It seems that Bill Brunker was destined to become an engine builder and to own multiple '67 GTOs, as evidenced by the following story. The 46-year-old North Carolina-resident recently shared with us his most memorable exploit with his first Goat while growing up in Minnesota in the early '80s.
"After high school I blew up the engine. Then after putting it back together, I ran out of money and asked my dad to borrow his credit card for a new exhaust system before we started the new engine. He agreed. So after the engine was tuned and running, my buddy and I took off in the Goat headed for Duluth, just to put some miles on the new engine and more money on Dad's credit card. He was out of town; by the time he got his credit card back, I had racked up over $110 [in Reagan-era money] in premium gas charges.
"When that statement showed up and he saw how much gas I purchased in a week, he asked me to explain the charges. Of the $110, $90 showed up on the first statement. After hearing me out, he said, 'That damned car can't pass up a gas station! That's what GTO stands for-gas, tires, and oil.' He repeated it several times to make sure I got the point."
A few years later, Bill sold his Mariner Turquoise 400 H.O., four-speed GTO (with black vinyl top and interior) and moved to California, seeking fame and fortune as a race engine builder. As is true with most of us, he's regretted selling the GTO ever since.
"I landed my first racing job at Keith Black Racing Engines in South Gate," Bill recalls. Later, I headed back to Minnesota, where I worked for Doc Halladay on his Telstar funnycar. Over the next 12 years, I worked on nitro funnycars and top-fuel dragsters for some of the best teams in the business."
After seeing Joe Gibbs' NASCAR engine shop, I decided to move to the south. In 1999, Mark Cronquist, head engine builder at Joe Gibbs Racing, got me a job at the Dale Earnhardt engine shop, where I worked for the next 10 years."
With many years of professional race engine building and ownership of myriad other GTOs under his belt, memories of the '67 GTO he sold still haunted him. By 2003, Bill was on the hunt for another '67. He wasn't, however, looking to resurrect someone else's neglected rust bucket. Nor, surprisingly, was he looking for a racecar. He instead wanted a time machine-a low-mileage GTO that was all-original and hadn't been messed with.
While perusing a classic car classified mag at work, Chuck Jenckes, "one of the engineers, asked what I was looking for," Bill says. "A very nice, original '67 GTO," was his answer.
"Follow me to my office. I know just the person you need to talk to," Chuck said, and called up Jim Mattison of PHS Automotive Services, a long-time friend of his through GM. "After they spoke, he handed me the phone and I described to Jim my high school GTO. He said that he may not find the exact car, but he would help me locate one that was close to it," Bill says.
And so he did. On February 24, 2004, Bill purchased this Starlight Black 400 H.O., four-speed, 3.55 Safe-T-Track-equipped GTO, with just 20,377 miles on it, from C&S Classic Cars in Springdale, Arkansas. Aside from the go-fast goodies already mentioned, options included power steering, console, AM pushbutton radio, rear seat speaker, rear window defogger, rear center seatbelt, Deluxe wheel discs, and the ride and handling package.
Digging into its history, Bill learned that his GTO was built in the fourth week of May 1967 at the Framingham, Massachusetts, assembly plant and was delivered to Breitfeller's Sales in Queens, New York, where it was purchased by Mr. Robert Scott of Bergenfield, New Jersey, on July 22, 1967.
This stock 360-horse 400 looks nearly factory-fresh. That's because Charles at C&S detaile
According to owner Bill Brunker, his GTO retains 80 percent of its factory-applied code 19
Though its face has faded over the years, the vacuum gauge still works like a charm. When
Because the sizes of these reproduction Redline G70-14 Firestone Wide Ovals and 14x7 steel
Bill was told by C&S that Mr. Scott had a few requests for the dealer before he took delivery of his GTO. As the story claims, he had a Ram Air pan, air cleaner, and open-hood ornament added. An AM/FM radio replaced the AM unit, and Rally gauges were swapped in for the standard dials. Bill has been unable to locate the original owner to confirm this.
The WS-code, 4.12-bore 400 engine features the factory-installed cast (3.75-inch stroke) crank, rods, and pistons, an "068" cam with 288/302 degrees duration and 0.414/0.413 lift with 1.50:1 rockers. It also retains its 2.11/1.77-valved 670 heads, cast-iron dual-plane intake and H.O. free-flowing exhaust manifolds, a 750-cfm Q-jet (#7027263), and Delco points distributor.
When Bill got the GTO, it still had a few of its original exhaust components, but they were very rusty, so he upgraded to a new 2.25-inch system with Flowmaster mufflers. A wide-ratio (code FO) M20 Muncie four-speed takes the torque from the stock 10.4-inch clutch and delivers it to a (YH-code) 3.55 Safe-T-Track rear by way of the steel driveshaft.
Except for aftermarket shocks, which are soon to be changed to stock spiral units, the suspension remains stock from its 0.937-inch front swaybar to its 9.5-inch manual drum brakes. Some wear items, like the lower ball-joints and tie rods, were replaced over the years.
Though the body has been touched up in a few areas, according to Bill, it still retains 80 percent of its original paint and the engine has never been out.
The GTO has done well at the shows, earning a Concours Silver in 2009 from the GTOAA and a POCI-Survivor Gold at the same Co-vention. It also took First Place in the Survivor Class at the 2009 Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge event in Tennessee and the Bob Laidlein Award for Most Original at the 2007 Lowe's Motor Speedway Fall AutoFair.
Nearly three decades later, Bill can now look at his own credit card statement and remember the immortal words of his dad: "That's what GTO stands for-gas, tires, and oil." And despite $3 per gallon pump prices, that definition of the famed acronym suits him just fine.
This tag, replete with a date code, is affixed to the underside of the original carpet.
The gears are rowed by the factory-installed Hurst shifter, which juts from an optional co
Due to surface rust forming under the mat, C&S resprayed the trunk as well. A reproduction