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About this blog

Just a way to get to know me and my passion of cars....

Entries in this blog

67gtonut

Well..... it is done....

Pretty Master is out.... more functional for my purposes in....

Slightly more braking force, but still not enough to lock wheels..... will have to rebleed again...

More travel in pedal, which I wanted

I can now fill master properly

 

 

 

 

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67gtonut

Well, the weather finally broke today..... and I decided to at least get GTO set-up to make next change....

This will be another chapter in upgrading brakes....

Car was originally a 4 wheel manual drum car..... that was quickly changed years ago to what was basically a 1970 Front Disc setup.... still no power assist. Result was not acceptable, but I drove it for a few years like that. What was wrong is that I used a 7/8" bore master cylinder which came recommended by most forums/threads/project threads to be the proper size. Well...... although a 7/8" master will put out plenty of pressure, it lacked pushing enough fluid volume for the big piston front disc brake calipers, result was a mushy pedal that in the end did not deliver enough braking force.

After a few years of driving it that way.... and a few close calls. I made the decision and broke down and added a power booster for added stopping force. Now everywhere I read says that with Power Brakes.... go up to a 1 1/8" Master cylinder bore. Plenty of fluid flow and although gives less pressure, that will be made up by the booster. So that is what I installed ..... a 9" Booster and a Wilwood 1 1/8" Master. Result: Car stops VERY well now, but still wont lock brakes, so there is still more improvement to be had.Plus the pedal is very hard with very little movement.  The other issue is, the Wilwood Master is a beautiful piece but is really not designed to work with a Power Booster since on a GM car the booster makes the whole setup angle upward. With the design of the Wilwood master, you cannot fill up the reservoirs past halfway. After speaking to a Wilwood rep, he agrees, their masters are better suited for manual brakes where the installation is horizontal. But I drove it this way for a few years keeping an eye on the fluid level.

But now its time to give me a little piece of mind and replace the Wilwood master with a normal GM/Delco master that I can fill up properly. I am also going to go down from the 1 1/8"   to a 1" bore master. This should give more pressure then the 1 1/8" master but still give me enough flow to work with the GM Disc caliper setup. This should also soften the pedal up a little to allow for more modulation under spirited driving....

So this afternoon I setup car on my lift and got her ready for surgery tomorrow....

 

 

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67gtonut

Well.....  I am quite excited. I guy emailed me last year that he was writing a book about muscle cars and was interested in photos of my GTO. So I emailed him quite a few photos, and then pretty much forgot about it, thinking it was either a joke, or I didnt make the cut.

He emailed me tonight, and said my car made the book. So I ran out to Barnes and Noble and bought it.....

I am pretty stoked...

https://www.amazon.com/Detroit-Muscle-Factory-Lightweights-Purpose-Built/dp/161325301X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510885602&sr=8-1&keywords=detroit+muscle

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67gtonut

Labor Day Weekend

If you do not have plans..... and you enjoy cars, there are 2 great 50's 60's "car parties .....

One is Lead East at the Hilton in Parsippany.... but the one I am going to be at this year is the

Dead Man's Curve show at the Sheraton in Mahwah

http://deadmanscurveusa.com/main/current-events/

https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://deadmanscurveusa.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Tri-Fold-Brochure-08-15-17.pdf&hl=en

 

Starts Thursday at Noon and runs nearly 24hrs till Sunday night...

Cars, Music, Food, Vendors, etc....

 

Weather permitting I will be there Thur to Sat night....

If you come.... look for me and stop by....

 

67gtonut

Figure I would do a current entry....

I have been dealing with a No Start, No Crank Issue at times with the car. Seems to happen after longer drives, obviously with everything getting heat soaked under hood....

I would go to leave a Cruise Night and I would get NOTHING...... when it happened last year 2-3 times, there was not even a click from the starter. I already had a Powermaster Mini Starter, but I bit the bullet and bought a new one, and sent the old one back to Powermaster to have it rebuilt. 

