America’s First Muscle Car – 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO – Real Ridez

America’s First Muscle Car – 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO – Real Ridez


I’m Louis Vitiello, Jr. and I’m your host
on Real Ridez.
Allerest for allergy presents a
bedtime story. Pillow cases, socks,
towels. Would you like a really
fine cigar? And now for something
especially exciting, the GTO option. The
styling and engineering features of this
option result in the finest rally type
American production car available
[Music]
On this episode of Real Ridez
we’ll meet Rene, master body tech, as
well as Philip, car enthusiast and proud
owner of a fully restored 1964 Pontiac
Tempest GTO known as “the Franken Goat”
So my name is Rene Rodriguez. This is a
story about the 1964 GTO we like to call
the “Franken Goat”. Tt’s one of those
cars
that started life a good one and was
left to rot in the field somewheres. At
one point time we decided to restore the
car and get it back on the road, no
matter what it took. She had a lot of
rust on this thing. We replaced floors,
trunk floors, steering parts, the doors
rockers, hood parts, sectioning parts of
the fenders, just that we could have
original parts for 1964 GTO. It has a
2006 LS2 engine. So, it has the 2006 GTO
transmission which is a six-speed
transmission, same transmission that came
with the motor. The interior is modified.
It is a 2006 GTO as well. We modified the
seat framing fit car a lot better and
use the original seat structure of the
back seats and modified the top part of
the 2006 GTO to fit onto those frames so
they can still slide in factory spots
and hook ups. So the stance on the
vehicle, it might stand a little bit
different than the stock in 1964 GTO
because, one it’s using all disc brakes
and
we’re using coil overs versus the
regular springs and shocks that came on
the car.
So the stance and the way it feels when
you drive it is completely different. It
doesn’t feel like an old car, it feels
kind of a modern car. So basically the
hood is actually two hoods in one. The
original hood for the GTO was just so
rotted out that we just used the hood
scoop and we grafted them in to the new
hood that did not have hood scoops in it
and it actually fit very well and we’re
very happy with the turnout. So the
bumper is actually original bumper, we
just had it re-chromed and we modified it
a little, bit but not too much, we just
took out some holes that they would use
for when the car needed a flat tire they
would jack up, so we just got rid of
those holes that were originally there
and we just kind of welded them up, sent
the bumpers off to get re-chromed, and
they disappeared. So the rear bumper is
actually, I think it’s one of the
original bumpers as well. We did the same
thing as we welded up holes that were
existing there for the jack and we went
ahead and had it re-chromed and that was
it with the rear bumper. As for the
rear body panel, part of it is original and
part of it is not. We use a rear body panel
off another vehicle that had the same
dimensions, the same shapes as 64 GTO, and
we grafted the GTO taillight pockets
into that, that way it looks just like it
was supposed to from the factory. When
the car was sitting in the guys backyard
just rotting away, there was a tree
nearby and I guess there was some strong
winds at some point and landed on the
roof of the car. So we had to fix all
that and get rid of that big dent. So the
exhaust is actually a Magnaflow. Think it’s
all stainless steel. Sounds great! It’s
definitely one of those cars to be proud
of. From start to finish it, was quite a
challenge. There’s a lot of times when
you find parts that no longer exist and
you either have to rob them from an
existing car or break out your hammer
and dolly and modify it and make it
yourself again. That way you can have
something that was supposed to be there still
be there. My hands didn’t like it very
much, but yeah, it’s fun definitely
something that I hope a lot of people
could see and enjoy seeing the car, all
the time that got put into it. Yeah it’s
a great car! (laugh)
[Sad Music]
What did you get emotional about?
Um, my dad didn’t get to see it.
[Rock Music]
My name is Philip Hansel, and I’m the
proud owner of this 1964 Pontiac GTO.
How are we supposed to talk over all that
goodness? -I don’t know.
-So why this 64 GTO? -So, when
I was growing up in Austin Texas I had a
neighbor and he was restoring a 70 GTO
and I was 14, 15 I’d go down there and
help them. I was always into cars, my
dad was into cars, so I’d help them put
in the motor, put it together, and do
bodywork. Anything he would let me do.
And one year I went with him to the
Pontiac Southern Championships.
His friend came and he had a 64 Tempest
with a 455, and I saw that car and I
thought, “oh my god, I want one of those someday.”
It’s like love at first sight. -It was. It’s
the same
car different taillights from the
factory. But the 64 GTO was built on the
same platform and ever since I saw
that when I was 15 years old I knew
someday I was gonna buy one. -And
you did! -I did! It didn’t quite looked like
this when I bought it, but four years of
Rene and I working on it, and the guys at
XL Auto,
got a nice little ride now.
-To heck with theme parks, man, I’ll
just drive around with you all day.
You guys found this car in a barn? Is that
correct? -We found it in a guy’s backyard
next to a shed. Just like, less than a
