HOME  lazlographics.com   

1971 455 GTO

1971 Pontiac GTO
4455 C.I., Turbo 400
Proud New Owner

MARCH 23, 2013


Click here to see the article.

 You can see this GTO in Tom Frietchen Band's Country Western Video on YouTube. Just click this link.

1971 455 GTO

 September 2008
  1971 455 GTO  

June 2009 

 1971 GTO

 July 2011

This 1971 GTO is 1 of 532 built with a 455 CI Motor, and a Turbo/ Hyd 400 Auto Trans.
It sports the original 3.07, 12 bolt Rear-end.

Shipped on January 8, 1971 the car was originally sold by
W.H.Gailey Pontiac Company of Cornelia, Georgia for $4120.99 + tax.

Originally pained Quezal Gold with a Black Cordova top & Black Interior. Equipped with a push button radio,
air conditioning, side body moldings, wheel well moldings, power disc brakes, Honeycomb wheels with G70x14
tires, 8-track tape player, power steering, an electric clock, electric trunk release, and other extras.

The current motor is a correct 1971 YC code 455 with mild cam, stock intake and correct carb.
It is also equipped with the original 400 Turbo Trans with a shift kit and the original 3:07, 12 bolt ,rearend.
The car was painted Teal in 1998 by the previous owner who bought the car when he was 16.

Purchased from Adam Wellington in Rawson OH. who purchased the car from
Darin McCullough of Ada, Ohio in June 1996.
Darin bought the car from Ricks Auto Sales of Kenton, Ohio, in June 1995.
Ricks Auto Sales bough the car from Hilltop Motors of Columbus, Ohio,
at the Grove City Ohio, Auto Auction in May 1995.
Hilltop Motors purchased the car from Robert Meyers of Groveport, Ohio,
in March of 1995. Mr Meyers had owned the car since June of 1990.

Trailered home Friday 092608.

1971 GTO

Awards, Events, & Shows
The last time this car was on a trailer was when I brought it home from the body shop.
It has not been entered in a judged event that it did not place.
I average two or three cruises a week with it.

 North Coast Pontiac Chapter P.O.C.I. 12th Annual Solon Commons, Ohio
1968 - 1972 Stock GTO Class
Second Place
August 9, 2009 Ames Performance Pontiac Nationals, Summit Raceway Park, Norwalk, Ohio
1971- 1972 Stock GTO Class

First Place

 June - 2010 Hot Rod Power Tour - Cleveland to Springfield, IL, DuQuoin, IL and Bowling Green, Ky. 2200 miles in five days.
 June 13, 2010 26th Indian Uprising, Hadocy Pontiac, Columbus, Ohio
1970 - 1974 Stock GTO Class ....................................................................................................
 Third Place
 August 1, 2010 North Coast Pontiac Chapter P.O.C.I. 12th Annual Solon Commons, Ohio
1968 - 1972 Stock GTO Class
Club Pick
Best Paint & Body
August 2010 Ames Performance Pontiac Nationals, Summit Raceway Park, Norwalk, Ohio
1971- 1972 Stock GTO Class
 Third Place
September 2010 - Summit Racing, Talmadge, Ohio. Pontiac, Buick, Olds Nationals ..................
 Top Twenty


June 2011 - Featured in the National GTOAA Club Magazine "The Legend" .

June 12, 2011 20th Annual Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac Show. Brecksville, Ohio
1971 - 1972 A Stock Body
 Second Place
June, 2011 National P.O.C.I. Convention, Bowling Green, Kentucky. 1970 -1974 GTO Stock.....
In Class

July, 2011 Officer James A Kerstetter Memorial Car Show, Elyria, Ohio ...................................
 F.O.P. #30 Choice
July, 2011 North Coast Pontiac Chapter P.O.C.I. 12th Annual Solon Commons, Ohio
1968 - 1972 Stock GTO Class
 First Place &
Best Paint and Body
 August 2011 Ames Performance Pontiac Nationals, Summit Raceway Park, Norwalk, Ohio
1971- 1972 Stock GTO Class
Second Place
August 21, 2011 Dream Cruise & Woodward GTO Tigers (GTOAA) GTO Show.
Auburn, Michigan. 1971-1972 Stock GTO Class.
First Place
September 11, 2011 Greater Ohio Chapter - GTOAA All Pontiac Show
Top Thirty
 August 5, 2012 Ames Performance Pontiac Nationals, Summit Raceway Park, Norwalk, Ohio
1971 - 1972 Stock GTO Class
.................................................................................................. ...First Place


