by Sean Mattingly.
1967 GTO Parking Lot
Biggest GTO image collection anywhere!
White 1967 GTO hardtop owned by Dave Pellegrini from Beverly, Massachusetts. This was our Picture Of The Week for 2/9/03. Dave tells us, "We love to drive this car as much as possible, when New England weather permits. It's a great driving car, and the body is arrow straight. I was very lucky to find it here in the Northeast."|
CLICK-> White 1967 GTO hardtop, right front view. GR-RRR!
CLICK-> White 1967 GTO hardtop, left rear view.
CLICK-> Signet Gold 1967 GTO hardtop owned by James and Sarah Galloway from North Little Rock, Arkansas. This was our Picture Of The Week for 5/25/03. It's got a 400ci engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and factory air conditioning.
CLICK-> Signet Gold 1967 GTO hardtop, left rear view.
CLICK-> Fathom Blue 1967 GTO convertible owned by Mike Benedict from Jamestown, North Carolina. This was our Picture Of The Week for 7/6/03. Mike purchased this beauty in January of 2003 after a seven month search.
CLICK-> Fathom Blue 1967 GTO convertible, left front view. Mikes GTO has the optional hood tach, pin stripes, and redline tires mounted on Rally I wheels.
CLICK-> Fathom Blue 1967 GTO convertible, left side view.
CLICK-> Blue 1967 LeMans convertible owned by Jason Reser from Spokane, Washingtion. This is our Picture Of The Week for 7/13/03. Jason tells us, "The rims are 17X8 KMC Stealths with 235/45/17's. The LeMans has a 400 out of a 68 GP with #16 heads. Original 2 speed powerglide. Converted it over to power steering and power brakes last winter. The LeMans is a solid rust free (with the exception of the truck pan) original car out of Montana. I have the original 326 in the garage, protecto plate, original manuals, and the original title. I'm currently working on a 12 inch disc brake conversion using 2002 Z28 rotors/calipers."
CLICK-> Gerald Kerr's black 1967 GTO hardtop as pictured at a car show in Detroit Motor City Casino summer of 2003. This was our Picture Of The Week for 8/3/2003.
CLICK-> Tyrol Blue 1967 GTO hardtop owned by Shari Stults. This was our Picture Of The Week for 10/5/03.
MY GTO STORY
By Shari Stults- Cactus GTOs- Phoenix, Arizona
Editorís Note: This story appeared in Valley of the Goats, the newsletter of the Cactus GTO's, Inc. Stories about how people caught (and indulged) the GTO bug are always interesting, but this is one of the best I've read.
For as long as I can remember, cars had a mystique and an excitement about them unlike anything else. Don't get me wrong - I still played with dolls, but my Barbie dolls were different from most. For one, they had fewer evening gowns, but they always drove the hottest cars in town. Also, sadly, from my six-year-old, female perspective, Ken never knew how to drive. Obligingly, Barbie always drove her date to all of the hot spots in town. Furthermore, it was very important that my Barbie dolls drove every car that I owned, and I had amassed quite a collection, especially being a girl. Over the years I had managed to snap off nearly all of my original Barbie doll's legs trying to force them into a variety of cars that weren't quite to their scale. The Monkeemobile was actually one of those vehicles. Lucky for Barbie the top came off on that one, or she would have been headless, too. I eventually had two doll cases; one held the dolls, and the other one just held their legs.
My world changed forever one day in 1966. I was six years old, playing in my grandparents' yard. We heard a strange, unfamiliar roar as my uncle pulled into the driveway in a brand new 1966 burgundy 4-speed GTO. I stood mesmerized, while my grandfather came running outside to take 8mm movies of the new attraction. My grandfather was proud because his son had purchased a Pontiac. I thought about how different this car was from any other and begged for a ride around the block. Climbing into bed that evening, I remember telling my family, "When I'm old enough to drive, I'm going to have a GTO."
That was the beginning of what became a 35-year dream. Cars, in general, were always my passion. With the exception of a cousin who drag raced, however, no one involved in my life was ever even slightly interested in cars. The few times I was able to attend a drag race growing up, I thought it was Disneyland. There was also never a time when someday owning a GTO wasnít on my mind - preferably a blue one.
For years I read all of the car magazines and was able to expand my knowledge by buying every available GTO book (including the GTO Restoration Guide- go figure). I went to every car auction in town and had a room in my home set-aside in honor of the GTO. My mom had even purchased a personalized license plate for me, which hung in my "GTO room." With few exceptions, however, everyone I knew laughed at the mere thought of me ever seriously owning a GTO. I had looked at several cars for sale throughout the years and had even arranged to see one discovered on a farm in California and flat bedded to Phoenix. The auction cars were always too perfect and too expensive, and the cars straight from the farms needed 100% restoration. Begrudgingly, but realistically, I knew I didn't have the knowledge, the talent, the tools or the money to ever restore one of those cars, and I knew of no one else who could do it. Virtually alone in my pursuit, I often wondered if everyone had been right all those years. It just wasn't going to happen.
