I've been hard at work trying to deliver more relevant content to this blog. I think I've found some really interesting content on eBay.com. Using their Finding API, I've integrated their search results for 1968 GTO cars for sale and 1968 GTO Parts for sale (this just it for now - more coming). The part results are from the Vintage Car Parts category, filtered by keyword 1968 GTO.
I'm going to continue to add more stuff for sale, including new classic parts from top suppliers. Enjoy!
The auction results are in for 2011 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. Muscle cars prices saw a bit of a lift at this year's Scottsdale and overall did fairly well. I've posted the results of Pontiac GTOs that were sold at this year's auction. All prices include the 10% buyer's commission. And like always, Barrett-Jackson sells everything and auctions most cars without a reserve price.
The top seller this year was lot #1010.1, a 1970 GTO Judge Convertible, which sold for $126,500.00. One interesting note, lot #1578, a 1968 GTO Hardtop, sold for $35,200.00. Not bad, but terrible if you consider that the same 1968 GTO hardtop car (lot #686) came across the auction block at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas Sept 2010 and was sold for $49,500.00! Seems like the seller took a bath on this one. $49.5k was definitely not well bought. Only options like factory Ram Air (which this car did not have) could justify that price, but even that wouldn't make up the difference.
Click Lot # to view in-depth details and photographs.
Dirty-looking tail pipes can take away from the appearance of a shiny new paint job and bright chrome bumper. A simple paint refresh on the tail pipes can make a huge difference.
Here are the steps I took to give my old, dirty, rusty tail pipes a "new exhaust" look.
Raised the right side of the car and removed the wheel. This is essential to give yourself enough room to paint, clean and lower the pipe. Make sure to support the car on a jack stand. Safety first!
Lowered the exhaust pipe. This is done by unbolting the bracket under the rear of the pipe and then the next nearest bracket on the opposite side of the gas tank, attached to the frame. Be prepared to support the tail pipe on something like a jack stand. You don't want too much sag in the exhaust and will need support while sanding and painting.
Prep the pipe for paint. This is 3-step process, consisting of using steel wool for removal of rust and dirt build up, 200-grit sandpaper for paint prep (light sanding) and then a final degreasing and cleaning. Wear a respirator or other mask. This could be messy. Also, since I am not going for a 100-pt resto (my car is a driver), I only prepped and painted the area of the pipe that is visible while standing near the car.
Mask the area around the car. You don't want to get overspray on your body, rear axel, shocks, gas tank or other unwanted areas of the car. I also used a de-constructed carboard box as a means to collect the overspray.
Paint. I decided not to prime the pipe. This is part laziness on my part. But I also think that a copy of heavy coats, baked on a clean, sanded pipe should be sufficient. I applied 2 coats of Rust-Oleum High Heat engine paint. The color I chose was an aluminum finish. It is supposed to work up to 2000 degrees F. Follow the instructions on the paint can. One can should do the trick. Remember, I only painted the areas that were visible when standing around the rear of the car.
After drying on the right side, re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel, lower the car and repeat steps 1-5 for the left side of the car.
Re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel and lower the car.
Bake the paint on the tail pipe. The instructions were on the can of spray paint. But basically, the process consists of running the car at idle for 10 min, letting it cool for 10 min, running it at idle for 20 min, letting it cool for 20 min and then finally running the car at normal driving temperature and conditions.
I'll post a final pick when I get the newly re-plated bumper mounted again.
The bumper for my 68 GTO is finally out to get re-plated. This is a before pic. The bumper in this pic looks pretty good but up close, it doesn't as nice as it should in contrast to the new body paint.
I chose Verne's Chrome Plating in Gardena, CA. Vern's has done chrome plating since the 1960s. They specilize in "show-quality" chrome and came recommended from my cousin who restores cars. Verne's use a triple chrome plating process, that consists of a copper base, nickel plating and then a hexavalent chrome finish. The latter uses chromates, which are not as eco-friendly, but actually provide a better, more corrosive resistant finish than the trivalent alternative. Need an eco-friendly bumper finish? Forgetaboutit. This is America and nothing says America like chrome bumpers on a classic car, so don't skimp!