From October 2011 Issue
POCI Smoke Signals Magazine


Left click to enlarge photos

 Pontiac Historical Services Documents

From the February 2012 Issue
High Performance Pontiac Magazine
Reporting on the 2011 POCI Nationals,
in Bowling Green Kentucky


Left Click to Enlarge

Off The Road 092308
Engine removed, rebuilt & ready to re-install


1971 GTO
  1971 GTO
1971 455 GTO
  1971 GTO
.1971 GTO  .    1971 455 GTO

On The Road 062109

Back Seat in 060109



1971 455 GTO for sale

  1971 455 GTO for sale

1971 455 GTO for sale 

 Pictures 050909

 Pictures 050409


 Pictures 050109



 Pictures 040909


 Pictures 032309


 ..     A&D Coating Removal, Mobile Soda Blasting (Cell Phone 419 571 3966), New Washington, Ohio
 .. A&D Coating Removal, Mobile Soda Blasting (Cell Phone 419 571 3966), New Washington, Ohio     A&D Coating Removal, Mobile Soda Blasting (Cell Phone 419 571 3966), New Washington, Ohio

    A&D Coating Removal, Mobile Soda Blasting (Cell Phone 419 571 3966), New Washington, Ohio

Go to the bottom & read up

031611 Painted steel wheels & dog dish hubcaps are installed and the OEM 8-track is installed & working. Now we need a good couple of rains to get all the salt off the roads so I can take it around the block.. Bowling Green POCI Nationals & Dream Cruise in Michigan on the agenda this year.

Quit writing when I started driving... This car has trophied in every show it was entered. To include a first in the stock class at the Tri-Power Nationals in Norwalk Ohio, Top 20, Summit Racing BOP Show, Best Paint & Bodywork , NorthCoast POCI show as well as being driven 1600 miles on the HotRod PowerTour in 2010. .

Having just reviewed this log I need to add that the non numbers matching 455 that was built for the car was removed and replaced by a correct YC code, 1971 455 with date code matching heads & intake, freshly built. ( All the date codes on the motor match each other. The motor was built about one month after the car.)

Currently working on four wheel vintiques steel wheels, 2 15 x 7 & 2 15 x 8. They will be painted to match the car and I will be running poverty caps this summer to change up the appearance of the car. Also waiting on the arrival of the correct OEM 8-track bracket so I can install the OEM 8 track.

062809 Car show at Findlay State Park in Wellington. I have about 150 miles on the car. Needs several adjustments but runs & drives fine..

062709 Car won't start. Rolls over, won't fire. Wiggle the distributor wires & it fires up. Take it for a test ride. It stalls & won't start. Long story short... the module in the new Summit HEI distributor , that I just bought, was no good. Took one out of another HEI dsitributor I had & the Car is running again. What a PITA. Got it running in time to take it for the maiden cruise in at Brunswick, Ohio.

062609 Got the nose chrome. Then we worked on the intake. Had it on and off four times... couldn't get the holes to line up. Finally figured out the gaskets were to thick. Got a set of Fel-pros & the intake went right in. Passenger seat & that side of the car is together & the car is ready to drive.

062509 AM/FM with Sirius is hooked up. Tape player & gauges are installed and working. Got the 2 1/2 "mandrel bent exhaust put on today only to find that there was an intake leak. The wrong gasket got installed on the right side. Intake is out, cleaned and sitting on the bench. Re-install tomorrow. Still no chrome. Still need to put the passenger seat together and get it installed.

062309 Front bumper installed... Gaps are within GM tolerance. Stll no chrome for the nose...

062109 My brother helped me put the hood back on it today and I took it for it's first drive. Still need an exhaust but I got about 3 miles on it... I've been waiting a long time to do that....

Came up one hose short to complete the AC. It's assembled but we have to wait till Monday when I can get the right size hose to charge it.

061909 New HEI distributor is installed. Car is running & driveable. Haven't driven it yet because the hood is still sitting on the roof. Should be able to remedy that tomorrow when the AC guy comes & we get it hooked up & blowing cold. Chrome guy still has my grill surrounds and an excuse every Friday when I contact him for the parts. Probably gonna have to use my 72 grills for awhile...

