Howard S 1967 Pontiac GTO 2dr Hardtop Coupe

The GTO I had to have and took 22 years to get

As drag racers in the early 60's with a speed shop on the Ohio River in Marietta, OH, we loved our Pontiacs. Dad had some Pontiacs amongst other cars so it was easy to care about Pontiacs. We raced Chevy powered gassers but had a '56 Pontiac as a tow car.

During high school, I joined the Naval Reserve. After graduation from Parkersburg (WV) High School in 1963, I started my short reserve career with boot camp. The following year, 1964, I went to Great Lakes for Fire Control Technician "A" School. About that time, I had acquired a beautiful 1957 Pontiac Star Chief. We rebuilt the engine up with a fuel injection cam and tri-power. I even found a positraction unit for it. It was almost unbeatable on the streets of Parkersburg. While I was on active duty (two years including Vietnam on an aircraft carrier, the Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA-42), my brothers had an early Hydramatic built for it (GMC valve body for great shifts) and eventually replaced that with a HD Pontiac 3 speed stick. When I came home once, I blew the driveshaft at 120+ when I let off the gas. It was a custom built/welded driveshaft to fit with the transmission. I'm lucky it didn't toss me end over end!

While on active duty circling the globe for 2 years, I scrimped and saved for a new GTO. I would send my money home for my parents to bank for me for that new 1967 GTO. When my ship would pull into port, I wouldn't take any costly tours as I was saving for the Goat. Only once, in Rio de Janeiro, did I spend any money for a guided tour. I had to have my Goat.

When I got home in January 1967 to start back to college, Marshall University, I didn't have enough money to buy that car I wanted. I ended up with a Brass Hat (corporate rep vehicle) 1966 Dodge Charger. Many, many cars followed that including a 4-speed 1968 blue Road Runner and a 1969 black Catalina. The 1971 yellow Vega wagon was for my infant's playpen. Y'all know how that goes!

Fast forward to 1988 after I'd moved to California (1976) and had gotten remarried (yep, really a fast forward). I noticed that my neighbor across the street had an old car in his garage. As it turned out, when Rob moved to CA from NY years earlier, he came out with this 1967 GTO. It ended up in his garage for many years. His wife, Laura, wanted to get rid of it. We started to negotiate it but didn't come to any conclusion. Reading my car mags, I saw that 60's cars were starting to increase in value. Even though I was between jobs (WD-40 Company had fired all of us independent sales reps), I felt it was "now or never". In 1989, we came to a price and I pushed it home across the street. It has been in my garage ever since!

Until this year, I'd only driven it 15-30 miles a year. I'm trying to drive more this year. In December, while trying to start it with ether, it caught on fire! I was able to get it out before it caused too much damage. Hagerty came to the rescue and paid for the repairs. I actually had money left over from what they sent me and sent the difference back to Hagerty. It was the right thing to do.

The car is interesting as it has an original vinyl top, A/C (not working), Hurst His 'n Hers shifter on a TH400, and factory electric windows (besides some of the "normal" extras). It only has just over 100,000 miles on it. It has not been restored.

But, alas, it is time to sell it to someone else so I can retire.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Ted Popplewell Twin Falls, Idaho August 7, 2014 at 23:37
    If you really want to sell it, please let me know! Mt cousin had a '67 GTO, goldfish tan in color. I have been looking for one for over 40 years.

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