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FRAME-OFF RESTORATION GALLERY

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Added 12/02
Let's do a frame-off on a 1965 GTO convertible    In words and pictures.
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Randy Butler (randys65badgoat@msn.com) shows us the process of restoring his 1965 GTO convertible.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #1 We first meet! In brief, this is my 3rd goat. My first was a 1965 Montero Red coupe my Junior year of high school. I was the man in high school! After I thought I was a Chevy man too! The 2nd was a 1968 Ram Air 2 Verdoro Green car with hood tach and hidden headlights. I then got a 1969 400 Firebird, a letdown after the goats. The last car I owned was 1970 Chevy wagon. It had a 400 small block which I had to have to move for a new job. All my stuff fit into a wagon back then! After that, I've only owned pickups. Of course I've had the urge to find another goat, just no money or bad timing. In the Summer of 2000, I had some friends of mine from Late Great Classics appraise a 1964 goat. But in the end, the guy could not part with his car. Fast forward to December 2000. I receive a call from Late Great. They had a guy call from Texas that had a 1965 coupe or a 1967 ragtop. I had to go with my high school car. Imagine my delight when I saw the convertible show up! It was then I decided to make this goat what I would have had in 1965 if I had the knowledge and money. However I had no clue!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #4 Purchased in December of 2000 sight unseen from Midland, Texas. The car did not arrive until January 2001 because of a huge ice and snow storm that went from Texas to Maine. This car has 1964 or early 1965 gauges. I did the PHS research to see if it was a real goat after the fact. Lucky me! Its a real goat. Yep, it's A "5n" car!!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #5 What color is it.. was it!? PHS showed the car to be a 389 4bbl 4 speed car with backup lights, AM pushbutton radio and 2 speed wiper washer. The original color was Mayfair Maize, gold interior with a white top. However, I wanted and made a Montero Red car with Parchment interior, white top, and Tri-Power. We can blame Jim Wangers and his book GLORY DAYS for the Ram Air. I didn't remember it was available in 65!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #6 Spring, now is the time to take it apart. The chrome and stainless parts went to Chrome Specialties in Quebec, Canada.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #7 GTO in a bedroom. This is a big parts collection.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #8 It's a goat. It has to be a tri-power with a close ratio .390 rear end. I did read in the front of the Year One catalog that a car with 5N Kansas-built code would be a real goat! When the car showed up here in January of 2001, I knew I had neither time, tools or knowledge to do the right thing by this car. So I employed my friends at Late Great Classics to do the work.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #9 As low as it goes! This is the frame, sitting on some temporary wheels.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #10 New rear end with .390's.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #11 New legs, brake lines, the works.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #12 Someone left a battery in the trunk, a new floor, and a left patch panel.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #13 Oh! no! I got to the dreaded "might's well" stage. Might's well put in new floors so I don't need to do this a year or so down the road.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #14 Looks like a skinned tiger to me. After taking the car apart and putting the body on the body stand, I started finding parts and taking the chrome and stainless parts up to Chrome Specialties in Quebec. I had No clue! It cost close to 4 grand for that stuff! I took the liberty of adding power steering & brakes with dual master cylinder.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #15 2200 pounds of black beauty bead blast.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #17 Pontiac never gave the frame this much love!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #18 Back together now?
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #19 Shiny car parts at the rear.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #21 Doors being prepped.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #22 Lets go! "Ram Air" in 65? Let's just say it is Jim Wangers' fault. Inside the engine, I put roller rockers and stainless valves, backed up with stainless exhaust & Flowmasters.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #24 Making the dash better than new.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #25 Starting to look car-like.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #26 Do you know what they get for Rally Dashes these days?!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #27 2nd of 3 trips to Canada for chrome & stainless. Over 70 pieces.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #28 The huge trunk kept many parts safe.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #30 A new heart for the beast.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #31 Stock in appearance #77 heads with hardened seats The block was bored .030 over with forged pistons, Crane "S" series cam, clevite rods, roller rockers and stainless valves.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #32 Love that Robin's egg blue color.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #33 The tranny is a rebuilt M21 close ratio with a Hurst shifter.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #34 With safety in mind, I went with power steering, power brakes and a dual master cylinder.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #35 The lair of the Tiger.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #36 The feeding system.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #38 Cooling the Tiger.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #39 The car got 3 coats urethane and 3 coats of clear.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #40 Lets go!
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #41 Can't get enough looks at that Tri-Power.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #42 Splitters on stainless exhaust Flowmasters.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #44 This is the first day out in the sun.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #45 Only deal on the whole car was the Cragars.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #47 Puttin on the Ritz.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #48 Never fear, little Chevy.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #49 The car is 1 of 11,311. I restored it. I didn't crush it.
CLICK-> 65 resto pic #50 The car is pictured with 3 of 6 trophies from "Best of Show" to "not even show". I can't figure those judges.

If you want to, email Randy Butler at randys65badgoat@msn.com and tell him "Nice Car!".
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