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1967 GTO restoration

My 67 GTO resto project, those were the good old days, nothing better than pure american muscle. Discliamer: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


 


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Daily Driver to Resto-Mod Im writing you in regards to a 68 Chevelle SS that we built a little while ago when I was the manager at a body shop in Portland, Maine. The car was built mostly by myself, and the shop foreman, Dave Gribbin, on nights and weekends. There were some things done by the other employees while things were a little slow, but Dave and I did the vast majority of the work after hours. We built the car for a customer who had purchased it as a restored, albeit non numbers Matching, SS396 who had grown bored with the stocker after a few months... After some shopping around at a few local body shops and custom shops, he wandered into my office. After speaking to him at some length, (it felt like a job interview) about my experience with hot rods, muscle cars and drag racing (my family owned Winterport Drag way in Winterport Maine for 12 years) and speaking with Dave for a while Jim decided that he trusted us with the chore of painting the car... as all projects do this one snowballed from a mild custom paint job to a frame off resto-mod. Jim DeWolfe was a budding car guy, he had purchased a Chevelle SS, a 1968 big block Chevelle SS. The problem with the Chevelle is that it was just another Chevelle, he wanted it to stand out and be different so he brought it to us to see what we were about. All of us being major gear heads and muscle car nuts finally rubbed off onto Jim and soon a full blown project was in the works. We started by completely disassembling the entire car, and within a month (again working mostly nights and weekends) we had a bare frame sitting on a lift in the shop. I ground down all the welding slag from the original assembly and prepped it for paint. We hung the frame in the booth and applied a fresh coat of single stage black urethane. Everything on the frame was replaced except for the front upper and lower control arms and factory spindles. We used Eibach prokit springs, SSBC 12" front disc conversion, Hellwig hd swaybars and Edelbrock tubular lower and turnbuckle uppers (that just happened to be powder coated the correct red) along with chassis stiffeners to go with the East Coast Performance sourced DTS 12 bolt that was fitted with 9inch ford tube ends that allowed us to attach the SSBC 11" rear brake kit with e brake. Before putting the body back on we ran the stainless brake lines, ½ aluminum fuel line, set the gas tank in place, and prepped the bottom of the floor for bed liner. All the brake hardware and the shocks were painted the matching candy red from SEM color horizons. The Merlin 509's block was painted the base silver bolted to the TCI turbo 400 and set in place on energy suspension mounts. Whats funny is Jim originally ordered Merlins 572. Then the rear end was connected to the transmission via a color matched Williams Brothers driveshaft. Next the body was lowered onto the fresh chassis, once the body was bolted down on some more of energy suspensions products, we set to straighten out the body from its 40 year life. Dave stripped the body to metal and aligned all the panels before applying the high build primer letting one of the techs final block the car and prep it for paint. We commissioned Tommy Mcneil from Bonehead designs in Gilmington Iron Works New Hampshire to lay out the awesome tribal flame job, before he was done he applied a drop shadow, and outlined the flames with process blue. The flames and pin striping also go into the door jambs, and for a finishing touch Tommy also applied a little hot rod pin striping around the trunk lock. Finishing touches on the outside include all new chrome trim, weatherstripping, and new Hella headlights. On the inside we went mostly stock with a reconditioned gauge cluster, a couple auto meter gauges, Scat Pro Car seats, new carpet and trim panels, along with recovered rear seat, and a Budnik steering wheel for some flash. Dan Mayhew installed a kickin' sound system inside with a glove box mounted eclipse head unit, which also controls Jims I-pod, two kicker amps, and two kicker subs in the trunk in a box that Jim built himself, with some mids and highs in the kick panels and rear deck. For rolling stock, we chose 20x8 and 20x10 Coddington smoothie IIs with 255-35s up front and 295-30s out back. Todd Lapointe finished up the mechanical aspects including Lokar cables and braided stainless flexi lines for the brakes, got everything adjusted and tweaked. After an alignment, and a tune by the local carb guru we were ready for a road test, and let me tell you this thing is fast.. This car was built in about 9 months of nights and weekends, it was a total team effort, and it was a pleasure to work with someone who didn't mind spending the money it took to make the build correct.





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