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1969 G-Prix Historic Tribute

This was the idea I started with about 10 -15 years ago. I'd been in love with Historic Trans Am racing for years, mostly due to my friend John Harris. John got me hooked on the vintage races at Road America in Elkhart Lake WI. His dad raced open wheel in the 70's and 80's. He dragged me up one year on the 90's and I've never looked back. At the time, I had a 70 Grand Prix hence the lower fender grills in the drawing. Pro Touring was an trend really evolving and I wanted something that sat low and handled well so that movement really spoke to me. The G-Prix definitely started as a Pro-Touring direction when I scratched out this idea in pencil and marker... 


Well, here she is. The very humble beginnings of G-Prix. It was a $600 Grand Prix that had been sitting in a barn since the 80's. EVERYBODY says their project was found in a barn, but this one actually was. It was tucked away in a gravel floor barn along with some tractors, a cube van, an old Ranchero and loads of debris. I didn't "discover" it but rather replied to an ad on FaceBook. The gentleman was clearing the barn out for his father I believe in McNabb IL. 


The car was ROUGH but solid in all the right spots. It was packed with junk and the interior was covered in mold. It had a green decklid and was covered in gray primer over bright yellow paint. The previous bodywork looked as though it had been sanded with a hammer. In the spots where the yellow paint was flaking off, the beautiful blue from the factory was visible. I belive it was called Warwick Blue. The lower quarter and fenders were rusted through but the rockers, floors, trunk floors, frame, etc. were all extremley clean. 


It not only didn't run, the engine was seized. I have to go back and check the numbers again, but if I remember correctly it's a 400 out of a B-body. 290 HP if I recall. I'll double check that and update ASAP. The frame and engine were spray-bombed a variety of colors, none of them "correct". It was perfect. Perfect for the transformation I envisioned to create a "what-if" GP. What if a 69/70 GP actually raced during the days of factory backed Trans Am circuit cars from the late 60's to the early 70's. 


All of the panels were solid enough to work with, but rough enough to modify without worry. This was (IS) going to be done on a budget. I realize that I am not like most folks in that I had a garage of 69/70 GP parts collected over decades of owning and restoriug them so I realize that when I say it was built on a budget, I had a vast inventory of stuff I could draw from that others don't. My goal was to put these dusty, unused parts to work finally. Away we go...


Here she is after she was pulled out of the barn. I put a set of Buick Sport Wheels on it so it could be pulled up onto the trailer.  

After getting it back home, I started to tinker. I emptied all of the crap out to really assess what was there. Really nice floors, trunk and rockers. Interior not too bad. A good scrubbing cleaned up the mold issue. Dragged it over to my buddy Kris' place where he tinkered some more. Some new fuel line, fuel pump and soaking the cylinders suggested that maybe we could break her loose. I grabbed my boxes of back up carbs and parts and found an old Edlebrock that was silll in great shape. A bit more soaking and turning and soaking and turning and BAM! She was free!  After a fuel system flush and a hot battery, Kris was able to get her to turn over, run and as it turns out...burn the sh** out of those skinny little Buck rims and tires!


Kris also couldn't stand the disgusting mess of primer, yellow and rust and spray bombed it black just so it wouldn't look like the abomination it really was. It also helped me to identify the true condition of the panels and the previous work that was done to it. 

The interior aint bad. It aint good, but it aint bad. I had a spare tilt wheel from a 69 Chevelle with a column shift that I wanted to use. Frank from FD Customs cut the hump of the column shift lever off, bodyworked it and painted satin black. Old dudes like me need a column shift, even in a race car. Doors and door panels are shot, but I have a solution for that. One bucket seat was perfect. The other wasn't bad but was torn up. In my stach I have some options that will work. We also found a dead rat about 10" long under the back seat. I have to find that photo. Should've saved it...

Next order of business was to get it to my buddy Frank's place in lowell, FD Customs, for some tear down and some cleaning. 
Meanwhile back at my home/shop, I was prepping the underside of the hood, media blasting and painting the hinges and trying to save some raunchy inner wheel wells from certain death. 
Time to test fit some wheels and tires that have been waiting for the right moment...
And here's a sneak peek at what's to come...Tires are courtesy of Randy Richardson out in CA. You can find Randy and his son on YouTube and Autotopia.
And last but not least...the inspiration! Yeah, yeah, yeah these are Mustangs. No kidding. The point is they represent the era and the stance of the appearance I'm trying to achieve. The "What If" GP in the Trans Am era of racing. 
There are a few factory spoilers out there that I like. Spoliers like the ones that can be found on 69-72 GTOs and Judges are cool, but WAY too much for a factory type of racing spoiler. The 1st Gen Camaro spoilers and the E-body Mopar spoilers are just about right. I happened to win an auction that a classic car dealer was having, and I won a "lot" that contained 67/68 Camaro and 69 Camaro spoliers. I did some mock up work and found the 69 spoiler had just the right pitch, height and length that looked right at home. 
Before I go any further, please note that no good body panels were harmed in this little hot rod I'm building. This GP decklid had a rotten lower lip. I ground out all the rust to bare clean metal. I essentially filled the decklid with POR 15 to seal any rust I couldn't get to. I then filled the larger gaps with JB Weld and then fiberglassed the lower rear 4" to smooth it out.