THE CAR AND ITS OWNERS
1967 Pontiac GTO hardtop owned by Christopher and Gary Werner
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The iconic Pontiac GTO, offered from 1964 to 1974 and again from 2004 to 2006, is considered by many to be the father of modern muscle cars. By 1967, it had already solidified its place at the top of the heap, with standard models sporting a 335-horsepower, 400-cubic-inch V-8 engine and the “HO” (High Output) version pumping out 360 horsepower. The Werners’ car – brought back to life by father Gary and his sons, Christopher, an automotive writer, and Cody, owner of a metal fabricating and welding firm -- is a documented HO model with the optional heavy-duty, three-speed manual transmission on the floor.
HOW LONG THEY’VE OWNED IT
WHERE THEY FOUND IT
“The car was found through a friend,” says Christopher Werner, “and was hidden away in an old carriage barn in downtown Elizabeth, New Jersey, where it had been sitting under blankets since 1993. It took us a while to convince the guy to sell it, probably close to two years. He had owned it since the 1980s and didn’t want to part with it.”
The Werners have been building and fielding high-performance street and track cars since the late 1990s. They performed work on the GTO in their backyard garage, which contains a vehicle lift with a 9,000-lb. capacity. “The car is all stock, except for the stereo and aftermarket radio antenna,” says Christopher Werner. “We have the Pontiac Historical Services build sheet. We had to put in new front seats and carpeting; do a good amount of rewiring; install new brakes, fuel pump, ignition coil and carburetor; weld in a new trunk floor; add reproduction wheels with radial tires; change the fluids and off we went.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
Werner advises potential owners that “1967 is the GTO. People actually bow down when we pull into shows. And it’s so much more fun with a manual ‘tranny.’”
The Werners value their hardtop at $39,500.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“The car is super rare,” Werner says. “It is probably only one of 10 HO three-speeds built.” He adds that his father “always wanted a GTO and – after owning many Corvettes, Camaros and Firebirds, new and old, through the years – finally got his wish. He even had the ‘new’ 2004 GTO special-ordered from Australia, but nothing comes close to the original.”