Each year I had attended the Barrett-Jackson event as a spectator. In January 1999, however, two days prior to the auction, I suddenly decided to take a chance and attend as a bidder. Who knew? Maybe the car of my dreams would show up. Also two days before the auction, I was unprepared to learn that a letter from my bank confirming a minimum of $10,000 in my account was required to become a bidder.
I had the money for a car, but not readily accessible. It would take a week for me to gather the funds in the unlikely even that I ever found a car. My bank could provide a line of credit, but it would take 10 days to process. OK, I panicked. On my lunch hour I walked into the first consumer loan company I could find and asked to speak to a loan officer immediately. A man approached, introduced himself, and with a frantic look in my eyes, I said, "Look, I need $10,000 cash, and I need it by tomorrow morning. If you can't do this I need to know right now, because I don't have time to waste." He stepped back. I believe he thought I was packing heat.
After further explanation that I was neither a drug dealer nor a compulsive gambler, the loan officer confirmed that he could provide up to $5,000 by the next morning in the form of an unsecured loan. Great, that would work. All I had to do was list readily salable items in my home, such as tools and electronics, totaling the loan amount. Not exactly a connoisseur in either one of those categories, I was tapped at $4,000. Now caught up in the moment himself, the loan officer pleaded, "You must have something else!" I was just about ready to give up when he asked, "Do you by any chance have golf clubs?" "Yes! Yes! I've got golf clubs!" I shouted. I picked up my check the next morning, got a letter from my bank and drove to Barrett-Jackson to register as a bidder. (This also marked the most positive experience in my life relating to those damned golf clubs.)
After spending nearly 24 hours at Barrett-Jackson on Thursday and Friday, three GTOs had sold for $22,000 to $29,500. All were restored convertibles, and one was a right-hand drive! The published list of auction cars indicated that another 1967 GTO was registered, but it had not shown up on the lot. Discouraged, I walked the lot every few hours looking for the 67 to no avail. At 6:30 p.m. on Friday my mom and I were leaving the auction, with me grumbling about waiting too many years. There were no GTOs out there for me any more - too much time had passed and prices were too high. I was depressed and tired, and I wasn't going back to the auction Saturday or Sunday (that would have been a first for me). As we approached the bidders parking lot that night, with me still whining about my 30 years of poor luck in life with cars, about 200 feet ahead of us was the unmistakable front grille of a GTO. "What's THAT?" I asked, wiping my eyes to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Well, it was a beautiful 1967, numbers matching, 400, 4-bbl GTO with the Hurst His & Hers. It was Tyrol Blue, my absolute dream car, with a white vinyl top, white interior and a hood tach. This was the car that I had envisioned, and although it had been partly restored, mechanically it was original - exactly what I was looking for. Strangely enough, it had been a late arrival and was parked at the end of the row, in one of the only possible spots where I could have seen it as we left that evening. My mother quickly recapped the story of the GTO selling for nearly $30,000 earlier that day. This car was completely out of my league. Forget it. I agreed. But the car was the second one being sold the very next morning, so now I had to return the next day to see it sell on the block. I bonded with the car that night, and in the back of my mind I thought, "But this one's a hardtop, maybe there's a chance. Ahh, probably not."
Saturday morning, I arrived at 9:15 a.m. the auction started at 10:00 a.m., and the pre-auction sale of collectibles was still in progress. There sat my car, second in line surrounded by a herd of people, slamming the doors, climbing in and out of it and talking about frame-off restorations. Then my best friends arrived. They saw the GTO and asked if I was going to bid on it. I shook my head. "I can't afford that car. It'll go for more than $10,000, and I only borrowed enough money two days ago to get a bidder's pass." It had taken more work than anticipated to become a bidder, and I hadn't thought about what to do if a car actually appeared. I was still unprepared. At about 9:55 a.m., my friend walked over to me and said, I know that you want this car. This is the car I've heard you describe for years. Are you going to talk about owning a GTO for the rest of your life, or are you going to go for it? Walk over there and get another loan." I was stunned. She was right, and those were the most encouraging words I had ever heard.