Fast forward to this year...... thinking I had the problem solved. I went to a cruise night in Flemington 2 weeks ago.... 90+ min drive. Got there, started to rain.....  went to leave after about an hour and No Start, No Crank....... crap.  After a few minutes like always, it cranked fine and I headed home. Pulled into the garage, turned it off and tried to restart..... Click...... crap.

Frustrated, I headed into the house and would deal with it in the morning. Well, as usual, it started fine in the morning, but I check battery voltage.... 13.2v sitting, and only dropped to 10.5v while cranking, not bad for a 15+-year-old Optima Battery. So I felt battery was not the issue. I highly doubt the new starter was an issue. It was time to look in other directions..... wiring and grounds...

Well, I removed the positive cable that runs from Battery to Starter..... this was a nice fancy Steel Braided 4ga battery cable. Well, it looked like hell now, with plenty of green corrosion coming through the steel braiding, plus I found upon searching..... 4ga wire might be good for today cars, but will not carry enough amps for older muscle cars with larger engines. 

So instead of trying to find larger gauge battery cables the correct length..... Time to learn another skill. So I went ahead and made up my own battery cable. and then made up an additional ground cable.

The new cable is very high grade and is 2ga. 

Just got done installing it...... Now, lets hope for the best....

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67gtonut

Well..... Time to wrap up the paint job portion....

Car was done.... in about 90 days, start to finish, quite an accomplishment for something that was supposed to be a "side job" ....

 

Thanks for everyone who took the time to read through this.....  any questions, please ask away....

 

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67gtonut

Bye Bye Vinyl Roof

So yeah..... when I was searching for my GTO..... I wanted either White or Silver with a Black Vinyl roof..... and I was happy with the look.....

But..... a few years before I painted the car, I went to the Atlantic City Car Auction and walked past a 67 GTO in the Convention Center that was a beautiful light blue and a painted white roof..... I had never actually seen a Two-Tone GTO, and upon further investigation found that you could order the cars like that, and the factory two-tone cars left the vinyl roof trim and just used paint instead of vinyl on the roof.... It really was a neat look.... And I vowed to try the look on my car whenever I had the car painted. It was an easy decision because I would be retaining the trim, and if I hated the look, all I had to do was scuff the roof and lay down the new vinyl roof....

When I made the decision to do it..... I got a TON of flak from everyone that I was crazy..... that it would not look right.... but I stuck to my guns..

Well, when it came out of the paint booth with the roof painted.... I was sold 100% that it would be staying that way. Once the car was completely painted, everyone actually apologized and said it was an awesome look. To this day..... I really think it's what sets my car apart from other cars as shows and cruise nights.... 

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67gtonut

Metal Repair Time

So as you can see by the pics, I had uncovered some issues that were covered by trim. Once removed and blasted, the ugly came out. Areas of rot - Bottom of both front fenders behind front wheels, Bottom of 1/4's behind rear wheels, Panel behind the rear window, and finally the rear sail panels on each side of the rear window. All common areas of trouble for this type of body style. Good thing is, all areas the aftermarket has addressed with prefabbed patch panels....... Except for the Sail Panels. But one thing my body guy did was not use the whole patch panel, he cut down each panel to just use what was needed. The panel behind the rear window we did use the whole replacement panel, it was needed. To address the sail panels he had to do old school, he fabricated his own metal panels and welded them in, he did a wonderful job. 

Once the metal work was done, the car was then sealed with Primer and made ready for paint.... 

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67gtonut

The year is 2009, and little did I know it, this was going to be a huge year for the GTO.

I figured I would get a few estimates on painting the car, knowing full well, I probably would not be able to afford it. I had figured I would have to wait until I retire to paint it. But what the hell, let get a few estimates.

What I found ..... Very few people like to paint/restore whole cars, other than true restoration shops. The few guys I squeezed a rough estimate out of said it would be around $15,000 give or take..... Way out of my budget. And to be honest, with the lack of interest, I would not have let them touch my car anyway...

