Worth Saving? 1974 Pontiac GTO

The GTO was a hot property in the 1960s, but by 1974 it was an option package on the compact Ventura. That would be its last year until a brief resurrection in 2004 on an Australian-based GM model. This ’74 GTO is a rusty looking mess with a partially-disassembled engine, yet the seller is optimistic that it has a future. Should you want to judge that for yourself, the car can be found in East Greenbush, New York and available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $4,000.

Over its 11 year-run, the GTO started out as an option on the LeMans, became a series of its own, back to being on option of the LeMans and a final, one-year effort as a Ventura derivative. That effort wasn’t well received, as just over 7,000 were built for 1974, which included just 687 in hatchback form with a manual transmission. While we don’t know the breakdown of the numbers beyond that, most of those 687 likely had a 4-speed manual, so the Muncie 3-speed in the seller’s car is unusual, if verified.

This car has a story, which always makes them more interesting. We’re told this is a two-owner machine that was only on the road for seven years and 55,000 miles. The original owner enjoyed street racing the car in the 1970s, so it likely saw some hard use. Afterwards, it spent many years sitting out on a blacktop parking lot. The seller has experience with the ’74 GTO, having owned four of them, so perhaps he sees more promise in the car than its present condition would suggest.

We’re told the GTO is numbers-matching, that it’s unmolested and 100 percent complete, although it doesn’t necessarily appear that way. The exception would be the headers, traction bars and a hood scoop which was borrowed from a Trans Am. After acquiring the car, the seller started taking the 350 V-8 engine apart trying to get to the crank to spin it over. That’s where his efforts must have stopped.

Very little of the body has escaped the wrath of rust, but the seller assures us it looks worse than it is (really?). The rear frame rails are said to be solid, but at a minimum it will need a passenger side lower rear quarter panel, repairs to the hatchback (these things always make me nervous when I see rust), patches in the front floor pans, patches in the lower front fenders and the tail panel. The seller reminds us that much of the Pontiac Ventura is interchangeable with the Chevy Nova, so sheet metal may not be hard to come by. The interior is also in need of an extreme home makeover.

The seller provides us with a link to a video of the car, but I frankly don’t see where a live action portrayal of a car that doesn’t run and can’t move under its own power is necessary. The resale value of this one-year wonder/Nova SS alternative is in the mid-$20s, but it will take a lot of time and money to get this car back to that level.

 

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Comments

  1. ed the welder

    ” Ran when driven into the pond ” .

    Like 14
  2. KC John

    That was the scoop on the 74 GTO.

    Like 8
    • Tom

      One of the coolest features of the ‘74 GTO was the functional shaker scoop, something the Trans Am didn’t have because of noise regulations.
      These were really pretty good cars, but they didn’t age well if they weren’t properly cared for.
      My brother has a gorgeous ‘68 GTO and a very nice loaded ‘74 with a 4 speed. He’s going to sell the ‘68 because it’s so nice he doesn’t drive it much. He has more fun with the ‘74 because it’s so unusual and it’s worth about half of what the ‘68 is worth. Unfortunately this one looks like a parts car at best. The hood and shaker setup are easily worth the asking price if everything is there. All I can say is good luck finding interior parts if you decide to restore one of these. Good luck with the sale!

      Like 1
  3. Jim

    I have a soft place in my heart for Venturas, given my first car was one. However, this one looks a bit too far gone The rust has eaten every corner of it.

    Like 11
  4. George Mattar

    I love Pontiacs. But not this Ventura POS. Snows plenty in that part of New York. I know. I lived there. This is a total rust out.

    Like 6
  5. KC John

    That was the scoop on the 74 GTO. Coolest thing about this version of the great one.

    Like 6
  6. txchief

    Is he paying $4000 to haul it off???

    Like 7
  7. Gremlin X

    Basically just a Nova with a Ponti motor. Of course now people would pay a lot for a ’74 Nova. This one’s rusted bad though. There’s a good chance it would crab. Anyone around back then knows the famous X body crab. Was caused by bad rear springs.

    Like 1
  8. Jeff

    Total waste of bandwidth.

    Like 3
  9. Jcs

    In answer to the question posed in the header of this feature….

    No.

    Like 4
    • Bill D

      Betteridge’s Law of Headlines certainly applies here. (“Any headline phrased in the form of a question can inevitably be answered in the negative.”)

      Like 3
  10. Troy s

    Yeah, it’s a goner, but I can’t help wonder about the cars past as a fun street racer, in what appears to be a mostly stock ’74 350 Pontiac. What do you think, stop light terror , goofing around, most definitely not at the Connecting! There’s always something interesting about these cars, in past tense here.

  11. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    I see $500 here, regardless of the low production numbers. Some let this rot away outside for 30 years and the want to ask that kind of money for it? Geez

    Like 7
    • David Ulrey

      You’re about 100 dollars more optimistic than I am but I could see your 500 if someone wanted to take classes at a trade school or community college that offered classes like body and paint and upholstery and engine building. It could make a nice project if someone was retired and wanted a hobby car to build slowly.

  12. Dean

    Garbage! Scrap it!

    Like 3
  13. Arthur

    I suspect media blasting would reveal the real extent of the rust damage. If the damage can be fixed, I could see this car becoming a G-Machine, especially if a custom chassis could be installed.

  14. Nah

    At best, a parts car and/or manual swap donor. If anybody has a burning desire for a 3-speed Muncie in their build. If the motor was complete and able to turn over I would try to rock it like the rust-bucket dog years jalopy it is.

    Like 1
  15. Steve Clinton

    The only place this belongs is in a crusher.

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