Once a Pile of Junk, This 1967 Pontiac GTO Is Now a Museum-Grade Muscle Car

Introduced in 1963 as an option package for the LeMans, the Pontiac GTO is now widely regarded as America's first muscle car. This may not be entirely true, but the GTO is indeed one of the most important vehicles from the golden era.
1967 Pontiac GTO 12 photos
Photo: MuscleCarOfTheWeek/YouTube
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As a result, it's also a highly desirable classic, especially when we're talking about first-gen iterations built from model years 1964 to 1967. This doesn't mean the GTO is not a common sight in junkyards though. Sadly, there are plenty of them rotting in scrapyards across the U.S.

But the GTO is also a nameplate that gets saved more often than others and a muscle car that's more likely to be restored after being kept in storage for a very long time. The 1967 example you see here is one of those GTOs that went from being a barn-kept piece of junk to a Concours-winning gem.

Its early history is unknown but the car ended up sitting in a garage for a very long time. Judging by the way it looked when it emerged back into the light, it had been sitting for decades. The body was rusty and wearing multiple colors, the interior was trashed, the engine didn't run, and the vinyl top was toast. According to Kevin Oeste of V8 Speed & Resto Shop, which handled the restoration the car looked "like it was dragged out of a swamp."

Luckily enough, the owner had it for a very long time and decided to put the GTO back on its feet rather than just dump it at the nearest scrapyard. And what an excellent decision that was because the aforementioned shop turned it into a museum-grade classic.

The overhaul was a full-blown rotisserie restoration that saw all sheet metal and the chassis reworked. It also got new seats and a new vinyl top, as well as a rebuilt engine and transmission. And yes, this GTO still rocks its numbers-matching 400-cubic-inch (6.5-liter), which at the time delivered 265 to 360 horsepower depending on carburetor layout.

However, the rebuild also included the addition of a FiTech fuel injection unit, so the mill is no longer 100% percent stock. While that may be an issue with radical Pontiac gearheads, the V8 is now more reliable and fuel efficient. Speaking of upgrades, the shop also went with a tubular suspension, a vintage-style but modern AC system, and Dakota Digital gauges. Nothing fancy basically because the owner wanted it to be as close to stock as possible.

The GTO became a hit as soon as it was unveiled at the 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN). That's where the owner also saw it for the very first time. Judged in the Street Modified class at the said event, the Poncho scored 997 out of 1,000 points, which pretty much turned it into a top-notch show winner on its first outing.

Find out more about this awesome 1967 GTO in the video below, which not only details the restoration process, but also shares insight into the challenges that come with such a project.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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