So backup plan for 2009... Tri-Power. Even though 1967 the Tri-Power was not available, it was common for people to swap out the Four Barrel for it. So I came across a very nice restorable 66 Tri-Power set up. About $1300 if I remember correctly. ....

At this point in time, I was a Service Advisor at a local Buick/GMC dealer, and I was enjoying my job. The Bodyshop manager Jim was an old school body man, and was a great guy, and we got along great, and he had a 65 GTO in his youth. He always said he also did not like painting whole cars, so I never approached him about mine..... But a few weeks after I bought the Tri-Power, he walks up to me in the shop.... and says...... "Hey, you wanna paint the car?" .... I was like..... wut?. And he repeated.... Let's paint it.... I said if you are serious, I just got to sell the Tri-Power and I will have the car stripped down by next weekend. He said he was serious, and that threw the whole thing into motion. 

Tri-Power was sold in days.... and the teardown began. I decided to strip the car in my garage, bagging and documenting every nut and bolt. I would leave the drivetrain in, and the dashboard and headliner. Everything else will come out.... It took about a week, and it was stripped. I had one of our towing vendors pick it up on a flatbed and brought it to the dealer. The following weekend I hired a mobile Baking Soda Blaster vendor to come and blast all the paint off the car. The only downside to this process, because I had left the dash in the car, is that I had little plops of baking soda that would fall out of the underside of the dash for a few years after it was done.

These segments will be picture heavy since I documented the process nearly every day.... 

 

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67gtonut

GTO 2003-2009

I am condensing these next 6 years because I do not want to bore the hell out of everyone.... 

I will give the highlights of what I did to the car:

Stripped out the interior and POR-15'd the floor and installed a fresh carpet set

Me and a buddy removed engine to repair the rear main seal oil leak.... unsuccessfully

In 2004, there was a change of what I wanted the car to be.... I had originally wanted to keep the car as authentic as I could, meaning Date Coded, belts and hoses, etc..... keep in factory stock. Well, I had replaced the belts, with original type belts, and also had picked up an original type hood insulation, which was a little expensive, well..... while driving the car one day, I blipped the throttle a little, and I heard a HUGE bang under the hood..... I was hoping I didnt blow the engine or something. Pulled over, popped the hood, and my reproduction dated coded belt broke and took out my brand new hood insulation.... The straw that broke the camels back...... No more paying too much money for reproduction over-seas parts.... I would make the car what I wanted to drive, and put parts on that were upgrades....

This put me on the journey of a vintage muscle car with modern type suspension and brakes..... I call it Pro-Touring lite, mostly becuase a true Pro-Touring car is a 6 figure adventure, and I had no plans to Auto-X it, I didnt want to go all out, I just wanted to make it a great road car.

Here is a list of things that made the transition:

Hotchkis Springs, Bilstein Shock, HP Rear upper and lower control arms, Pro-Touring rear sway bar, Tubular Front Upper and Lower controls arms with modern geometry, Converted stock Power Steering Box to Fast Ratio, Front Disc Brake, and added Power Booster. These things, among other small items, transformed the car from vintage boat to an awesome handling road machine.  

Below I will try and put photos in order so you can see the car evolve over the next 6 years

 

The next installment will be the big one..... 2009.... The Paintjob....

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67gtonut

GTO 2001-2002

Well, after purchasing the GTO, I was not about to dump a lot of money into it right away. I had to sort of just enjoy it, until I could work up further funds for projects. So, I just keep it to little things, or some small items to keep it on the road.

The first thing..... Whitewalls had to go, so for now, had them turned around to blackwall. 

I then had to have the radiator re-cored, but I knew that was coming, and I also installed a 180deg T-Stat. 

