Kevin says it was a head-on photograph similar to this one, which appeared in an eBay ad,
Within weeks of getting the GTO home, Kevin began adding even more options, starting with a Judge spoiler, which was installed and painted by Superior Auto Body in St. Petersburg. "I also own a '69 Judge and always loved the look of its spoiler. Plus, a close friend with another '69 GTO convertible had just added a Judge spoiler to his car and it looked stunning. Since it's not a high-dollar Ram Air uber-rarity, I didn't see any harm in adding such a muscular-looking option to it. No one has objected to that addition yet, nor the rest of the options I've added since I've owned it, such as a hood tach, a sport steering wheel, an in-dash Rally clock, a walnut shift knob, and door-edge guards, as they were all correct '69 factory options," he says.
In January 2007, Kevin was returning from the annual Widetrack Warriors Pontiac car show in Orlando, Florida, when he noticed "oily residue on the firewall, the presence of severe blow-by via the vent tube, and a puddle of oil inside the air cleaner." Certain that the original 400's rings and seals had simply worn out, he decided it was time for a rebuild.
He pulled the engine and sent it to Pyramid Machine in St. Petersburg, where the company's techs trued the cylinder walls with a 0.030-overbore and stuffed the cast-iron block with a freshly polished original cast crank; CAT 6.625-inch connecting rods; and TRW cast pistons. They treated the No. 48 heads to an intake gasket-match; stainless-steel 2.11/1.77 valves; and 1.52:1 Comp Cams stamped-steel, roller-tipped rockers. During the rebuild, they also upgraded the Goat's original "067" cam to a hotter grind: a Comp Cams hydraulic flat-tappet with 218/224-degrees duration with 0.462/0.470-inch lift.
The code 534 Custom Floor Shift Knob (manual transmission only) makes a great addition to
Ignition still relies upon the GTO's original points-style distributor (code 1111970), but it's been upgraded with a Pertronix unit, a Mallory coil, reproduction date-coded Packard 7mm wires, and Autolite 86 spark plugs. The fuel system remains factory stock-a Rochester four-barrel carburetor still happily feeds the dual-plane, cast-iron intake.
Exhaust gases are expelled through original log manifolds (480602 left and 9776922 right) to a Gardner reproduction exhaust system, featuring 14-gauge aluminized steel, 2-inch head pipes, unequal-length mufflers, and 2 1/4-inch tailpipes, that is tipped with reproduction dual-exhaust extensions.
Fred installed a RAM 10.5-inch clutch during the GTO's restoration, and Kevin says it's worked flawlessly for the last five years. It transfers power to the original M20 four-speed, and then through a stock driveshaft mated to the original XH-code 3.55-geared Safe-T-Track rear end. The suspension features OE-style rubber bushings, Bilstein shocks, and the stock 1-inch front sway bar.
Kevin has shown his GTO, which he has nicknamed "Elvira," at five shows so far, all in Florida. For risking a flight to look at the GTO on the unluckiest of all days, he has had nothing but good luck at car shows, taking First Place awards five out of five times.
Nowadays on any given Friday the 13th, expect Kevin to be driving "Elvira" to local cruise-ins, or loading up with family and friends and heading to the beach with his gothic GTO. "The twist of fate definitely turned out suspiciously well for me," Kevin says. According to him, the classic black GTO turns heads and receives thumbs up wherever it goes. He enjoys driving it immensely.