PAINTHOUSE

Cypress, TX View More Projects

1967 Pontiac GTO – Blew Bayou

Project Quick Facts

Profile ID: 2167
Year: 1967
Make: Pontiac
Model: GTO
Markets: Muscle Car, Performance, Rod & Custom
Vehicle Type: American
Contact: PAINTHOUSE

Manufacturers

Shops

  • PAINTHOUSE - Complete Build, Body & Custom Mixed Paint

SPECS:

  • Stock GM body
  • Custom-mixed PAINTHOUSE color using PPG products
  • PPG sealers, primers, colors and clear coats
  • Butler Performance 467ci engine (600hp)
  • Fast Fuel Injection system
  • Edelbrock aluminum heads
  • March accessory drive system
  • Circle D built 700r-4 transmission and torque converter
  • Global West suspension system
  • Wilwood brake system
  • PAINTHOUSE-designed wheels (cut by Colorado Custom)
  • Ron Mangus Hot Rod Interiors upholstery
  • Custom brass/chrome moldings by Red Lizard Moldings (Little Louie)
  • Vintage Air AC & Heat
  • Classic Instruments gauges
  • Penske coil-over shocks
  • Battery Saver built-in maintenance charger
  • Doug Thorley exhaust headers and electric cut-outs
  • Pypes 3” exhaust system (custom-fitted by PAINTHOUSE)
  • Lokar throttle and e-brake cables
  • Rick’s Tanks custom-built fuel tank with pump module

THE STORY:

My love for cars started in March of 1965 when my parents drove me home from the hospital.  I am sure of this because I cannot remember a time when I was not dreaming about cars.

My love for cars started in March of 1965 when my parents drove me home from the hospital.  I am sure of this because I cannot remember a time when I was not dreaming about cars.

My obsession with Pontiac’s started around 1975 when my older sister was dating a boy who drove a 1967 Tyrol Blue Firebird Convertible.  I wanted the car so badly I was will to do anything to get it.  I once made a bet with him that if I was completely quiet for an hour, he would give me the car.  I think I was silent for days.  However, it only got me a hand-drawn rendering of the car.

A few years later, when he graduated from high school, the boy traded the car in on a Fiat and I was heartbroken.  Over the next several years I looked for a Firebird like the one I had fallen in love with and at the age of 14 I had to settle for a 1955 Chevrolet 210 2 door Sedan.  I keep looking for the Firebird and along the way found that I really wanted a GTO but could not afford one.

In 1983 I was on my way to college and a good friend knew I needed a more reliable car to get me to and from school and out on those most important dates.  He called me just a few weeks before I was to head off to school and said he had acquired a car that I might be interested in purchasing.  I quickly headed over to his house to find a 1967 Pontiac GTO Sports Coupe.  I first thought, "That is not a real GTO, it has a post?"  I thought all GTO’s were either hard tops or convertibles.

None the less, I liked the look of the car and it was exactly what I needed.  My friend said give me $500.00 and the first right of refusal if you should ever wish to sell it.  I quickly produced the $500.00 and began the work needed to get it road worthy.  Upon a quick inspection, I realized that several of the lifters had collapsed and this is why it did not run.  I replaced all of the lifters and pushrods and I had a good running car with factory A/C.  Something I had never had before.

For the next six years, the car would be my main mode of transportation.  I only had to replace the motor once, about two years after I purchased the car.  In 1989, I retired the car and started saving up and purchasing parts for the future restoration.  Fast forward around 10 years, several jobs, homes and other cars and I was finally ready to get the restoration underway.

BTW…  I still have the 1955 Chevrolet I purchased in 1979 at the age of 14 with my own money.

I chose to restore the GTO first because it was my father’s favorite car we had ever owned.  He was always clipping articles about the GTO and was always telling me that it would be worth something someday.  In 1999 I disassembled the car and began looking for a reputable restoration shop to help with the paint and body work that needed to be done.  I purchased a frame and began working on it in my garage at home.  My plan was to restore the car and give it to my father to drive.