2002 season was a little more productive. Replaced the shocks with some KYB's, and sold off the 14" Rally II wheels and purchased a set of 15" ones and bought a set of BFG Radial T/A's. As you can see in the photo with the 15" wheels, the 3 different shades of gray really show up.... Just something I was going to live with, I figured a paint job would not be for many years. A few other mods for 2002 - Replaced the leaking Ram Air exhaust manifolds and modified the distributor with a Pertronix Ignition module to get rid of the points...

The highlight for me in 2002 was the winning of the Presidential Trophy at the GTOAA Regional Show. What made this special is that the guest speaker at the show gets to pick the winner of that trophy. The guest speaker was a Paul Zazarine, a renowned author, and Pontiac Historian.  He was walking the show and came over to my car to talk about it, we had a great conversation about the documentation and history of the car. I had him sign the inside of the trunk lid and thanked him for the conversation. Later that night during the awards dinner, I was shocked when he came up to give his award and said my name..... I was speechless, and will always be one of my highlights of my life...

Few links regarding Paul Zazarine

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/hppp-1106-paul-zazarine-tribute/

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjGhfG3s4vUAhXD5xoKHYy2ApoQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.findagrave.com%2Fcgi-bin%2Ffg.cgi%3Fpage%3Dgr%26GRid%3D129733982&psig=AFQjCNEylzU4-uGcuU7Mb_SSbOpPztMHng&ust=1495813977120484

At this point, being a member of the local GTOAA Chapter, I would be working my way to becoming Treasurer and then VP of the club, and also being a Concours Judge for future shows....

More Later..... 

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67gtonut

 

So I will backtrack a little....

So I sold the 88 GT in 1999, I just was not driving it, in fear of someone scratching it, or anything. The car was depreciating ...... I decided it was time for look for my first classic muscle car. IT was between 2 of my favorites.... First choice was a 67 Pontiac GTO, ever since I was 13, I had fallen in love with the looks of the car, and at this point, I learned to really appreciate the history and feel of Pontiac. Another thing is ..... if anyone knows GM history, was that Pontiac was known for their interior appointments, especially their dashboard layouts. My back-up choice if I came across the right one was a 69 Chevelle SS 396. My grandfather worked at a Chevy dealer when I was little, and had a 68 Chevelle 4-door...... so, just sort of a connection to that body style. 

I was married for 3 years at this point, and I was given the blessing from my wonderful wife to try and fulfill my dream.... so the search began....

For 2 years..... for a few hours nearly every night....

My requirements:

4 Speed

NO A/C

Power Steering

Either White or Silver

Clean driver that could be enjoyed right away, did not want a resto project.

I would search the internet.... looking a normal classifieds and also Classic Car dealers throughout the country. The neat thing was, most of the Classic Car dealers had an inquiry feature, that if you did not see what you want, you submitted a request, and they would contact you if they came across what you were looking for....

At this point in my career, I was a Finance Manager @ Saturn of Denville. Well, one day as I came into work, my Used Car Manager came over to me with a note. It was regarding a Gray 67 GTO.  He said this must be for you….. The message was from Debbie Greene from Greene’s Classic Cars in Knoxville TN. And she had the car I was looking for, a Gray 67 GTO. I thought it was a joke….. For 2 reasons. One, of all the dealers I had searched online, I could not recall ever going to that website, second reason…. GTO’s were not available in Gray, the closest would be a color called Silverglaze. But I called the number, and Debbie picked up, and quickly realized, this was real. I had to ask…. How she got my name and number…. Well, it seems I had just contacted an early Internet Hacker, she said she was able to infiltrate other dealers websites and look at their inquiries from customers…. To this day…. I have no idea how she did it. The next topic we covered was the color… She said it was indeed Gray, not Silver. She said it was a Special Order Color car. The original owner ordered the car 67 Buick Riviera Charcoal Gray. More detail followed. It was a numbers matching car, very original. Car was there on consignment from 4th owner. Had tons of documentation. Price was $15,500…. Which was about $3000 over my budget, but I asked her to send photos for me, which I included below.

That night the wife and I looked at the pictures and noticed the name of the selling dealer matched her last name….. little spooky for us.  At his point, I ordered the PHS documents which is a service that validates on how the car was built. It helps to see if the car is actually what the seller says it is. The info came back validating everything…. It was a true 1967 GTO that was equipped with the rare HO engine option and was also ordered under a Special Paint code….

 

Little background on Special Paint code cars…. Back then you could order your GM car any color from the GM palette. IF you ordered it a Pontiac NON-GTO color, the data plate on the firewall would have a “1” where the paint code would be stamped. IF you ordered a NON-Pontiac color, the data plate would be left blank. My car’s data plate is blank…

 

So after a short discussion with wife, I left a $500 deposit on the car. That weekend, I hopped into my truck to drive to Knoxville to see the car in person.  I arrived and it was waiting for me on their showroom floor. I spent at least an hour going all over that car on the showroom, and then they put it on a lift, where I spent another hour….. and then took it for a ride.  I loved it, it was what I had been looking for. I called the wife and we discussed the over budget issue…. Her response…. “ If it's what you want….. get it”

I will not hide the fact it was a very emotional moment for me…..  I committed to the car, and Debbie Greene had a guy with a trailer on speed dial…. And within 2 hours… I was following my dream car home on Rt81 North…

 

The car came with so much documentation it was amazing…. Original Window Sticker, Protecto-Plate, Deposit receipt when original owner ordered the car, receipt when owner picked up the car. EVERY service receipt from the Pontiac dealer when the car was serviced, from 1966 till 1986 when she sold the car at Carisle Fairgrounds.

 

Now that I had the car in my garage, curiosity got the better of me, and I made it my mission to track down the original owner and talk to her….

 

So with the power of the internet and using the Service receipts, I found she was still living in the same house she lived in when she sold the car in 1986. I wrote her a letter and enclosed a current picture of the car. A few weeks later, she called. We spent an hour on the phone. I got all the details on the way she raced the car, and why the color. It was a great conversation… I asked why the color? She said she was on her way to Pontiac dealer to order the GTO and passed by a Buick showroom, and in the window was a Buick Riv in the Charcoal Gray, and fell in love with the color. You can see on the window sticker it was a $83.20 option for Special Color. She ordered the car Oct, 23 1966, I had just turned 1 year old the day before, and she picked it up right after Christmas. If you look at the window sticker, you can also see a few rare options. The most important one to me, the HO engine. Of the 80K GTO's built that year, only 12K were ordered with that engine. The Opera lights and Power Antenna were also considered rare options.

I asked her if she remembered who she sold it to in 1986 at Carisle, but she could not recall, so that was a dead end. So I decided to work my way backwards. I reached out to the 4th owner, who I met at the dealer in TN when he brought down the title...... He said it he bought it from 2 brothers that buy and sell GTO's and other muscle cars as a business..... I was able to track them down. I wanted to find out who had restored the trunk pan and taillight panel. Once on the phone, I asked the guy if he could give me some information..... he curtly cut me off saying they had bought and sold so many GTO's over the years, he would never remember the car..... I said it was a 67 GTO in Charcoal Gray. He stopped dead cold and said..... Oh man, I remember that one, We NEVER should have sold that one..... We continued with a short conversation regarding the car.

I will say, the 1st photo below makes the paint look better then it actually was in real life, as you will see in my next segment. The car at least 2 partial paint touchups, One was when the tailpanel was replaced and another one to help the painted surfaces that had faded over the years. The most original paint was near the front of the car below the pinstripe. In the sun, the car was 3 shades of Gray.....

The interior was original..... nothing had been done, and it really could be left alone, if I wanted to, but I never leave anything alone....LOL

At this point, my goal was to try and keep the car as original as possible, but making it enjoyable to drive..... for reasons that I will mention later, those thoughts changed....

