The SanMarco’s Without a GP..... For Only 7 Months
Now Proud Owners of '70 GP SJ
The hard decisions of life: among car guys and gals one of those is if, or when, to buy or sell your classic car. Our original plans were to restore the 67 LeMans OHC 6 Convertible that Frank was given and then sell the beloved 66 Grand Prix “Road Warrior”. We thought we would be much happier in a smaller Pontiac and besides the OHC 6 was a real unusual Pontiac and a convertible. The frame off restoration began in 2013 but was interrupted for 9 months by my recovery from surgery with Frank being a top notch nurse and house keeper. Yes, it is true! Then 3 months waiting on the painter. No surprise there. So here we are in February of 2017, the LeMans has been “almost ready to drive” for about 3 months. Frank is getting really, really impatient. It’s all those little things and on a car he has never worked on before. Slow going.
Must hand it to the Cammer Chapter. At any point that he got stuck, there was someone available to lead the way and contribute to the solution. Many hours were spent with the help of our good friend and fellow AAC Chapter member, Jim Boring, getting it tuned in and the carb set. Two days later while on the way to get the muffler done, a very loud noise started in the engine. Turned out to be a failure of one of the “followers”, aka lifters in Franks terminology. That’s where the Cammer guys really became important. Chapter email brought many suggestions, and solutions. And we found out when we checked the Roster there are only 4 other OHC 6s in the state of Texas in that Chapter.
Frank and I had come to an airtight agreement that the LeMans was absolutely the last car he would restore. There were to be no more. For the first time Frank had agreed with me with no reservations. Another really amazing set of coincidences led to the opportunity to sell the Road Warrior at last year’ POCI convention. And because of our “one car only” policy we made the decision to sell it. But it is still a member of the Grand Prix Chapter.
About 3 weeks ago, another great friend from AAC, the president Alfred Flores, sent an email to us regarding a lead on a70 GP SJ 455. All sightings, calls and ads that anyone in our club sees having to do with Grand Prix automatically come to Frank. Now, you have to know there was NO WAY Frank (or I for that matter) would pass up at least going to see it. Original owner, 75,000 miles, looked great in pictures. How many times have you gone and looked at a “great car” to be very disappointed. Not this time. The car is in excellent shape, recent paint job and vinyl top and interior is in very, very good condition. The console needs some work and the dash needs refurbishing and the a/c does not work. But it does have a 455 engine, electric windows, automatic, and a/c - a must in Texas.
It only took 24 hours to decide we could not let this beauty get away. And the icing on this cake is that the 70 and 71 model GP were the ones that Frank had always wanted to own. No brainer. And we didn’t break our promise to each other. This car does not require any restoration. Just a little touch up and checking out the driving components for safety. The Ron Panzer Mantra. Be sure it is in safe driving condition before anything else!! Yes Ron, we will do that.
We invite you to check out / join POCI's Grand Prix Chapter