Finding the right part for your classic muscle car can be difficult. Fortunately, aftermarket and OEM part resellers are starting to catch up with the times and are improving their online shopping channels. When rating a place to find parts for my goat, I used the following criteria: usefulness of their Website, prices, knowledge, staff, online content, quality of parts and reliability.
Here's my preferred list of sites to find replacement parts for my 1968 Pontiac GTO, with my favorites listed at the top.
Best resources for finding Pontiac GTO parts
Original Parts Group, Inc. http://www.opgi.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: A | Prices: $$$ OPGI offers parts for multiple classic GM brands: Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Oldsmobile. Their mission is "To offer the finest reproduction and aftermarket parts and accessories for GM A-bodies at the very best prices anywhere, with outstanding service to boot! Your Satisfaction Guaranteed!" Through my own experience, I can say that they can back up this statement. I can usually find the part that I'm looking for. The Website is especially useful and content is well organized, categorized and presented with pictures and descriptions. The site also contains an active restoration blog and other editorial content. They have regular promotions and discounts, including a points program that allows you to earn money back on future purchases. The quality on the parts they offer is generally good. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. OPGI is located in Seal Beach, CA and has been in business since 1982. Stop by the showroom to check out some of the cars they've restored too.
Ames Performance Engineering http://www.amesperf.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: C | Prices: $$ Ames claims to be the "nations largest supplier of classic Pontiac parts". They've been selling Pontiac parts (and only Pontiac) for 30 years and it shows in the care and expertise in describing the parts in their catalog. The quality of both the content on the site as well as the products and prices offered make up for the '90s throwback Website and black and white catalog. Case in point: they offer hard to find parts, like restoration parts for the hideaway head lamps (actuators, hose kits, springs, seals, etc) that are not found in the OPGI or Year One catalogs. They also sell stuff like the rattle can paint that can be used to restore a set of rally wheels. These guys are located in Spofford, NH.
Performance Years http://www.performanceyears.com | Free print catalogs? Yes | Website rating: B- | Prices: $$ I really like the team at Performance Years. They know their stuff, have a huge inventory of parts and are quick to ship. They're great communicators as well, even following up with me by cell to make sure I was taken care of. PY specializes in parts for classic Pontiac cars - GTO, Firebird, Grand Prix, Le Mans, Tempest, Full Size and Grand Am. They also pass the litmus test, carrying hard to find parts, like glovebox nuts, casings and hideaway headlamp restoration parts. The Website isn't visually stunning but it is fairly easy to use and very well organized. They also have an active technical forum, which will help you find answers to questions like what kind of paint to use on your dash, how to fix an endura bumper. Performance Years is located in Hatfield, PA.
The Parts Place Inc. http://www.thepartsplaceinc.com | Free print catalogs? No | Website rating: B | Prices: $$$ The Parts Place has been selling GM (Pontiac, Buick, Chevy and Olds) reproduction and restoration parts for 20 years. Their Website is very easy to use. One of the things I like best about this company is some of the hard-to-find parts they offer, like a dash panel for a 1968 Pontiac GTO. This was the only supplier of this reproduction part. The panel was very good quality, not concours perfect. But considering that the only other alternative is to pay hundreds restoring an original, it was money well spent. They're located in Chicago, IL.
Year One, Inc. http://www.yearone.com | Free print catalogs? No (still waiting) | Website rating: B | Prices: $$$$ Year One used to be the place I relied on for my Pontiac resto needs but not any longer. When I started back into restoring my 68 goat a year ago, I hit up all the sites mentioned here in this post and Year One was the only one that didn't send me a free copy of their catalog. I've also been turned off by their sometimes ridiculously high prices on the same or similar items that other suppliers offer. I can see getting away with charging a premium for an item that was very rare or where you were the only one to offer it for sale. But charging $30 for door u jamb seals for a 1968 GTO when every other supplier charges $16-18 is strange. At least be in the ball park! It got so bad when I price-compared that I simply stopped searching their site. All that said, Year One is mentioned in the top 5 because they do have a large inventory and a lot of expertise and history. The shopping cart section of the Website is pretty much unchanged for the last 10 years but they do have a lot of other good technical information and other interesting blogs. Year One also offers parts for Chryslers and Fords as well as other GM A-body cars.
There are other alternatives to shopping online with a retailer or from a retailer catalog, like the Pomona swap meet and eBay. Watch for a future post for tips on how to take advantage of these two great resources.