I ran, through the crowd, over to the MBNA desk. Nearly hyperventilating, I exclaimed, "See that blue GTO, second in line? I want that car and I need a loan FAST. But you need to know that I just took out another loan a couple of days ago to get here in the first place, and it may show up on my credit check. You just need to trust me - I swear I have the money for that car." The guy looked at me as if I was talking Swahili, and I was beginning to feel pretty absurd. The auction was starting in 10 minutes, and it ordinarily took 30 to 45 minutes to process a loan. He called it into his home office via his cell phone, and we waited and waited.
It was now 10:00 a.m., and the first car drove onto the block. "I really need an answer now," I pleaded. He placed another call on his cell phone. We waited again. We heard the auctioneer moments later, "SOLD!" The first car was gone. I turned towards him again. "For God's sake, I need an answer!" He was still on his cell phone. As the first car drove off the block and my car approached the stage, the loan officer smiled. "You got it!" he shouted. "What? How much?" I asked, as I began running backwards towards my seat. "Twenty thousand," he yelled. Seconds later, I motioned to the auctioneer and I opened the bidding! Three others were aggressively bidding against me. I could barely keep track of what was happening, just keeping my eye on the auction assistant who was helping me. At one point the auction assistant leaned over to me. "I really think that was that guy's last bid. If you want this car, I think your next bid is going to get it," he said. I nodded. When the auctioneer yelled, "SOLD!" and pointed to me, I nearly fainted. My friends jumped up and screamed out loud (something not typically heard at Barrett-Jackson - at least for under $100,000).
Once I was able to move from my chair, I went to the bar and ordered Bloody Marys for everybody. I couldn't stop shaking. After a myriad of paperwork and being handed the keys (well, OK, and maybe one more Bloody Mary), we walked outside to find the car. When we spotted the GTO from about 300 feet away, I stopped and broke down in tears. At that moment reality had struck - I had never actually driven a GTO in my life, and I was 39 years old. Now I had the keys in hand and had to drive mine home. It was overwhelming.
Once the car was home safely that day, I cried some more, bought a car cover and called a realtor. My townhouse had a double carport - no garage. The next morning I located a storage room for the car, and it remained there for four months while I worked to sell my townhouse, find a new home (or more accurately, a new garage!), find a mechanic and pay off all of the loans I had managed to obtain. My life was complete turmoil.
Within five months of buying the car, I moved into a new home with a perfect garage. I drove the car home from storage, took the personalized license plate off my wall and hung it on the car and, of course, cried again. That night, with moving boxes piled high, I slept better than I had ever slept in my life. My GTO was home at last.
P.S. Several years ago, my mother called from Ohio. She had come across my doll case and was wondering why none of my Barbie dolls had any legs. That is, except for Ken - he was intact. "They do," I replied. "Their legs are in the other case." My mother never asked any more questions. I hung up the phone and had to laugh. There was Ken, the poor man stuck in my six-year-old world, being driven around by his girlfriend for years. His inability to drive had actually spared his limbs from total destruction. Lucky for him, too, that the Monkeemobile was a convertible.
CLICK-> Tyrol Blue 1967 GTO from Shari Stults. Here is the interior view.
CLICK-> A doll. Another view of the Tyrol Blue 1967 GTO hardtop. This car has air conditioning. You can also see the correct battery cables. They have the spring-ring ends that grip the battery posts. To remove these, you don't use a wrench. You use a set of pliers to squeeze the tabs together so the ring will lift off the post.
CLICK-> There are more than a couple aftermarket changes applied to the interior of this 1967 GTO! This is one of many GTO's used in filming the Summer 2002 action movie called xXx starring Vin Diesel. The photograph was taken by Sean Mattingly at a Fort Wayne, Indiana car show. Pontiac Motor Division had a big display there. It consisted of the xXx car, an enclosed trailer with bold "xXx" car graphics, and an ad for the 2004 GTO. At some shows, they also brought along a "Vin Diesel" custom van. Pontiac was handing out free xXx posters to the appreciative crowd. This is a view from the passenger seat of a weapon-laden supercar. Look at this dashboard! One of these buttons starts the car...just don't confuse it with the button that fires missiles out of the top headlights! Between the seats, there is a tank of Nitrous Oxide (NOS). We have more photos of the cars and the memorabilia shown in the xXx Movie Stuff Collection.
CLICK-> Black 1967 GTO hardtop owned by Keith Davis from Newhall, California. This was our Picture Of The Week for 2/22/04. Keith tells us, "I have had this goat for 6 years now. I got it on my sixteenth birthday and have spent many dollars and hours changing it to my liking. I plan on having my GTO for as long as I can and hope to have enough time in the future to continually evolve it to be a classic car with an updated look. If any girls would like to take a ride in the car, my girlfriend says my brother would love to take you."
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