Yet true GTO fans now have an obligation to preserve the heritage and are more than happy to show off this golden-era muscle car. Ken Mayr's 1967 GTO is a fine example of historic muscle.
Mayr purchased his car 23 years ago and saved it from a date with the local junkyard. But this decision had a lot to do with the GTO's influence on his own childhood. Mayr's father had owned a GTO and the younger Mayr fondly recalled its place in his father's life. Nostalgia got the best of him, and Mayr, urged on by a sense of honoring his father, moved ahead with plans to purchase the GTO.
Mayr slowly took apart the car and did the necessary research to find the parts needed to recreate this once-great muscle car. Mayr began by replacing the drivetrain. After that, he stripped down the paint and replaced every body panel except the roof. The GTO body was removed from the frame, which was then reinforced and checked for structural integrity.
|» Engine: Pontiac 462 roller motor|
|» Performance: Turbo 400 transmission, Barry Grant carburetor, Hotchkis Sport Suspension, Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold, Jet-Hot headers, B-Kool radiator|
|» Paint: House of Kolor eight-shade Kameleon|
|» Wheels: Billet wheels|
|» Interior: Roll cage, racing seats, custom dash with Auto Meter gauges, fuel cell, billet pulleys, billet steering wheel, steel braided lines throughout|
|» Exterior: 4-inch cowl induction custom hood, painted bumpers|
At the time, the GTO was all original and Mayr found himself facing a dilemma. Should he retain the historic look or turn the monster into a pro street vehicle by adding his own signature touches? In the end, Mayr decided on the latter approach, knowing full well that most people who purchased this car for speed did so with every intention of making it faster. Yet compared to keeping the GTO all original, the economic drain of turning any car into a pro street vehicle is sizable.
Years of putting the car on the track combined with hours of repairs to keep the GTO in racing trim finally caused Mayr to retire the car to show duty. He's happy to keep it still long enough to allow GTO fans interested in his impressive work to stop and take a look. These days he and his wife Michele, who is a Mopar enthusiast, spend a lot of time at car shows and local meets.
What do you drive? A 1967 Pontiac GTO.
Why do you drive it? I drive the GTO because of the nostalgia of having the same car as my father had when he was a child.
What makes this car so special? The eight-shade custom paint job. I enjoy watching people walk around it and try to figure out what the different colors are.
What is your most memorable driving experience? The most memorable experience was to drive it around once the restoration was complete.
What was the first car you owned? This one right here.
What music are you currently listening to in your car? The GTO does not have a radio installed in the car due to the massive powertrain.
And your first ticket? What was it for? I received my first ticket in this car when I was 19 for speeding.