Before & After 1969 GTO

Hagerty’s magazine recently asked readers to submit “before and after” photos of their vehicle restorations. Due to the overwhelming response, we weren’t able to publish all the submissions in Hagerty’s, so each month we’ll post a new restoration online.

James Carbone found this ‘69 GTO convertible – in pieces and in primer – in a field in Rhode Island in 1990. What he discovered when he got the car home was a numbers-matching car with its original engine and transmission – she even boasts the correct number carburetor.

Before beginning the restoration, James had Pontiac Historic Services document the car so he could restore it as close to original as possible. He completed a full chassis restoration with stainless brake and fuel lines, and new suspension bushings throughout. The dash is completely original. The car also has power windows and the original am/fm multiplex stereo with its original eight-track player.

James added a power rear antenna, a power trunk release, cruise control and a hood tach – all original options. He also added brand new Yokohama red line radials from Diamond Back Classics, and restored the seat belts. The finished car is in its original Windward Blue – an option in 1969. The Parchment interior was restored to its original condition with a split bench seat.

For James, the restoration was a labor of love and has definitely paid off, “I drive this car regularly and do not trailer her around. She runs and rides like a new car and is great fun to own,” he said.

Have you completed a labor of love like this one? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Please e-mail your restoration story, along with photos, to


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