1969 Pontiac GTO Inspires Us
The Pontiac GTO is a legend in the automotive community. Widely regarded as America’s first muscle car, the GTO got its start as the Pontiac Tempest. Over the years Pontiac had become GM’s ‘Grandma brand’ with many of their cars being considered boring and drab. Fortunately, after an extremely successful win at the 1957 Daytona speed week, Pontiac decided that they were gonna start making cars that were fast and powerful to attract a younger crowd.
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Right around that time is when GM put its ban on racing into place and the Automakers under its rain were forced to quit racing. However, that didn’t stop Bunkie Knudson and his team at the Pontiac motor company from making one of the most pivotal cars to ever be produced. Thus we have the GTO.
Of course, the Pontiac GTO is a cool car however for one very special vehicle owner it is more than just a car, it is a story, an opportunity, and now a restomod. Being bought by the current owner’s father whilst serving in the navy, the car has stayed with his family ever since. So, naturally, when he got the chance to rebuild the car Mike jumped in headfirst. The GTO was the first car that Mike ever rebuilt so it was made even more special. After an acid dip and some major rust repair, Mike was able to repaint the entire car in a custom color which he likes to call 2 am Green. As a tribute to his dad, Mike had the seats embroidered with the Navy wings.
No restomod would be complete without a set of nice wheels, this particular beast is sporting some gigantic 19×8.5 inch MHT wheels coupled with 14-inch Wilwoods and 6-piston calipers. On the rear sit 20×10 inch wheels with 13-inch Wilwood disc brakes, all surrounding a PMD logo in the center of the wheels. Under the hood, this car keeps the original 400ci block but that is pretty much the only stock piece to this puzzle. This is an all Butler performance motor that Mike hand-built himself, now sporting 467 cubic-inches of displacement equipped with a roller cam. All of those performance parts add up to a whopping 515-horsepower and 600 lb/ft of torque to the flywheel. It’s no secret that this is a beautiful restomod and Mike sure did a wonderful job bringing this piece of automotive history back to life.