1974 Pontiac Ventura GTO        page 11

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Canadian X-body collectors (1974 only!) Joe and Lucille have a new one to show us:

"(Here's)my favourite (I know I've said that about each of them!) ...my 1974 Pontiac GTO.  All original, 350 V8, four speed manual, center gauge package, functional shaker hood scoop, beautiful interior.  I splurged and purchased personalized license plates that read 'MY BILLY". We've reached a total of ten 1974 GM X bodies.

"So, I've cornered my own little market of 74's and I'm lovin' it!  Still actively gathering parts as they are becoming scarcer and more expensive than ever. Lucille ( bahnah@on.aibn.com )"

(L) This is the Idaho GTO also owned by Lucille and hubby.  It looks rough but the essentials for a cool ride seem to be there (I think the shaker scoop was included in the sale).

(R) Fabulously fabricated purple speed machine out of Crestwood, Illinois.  Now you know as much as I do  :-)

It's always nice to see the 'before' shots of a project.  This is another 74 GTO hatchback that's going to be overhauled and repainted in the color of the owner's first GTO (inset).

"(This car) came from Scranton PA. The guy that had it posted an article in PY Forum. He was the 2nd owner and bought it in 1978 when he was 18 yrs old. It's been in his grandmother's garage the past 10 years. He threw away the original interior, installed race seats and a big aluminum plate with stereo speakers in the back.


"The engine is a 400, 12:1 RA IV pistons, Edelbrock P85 w/AFB's, NASCAR fuel pump, MSD ignition, Crane cam, Thorley headers & header mufflers. I just got a set of RA III exhaust manifolds to replace the headers. It had 4.88:1 open rear end. I am replacing the intake with a Performer and Quadrajet so I can install a functional shaker and the rear has been improved with a 3.90:1 locker.


"The tires & wheels were original 9x15 Weld on back and 6x15 front. I have 7 x 15 Rally II's now with 225 Goodyear NASCAR Eagle I tires waiting to go on. I have new PUI upholstery in white and bought a new condition rear seat from a guy that was advertising on your site. The springs in it are still shiny metal -0% rust! I'm replacing all GTO decals with '64-'66 chrome emblems. Got the idea from Jerry Sheffer whose car was on e-Bay when I first saw it. You've got several pics of his car on your site, too. Paint will be changed to '65 GTO B3 Blue Charcoal---this was the color of my first new car.  Richard Powell"



Note position
of exhaust

Bumper filler
support wire...

Looks original.


(L) Jose Gonzalez Jr ( jcgjr61@optonline.net ) put together a pair of his vintage photos of a Ventura GTO back in its heyday.  The car sat neglected and vandalized for many years, but he's decided to bring the car back to life...

"As promised, I am now sending you pictures of my progress with My Lil' 1974 GTO.  First of all, I've owned this car since September 24, 1979.  Yes, 27 years this month.  The bad news is that I had abandoned it in a lot for 16 years and it was destroyed due to the weather, theft and my ignorance.  In 2001 I was determined to salvage it because I always loved that car.  So I saved up weekly and put aside a 'piggy bank' just for the GTO. 

"So in 2001, 15 years later, my mechanic Tito, the very same guy who rebuilt the original 350 engine in 1988 with 116K original miles, started it up in about 20 minutes.  I felt like I had a baby!  And I acted like it too (ask Tito). It didn't smoke, rattle or anything like I expected.  Well, I've found many, many parts for it on eBay and with friends from your Ventura site.  So I am very grateful to you like you don't know.  People on your site either got the part for me or pointed me in the right direction."  Thanks to all who were able to help Jose out!

Jose also sent a bunch of restoration photos.  Here's a sample of what he's been working on:

"This summer (2006) I spent almost three months doing the body work.  It is not a frame-up restoration because I can't afford that right now, (but) I would have loved to.  Hopefully my baby will be finished and painted by next summer.  I will paint it the original color, code #40 - Fernmist Green.  And the stripes are factory stripes as far as I know.  I am the 2nd owner - and the last.  When I 'go' it will go to my brother. 

"So the stripes will go back on it and I will replace the same Cragar Keystone Klassics I have on it.  Everything is stock on it for now, except that when the engine was rebuilt the heads were cut a 10th.  I finally found someone to re-chrome my bumpers, so I'm glad about that. This baby used to turn heads back then, I can't wait to drive it on the streets again. 

"The picture of the cowl is not accompanied by one with the replacement installed because of time limit where I was working on it, but thanks to Bruce S. who advertised on your site, I have a nice one, and a hood hinge and two bezels, which Bruce sold to me and delivered as agreed.  I thank everyone else who helped me out.  I kept the GTO all these years with a future with it in mind and you guys came through for me and helped me reach my goal.  When it is finished I will send you updated pictures.  THANK YOU ROLAND,  BRUCE, AND I THANK ALL OF YOU. 

"For more pictures go to JGonzalez150@photosite.com and see the 'My LiL' 1974 GTO' album... Keep the Lil' Goats ALIVE!!!Jose C Gonzalez Jr"

Bob Paouncic ( Slickvillepanels@aol.com) has a '74 GTO in work, and here are a few progress shots of where he's at. 

