Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rasputin From the LBCC.

Car: 1666 Pontiac GTO Hardtop

Motor: 421

Trans: Super T-10 four-speed

Modifications: Car is done in a very '60s flavor but with a more modern stance and suspension. Mildly lowered with Eibach springs (rears cut down), big sway bars front and rear, and Hotchkis rear control arms. The body is basically stock except for a fiberglass hood and front bumper. Metallic lime green body with HOK coarse silver flake roof. Three different hoods to be able to change up the look; late '60s L-88 with lace paint, 4" cowl, and my favorite, the 4" Thunderbolt teardrop which is an original '60s aftermarket A&A part. It has a hand fabricated driveshaft tunnel to clear the shift linkage and aftermarket parking brake.

Drivetrain: The engine is a bored-out '69 428 block with a '66 421 crank, actual displacement ends up around 433. Heads are 1968 GTO #16 castings. Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and Edelbrock carb and a street/strip Crower hydraulic cam. The engine was built by Wisconsin based Pontiac engine oracle Dan Whitmore. Said to make about 500 HP at the flywheel.

The trans is a stock '77 Super T-10 four-speed with a Lakewood scattershield and a rebuilt Hurst Competition Plus shifter mounted with Super/Shifter straight rods and a '60s era reverse lockout. The rear end is a 9" Ford with Moser axles.

Interior: Hand stitched silver vinyl in a pattern that resembles the original. Flaked dash insert and silver flake steering wheel. RPM is monitored by a mid-60s SW tach and transmitter and the clock pod in the dash now contains a custom shift light in which the lens is a picture of Ronnie Sox– When "Mr. 4-Speed" lights up, its time to bang 'em!

History: I bought the car while I was in college and didn't have the funds to do much with it. Ended up being an engine rebuild that spiraled out of control. The car sat disassembled for about 10 years until I had a steady enough job and enough confidence to tackle its resurrection. This is the only car that I've had that I was able to make every decision about how I wanted it to be. I was aware that the car would be far more valuable if it were restored to factory condition, but I'd grown tired of all the dorky purist resto-nerd rules that go along with muscle cars. I believed at the time that this would be the only car I would be able to do up to this extent, so I did it in a way that I always wanted to see a muscle car done.

I approached the car as a combination of all my favorite things that modified '60s cars had to offer. Sort of a tweaked out factory show car that includes elements that could be found on customs or drag cars from the same era. I focused most of my research to my favorite window; a rough timeframe from '66 to '72, and tried to set aside notions of accurately reproducing a car built at that time but instead to crate something that represents what could have been done back then.

Even though it ended up costing me way more than I'd ever thought I'd spend, I'm pretty happy with the result. The thing I hadn't factored in was the amount of attention that a loud as hell, metallic green '66 GTO with a silver flake roof gets. I'm typically not the type of person that wants to draw attention to myself, but its absolutely unavoidable in this car. I suppose its a small price to pay for being able to stomp the throttle on a life-sized '60 HotWheels car.

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