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Drop Top Goat In Pieces: 1970 Pontiac GTO


Deep in the heartland of west central Illinois this 1970 Pontiac can be found in ragtop configuration. While these rolling shell-type project cars don’t appeal to everybody, this one has several things going for it. The first is that according to the VIN, it’s a real GTO, and the second is that the car appears to be a little more solid than your average garden variety mid-western project car. Thankfully, the seller is smart enough to show us this in his many good photos, only a few of which are posted here.


Who would be interested in starting with a car in this stage of disassembly? A bargain hunter, for one. With finished examples of this car selling in the neighborhood of thirty to fifty grand, this one is worth investing some time and some money in to, if you’re not able to write the big check for a nice one up front.


But there’s at least one more advantage. For the man who might have a taste for a high-performance drivetrain and a particular color, and doesn’t want to “ruin” or otherwise alter a nice original car, well, here you go.


But if numbers-matching correctness is what you’re after, this car comes with it’s original build sheet. Even “nice” cars with far higher price tags often don’t come with this! It’s also my understanding that Pontiac Historical Services preserves much better records and is considerably more accommodating to the needs of the restorer than other branches of GM are.


The parts reproducers have been very kind to the General Motors A body, and lots of stuff is available for this one. The convertible-only parts also interchange with all other 1968-1972 A body cars, although the seller of this one says the top mechanism and other parts are included, even though they aren’t shown in the photos.


This photo shows how solid the top of the cowl is, which can be a real problem for GM cars of this era. This and the other photos suggest the interior color was originally blue.


The cowl tag tells us the exterior color was originally “Palladium Silver”, which would have looked great with the blue interior. I think the “B” might mean the car was originally fitted with a black top, but I’m looking forward to reading the comments from our knowledgeable readers on that one.


Another problem with convertibles, not just GM’s, but everybody’s, is floor rust. The seller says this car has some, but these shots of them don’t look bad at all.


This is the view that will greet you as this project car is rolled in to your garage for the first time. I see power steering, but no factory air.


It appears for sale here on St. Louis Craigslist. The asking price is $3,500. Now that this case has been presented to you, what would you do with it? What do you think of the price? What else can you decipher from the VIN and cowl tag? What do you think of this car? Great potential for a numbers-matching dream car, or a restomod? Or is it worthless junk because it’s incomplete? Let us know what you think.


  1. Joe Nose

    Finish the interior, get rid of the front spaceframe and weld on the front half of a HD, and drive this exotic trike into the nearest lake in west central Illinois.

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  2. John Newell

    This is an easy restoration and with silver exterior and a blue interior, a popular car when complete. A worthy investment in my view. I’d do it if I were a GM car guy.

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    • Chebby


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      • John Newell

        Extremely easy compared to just about any AMC in the same state keeping in mind that until a month ago there were no brand new body panels available for any AMC cars like there are for GMs, Chryslers and Fords.

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  3. JW

    If you have the skills and patience to do most of the work yourself this would be a worthy car to do. GTOs are the big dog of muscle for Pontiac lovers just like the Chevelles of the Chebby boys. I’m no convertible lover but this would be a decent starting point for a young guy with time to spare. Heck he could take a community college course in body work where they let you bring your own car to work on while learning the trade. A buddy of mine did that with a shortbed Chevy truck he bought as a basket case and it cost him very little in body and paint work.

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  4. John Newell

    That’s a great observation JW. I would like to do that as a retiree. I bet lots of guys would. I’d jump at the chance. It’s always been at the back of my mind but the opportunity never came up.

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  5. DrinkinGasoline

    “this one is worth investing some time and some money in to”.

    Be prepared to invest A LOT of time and MONEY.

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  6. redwagon

    trim code looks like ‘253’ or ‘258’ to me. 253 is brown while 258 is black. 250 is blue.

    paint code 14 = palladium silver which has a bluish tint to it. pity the interior wasn’t blue on this one.

    the ‘B’ in the paint code is throwing me. convertible top colors here are typically numbers but there is no ‘8’ in the codes that i know of.

    most likely combo is palladium silver with black interior and black or white conv top

    the ’10D’ in lower left is the production date = 4th week of october. i was likely bitching about 3rd grade

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  7. Evan Wells

    Id pay 4 k lor that

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  8. Charles

    One will need a parts car for all of the small pieces.

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  9. Van

    This car is great.
    Just find a hardtop donner an get to work.
    If this was a Mopar with more rust than metal everybody would be crying because they couldn’t get it for under 20 grand.
    The numbers won’t match and that makes the build sheet and original color worthless.
    Make it look original, or go nuts with the pro-touring thing. It will be worth the investment in time and money if you do a good job.

    Like 0

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