I settled on a shop on the Northwest side of town.  I took many trips there and interviewed them time and time again and watched several cars done by them before deciding this was the place.  I took the GTO to them and they began their work.   We first sent the car off to be acid dipped.  I guess all of those years of moving around and not always having a garage took its toll on the car.  When we got it back from the acid dip, it looked like Swiss cheese!

This is when I did my research and found out that the 1967 GTO Sports Coupe was fairly rare in comparison to the hardtop and Convertible.  In 1967 there were only 7,029 Sports Coupes, 9,517 Convertibles, and 65,176 Hardtops.  My Sports Coupe was rarer than the Convertibles.  Knowing this little fact and the other that I had caused the Swiss cheese, I felt that I had to continue with the plan to restore this GTO and not find another.

Like so many other stories you have all heard, the shop I had the car at for almost two years suddenly, overnight, went out of business.  I received a phone call mid-morning in the middle of the week from Bruce Woodings, one of the guys who had done a lot of work on the car.  He said you need to get here right away and collect your car.  It needs to be out of the shop today or you might never see it again.

Just by chance, I happen to be in town, you see, back then I traveled all over the world for work and was typically only home a few days every other month.  I had to round up a trailer and head to the shop.  When I got there, the shop owner’s wife demanded that I pay any balance due before I could go into the shop and retrieve my car.  She said it had to be cash and nothing else would be accepted.  I said I wanted to see the car and the parts before I paid and she refused.  I then rushed to the local bank and got the $5,000 cash she demanded.  Once I paid her I was then able to see the car.

To my surprise, the car was completely disassembled and parts were all in a pile.  My father had a friend who had an office just a few doors down so we were able to wheel the car and parts down to his place.  A few weeks later, Bruce had landed at another shop and I took the car to him to have him put it back together.  It was now the end of 2003 and I knew I was leaving my current company to start my own business.  I took the car home and stored it in a 40’ sea container.

The business did well and by 2007 I was ready to get back on the project.  I had been following Bruce and knew he was working for the PAINTHOUSE.  I began showing up at the shop and checking out their work.  I was very impressed with the cars they had done and the paint jobs were spectacular.  I asked the owner Randy Borcherding what I needed to do to get my car into his shop.  He informed me that there was a waiting list and it was around six to eight months.

I promptly put my name on the list and continued to wait.  First, we hit the six-month mark, not ready yet, then the eight-month mark, not ready yet.  I started to get impatient and wanted to get the car done.  I put my name on another shop's waiting list and decided whoever called first would get the job.

During this time, in February of 2008, I lost my father.  My wish of seeing him driving around in the fully restored GTO was not going to happen.

Fast forward a few more months and I got a call from the “other shop” so I decided they would get the project.  Just a few days after I made this decision, Randy called and said he was ready.  I told him sorry but I had gone somewhere else.

Then the car sat and no progress.  Then the Houston AutoRama came and I took my newly acquired 1967 Firebird Convertible to the show.   While attending the show I spent a lot of time looking at all of the cars and picking out the ones I really liked.  I also spent a lot of time looking at the ISCA Judges favorites.  Surprise, surprise!  Most of them were cars that had been done by the PAINTHOUSE.  I told my wife that I was going to have to eat crow and ask Randy to please put me back on the list.

I must say, Randy was very nice and told me that he would put me back on the list but there was a waiting since I had given up my previous slot.  I told him that was no problem and I could wait.  I wanted the PAINTHOUSE to finish my car.

The car finally made it into the PAINTHOUSE and with a lot of help from them, and Ron Mangus on the interior, on November 24, 2011, she made her debut at the Houston Autorama.  She was sitting front row, just inside the main doors everyone came in and out of.  She is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.  In her debut, she won Outstanding Custom, Outstanding Paint and was a Millwinder "Magnificent 7" pick.

I am proud to say that Bruce and Tim started the project many years ago and they were both present to finish her up.  All of the guys at PAINTHOUSE do make dreams come true!  Thanks go out to Randy, Jennifer, Tim, Mike, Craig, Dustin, Cody and most of all to my old friend Bruce!

Next stop is the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA...