The Law of Attraction is the idea that like attracts like. If you have positive thoughts, positive things will happen. If you have negative thoughts, negative things will happen.

Taking that a step further, there is also the idea that if you concentrate hard enough on something you want to happen, it will. (This isn’t the same as wishing, which is just hoping.) In this case you imagine what it feels like to already have the item in hand and what it feels like to own it, or you have already achieved the situation you want to be in and what that feels like.

You may believe the Law of Attraction is real, or you may dismiss it as psycho-babble. Regardless, this law may have been at work with Mike Zito, the director of operations of a major trucking company in Staten Island, even if he didn’t recognize it at the time.

He had wanted a GTO since he first laid eyes on one at 10 years old, when an employee of his father’s company bought one. As the years passed, Mike’s resolve and desire grew stronger, but he waited patiently for his wallet to catch up.

Finally everything fell into place. During a visit to his aunt’s house in 2002, Mike remarked that he would love to find and purchase a ’66 GTO. Her response was not what anyone would have expected. She said, “The man who rents my garage has a ’66 GTO that he keeps in there.” The Law of Attraction at work, or simply a coincidence?

In the garage was a ’66 Tri-Power four-speed GTO convertible, and its owner turned out to be Joe Portagallo of the Richmond County Pontiac Association (RCPA). Longtime HPP readers will remember that club co-founders Joe Portagallo and Ed Burns have both had Pontiacs featured in HPP over the years.

Mike contacted Joe, and even though the ’66 was not for sale, the men became fast friends. Mike now had an active local Pontiac club to join once he found his Goat.

Finally he did in 2004, when an ad in Old Car Buyers Market magazine led to the purchase of the ’67 you see here. Mike made the trip to Minnesota to check it out. It had been about 85 percent restored when he saw it. The bodywork and paint had been completed and the engine rebuilt, but it still needed suspension and brake work.

Originally sold at Hallberg Pontiac-Buick in Elk River, Minnesota, this GTO had a sticker price of $3,947.46, which included $702.71 worth of options. As Pontiac delved into the visceral driving experience (and marketing) for all the senses of the performance-minded consumer in the ’60s, the GTO features a four-speed trans, Safe-T-Track rear, Wonder Touch power steering, and the Rally Gauge package, among other options. Mike was sold.

Engine And Drivetrain

The original code-WT 400ci engine produced 335 hp at 5,000 rpm and features a cast bottom end, 670 heads with 2.11/1.77 valves and 1.5:1 rockers, a Q-jet on a cast-iron intake, a Delco points distributor, and log-type exhaust manifolds.

Though the engine originally came with an 067 cam, Mike installed an 068 H.O. for more oomph and had the compression lowered from 10.75:1 to run better on pump gas. Ahead of the optional Muncie four-speed is a modern Centerforce clutch to ensure all the torque makes it back to the 3.55-geared rear. Mike then completely rebuilt the suspension to stock specs, except for urethane swaybar bushings, and rebuilt the 9.5-inch drum-brake system, before hitting the streets.

On the Road

According to Mike, one of the pleasures of driving his GTO is the pull of First gear as the 400 builds velocity from a standstill up into the sweet spot of the rev range. With the H.O. cam, now its even better than before.

“I just like driving the car,” he says. Who wouldn’t? The GTO delivers performance every bit as solid, responsive, and strong as promised in the PMD press releases of days gone by.

Conclusion

This GTO currently has a paltry 57,000 original miles (1,325 per year) and has been sheltered for nearly all of its life, yet when the RCPA membership travels to different venues around the tri-state area, Mike always enjoys participating with his Pontiac. As he puts it, “The friends, the shows, the trophies, and traveling with my GTO are all ingredients that make for truly special times.”

Speaking of trophies, in addition to a prominent place on the RCPA annual calendar year in and year out, this GTO has garnered numerous awards in many states, but perhaps the most important accolade is the admiration of a great many people in our hobby. Mike takes the time to talk to the people at the shows who ask him questions and he knows that it is important to keep the hobby “flame” burning and have something to hand off to the next generation.

Was it the Law of Attraction at work, or simply a coincidence that led Mike to make a new friend who happened to store the same GTO he wanted in his aunt’s garage, and who happened to have started a Pontiac club that allows Mike to enjoy the ’67 GTO he found with great friends?

Who knows? Who cares? Mike got what he desired and we get to present it to you…it’s a win/win.

Mike sends thanks to his mother and father-in-law, Jack’s Autobody of Staten Island, Vito Tocco, and all the members of RCPA (richmondcountypontiac.com) for their help.