The car: 1965 Pontiac GTO
The owner: Ed Lay, Merced
1. What are the key features of your vehicle? It is one of the most beautiful cars Pontiac ever built. This car is Mayfair Maize, which is an original color for the year. The interior has been changed to gray colors. The seats are original but have been reupholstered in cloth and vinyl. The engine is a highly modified 455 bored .030 with a Comp Cams hydraulic roller cam, three carburetors and a 200R4 transmission.
2. What did you have to do to get it in its present state? When I bought the car it came with a lot of new parts that were bought by the previous owner over several years. As I took out old parts, I replaced them with the new ones. I rebuilt the three carbs and installed a disc brake kit. After everything was done, I had it repainted.
3. What else do you want to do to it? Not much. It’s pretty much done. Maybe add air conditioning later to keep things cool.
4. How did you acquire your vehicle? About three years ago I was looking for a project car. My boss suggested his mother-in-law’s old Pontiac. I went to look at it and fell in love with this GTO. I asked her if she wanted to sell it and told her I would give that old car a good home and build the car as a tribute to her late husband, Larry. I gave her $6,000 and brought her home and the rebuild began.
5. Why did you pick that particular vehicle and what do you find appealing about it? I have always loved Pontiacs and this is a GTO!
6. What started your love affair with cars? It all started in high school when I was helping my buddies work on their cars and making them fast and loud.
7. What advice would you give others about starting such a project? Find the love of your life, car-wise, and save up lots of money because it ain’t going to be cheap. Try to do most of the work yourself to save money. I did all the work on my car myself because I could, except for the paint job.
8. Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars? Not at this time. I have had a lot of cars that I wish I still had. When I met my wife in 1971 she had a 1967 GTO and we are still together.
9. What’s your favorite memory about this ride? Having people shout out “Hey, nice car” and getting thumbs-up while cruising in my GTO.