061809 PCV valve installed, Carb parts, accelerator brackets and the cable all installed. Air Conditioning wire harness and oil pressure switch wiring is repaired & dummy light is working.

061709 Carpeting, console, shifter and drivers seat all installed. New foam and springs on the seat make all the difference in the world. It's like sitting in a new car.

061609 Dragged a 1971 Lemans Sport home today for parts. No rear-end, no front tires, body came off the frame when I dumped it off the rollback. Pretty ugly.... But, I have scrounged the PVC elbow for the manifold, the accelerator cable ( it was like new), some window cranks, front seat screws. Some wireing and some plugs... Well worth the effort.

Home from the HotRod PowerTour & the GTO is back in the rear garage.
Turnsignal problems are resolved & all the lights are working.
Rear valance installed.
The lower AC dash & duct work has been installed.
Mounting bracket on the console for the 8-track player manufactured & installed.
Flywheel, torque converter cover painted & installed.
New carb & accelerator brackets located & installed.

Major issues to address:
Front door panels, carpet & seats.
Exhaust System.
Find the correct length accelerator cable & get it installed.
Install Distributor.
Air Conditioning plumbed & filled.
Install enduro front end.
Install aftermarket 8 track until I can find an OEM to replace it with

060309 Fired the motor tonight.. Gonna need to get a new distributor, as we had some timing problems, but it's running...Leaving for the HotRod Magazine Power Tour Monday so the car gets a break for a week while I am gone. Plan on driving it in two weeks..

060209 AC is mocked up.. Gotta get the motor running before we can charge the AC

060109 Motor is plumbed & ready for distributor. Gonna fire it Wednesday evening. Rear interior and seat are installed. AC is mocked up. Drive shaft installed, trans lines installed. Power steering is done. Rally wheels & Radial TA tires are installed (275/60-15's rear, 245/60-15's front). Wheel bearings have been cleaned and repacked. New Brake cylinders on the rear wheels. Windshield wiper motor installed. Problems with the turn signals that will have to be worked out.

My uncle, my brother & the neighbor came over this evening & we got the engine & trans in the car. Went in pretty smooth. Just gotta get it running, get the interior in & put the front bumper on..

052209 Power steering & alternator, with all brackets, motor mounts & ram air exhaust manifolds installed.

051809 Motor is home & painted.

051609 Motor guy called today, shortblock is together... Should be ready for pickup Monday. We got the window fuzzy's, the rocker panel moldings & the wheel well moldings installed today. Spent some time putting bolts in that the body shop over looked, & lining up some panels.

Front dash paint is finished. Headliner is installed and looking good ( and after watching the install I can tell you, it is not a job for amateur's ). Seats are re upholstered & ready for install. Rear brake drums have been blasted and painted natural iron color. Spatter paint in the trunk is complete, as is all the trunk wiring except the electric trunk release. Tailight housings & lens are done..

051009 New left front caliper on the F250.. leak is fixed. On the GTO I have installed the rear bumper, headlights, turn signal lens in front and the mirrors. Painted the rear deck and the top of the dash. Pulled the rear wheels, cleaned the wheel wells and sprayed with rubberized undercoating. Sprayed half the bottom of the car with Ford semi gloss black motor paint.

050909 Car is home, less the front bumper, which they will be repainting.... Had the brakes go bad on the F250 while towing the car home... Made the ride a little more tense. Use the trailer brakes to stop and drove real slow.

Car is painted and the vinyl top is installed..

050109 A lot has happened since the last post. We were gonna change the rear seal but, upon taking the motor apart we decided to clean it up a little. The motor & heads will be redone. Crank will be turned, rods checked, pistons nerled, new valves, some minor head work & reassembly of the short block. Supposed to have it back today but it wasn't done... Wednesday I should have it...

Legendary interiors has delivered the vinyl top, headliner, package tray, seat foam, seat covers & carpeting. Ames & PY have also been making regular shipments to my garage, to include new rear bumper, body side molding, tailight splash guards, etc. Got everything piled up & ready to go.

Paint on the car is cut in, the fenders & doors rehung & the car is all masked off & sitting in the paint booth. First real coat of paint goes on tomorrow. Another 10 days or so & I should have the car at home...

Motor & assorted pieces have been painted the appropriate pontiac blue and are curing in a very warm garage.