mile from my house.
And the first time I saw the car,
probably about 18 or 19 years ago, I
approached them about buying it and he
didn’t have any interested selling at
the time.
Fast forward, fourteen or fifteen years
later, and I was scrolling through
Craigslist and
came across what looked like to be the
same car and it was about a mile away
from my house. And went there and looked
at it, and fell in love.
-You got the car, it’s essentially a rust
bucket… -Yeah. -How do you even know where
to begin? -I didn’t, so that’s why I called
Rene. -That’s why you called Rene. -Rene has
done some amazing builds. I don’t know if
you’ve
seen some of the photos but he’s done GT
350s, rare Porsches, he’s done all sorts
of stuff and I knew he could handle the
job. So luckily he had met his woman at
my brother’s wedding and wanted to move
to North Carolina and so it worked out that
I wanted a car restored and he needed to
live close by. -It kind of worked out,
yeah? “you want to come here and I have
something for you to do. It’ll keep you busy
for four years.” -Yep!
-What was that like waiting for years to
get this put together? -Um, sometimes I
wondered if it would ever end. And uh, it
was
also fun to search for parts, it’s a one
year only body, so at the time they
didn’t reproduce the GTO hood only in
fiberglass, they don’t make the fenders,
they don’t make trunk lids… there’s a lot
of parts they don’t make for this car, so
whatever you didn’t have, whatever needed
to be replaced, you had to go find.
The search for parts is fun. We ended up
buying a four-door Tempest and using a
lot of those parts for this car
and
it was great. Sometimes I was wondering
am I gonna run out of money. Sometimes I
wondered if Rene was gonna quit because
it was a big time rust bucket,
but we did it and I couldn’t be happier
with the results.
-I love everybody just looks at you in this
car, it’s just such an attention getter.
We were downtown filming and
people were interrupting us filming just
to talk to you about the car.
-Yeah it’s sometimes hard to go to the
gas station real quick and just fill it up.
People see it and they want to talk to you
about it. It’s not a car you see every
day and it’s, it’s not a car you
shouldn’t see it every car show either.
-What was the biggest challenge that you
might have had?
-I’d say the biggest challenge is finding
where the rust stop.
-[laughing] okay.
-The whole front dash was rusted out. We
replaced it with a factory A/C dash out of
that 64 Tempest.
You know really, of the original steel,
the a-pillars were replace, the cows were
replace, the trunk was replaced, fender
the porters, you know both
full rear sections of the quarters were
redone. It was finding to the end of the
rust so that we could start putting it
back together and then
we acid dipped it
to make sure that any rest that we
couldn’t see
eliminated. So that’s what took the bulk
of the time was,
cutting out, cutting out
and then finally start putting it back together
and I know that I now have a rust-free
car. -What kind of advice could you give
somebody just starting out on their very
first resto? What would you tell them?
First off I would say,
when you’re looking at the car and you
want it so bad, take a good look at the
rust because it might not be worth it.
But, if you’ve already got a rust bucket
you got to find the end of the rust and
start there. A good parts car is
a good thing to have. We, you know, I felt
bad cutting up that really clean 64
Tempest four door, but if it
wasn’t for that car, this car wouldn’t be
here.
But also realize, it’s not going to be
something that you’re gonna finish in a
year or in a weekend,
it’s gonna take years to do right. But
when you’re done it’s totally worth it. I
think that if I had to rush it that I would
have had regrets and right now I don’t
have any
about this car.
It’s my dream car. I’m so happy to have
it, and uh,
I don’t ever plan on selling it. I just want
to
keep it and drive it. I want to enjoy it with
my family,
take it to car shows, let other people
checked out.
And most of all, I want to drive it. I enjoy
driving it,
it’s a blast.
-This has been an amazing opportunity to
look at a part of history. To be here
with you in this car, knowing that this
is what started the muscle car era. This
is the original muscle car. -It is.
-And to sit here and feel a moment of
that connection, what other people back
in the early 60s fell, I mean, this is…
there’s no way to describe it. It’s like I’m
lost for words.
The…
Tt’s a moment that every car enthusiast
should have. -I agree, and if you can’t get
one get a friend with one. -We’re friends
now right? -Anytime! Well I’ve had a great
time too.
I’ve enjoyed doing all of this, it’s
new to me, but it was a lot of fun.
It’s great to meet you.
[Music]
Dang it they’re not louvers, they’re hood
scoops.
We want to do block the street, [bleep] it.
Who’s going to ask us to move, these guys?
In Real Ridez fashion, we just did our
interview again and we didn’t record the
audio. So we have tons of great video, but
now we have to do the voiceover. There
you go! Take two!
[Warning alarm]
[Crash sound]
[Music]

2 Replies to “America’s First Muscle Car – 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO – Real Ridez”

  1. I am so proud of our brother Rene' Rodriquez. I know daddy is very proud of you. You are an amazing person and it shows in your work. Great Job.

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