Dave K 1964 GTO's

My first and second 1964 GTO

When I was ready to get my first new car, I chose a 1964 GTO because it was something new in performance, sounded cool and looked sporty and had power. It was not called a muscle car by the dealer, merely a more powerful version of the LeMans. I chose a Yorktown Blue exterior with the Blue interior, plus a 4 speed transmission and a single four barrel engine. Naturally I got the console but decided not to get the rally steering wheel or special rims, opting instead for for the spinner hub caps. As I had always done, I got the shop manuals so I could work on it myself. Over its lifetime with me, I touched it up and repainted it, did the usual maintenance and fixed problem. I washed and waxed it religiously.

I originally got the red line tires rather than the white walls, but found them to wear out very quickly, not from burnouts, but just due to very soft rubber. The second US Royal red lines were junk, being out of round from the factory. After that I stuck with reversed white walls with white lettering that I did. My wife and I dated in it and it was out first car, after we got married. I finally sold it in 1977 to get a more family suitable car. My wife and I would recall, from time to time, our fond memories of the "old" car. After about 36 years I one day said to my wife that we should get another one, and so we did. This time it was a red exterior with black interior, 3-2's and power steering. Everything else was the same as I had back in 1964. The other reason for buying the same model was I still remembered how to work on it. Despite all those years, I still recalled details of the first one and how it came with from the factory. After driving it around for a year we decided to go the restoration route on the body. We also decided not to paint it the color of the first one, but rather a correct Grenadier red. The frame was solid with only typical surface rust, but the body had its share of Bondo and poorly repaired rust damage. So 10 months into the restoration we have new quarter panels, rear wheel housings, and trunk floor pan plus some real metal replacing some poor quality repair work. Amazingly, the front end was essentially rust free. All 5 layers of paint are gone now and the new metal has been primed and ready for the correct Grenadier Red. All lines are straight. Likewise interior console and trim paint will be the correct blue gray. We are expecting to get it finished before winter sets in so we can cruise it to a few car shows. My wife really likes the attention we get for passers-by, and we like talking to other people at the car shows and compare notes. As a final note, part of the cost of the car was paid for by a electric guitar I also had bought in the 60's- a 1960 Fender Stratocaster.

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