"The engine has turned out nicely.  A little hotter cam and it's bored 30 over, still remains numbers-matching. The sub frame has everything bolted on it, the automatic transmission is on the right in the picture. I'm hoping to start it in a couple on weeks. And to the body shop August 1 for the final paint job. And just maybe cruisin' by September 15. I can't believe the 200 hours I have tied up in this car and am still have alot to do. Well take care, and good luck to all who have emailed with questions for their 74 GTO's! Bob"  We later got this shot from under his 74 GTO restoration.  Everything except the rear end looks new...springs, gas tank and retaining straps, brake lines... this car will be better than new when complete.

'way before' -->

"Roland - A friend of mine forwarded some pictures to me from your site. Ironically, I am now the owner of this car.  I recognized the steering wheel, sunroof and the blue hatch lid!

"I want to trace the history as far as I can.  I bought it from a guy in Michigan named Jeff Thompson.  He bought it from another guy in Newberry MI and I know he bought it from a guy named Mike (his last name escapes me right now).  Here are a few shots of its current state, in epoxy primer.  Thanks much,   Tony" ( Tony.Walton@wush.com )

Note: I'd grabbed the photos off ebay, and according to my notes, the car was in Texas at the time.  -Ro

(L) A look down the main drag of the Kamloops "Hot Nites" show, conveniently held during the day :-)

(R) Don Mckay shares these images from over the summer.  Mckay's tent is the real McCoy.

For kicks, here's a Nova with the tent.  The camper option seems to be unknown to the Car Craft crew, but we can probably all agree that Chevy's version of the tent does look pretty low-end (maybe this one is home-made?).  I'm still looking for a Chevy ad showing the tent option; it's somewhere on my PC!

(L) In case you weren't paying attention, a nice mini-camper tent appeared on ebay, finally ending up in the hands of Canadian X-body collector Lucille.  She writes:

"I am very, very, very thrilled to advise (did I mention that I'm T H R I L L E D?) I am now the proud owner of the elusive camper tent for the 1974 GM X-body hatchback!!!!

"It took a lot of years to find it and my patience has paid off.  Ebay is where I secured her - it was quite a bidding battle and cost me a fair sum of money - but what the heck - you can't take it with you so I'm having the time of my life.

"What a feeling - wow - one of my hatchback beauties will now have the camping package!!!!!!!! Lucille"
     You could say she's happy...

(R) Dennis Homsey coincidentally sent in this nice shot of his '74 GTO with its nicely-matching orange Omega tent installed.

Dennis also sent in these great shots of the original instructions for camper installation, along with a closeup of some of the extras to make the setup work.  This will probably be helpful to anyone who needs to rig one of these. Note the hi-tech wooden block to de-activate the dome light, and velcro fasteners.  Thanks to Dennis for sharing this rare material!


Another Wisconsinite checks in!    " I just was surfing the site and thought I'd send you a few pics of the newest addition to my 1974 GTO collection.  I bought it out of WI - around the Steven's Point area a few weeks ago.  We had quite the experience getting it home - 4speed manual shifter linkage froze up on me at a rest stop 1/3 the way home.  Towed it to the shop my buddy works at in Hudson and it took 2 weeks until I could pick it up.  Rebuilt the Hurst shifter linkage, new seal & gasket kit for the Saginaw 4 speed, regrind on the flywheel and new clutch! 

"I don't know a whole lot about the car, but here are a few details: 455 engine out of a 71 auto car with 98 heads & 8.1:1 CR (Thanks to Classical Pontiac's engine and head guides), 4 speed Saginaw (original with 350 flywheel & new 350 clutch - I just found out and explains the smoking clutch after a burnout attempt the other day!), power steering and power front disc brakes, Buccaneer Red paint with red interior and original am/fm radio. 

"This car was restored about 8 years ago and already needs new paint (can't tell from the pics but the paint has several small blisters...what a shame... I'm thinking paint job this winter.)  I will tinker and DRIVE this 74 GTO while restoring several others, including the 74 Ventura hatchback I picked up that was advertised here on your site. I'll send you a few pics of the restoration of this car as well.  Good day! Eric Lien ( eolien@juno.com  )  Some of Eric's restoration shots are in below.

The body is still rough, but look at all the shiny new parts underneath! Eric says:

"Just thought I'd include some project pic's of my 1974 Ventura hatchback. Plans are not yet finalized, but I may make a GTO clone to replace the 1974 hatchback GTO rotting away in my father's field."  Maybe we'll be lucky to get a picture of the relic vehicle someday!

(R) Bob Yoy sends this fresh shot of his golden 74 GTO and writes:  "Notice rear quarters not factory wheel opening, but looks like it could have come that way.  275 60 15's on the rear and not jacked up at all..."  ( yoyx2@verizon.net )

If you have some '74 GTO pictures you'd like to share, just drop me a line at pontiacv@pontiacventura.com  -Roland  (It's OK if you no longer own the car, too.)