040609 Motor is in primer & ready to paint . Pulleys, brackets & misc are also painted & ready to put back together... RA exhaust manifols, rear bumper, rocker panel molding & clips, seat piping, exhaust pieces and a bunch of other neat stuff arrived today from Ames. Also got the headliner from legendary. Body shop has trunk & front fenders in primer with the doors and front & rear valance getting prepped for primer today.

040509 Bid on a date code correct 455 short block on ebay.

032309 Darren from A&D Coating Removal, Mobile Soda Blasting (Cell Phone 419 571 3966), New Washington, Ohio
at the body shop today to media blast the car.... It's done, the car is completely naked now...

031709 Ordered the interior & top from Legendary. Four weeks delivery time...

Kinda dropped the ball here... been in Florida on vacation. Today the car went to a bodyshop in North Ridgeville for paint. They came very highly recommended and I have been able to see some of their work. We have decided on the Black Vinyl over Quezal Gold with Black Interior (like the car was built). Monday March 23 the car will be in pieces and the media blaster will be at the body shop to strip it down. Expect it back in about 5 weeks. Hope to get it done for the Hot Rod Power Tour.

030909 Picked up the rebuilt carb..

021409 This painter bailed on me as well...

020809 Got another paint guy. We should be getting started soon... Went to the GTOAA swap meet in Columbus today. Got a set of 1971 GTO grills.

Got folks sending me emails asking about the status of the car... My paint guy bailed on me & I've been treading water waiting to find somebody else to paint the car.

Dropped trans at Ron's Transmission, in Elyria. A customer from my days at the Harley shop he does great work & always takes good care of me. New seals, a new filter if needed and a general cleanup & tuneup. Front seats are in the basement & one is in parts. I'll be ordering seat covers in the next couple of days.

My brother,uncle & neighbor came over today & we pulled the engine& trans. Took about 45 minutes, as expected. Got the headers off one side but got tired of wrestling with it & sawz-alled the other one off. Now for some cleaning under the hood before the car goes out to paint.

121908 Everything is unbolted & disconnected. Tomorrow morning we should be able to lift the engine & trans out..

120608 Removed the stainless trim & glass today. Painted some small parts.

113008 Been busy & haven't had time to update the info... The car is in my garage, interior, shifter, door panels removed. All stainless has been removed. Today I picked up a set of new tail lights. Hope to pull the motor & trans this week. Glass comes out this week as well. Goes in for paint Jan 1, which isn't really that far off.

110408 Picked up a 1973 Muncie M-21, a pair of 15x7 Rally II rims & some other goodies today from another local GTO guy. Spent some time buffing stainless pieces & sandblasting motor brackets. Picked up a 71 455 carb on ebay & it arrived today. Needs a rebuild. Gonna wait till the first snow to start tearing the car apart.

103108. Did a little research on the title history and learned through Ohio BMV that the car had been sold by Ricks Auto Sales in Kenton Ohio in 1995. Made contact with Rick & he was extremely helpful. Still had the file on the car & took the time to scan & send me some documents.
..... I know now that Robert Meyers of Groveport Ohio owned the car from 1990 to 1995. He sold, or traded, the car to Hilltop Motors in Columbus Ohio. Hilltop took the car to an auction in Grove City, Ohio, and Rick purchased it on 050295 for $3165.00. At that time the car was still the original Black vinyl over Quezel Gold with a solid body and still
had functional AC.
..... Rick had the car for a month. He gave it a tune-up, a new AC belt, a compression check (125-up), new axle bearings, shims, and a new headliner . He sold the car to Darin McCullough of Ada Ohio on June 17,1995
for $4500.00.

101308. Replaced hi-blow fuse on the firewall as one of the tabs was broken off. Didn't affect the heater motor. Changed the fuse in the line near the alternator & brought the fan motor to life. One less thing to worry about. Ordered all the weatherstriping .

101008 replaced the hose on the two gas-tank vent lines. Both were rotted away and leaking. Installed new rear shocks. Cleaned & painted the dual snorkel air cleaner & inner fenders semi gloss black.

100908 4 speed conversion is sitting on the shelf. Trans looks like a fresh rebuild.

100708 Bought a complete 4 speed setup with clutch assembly, flywheel & everything else I need to convert the car to a 4 speed. Driving up to New York in the morning to pickup the parts. (ultimately I chose to stick with the origianl 400 turbo).

