Cars » Brian Huffines 65 GTO
Huffine 1965 GTO Story
Due to my job I get to travel all over the country. Since I am a classic car enthusiasts I often stop and check out classic cars where ever they may be sitting. It’s not unusual for me to stop and knock on doors just hear the story about a particular car. In the early spring of April 2016, I was on one of those trips when I stumbled on a gem. The Company I work for had assigned me to travel to Vermont, New Hampshire, & Maine to spend a week traveling with one of my coworkers who lives in that region. We headed out early Monday morning out of Burlington, VT headed east. After a short distance I brought my coworker up to speed about my classic car addiction. I told him not to be surprised if I ask him to stop and look at cars on the way. Not being a car guy was he somewhat surprised by my request and replied! What do you mean stop and look at cars? I explained! If I see something interesting in a field or garage or something that looks classic in nature I may want to check it out. I am looking for a GTO! About 1 hr. into our trip we had gotten off the beaten path heading to one of our client’s location which was several miles down a gravel road in Pittsfield, VT. Upon turning into our clients parking lot out of my right eye I saw a white old car sitting in a field behind an old house beside where we were stopping. I couldn’t really tell what it was since it was several hundred yards away. I commented to my car worker! See that’s what I am talking about! Sitting there in the field! My coworker said! That piece of junk! That piece of junk may be gold. It’s a Pontiac something 60s something from the distance. Soon as this meeting was over I headed cross the field to check out the car. As I got closer my heart started pounding harder when I saw the GTO emblem on the grill. Of course, I immediately went knocked on the door all the while my coworker replied! I am not believing this you’re knocking on this person door about this old car. Yep! To my surprise the person who owned the GTO was surprised we had asked about the car. That’s a good sign since I was worried this guy had been asked hundreds of times If he wanted to sell. The guy was glad to come out and tell us about the cars history. He had parked it in the field about 10 years earlier due to the ignition coil having gone out. I had to have this car. 1965 GTO 4 speed car. Missing the original 389 with a 1970 Pontiac 350 installed in it. The owner mentioned that many years earlier the 389 had gotten blown up with the intent to rebuild but the engine disappeared. After several minutes of dickering over the car I ended up buying the car. I couldn’t have been more excited. Spent the next few days on our trip setting up logistics topic her up and transport to TN. That was no easy task! My trip to that region lasted about ten days. The next day after I arrived at our home in Knoxville TN my 65 GTO showed up. We got her unloaded and immediately got the pressure washer out and started washing away 10 years of tree sap and grime. I was determined to get it running. Spent the next week flushing the fuel tank replacing the starter and rebuilding the ignition. Then finally she came to life. Several of neighbors came running out when they heard it fire up. We spent the next few months killing surface rust gutting the interior and taking her on Sunday afternoon drives. November of 2016 we put together a parts list of things we wanted to accomplish over the winter. One of the first projects that we started Dec 2016 was to remove all the suspension. A arms, rear-end etc. We had everything sand blasted and painted. We replaced all the rubber bushings and ball joints. We lowered her 2 inches with drop spindles and springs. We completed a complete drum to disc brake conversion with power brakes. We purchased several sets of boss wheels till we achieved the stance we were looking for. During Jan of 2017 I was on another one of my work trips. I just happened to be traveling through Lawrenceburg TN when I stumbled onto Butler Performance. Since I watch Street Out laws I kind knew who Butler was but was surprised they were in TN. I immediately made a U turn and went in to see what they were about. The first person I met was Greg. I told him about my GTO and we discussed some engine possibilities. At that time, I was thinking short block only. A few days later Greg e mailed me a quote for a short block. I pleased with the quote price not as bad I was thinking. I have built Pontiacs before and have some experience building them. But would be cool if Butler built me an engine. IT was almost impossible for me to even dream since I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to spend that kind of money on this car. So a few months had past and all I could think about was if I could really afford to have Butler build this engine for me. So I emailed Greg had him quote me a long block. Got the quote back and felt like not too bad at all. During all this we were still working on the car. My Sons both Tyler and Mason had spent extensive time helping me on the car. Spring of 2017 we decided to re wire the complete car. We purchased a complete re wire kit from American Auto Wire. This kit was awesome. Very easy to install highly recommend these kits. We spent most of the Summer of 2017 dealing with suspension issues with tires rubbing. We changed out several sets of front springs and another set of tires before getting the ride we were looking for. September of 2017 I decided I would finally pull the trigger on a new Butler Performance 461 long block. To my surprise my wife Denise was on board as well. So, we went ahead and put our deposit down. Since it was going to be a while before the long block would be ready we were able to enjoy taking her on Sunday afternoon drives and work on getting ready for our new engine. Towards the end of the process and after a visit at Butler Performance we decided to go ahead and finish this off with a turn key Engine pkg from Butler performance. During the last few weeks before our new engine was to be ready I decided to make change to the car. I had been trying to come up with a good gear ratio for our 12 bolt gm rear end. I found a company who build custom ford 9-inch rear ends for A body cars. They are called Extreme rear ends. I made the decision to go ahead and order a complete 9 inch with a 3: 90 gear ratios. Spent the last week before our Butler engine was to be ready getting it dialed in. Mid Jan 2018 we got the call our Butler engine was ready to pick up. We couldn’t have been more excited. We spent February & March 2018 getting our New Butler 461 engine installed. We now have the engine installed and are back to taking he on Sunday afternoon drives and burning little rubber along the way. During this process we couldn’t be any happier with all our interaction with Butler Performance. This was hard and huge step for the restoration of this GTO. Looking back, I am so glad we made the decision to go all in and Have Butler provide us Engine. We now have something unique and defiantly turns heads at red lights. Of course, this story is not over. To be continued next year. Hoping to do complete frame off restoration. To be continued!!!