebuilt with a shift kit.
Believe it or not, the roof...
Believe it or not, the roof and rear quarters were transplanted from a wrecked '74 Ron
found in a Florida junkyard.
Fleet Star and Central Florida...
Fleet Star and Central Florida Machine and Speed did an excellent job of bringing the 455 D-port engine back to stock appearance and performance. Ron was displeased with the '73 regulations that closed off the shaker scoop, so he had his opened up.
Just Dashes revived the console...
Just Dashes revived the console and dash to like-new condition. Nearly every part of the interior was replaced with pieces from Classic Industries, including a few of the gauges.
In this case, a very good thing came to Ron after he waited and worked 17 years to get it. His T/A was completed in mid-2009. "I have to thank my wife because she was my support system throughout the project," Ron, now 47, says. Rebuilding a car from such a poor state can be very frustrating, but he couldn't be happier with the way it came out. He enjoys driving it on dates with his wife and to church. He also has taken it out with his 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
Ron saved this T/A from being destroyed, and slowly and methodically built it into an eye-popping, yet easily drivable Pontiac. Ron's '74 455 T/A with its funky color combo now has a new life-it just took a while.