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Original 455: 1970 Pontiac GTO

Long-term ownership can bring a level of confidence to potential buyers when they are considering purchasing a classic car. This 1970 Pontiac GTO perfectly demonstrates that because it has been a member of the same family since Day One. It is a remarkably solid vehicle that could be lifted to the next level with a bit of time and effort. The time has come for the GTO to find a new home, so its owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Meeker, Colorado, and while the bidding has soared to $13,099, this figure remains short of the reserve.

The buyer will have a few choices to make with this GTO, and it will be interesting to see which way the majority of our readers would jump if they were to buy the car. The owner treated it to a repaint in its original shade of Coronado Gold many years ago, and the paint still holds a good shine. There are a few defects to consider, including this dent that you can see in the rear quarter panel. There are a couple of small bubbles in the paint in the rear filler panel between the window and the trunk lid, and I suspect that these might be an indicator of rust beginning to appear. The nose also has a collection of cracks and marks and will require a refresh. That brings me to the decision that the buyer will need to make. As these are the only external issues, would you address them and simply touch up the paint, or would you treat the entire car to a repaint? The other question in a car from this era is the vital one about rust. Here, potential buyers can breathe a sigh of relief. There is some minor surface corrosion on the inside of the trunk pan, but it appears that this is the extent of the rust problems. If this is accurate, that represents some significant good news. The exterior trim is in good order, and I can’t spot any issues with the glass.

If the GTO’s interior looks respectable, the interior takes that concept to a higher level. The carpet under the driver’s feet is stained, the door trims and armrests show some deterioration, and the rear parcel tray has deteriorated beyond repair. However, those are about the only flaws worth mentioning inside this classic. The seats are free from significant wear or other problems, while the dash, pad, headliner, and console are just as impressive. The original owner ordered the Pontiac with air conditioning, but this will require attention as it doesn’t blow cold. Otherwise, a pushbutton radio appears to be the extent of the interior luxury items.

This GTO is a numbers-matching classic, and it is a pretty tasty drivetrain. We find the engine bay filled by a 455ci V8, while the car also features a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. This V8 was producing 370hp when it was new. This was sufficient to send the Pontiac galloping through the ¼ mile in a very respectable 14.6 seconds. The good news is that although the car has had limited use over the past decade, it does run and drive exceptionally well. The engine has a couple of oil drips, but that is par for the course for a vehicle of this age. The owner suggests that the buyer would be wise to have the car thoroughly inspected due to the lack of recent activity before attempting any extended journeys. He says that the tires are old and rotted, so changing these would be a priority. Otherwise, the buyer could hit the road straight away if they long for some instant automotive gratification.

The Pontiac GTO remains a legendary American classic, and this one looks like it is a beauty. The bidding on it has been respectable but not what I would class as startling. In its current state, I believe that the bidding will probably have to nudge well beyond $20,000 before it hits the reserve. However, once restored, it is a classic that should fetch $60,000 any day of the week. With those thoughts in mind, this is an auction that should be worth watching.


  1. Steve R

    Replace the tires, make sure it’s mechanically sound then drive it. It’s more than presentable as it sits. Restoring it will all but guarantee it will be locked away in a garage only to be let out for an occasional coffee and cars or some other show, while simultaneously driving up the cost to the point it would be unaffordable to most. This car is the poster child demonstrating that not every car needs to be restored.

    Steve R

    Like 16
  2. 70SuperSport

    I suspect during the re-paint there was no flex agent added to the paint when the nose was sprayed. That would explain the cracks found.

    Like 13
    • its1969ok

      And they painted the inside of the hood scoops in body color! Very half-a$$ed for a car like this.

      Like 8
      • Steve R

        That problem can be fixed in a few minutes with an artists paint brush and some black paint.

        Steve R

        Like 3
  3. A.G.

    The car looks naked without no stickers or callout decals.

    Like 8
    • Utes

      @ A.G…….leave out the ‘no’ in your sentence & you get an ‘A’.

      Like 1
  4. Cadmanls Member

    Nice car, I suspect the rear window is leaking from the look of the rear package tray and trunk. Might be a small problem but should be addressed. Replace some gaskets and enjoy. Should be a strong runner.

    Like 3
    • chuck dickinson

      The problem is there is no rear window gasket. These have bonded front and rear glass, so they’re very prone to leaks required the glass to be removed, the rusty channels repaired, and then re-glue the glass in place, hoping it doesn’t start up again–it sometimes does (from experience!).

      Like 3
  5. GCS Member

    I like the color and the interior. I’ve never seen either so I’m not sure it’s a stock color, but it is different….

    Like 0
    • Utes

      @ GCS…if the paint supplied adhered to the factory formula for code ’63’ (Palomino Copper) that’s the name of the tune.

      Like 0
  6. 19sixty5 Member

    Anyone else notice the dash pad? It appears to be cleverly covered with naugahyde or another material. I’m sure it is an improvement over what is really going on underneath. They can be professionally restored, but that dash is huge, and needless to say, costly. The car is also missing all it’s vinyl GTO and 455 CID stickers, the correct quad exhaust tips, and the seat inserts are also incorrect. Nothing that can’t be corrected, the 455 cars are relatively rare.

    Like 1
  7. John Oliveri

    I’d love to buy it, and do it a little at a time while enjoying it, I’d pull the back window, repair the leak, replace the pkg shelf, repair rust, then do the dash, seats and a/c,

    Like 0
  8. Don

    That yc motor makes this car really rare. They only made a hand full of them. Most automatics had ya motors.

    Like 0
  9. Gary Rhodes

    For what it cost to recover the dadhpad Just Dashes could have done it right. Put on tires and drive the snot out of it in the nice weather. Who cares if it get 299k put on the odo, they were meant to drive, just take care of it

    Like 1
  10. Chuck A Tupa

    I have one .phs document with it.
    Light green original color. 129k miles
    455 cid was gone when i got it.
    Owned 30 years.
    Has 73 400 with #62 heads.
    Didn’t know they came in this gold color.
    And didn’t know air scoops should be painted black inside.
    Changed to ram air ones to help cooling.

    Like 0
  11. Marty Parker

    The 455 engine was rated at 360 HP in a GTO for 1970. Same engine was 370 HP in a Grand Prix. More of GM’s ratings games back then.

    Like 1

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