1966 Pontiac GTO restoration project becomes a stock 389 Tri-Power Restomod
Much has been said about the Pontiac GTO. Some argue that it was the first generation of the model that made the muscle car segment so popular. Others believe it even started the trend of street-oriented performance cars with all American automakers. Whatever the case, this is a model that is both praised and held in high regard by fans and rivals alike.
So it’s always a celebration when someone decides to breathe new life into an original 1966 GTO. According to the good people of Hand-built cars On YouTube, this particular example caught the attention of experts at Schwarts Performance, based in Woodstock, Ill., for a basic chassis upgrade. But, then again, nothing is generally as you would imagine, so it’s no wonder it’s evolved into a bit more.
By the way, before you start the actual build (video embedded below), there are a few things you should know about Schwartz Performance. They are one of those cool aftermarket stores that not only do classic car restorations. Instead, they focus on performance-driven rejuvenations, as well as custom car builds that build on their experience working with bolted muscle car chassis.
It is therefore not surprising that the ’66 GTO works for the first time with images of a bare frame. This is the Schwartz Performance G-Machine chassis system, an “ultimate upgrade” that features modern chassis construction that is “stronger but lighter”And comes with a 200% reduction in torsional flex. It’s no wonder the chassis has enough time to shine before the video story moves on to the chassis-powertrain marriage starting at 4:30.
The frame and suspension chapter also includes a power steering rack, Ridetech’s uniquely tuned coil springs, race-style stabilizer bars, and the stopping power needed to freeze an elephant in its tracks – in the form Baer Pro Plus 14-inch six-piston brakes front and rear. After a lot of work under the body, it’s time to see the purple color chosen for the GTO from 6:50 a.m.
Just to show that this point of sale really is “where classic style meets modern technology”, There is a lot of work presented for construction before the project starts to come to life at 10:20 am. So the body was repainted in Carousel Red and reworked with PPG materials, while the vintage vibe was preserved using custom 19-inch Evod Industries wheels that mirror the factory Pontiac Rally 1 setup.
New rubber (Michelin Pilot Super Sport, 255 front and 305 rear) was needed to control performance. Even though the customer opted for an original Pontiac 389 tri-horsepower engine, the mill still underwent a few modifications for good measure (Autotrend EFI, custom aluminum intake manifold, custom air intake or March Performance coil drive).
Additionally, the powertrain was mated to a Tremec TKO five-speed manual transmission, custom steel driveshaft, as well as a TrueTrac differential. That means it has the look (look at the brand display 18:05) of a vintage 1966 GTO and the prowess of a modern car, so it’s clear to this owner the details make the difference. difference.
And we also really appreciate them, starting with the beautiful interior which has been kept as vintage as possible. That’s even if it also comes with creature comforts: custom Pearl White leather upholstered Scat seats or a Vintage Air setup.
For us though, aside from the car in its entirety, the coolest details were also the smallest or hardest to see. Like the pretty gearshift lever, the blackened underside of the hood or the completely reworked exhaust system that ends with two-tone downward facing tips on either side …