I think that pretty much sums up this entry..... More to come

 

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67gtonut

Its now 1988 and I have started my career in the Auto Dealership world. I am selling cars at Headquarters Buick/Nissan/Jeep/Eagle in Morristown. I quickly start making more money than I ever have..... 

GM and Ford are still going head to head for the top spot and its time for me to keep pace.... We actually had 3 1987 Buick Grand Nationals leftover on the lot, I figured I would wait and buy the last one.... but I changed my mind and decided to shop around and look at my alternatives. 

The first car I looked at ... Since I worked at Nissan, was the 300ZX Turbo, this was eliminated quickly, just hated the way the independent rear suspension reacted on acceleration. The next car was the Toyota Supra Turbo. I have to say, I was really impressed, it would be the heaviest of the cars I looked at, but that made it a really nice high-speed touring car. Tons of luxury and plenty of speed, but also the most expensive of the cars I was looking at. The next car I looked at was the Mazda RX7 Turbo..... My god.... I nearly pulled the trigger on this one. It was a freakin slot car and when you revved that rotary up and boost came on, it was quite impressive..... But I decided to look at one more car....

Next door to the dealer I worked at was the local Ford dealer, and my 86 GT was serving me quite well, so what the hell, let's see what these new style Fox body Mustangs go for..... and look at that, for the price those 3 imports I was looking at go for..... I could get a Loaded GT Convertible, Hey..... that would be really cool.... and the deal was sealed..... 

I was now the owner of a 1988 Mustang GT Convertible ... 

I drove that car for 2+ years as my daily driver and added the wheels of course and had some nice suspension work done..... 

If anyone knows the auto industry, it is quite common to switch dealerships quite often..... such as the case with me. I went from Sales to going to the back and becoming a Nissan Service Advisor, then going to a couple of other dealers.... ending up at guess where............. Douglas Ford, where I bought my 86 GT

In the meantime..... my first big transition in the hobby happened. I retired the Mustang from Daily Driver status..... and bought a $50 76 Chevy Nova beater..... LOL, and yes, it was time to get my hands dirty. Had to put a little money and time to make it reliable ..... but I was learning. Rebuilt my 1st front end and rebuilt my 1st carb. 

. So there I was, a Ford Service advisor surrounded by some great Ford techs.... let the mods begin!!!

We proceeded to start from the back..... Installed an Auburn Rear Diff with 3.55 gears, then a Ford Motorsport Aluminum Driveshaft. The 5 speed remained stock. 

Now it was time to get serious....

My 88GT still used a Speed Density system, and if I was going to perform engine mods I had to upgrade to the newer Mass Air system, so with help from a friend who was a tech guru, we installed the Mass Air system on my car. Now I can make major engine changes and the computer would understand the increased air flow. It was now the early 90's and Ford was just coming out with the GT-40 bolt on heads and intakes for the 5.0. I decided to forgo the GT-40 heads and instead ripped the heads off my engine myself and brought them to a very highly regarded engine builder in the area.  In the end, after talking to him, I basically said give em an estimate on the ultimate street head for a 5000rpm street engine..... if its too high, we will cut out some things.... He called me a few days later, and gave him the OK for it all.... 

I decided to leave the stock cam in the 5.0, mostly because I was not that confident on my new abilities to go that deep into the engine. So I bolted on my newly rebuilt heads, a GT-40 intake, and 1.6 Ration Roller Rockers. Also a set of GT-40 shorty headers, High Flow H-pipe with performance cats and Walker system behind that.

My 225hp Mustang was now putting out about 300hp, still with the stock cam. It was like a new car..... which leads me to a new part of the hobby..... 

It was time to hit the drag strip. My buddies said..... you will either love it or hate it..... needless to say, I loved it. After quite a few trips to Englishtown and Island Dragway.... I had her doing 14.0's @ 100mph on stock street z-rated 16" tires....  1st and 2nd gear I had no traction. We figured with slicks she would go 13.2's, not bad. I was now terrorizing my local streets and beating Grand Nationals..... woohoo!!!