100608 PHS came today... This is one of 534 original 455, automatic cars (there were no 455CID 4 speed cars built in 1971). It is fairly well optioned

100408 I've put about 300 miles on the car. Drives great. Had the pin that holds the shift linkage on the trans come out, which disconnected the shifter. Found out the car has no neutral switch as I had to start it in drive to get it home & make a repair. New belts & radio mounted but not wired yet. Makes plenty of heat on the low setting.. Need to find two 15 inch Rally IIs so I can put some new tires on it..

100108 50 mile drive today. Stopped & saw my body & paint guy. He's gonna get me a cost on painting it. Got one speed on the heater working, Blown fuse. Soaked the switch with electric contact cleaner. Found a 72 Lemans AM-FM stereo buried deep in my parts. It's marked "Tested & works 100383". Hooked it up to a 12-volt converter & some speakers. It works... Need to get it installed..

093008 Put the exhaust system on it today. 3" pipe off the headers into 3" flowmasters then into a turndown dump. Sounds good. Fixed the front turn signal sockets. Trunk is done & dry. Took it for it's first long drive (20 miles). Drives well. Trans shifts are tight. the 12-bolt posi works. 092908 Got the title, plates & insurance.. Refinished the inside of the trunk, installed new sockets for the left rear turn/brake lights, topped off all the fluids, painted the jack.

Sept 28,2008 Trunk cleaned, sanded & primed. Left rear taillight disassembled. Some interior cleaning.
Painted jack bottom & air cleaner lid.

Saturday Sept 27, 2008. Fixed the header gasket & cut the exhaust off. Running open headers now.. Took the alternator in for test & it was shot. It has been replaced with a rebuilt from NAPA. Topped off the brake master cylinder, added a quart of oil to the motor. Tightened up the bolts on the trans pan. New wiper blades. Ordered PHS Documents.

Friday Sept 26, 2008. Trailered the car home & took it for a short ride.

Thursday Sept 25, 2008.... Got the call, the car is mine.

Wednesday Sept 24,2008 Went & looked at the car. It's been sitting for a while & the owner had to throw a battery in it before we could start it. Fired right up. Drove it around the block & liked the car. The exhaust is shot and the left header gasket is blown. Generator light stays on. Heater does not come on. Clock in dash does not work. Tires look pretty old. Made him an offer. Said he'll let me know.

Monday Sept 22, 2008 made the call. Learned the the owner purchased when he was 16, he did some body work & painted the car. Drove it through high school. Used it as a pizza delivery car. Wife, kids, house & other priorities caused him to offer it for sale. We've all been there.

Sunday Sept 21, 2008 Gotta love my wife. She spends time on line looking for GTO's for sale. Found several
she had me look at even though I wasn't really in the market. Told me she found a 71 GTO on Craigs list & forwarded the link.. She encouraged me to call on this one.





Pre-Purchase Photos
1971 GTO    1971 GTO
1971 GTO |    1971 GTO

1971 GTO     1971 GTO
1971 455 GTO     1971 455 GTO

There were only 10,532 GTOs sold in 1971. 534 of those were equipped with the 455 motor & TH 400 trans. The 4 speed was not available with the 455 motor. It was, however available with the 455 HO motor.

The 1971 GTO had a modest facelift with wire-mesh grilles, horizontal bumper bars on either side of the grille opening, more closely spaced headlamps, and a new hood with the dual scoops relocated to the leading edge, not far above the grille. Overall length grew slightly to 203.3 inches (516 cm). A new corporate edict, aimed at preparing GM for no-lead gasoline, forced an across-the-board reduction in compression ratios. The Ram Air engines did not return for 1971.

The standard GTO engine was still the 400 CID V8, but now with 8.2:1 compression. Power was rated at 300 hp (220 kW) at 4,800 rpm and torque at 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) at 3,600 rpm.

An option was the 455 CID V8 with four-barrel carburetor, 8.4 to 1 compression ratio and 325 hp (242 kW), only available with the automatic transmission.

The top GTO engine for 1971 was the new 455 HO with 8.4 compression, rated at 335 hp (250 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 480 lb·ft (651 N·m) at 3,600 rpm.

The Judge returned for a final year, now with the 455 HO as standard equipment. Only 374 were sold before The Judge was discontinued in February 1971, including 17 convertibles—today the rarest of all GTOs.


last updated 062110