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Got His Goat

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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1965 Pontiac GTO

1965 Pontiac GTOAfter attending the Roamin Angel’s Cruisin’ the Pines Car Show a couple of years ago, Craig C. felt the itch for a muscle car. He had owned performance cars years before, but one car he had never owned was a GTO, aka Goat. In March of last year, a friend of a friend told him of one from Arkansas that was “85 to 90 % restored.” It was a 1965 GTO convertible, supposedly with the original 389 CID tri-power engine and four-speed trans. With “matching numbers” on the engine and trans, a “$10,000 paint job,” and needing only some “cosmetics,” it sounded great. The price was reasonable, so it seemed to be not only a sound car but a good investment. Craig bought it and learned a hard lesson about “friends of friends.” First, the ten-grand paint job looks great . . . at twenty feet and the engine and trans are not original. When he picked it up, he broke down after driving it one block. Since then, he has rebuilt the brakes, carburetors, seats and front suspension, replaced the radiator, starter, all the rear suspension, gas tank, and timing chain. Although the engine runs decently, he is sure it was not recently gone through and a rebuild is in the foreseeable future. It seems the only truthful claim was that it had almost no rust. For a while it seemed that something was always going wrong and he says he was “ready to drive it over a cliff.” You might say his Goat got his goat. But now it is finally running well. Fortunately, wife Denise has been supportive through all these trials and turmoil. Although she won’t drive it because it is a four-speed, she enjoys riding in it. He and Denise recently took it on a 1300 mile cruise with the Roamin Angels, with no problems, and had a great time. So now Craig has grown to love his problem child and is even glad that he got his Goat.

1965 Pontiac GTO-engine & interior

GM”s marketing got the word out to the younger buyers about the hot, new GTO with things like a song that told of “three deuces and a four-speed.” Craig’s convertible has them.

Although this is a 400 CID from ‘67, it looks the same as a389. The three deuces, or tri-power, consists of three Carter two-barrel carbs. Craig swapped the Muncie M21 trans it had when he bought it for a wide-ration M20.

Except for a modern steering wheel, AM/FM radio and speakers, the interior is stock. For handling, it has P/S and P/B. Craig added quick-ratio steering.

2009 © Story & photos by Ron C. - Roamin Angel Corner

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