My wife and I have recently gotten into antique hunting and I've come to the conclusion that there's a fine line between what is an "antique" and what is, in reality, little more than junk. Our sad hulk here case in point; with an asking price of $2,900 someone thinks this is one hell of an antique. You almost can't blame them seeing that it's what's left of a once proud Motor Trend Car of the Year from 1968, a Pontiac GTO. Bring a trailer and get ready to drop in an engine. And a whole lot more.
Authenticity is everything in the collector car world and the "242" right there validates the seller's claim that this was, when it was born at least, a god's green earth, rubber nosed, GTO. Without this VIN prefix I highly doubt that this car would still be in one piece. Such as it is.
Who knows why this wreck is in the shape that it's in. Looks like it's been sitting for a long time. in blazing hot, fairly humid Texarkana Arkansas. Now, most if not all of the parts of this interior are available on line but it's going to cost you. I'd budget at least $3,000 for the interior resto. Don't forget the $2900 you spent on this antique in the first place and you can begin to see how this will add up. Quickly.
Spend a good $100 or so on good brushes to scrub away the years of grime. Bet this interior smells like granny's basement too months after the water heater busted open. Take everything out and scrub, scrub, scrub away. Better yet, get a power washer.
That is, if the floor pan can withstand it. This here is what concerns me the most about this car. She's a Texas car so you'd think she'd be somewhat immune to rust but we are talking about a 50 year old GM product here; rust gets 'em all regardless of location. This floor pan has to go and good luck finding a reputable metal shop that will weld in new floor pans for you without raking you over the coals. They're out there but boy are you going to pay. I estimate $2,000 to fix that. I'm at almost $8,000 and counting.
Oh, great. Trunk floor is rotted out too. You might be looking at closer to $3,000 if not $4,000 seeing that you might want to have all of the floor pans redone. When restoring an old car, just like an old house, always best to estimate higher. Set aside $5,000 for the floor pan project. I'm at $11,000 so far and we haven't even talked powertrain or body work yet.
There were no pictures of under the hood and that's telling - what don't they want us to see? Obviously, there's no engine seeing how high up the front end is and that right front tire being cocked at an odd angle tells me there's front end work to be done. Let's assume there's no engine or transmission. We going with an LS swap or crate engine? We're looking at $6,000. At least. Ka-ching. We're pushing twenty large. A really good paint job could run you another 10.
So, all in, to be on the high side you're looking at around $40,000 into this car. And then what do you have? A non-numbers matching "GTO" mutt of sorts that few collectors will be interested in since aside from perhaps looking real nice, it would have about as much cache as a clone - that's a non GTO that's dressed up to look like one. Those cars are increasingly popular as the real mccoys are getting harder and harder to find but they are what they are. And they certainly don't go for the kind of money that it would take to make investing in this car worthwhile.
Which takes us all the way back to the beginning and the fine line between what is an antique and what is junk. Sorry. This is just junk.