Stored 20 Years: 1974 Pontiac GTO

This 1974 Pontiac GTO is one of a very small number of the Ventura-based models that arrived after the GTO’s hey-day as an American muscle car icon. Although not terribly popular compared to the original “Goat,” these were still nicely packaged cars that offered respetable V8 power with the cosmetic dress-up that transforms econoboxes into compact street cruisers. Find this rare iteration of the classic GTO here on eBay with one bid to $4,500 and no reserve.

The GTO is said to be a highly-optioned car that retains its numbers-matching 350 V8, which has recently been rebuilt. It’s not the ideal combination of a V8 with the three-speed manual, but I doubt it makes a huge difference in straight-line performance. The seller notes the GTO will need both rear quarters replaced and patch panels on the front fenders, along with the spare tire well in the trunk.

The car left the the factory with disc brakes, air conditioning, sport stripes, bucket seats, cruise control, and tilt steering wheel. The interior still looks decent, at least healthy enough to use as-is while the bodywork is tackled. The seller notes the GTO has been in storage for the last 20 years and that all of the original parts – including the desirable air cleaner with shaker scoop – are included with the car.

The doors and floors are solid, and the seller mentions it originally came with a white vinyl roof. The GTO retains is Positraction rear end, and is a PHS-documented example. While the lower-compression 350 isn’t the most exciting engine to be found in a GTO, it did help with fuel economy and cheaper insurance costs. Overall, these are hard to find cars that still offer a lot of eyeball appeal for not much cash.

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Original…. shaker scoop… Marked “SJ455”? Eh, that does not compute.
    Not sure why anyone running a 350 would try to impress by such false advertising.

    Like 8
    • Jim in FL

      The SJ is actually an SD with the sticker peeling. There were Trans Ams with the SD-455 package in the early 70’s.

      In the 70’s Car Craft or Hot Rod did an X body buildup, where they showed the Nova/Ventura shared a lot of underpinnings with a Firebird. They heated up the 350 and did a bunch of suspension and brake upgrades. I thought it was a cool idea at the time, when you could get a 350 nova for $500.

      Personally, I think this would be pretty cool freshened up as a Day 2 car. Headers, some period wheels, giant speakers cut into the package shelf… waitaminit, I went too far.

      Like 9
  2. Will Fox

    People can snicker, but the day has come to recognize the `73 & `74 Goats; the ones nobody considers a REAL GTO. Not positive, but I think if you can get the reproduction Nova quarter panels, you could restore this nicely; they’re the same thing. Saw an original 995 pointer at a POC car show, and they DO present well. Not a huge number of these have survived.

    Like 5
    • edh

      I will always consider them a Nova and ’73-’74 and beyond Novas were dogs.

      Like 4
  3. redwagon

    AFAIC, this is a GTO trim package. I will help keep prices low for those who are truly interested – all 5 of them.

    Like 2
  4. Don H

    A 73 and 74 are completely different.

    Like 2
  5. 8banger David Mika Member

    Ya, I saw the 455 scoop too – hmmm…

  6. Doc

    Sketchy bid. No way 1 honest bid for $4500.
    Now a days, spend another 3-4K for a survivor , they can be found in nice shape skip the restoration.

    Like 1
    • SteVen

      There have been no bids so far. The seller listed $4,500 as the minimum starting bid and $5,500 as the “Buy It Now” price.
      Could be a good project maybe for the right person.

      Like 6
  7. Chillywind

    A freshly balanced and BLUEPAINTED engine!
    Love those, normally found in the low buck ford rebuilds.

    Bit steep for the amount of work ahead but how much is the right price?
    a couple thousand less? Wont make a difference in the overall price to repair this one.

    Like 1
  8. scottymac

    Color wise, almost a twin to my first new car. No vinyl top or cruise on mine, and a four gear mixer. Painted the shaker white to set it off a little, striking car when new, compared to everything else that was available. $4,500 was the sticker price, IIRC.

    Like 4
  9. TimM

    If the quarters are in need of replacement how are the floors and the trunk??? It looks like a good project but no good pics in the trunk or underneath!! I would love to get one of these and build it the way Pontiac should have!! Put the 455 in it with a four speed or the his/hers automatic!!! This would have made the GTO go out with a screamer instead of a whisper!!!!

    Like 3
  10. v

    a friend of mine had a 74 ventura with long gone drivetrain. he put a 1968 pontiac 428 with 670 heads and turbo 400. he was only running 3.08 posi rear. that car was a screaming weekend cruiser. at 50 mph you could tromp the throttle down and start spinning the tires . since we lived close to the airport on friday morning he would go and fill up on airplane fuel to run the factory 10.75 to 1 compression engine for the weekend . what a sleeper that car was. talk about an expensive tank of fuel. that was back in the day when everyone had there own little stretch of racing piece of road. these days you would go to jail with the way we raced. dangerous.

    Like 3
  11. Troy s

    If only the aged decal on that scoop were true to this car. SD455, even the other 455 available that year, or 400(?) would have changed the character of this car. Probably would have been a stone on the dealer lot’s to , considering the insurance rates and higher gas prices.
    Don’t know what Pontiac was up to with this smaller GTO, the focus seemed to be on the Trans Am and Formula, the firebird in general when it came to marketable performance. I’m guessing here.

    Like 1
  12. Joe Summerville

    I bought a new 74 GTO when I was 19 it was a fun car to drive never had a problem with it.Im sad that I sold it.would like to have this one to fix up.

    Like 4
  13. Goat

    I’ve owned my 74 hatchback 4 speed (one of 687 made) for 40+ years (really)-started out in Atlanta (79) where I bought it from a scrap yard for less than $1000 I think. Left there for Philadelphia area in 82 (towed a 72 Corolla with it 900 miles), where it was a daily driver for the next 10-11 years (82 to 93). Did a rebuild, went from 7.6 to 1 to 9.5 to one, forged pistons, line bored and planed, slightly larger cam with new polylocs and double springs. Torker II intake, Edelbrock 650cfm 4 bbl with electric choke, mechanical secondary. Hooker headers, dual exhaust with crossover, turbo mufflers.
    Drove it less, painted it (again, did it in 80-81, black lacquer). This time paint was Shelby blue, added a Hurst Competition Plus shifter, got a Muncie to replace the Saganaw 4 speed, changed out the 3:08 for a 3.90 set.

    then, it happened-the oil filter for this engine is one of the all time worst to get at, and a buddy with a shop offered to install a remote locator kit…I picked it up and drove off, promptly losing all my oil within the first 1000 feet. It spun a rod bearing but did remarkable little other damage. New bearings and a cleanup. I didn’t drive it nearly as much and eventually it sat…and sat. From about 98 until now (09/2020) Moved to another state, had it shipped to me and am ordering parts to get it running again and get some body work and paint done. I’m retired now so I’ll take my time and do it the way I want. It does run but it somehow developed a bad miss that turned out to be a bent pushrod-i suspect someone moving it while i was gone floated it to keep it running, I also think that the valves were not really properly adjusted since #6 was very loose on both sides. Waiting on valve covers, new pushrods, dist cap and rotor, plugs. wires…one more time.

    Like 1
  14. Bruce bradbury

    I just bought 1974 pontiac Ventura basically same thing but I’ve got the Pontiac 350 with 350 turbo trans three speed auto

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