Man Shops for `Family Car’ — Comes Home with 1967 GTO

November 20, 2010/Auto Sales Classifieds

MOTOR MATTERS CLASSIC CLASSICS BY VERN PARKER

Richard Jones says, “In 1969 my wife Dodie sent me downtown to buy an `economical, air conditioned, family sedan, which would get good gas mileage,'” explains Richard Jones.
On the local Ford dealer’s used-car lot in Livermore, Calif., was a two-year-old Pontiac GTO convertible that caught his attention. Perhaps it was the aggressive-appearing air scoop on the engine hood that stopped him in his tracks.
That was more than four decades ago. Jones still has vivid memories of that fateful day. He recalls that the odometer on the 1967 GTO had recorded about 17,000 miles and both mufflers, as well as both resonators, needed to be replaced.
The salesman at the dealership agreed to install a new dual-exhaust system, perform a tune-up on the 400-cubic-inch V-8 engine and fill the gasoline tank. Of course, filling the gasoline tank in those days was not such a big deal.
With those tasks accomplished, Jones then settled into the gold interior of the gold Pontiac and with his feet on the gold carpeting happily drove to his home across town.
“I thought I had what she wanted when I came home with the GTO. It got 10 miles per gallon and with the white top down and the car moving the air conditioning was not bad.”
He remembers the climate inside the Jones household was chilly for some time after that purchase. Today, however, Jones says that his wife claims the GTO convertible is her car.
When new in 1967, the handsome 3,515-pound convertible had a base price of $3,165. Jones suspects that his car sold new for close to the base price because it came equipped only with power steering and power brakes.
The non-air conditioned Pontiac did have an automatic transmission with the gear selector in a floor-mounted console between the front bucket seats.
All of the chrome on the car is original but the gold paint has been resprayed. Along about 1990 the original paint was showing signs of aging. Jones says he removed all the trim pieces, including the full wheel covers before the convertible was repainted. The black pinstripes were replaced when the paint dried. The chrome on the bumpers is original.
A recurring problem Jones has encountered involves the carburetor. He says his Pontiac left the factory with a single Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor. Years later Jones says he switched to a four-barrel Holley carburetor, which in turn was later replaced by an Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor. Jones has kept all of the carburetors just in case he wants to retrace his steps.
In all the years that Jones has owned his 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible the original gold boot has survived, probably because it has rarely been used.
When daughters Debra and Diana were of driving age Jones sent them off to school in the Pontiac with the paternal admonishment that they had to wear sunglasses, look cool and always have the convertible top down. With the GTO rolling on a 115-inch wheelbase the girls had a comfortable ride.
Most of the 126,000 miles now on the odometer have been more or less accumulated local miles with the longest trip Jones can remember being one he took to Albuquerque, N.M.
Pontiac Motor Co. manufactured a total of 9,517 such GTO convertibles with stacked headlights during the 1967 model year. Jones observes, “It’s such a nice looking car, top up or top down.” — Vern Parker, Motor Matters

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