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Charred Goat: 1966 Pontiac GTO

Charred Pontiac GTO

Reader Emilio B spotted this Pontiac GTO here on eBay and it left him wondering something, so he thought he would turn to you guys for an answer! Here is his question – After seeing this eBay auction, I wondered whether you can bring back a car that was in a serious fire. Does the metal warp and what other issues will the buyer encounter? I don’t know but I am sure the BF community will. So guys what do you think about cars that have been in fires? Is this GTO salvageable or is it too far gone? Special thanks to Emilio for sharing this GTO with us!


  1. Rhett

    Sorry – breaks my heart but that car is scrap metal.

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  2. Don

    Unless this was a special order car or a one off, the cost to bring it back would be far beyond the cost of parts alone, not even considering any labor costs.

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  3. Scott Farrington


    Yes. You can restore a burned car. However, you will be working with weak and warped metal. You will need to replace everything, more than likely needing a complete donor vehicle to get every clip, wire, screw, seal – everything! As you can see in the attached story above – it can be done to great success. When it comes down to it though, is that GTO ever going to be worth what the burned Ferrari above is?

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  4. jimbosidecar

    I was wondering the same thing. I saw 2 356 Porsches at auction in Cuba Missouri last month, they were in a garage fire and the overhead beam even came down on one of them. Both were burnt to a crisp, but they were still each bid up to something like $4000.

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    • sir mike

      Cuba,Missouri…right outside the main gate at FT.Leonard Wood….that really takes me back to my younger days….sorry,couldn’t resist

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  5. BradL

    Here’s the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pontiac-GTO-gto-/171809249521?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2800a118f1&item=171809249521

    You can see that the body is warped beyond saving. It’s scrap.

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  6. don

    agree with rhett, sorry scrap metal at best, what it cost to fix this, you buy one already done. :(

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  7. Graham

    Here is my 2 cents of fire damage and warpage.
    My 1966 Etype FHC was in a fire in 1984 and sat un-touched until 2012 when I bought it.
    The fire was confined to under the hood where the bonnet experienced warpage and even some large golf ball size bulges over a fender where a tire was ablaze.
    The fender was fixed with a dolly and hammer and lots of patients.
    The bonnet had a number of oil can like deformity’s. These were fixed by heating the metal to the point where it started to move, and then quickly apply a ice water soaked rag to contract the metal. This took about 10 hrs but the hood is now good enough to pass a car show inspection without anyone noticing any deformation on the hood.
    None of this was structural or stressed pieces and this work saved me from have to buy a new reproduction bonnet for upwards of $10,000.

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  8. Wayne

    Last fall I lost 4 really nice cars in a barn fire. Two of the cars were from the 80’s, A Chrysler Executive limo and a 83 Toronado convertible. Because of the thin metal and amount of plastic, it was obvious there would be no saving them. One was a 64 Riviera and the metal was so warped that again, not worth saving. The last was a 56 Imperial coupe and again, metal was so warped and all the chrome adornments were just melted blobs. Thinking the motor could be saved but a metalurgist told me with that kind of heat, there was a good possibility that even the block would have been compromised. All 4 were just hauled to the scraper. :(

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    • Jason

      That’s awful, Wayne. I live in BoCo as well. Sounds like one guy lost thirty cars in that fire, including a 1958 Facel Vega FV3B? Damn! Curious if Leonard’s insurance policy really covered everything.

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  9. Wayne

    If you “google” Erie Colorado barn fire”, you can see my cars plus approx 70 others including 50’s era Cadillacs go up in smoke.

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  10. JW454

    I don’t know… I’m on the fence as to whether or not it will see the road again. It would be more to fix it than its worth but someone may take it on. In my opinion the steel would be too soft since it was burnt. I guess the tags and paperwork is really what’s for sale here.

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  11. JW

    Rest In Peace PONCHO !!!

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  12. Charles

    I believe that there will be ongoing structural issues with this car. If the vin tag did not melt, one can build a clone of the previous car.

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  13. Dan h

    As tempting as it may be to restore, fire weakens the metal. It’s a loss.

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  14. Emilio B

    Thanks to all who answered my question. You may be the most knowledgable community of any car blog of its kind.

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  15. gunningbar

    The body parts (fenders .. hood etc) could be recycled…some heavier parts too. Ive seen some race cars brought back after big fire….. not the tires tho…sorry.

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  16. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Funny, I have a project 66 GTO, and could use the front clip, mine is missing from a prior accident, I could use the driver’s side front frame horn also, as well as the wheels. The frame and floors of this crispy critter might be usable, depending on how hot the fire got underneath. The best way to use this would be as a donor to convert a 66 LeMans into a resurrected GTO, still a lot of GTO specific parts to purchase, luckily Ames Performance has a lot of them available. I don’t see this car making the opening bid, if it does I may put mine on Ebay, it needs total restore but has pretty straight sheet metal.

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    • Norm Wrensch

      I would guess that the frame is trash too. Didi you notice how low that car sits with no engine in it? It got so hot it took the temper out of the springs, so I am sure the frame doesn’t have any thing left to it either. Save the id tag if you can find it, and scrap the rest. Too bad I like GTO’s too.

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  17. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    While I’ve seen some fire damaged cars restored, the damage was confined to one area.

    My experience has found that cars that burned with engines in place usually made the frame sag if enough heat was present.

    Wouldn’t trust the metal and the factory lead work on the front and rear pillars, which usually lasts forever is now toast.

    That being said, it’ll probably go for $3K, though not worth it.

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  18. mtshootist1

    I wouldn’t touch that crispy critter with ten foot pole.. The seller thinks it is going to be restored,but no bidders yet, my guess scrap would bring a few hundred bucks.

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  19. David

    The car is fixable, sure it’s going to take time and money, but can be fixed. I would research a high end restoration shop or body shop and see what they say. I would give Andrew white at apex in Wisconsin.

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  20. RIC Parrish

    We would use it as ‘yard art’ at our old desert film studio. That would be better than the crusher.

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  21. Wayne

    Jason…I know his Caddies were coverd and right after the fire, he started going out and replacing the ones lost. I am not sure about the Facel. I do know he lost alot of very rare parts, bat wing air cleaners, tri-power manifolds etc and those were not covered. My cars were not covered as were most of the other cars stored there. A total loss for quite a few people. Needless to say, lesson learned and what an expensive lesson.

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  22. chuck

    Rat Rod.. They come in all shapes and sizes

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