Douglas K 1965 GTO

It all started in 1971

I was still in the service in 1971, when I figured it was time for me to buy a vehicle. I started to walk down the strip where there were new and used cars for sale. So, I decided to look at them and I was not sure what I wanted but then I've seen this car and I asked a salesman on any information he can give me on this car that I was really interested in (remember back then there was no CarMax). After inquiring enough information on it, I thought I would wait a day to think things over. The next day, I went back to him and bought this 1965 389 four speed GTO. I figured cars were just a car in 1971, I never gave it a thought that in years from then it would be a dream car that would be on a "hot list" to own. When I got out of the service, I decided to work on it and add accessories to it, so I traveled to many junk yards to see if I can find parts that I can add to the car (that would make it a more desirable vehicle to me). Although the trip to the junk yard sometimes did not result in me finding any parts, but once in a while, I got lucky and found just one or two that could be used in the car.

Still to me whether I found something or not in the junkyard, I was very happy because it was like walking down memory lane to see all the cars that were around the 60's and 70's that were in individual rows and had me reminiscing of my earlier years when I thought of when I got my driver's license, these would be one of the cars I would love to drive and own brand new. It is exciting to see the different makes and models, I even thought only if I had a lot of money and a good job, I would be able to purchase just one of those 60's Mustangs, Chevelles, Impalas or Firebirds when they were new, of course I would be in my glory then. The only other problem was that I was too young to purchase a brand new car in the mid-sixties, let along afford one of those cars brand new and this was 1975 already, so my GTO had to do. I am also sure if we knew back then what we know now about the value of these cars, we would have tried our best to buy the ones that would cost a gold mine now.

Anyway, I started to rebuild the 389 engine and the 4-speed transmission. Then later, when the 80's started to come around and I matured a little more, that is when I thought I should be bringing the car to its original state as much as possible because the parts will soon be difficult to get or not around at all. So, I started my journey to get what parts was needed to complete my project and added only parts that were original to the GTO and this is what the car ended up looking-like when I was done. I did not invest a lot of money into it because the exciting part was finding parts reasonable, and the trips to the junk yard was very helpful along with swap-meets and flea markets. It was a rewarding project that left me with many memories of searching junky yards, swap-meets and anything else possible that had to do with parts for cars, also I got to see other muscle cars that were very neat.

Remember, computers were not that popular back then, and eBay was not even in existence. Still the passion of searching and finding parts of my first project car has left an everlasting love for the American Muscle Car.

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