I owned this car for 10years, but with it not being my Daily Driver, it only had 30,000 miles on it. I ended up rarely driving it.... 1996 I got married, and the car was just sitting in the garage.... depreciating ..... It was time to go for my dream car, a 60's muscle car, and I knew exactly what I wanted..... so the GT went up for sale. I sold it to a young kid, and warned him that this car was quite quick, and could get you in trouble quick.... Within a few months, the kid wrapped it around a telephone pole... 

In the meantime..... I spent nearly every night searching for that special car...... 

I spent 2 years searching.....

It was 2001..... and things were about to get real.... 

 

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67gtonut

It's 1986.... and the horsepower wars are getting warmed back up between the big 3, with Ford and GM going toe to toe as usual.

The 1986 Buick Grand National is the fastest production American car being sold in the US, and this is actually a big deal in GM, because there is an unwritten rule in GM that no car in the line up can be quicker than the Corvette. But what is even more disturbing is that the Corvette is not even the 2nd fastest car.... It's 3rd.

The 2nd fastest car.... The 1986 Ford Mustang GT. Rated at 225hp and now equipped with a 1st generation Speed Density Fuel Injection, it was quickly becoming an enthusiast favorite.

At this point..... my 160hp TransAm was getting tired.... tired of me beating the piss out of it. I also found out that I had a non blood relative that was a Sales Manager at Douglas Ford in Summit. It was time to buy my 1st NEW car.... 

So I ordered my 86 GT. I did NOT want T-roofs, I was still waterlogged from my TransAm roofs, so I ordered the Mustang with a factory Sunroof. 

Of course, this car did not remain stock, but I left the drivetrain stock, instead, I put HUGE money into a state of the art stereo. Rims and tires were a must, and yes, front air dam and headlight covers were still in style. 

This would also be the start of my street racing days.... Friday and Saturday nights would consist of prowling the roads for races. Fun times.... 

I drove the wheel off this car and really loved it. But I was constantly being beat on the street by those damn Grand Nationals..... So in a true competitive nature, I wanted to be the fastest, so Douglas Ford in Summit..... had a sister dealership.... Douglas Buick.

So in 1987, I ordered my Buick, but I did not order a Grand National, I wanted to be different, so I ordered a Dark Blue T-Type, with a power sunroof.... I was still slightly damp from those damn TransAm T-roofs....LOL

Here is where the monkey wrench was thrown at me.... my picking up the Buick hinged on me selling the Mustang, trading it in was not an option, I owed too much on it. So I was heartbroken when the T-Type arrived at the dealer.... the Mustang would not sell. I had to let the Buick slip away..... 

86Stang.jpg

67gtonut

 

 

So here I was in my early 20's and making some money now working full time after dropping out of college and about to make my 1st major car purchase.

This is where my car hobby hits a turning point, and in hindsight, I make the wrong choice, but I still have no regrets...

I was a car enthusiast but really just a wheelman, I enjoyed driving…. Fast and aggressive…  but at this point had NO experience with getting my hands dirty working on them, and this would influence my next purchase.

I was about to spend a decent about of money on this next car, so that opened up my choices.....

The year…. Somewhere around 1985. Smokey and the Bandit came out in 1977 and of course influenced a lot of us car guys, me included. So one of the cars on my list was a 2nd generation Trans Am…

The other car on my list was a 1969 Camaro Z/28…. And what is now a car that is valued at over $60,000+ for a clean number matching car, could be bought for low to mid teens in 1985…. Here is where I might have gone wrong. A few of my fellow car buddies reminded me that car was very temperamental to be used as a daily driver. I was told the dual point distributor would alone be a headache to keep in tune. So with my very limited technical knowledge, I removed this car from my list…..

