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1965 Pontiac GTO - Twisted Thinking?

As Ed Allen Sees It, The Tone For His Overkill GTO Was Set Long Ago.

By Eric English, Photography by Eric English

TECH NOTES
Who: Ed Allen
What: '65 Pontiac GTO
Where: Seattle, Washington

Engine: Never dreamt of back in 1965 when 389 cubes were big and 421 were huge, the current 535 Poncho by Britco Racing Engines was built around a Kauffman Racing Equipment MR-1 block, bored to 4.35 inches. A Sonny Bryant billet crank features 41?2-inch throws and moves the forged Ross pistons via Oliver steel rods. Helping fill the vast cylinder bores are a pair of Kauffman D-port aluminum heads, whose 2.11x1.77 valve package are popped by T&D shaft-mounted roller rockers and an Erson solid roller with 260/272 degrees duration at 0.050 and 0.742/0.749-inch lift. A much-massaged Edelbrock single-plane is home to an 850 Mighty Demon and direct-port Nitrous Pro-Flow system.

Exhaust: It has custom 1 7/8-inch stainless headers that feed a 3-inch exhaust system featuring Borla muffs.

Fuel: Ed sumped the tank and added a Barry Grant Endura pump feeding the fuel to the 850 Mighty Demon via 1/2-inch lines.

Ignition: It uses an MSD billet distributor and Digital-6.

Transmission: Despite the kind of massive power that might be more easily tamed through an automatic trans, Ed stayed true to the GTO's roots by installing a Keisler/Tremec TKO-600 five-speed with a 2.87:1 First gear and 0.64 overdrive. Clutch action is courtesy of a Hays twin-disc unit, while a Mark Williams carbon-fiber driveshaft transfers the grunt rearward.

Rearend: The Ford 9-inch has a Strange aluminum carrier, a 3.90:1-geared Detroit Locker, and 35-spline Mark Williams axles. Maybe it messes with the all-Pontiac theme, but it's out of sight and out of mind for the most part--and perfectly understandable considering the durability and parts availability. Bill Scribner whipped out one of his famous sheetmetal housings for a perfect fit.

Suspension: Up front, Global West tubular control arms and a Hellwig sway bar are teamed with adjustable QA1 shocks and a WS6 steering box for precision control. More QA1s, Hotchkis trailing arms, and a Hellwig sway bar bring up the rear.

Brakes: Stainless Steel Brake Corps 14-inch disc/four-pot front calipers work only with big-diameter rolling stock, which are certainly present here. The rear discs measure in at 12 inches.

Wheels/Tires: The 17- and 18-inch five-spoke wheel combination looks big--but not too big on this classic Goat. Measuring in at 8 and 9 1/2 inches, respectively, the billet rims are shod in 225/45ZR17 and 285/40ZR18 BFG G-Force rubber.

Paint/Body: All original body panels were finessed into shape by Butch Kingery of Classy Chassis Auto Body in Olympia, Washington. While the GTO is pretty radical, Ed was adamant about not detracting from the iconic muscle car shape and styling cues. The BMW Slate Gray is an obvious change from the original teal hue, but otherwise the body is stock--so is the brightwork, with original rechromed bumpers and hours of stainless restoration by Dave Barr.

By Eric English
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