Mike and Shelly Stuck, St. Charles, MO
My wife, Shelly, and I are the very proud owners of this '62 Pontiac Grand Prix. I have always been a Pontiac fan, having owned a '77 Firebird Esprit, an '89 Grand Am with the Quad-4 engine, and a '95 Bonneville.
We purchased our most recent Pontiac from a friend in 2005. It was in good overall condition but missing the front clip, motor, and transmission. There wasn't much rust in the usual areas and the frame was solid, but there was a crease on the driver's side between the door and the rear wheelwell. Included in the deal were an NOS hood and the patch panel for the crease.
I started the body-off restoration in my garage and did much of it myself. This was my first restoration; I learned a lot during the process, including patience. I had to fabricate a few things and weld in the patch panel (my first welding job). Lucky for me, my father-in-law is atool-and-die maker; he was there to teach me the ropes. In the process, I also learned about auto wiring, bodywork, paint, upholstery, and the fact that things don't always go as they should. Sometimes the simplest tasks take the longest.
Everything on the car is either new, NOS, or rebuilt, with the exception of some specialty fasteners, which were media-blasted and/or painted. I acquired parts from all over the country, as there aren't many parts sources for this Big-Car. The passenger fender was from Michigan, the driver's fender and a parts car came from Texas, and I bought many parts off eBay.
Our first-year GP has a rebuilt '69 400 bored 0.030 over, reproduction long-branch exhaust manifolds from RARE, a completely rebuilt '66 Tri-Power from local Pontiac club member Jon Havens, a rebuilt Turbo 400 from Accurate Transmissions in Arnold, Missouri, and a 3.42 Safe-T-Track that was assembled with all new components from friend Mike Schiele.
I installed a new 8-inch, dual-diaphragm power booster and master cylinder, all new shocks and springs, and stainless steel brake and fuel lines. I added factory A/C, the famous Pontiac 8-Lug wheels, and a few other options that the car did not have originally (trunk light, seatbelts, and dual fender mirrors). All the glass and frames are new. The interior was completely redone with a layer of Dynamat, followed by new carpet, seat upholstery, door hardware, door panels, headliner, and visors.
The exterior color choice is non-Pontiac: Patriot Blue and Sophia White on top to match the interior. My Grand Prix is always covered and in the garage when we're not driving it. We enjoy going to car shows and cruises, and just driving it around town. The stares and thumbs-up we get give us a wonderful feeling.
I'm very proud of my accomplishment and pleased with the outcome of my first body-off restoration.
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