So Dad and I went car shopping, with me looking for a mid to late 70’s TransAm. On a little side note, during our shopping on car dealer row on RT22 …. I took at a 76 Corvette 4 speed… and proceeded to scare the crap out of the poor salesman….

And here is where my Father’s influence came into play….. remember, he was not a car guy… So if a 77 TransAm is nice, then a 3rd generation 1982 TransAm MUST be better…. And since this car was about to be financed by the bank of Dad, I listened.

So my 3rd car was purchased, a 1982 TransAm. It was a beautiful car, but the anemic small block chevy 305 was no Pontiac 400 that I was hoping for…  160 rip roaring horsepower.

Of course, I cannot leave anything stock, I proceeded to do things to this car. Custom rims were a must, and also a decent stereo. The biggest mod was having T-Roofs cut into it. Cost me $1200… and yes they leaked a little, but worth every cent. One of the other things I had done was having the rear window tinted, and at this point, not many tint guys could work with that window, it was one of the most complicated pieces of glass ever installed in a car. But I found a guy who could tint it with 3 strips vs. other tinters using many more. Most guys were just installing louvers, but I wanted to be different. 

The biggest problem was that these early TransAms were not very durable, and with me trying to get every ounce of those 160hp to work for me, I ended up blowing up the rear twice and that weak Turbo200 trans once….

It was a great looking car…. Rattled badly, and was slow, but I still miss it to this day…

 

82TransAm.jpg

67gtonut

The 2nd Car....

So, in preparation for me going to college, my parents wanted a more reliable car. So halfway through my Senior year in HS, we sold the Lemans, and I somehow convinced my parents to allow me to buy a car with a standard transmission. Not an easy sell, since neither of my parents were car enthusiasts. 

I had self-taught myself how to drive a stick by a co-worker at my job, letting me take is 70's Ford Pinto around the restaurant in the wee hours of the morning as we were cleaning up for the night..... 

So the next car was 1979 Toyota Celica..... little did my Dad foresee how much I would mod this car.... So much for me "growing out of this" .....

Yeah.... I went nuts. I will admit, I had very little hands on mechanical training at this point, so most of the mods I had done by shops. 

I had all the emission controls removed off of the 20R engine, then had a Weber Downdraft Carb installed, a Hooker header and full ANSA exhaust.  I am pretty sure I did Koni's and sway bars all the way around, larger wheels and tires....  Front Air Dam, headlight covers, fog lights, sunroof and all the other required bolt on crap that was available back then...

That car handled VERY well and scared quite few of my friends on the local back roads. 

My best friend also had a Celica, his was a 78. We spent a lot of time on my driveway cleaning and polishing these cars..... good times.

Well, college did not really agree with me, and once I dropped out after Freshman year, and started working fulltime, the increase in income allowed me to look at getting into my 3rd car.....

 

79Celica.jpg

67gtonut

Well, I have been involved with this forum for quite a while now, and judging by my screen name, you can see I am an automotive enthusiast. I figured this would be a great way for members to get to know me better and experience my passion for cars as I grew up.

I will start at the beginning and work toward present day.... 

I remember my Dad walking with me, and saying..... " you will grow out of this" ..... boy, was he wrong....lol

I will include in this blog entry, my 1st car..... mostly because I have NO pictures of it, which makes me sad because it would have an obvious influence on the future of my hobby.....

I bought my 1st car 6 months before I had my license ...

It was a 1976 Pontiac Grand Lemans - It was Black.... It was 4 door, and it had a little 260cu in V8....  As all Pontiacs were known for, it had a beautiful dash layout and I did, of course, take it out for trips around the block before I had my license and when parents were not home.... 

I was a Senior in HS and once I got my license, my friends piled into that car and went everywhere..... but it would not last long. I beat the hell out of that car, and it was getting to the point where my parents wanted a more reliable car for me to go to college with..... so 6 months after I started actually driving the car..... it went away..... but it left a lasting impression on me, as you will see in my future rides....

 

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