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1965 Pontiac GTO - Striking Gold

Stumbling Across This Pontiac On A Chevy Dealer's Lot Was More Than Luck.

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Tech Notes
What: '65 Pontiac GTO

Owner: Jim Galloway

Hometown: Greenfield, Minnesota. Population 2,544

Engine: Jim tossed the 389 as soon as he got home from Arizona. Making better use of the space underhood is a 455 block that's been supersized to 467 inches. That breaks down to a 4.181-inch bore and a 4.25-inch stroke. Using the stock 455 crank, Pontiac guru Jim Butler of Leoma, Tennessee, assembled the short-block with Eagle connecting rods, Ross forged pistons, Total Seal moly rings, and a Butler-spec (0.571-inch lift, 254/262 degrees duration) Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam. A Canton oil pan buttons up the bottom end.

Heads: When the engine was built, there weren't a lot of aftermarket performance cylinder heads available. Engine builder Jim Butler worked over the stock Pontiac D-port heads with a thorough porting job before stuffing them with 2.11/1.77-inch Ferrea valves, Lunati springs and pushrods, and Comp Cams roller rockers.

Induction: Jim's super-clean engine bay is topped off with a K&N air cleaner perched on an 850-cfm Holley double-pumper. An Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold shepherds air and fuel to their final destination. Together, this combination yielded 552 hp at 5,600 rpm and 575 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm.

Transmission: A TCI TH400 was called on to deal with the prodigious Pontiac grunt. The 10-inch Street Fighter torque converter accounts for the 3,200-rpm stall speed-just 1,000 rpm shy of the fat part of the engine's torque curve.

Rearend: A Moser 12-bolt rounds out the drivetrain. Jeff Schwartz narrowed it 1 inch to accommodate Jim's wheel-and-tire package. A limited-slip diff with a 3.08 ratio ensures that tire smoke billows from both quarter-panels when Jim buries the throttle.

Suspension: Jeff Schwartz worked his magic on the Goat. Mods include custom springs and polygraphite bushings, and 151/416-inch front and 1-inch rear sway bars keep the car planted to the tarmac. This guy can make a 5,000-pound Cadillac pull over 1g on the skidpad, so it's safe to say this GTO can hang in the twisties, too.

Brakes: Oversized front and rear disc brakes from SSBC quickly halt forward progress. The front rotors measure 13 inches in diameter, while the rears check in at 11 inches. Power assist is by means of a hydroboost system because Jeff's lumpy cam makes manifold vacuum a scarce thing at idle.

Wheels/Tires: Sticky BF Goodrich KDW T/A radials are on all four corners. Sized 235/45-17 up front and 275/40-17 out back, the tires roll on Oasis Rebel wheels. The 9.5-inch-wide rear wheels necessitated narrowing of the rear axles.

Body: Arizona cars are clean, dry, and rust free. If we could all be so lucky. John Kochevar of Collision Masters in Crystal, Minnesota, prepped the body for a complete color change and sprayed the House of Kolor Gold Mine Pearl.

Interior: Jeff loves the stock interiors of the '65s and decided to leave well enough alone. An Auto Meter tachometer and a trio of Stewart-Warner gauges allow Jim to monitor his motor's vitals.

Performance: Though the engine has been dyno'd, Jim's car was finished just in time for the CC Summer Nationals. He doesn't have any quarter-mile times. Yet.

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