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Van Seymore's Lightweight '65 Royal GTO

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The attached link is a story about the late Van Seymore's lightweight '65 Royal Pontiac GTO. It is a very, very rare and special GTO. This story is a bit personal for me, which I will explain after you've read the article.


There are several reasons this story is personal for me. First, Van, his wife Pat, and son Keith are members of my POCI chapter, the Michigan Widetrackers. Second, Eric White, the author of the article, is also a club member. Eric is on the board of directors of Tim Dye's Pontiac-Oakland Museum in Pontiac, Illinois. Eric is also an accomplished artist in his own right. He does commission automotive artwork, just Google "White House Graphics". I own a print of the late Pontiac Historian, John Sawruk's '71 1/2 GT-37 that he sold and gives the proceeds to the University of Michigan Cancer Research Center on John's behalf.

What makes this story so very personal for me is that I worked with Van's wife, Pat, for several years when I was a student in college. Pat worked as the secretary to the campus' student tutorial department. I was a student tutor and Pat would schedule ever tutor's daily schedule. She is a fantastic woman. She would tell me about the GTO that she and Van bought shortly after they got married. She showed me pictures of a beautiful black GTO and then she told me that they still had the car although it had not been driven in several years. Pat told me these stories since she knew I was driving a used '73 Lemans Sport Coupe and I loved Pontiacs. I met Van once or twice while I was in college, usually at the department's Christmas party. Now consider, this was back in the late 70s and early 80s. I graduated from college in 1983.

I didn't see Pat or Van until nearly 20 years later, after I purchased my '72 Lemans convertible and started going to car shows. When I attend my first Michgian Widetackers Dustoff car show, I ran into Pat and Van again. I was surprised to learn that we both lived in the same town now, less than a mile from each other. Pat also introduced me to her son Keith, who was working at GM as an engineer. I had not yet joined POCI or the Widetrackers when Van passed away. It was not until I read an article about Van's GTO did I truly come to understand the significance of his car. I would have loved to hear his drag racing and Royal Pontiac stories, I just didn't realize the significance of the relationship I had at the time. I do, however, have the opportunity to hear some of those stories- from Pat and Keith.

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Story update from 2012! I just received an email from Keith Seymore this afternoon. It speaks for itself.

"Hope you all are doing well (…especially you, Jim Mattison!).  {NOTE - Jim just had heart surgery]

Just a quick note to let you know that I have loaned the GTO to the Gilmore Museum for their muscle car display, through next April.[2019]

Pontiacs are well represented, with one of the 8 Trans Am convertibles on display as well as Dan Jensen’s T-37 (sorry about the parking spot, Dan) plus an Oldsmobile restored by Scott Tiemann.  If you have not been to Gilmore in a while I would strongly recommend it as they have added a lot of new buildings, displays and cars with unique and interesting histories.

See you at Woodward, if not before.



The Gilmore Collection is located in Hickory Corners, Michigan - north of Kalamazoo Michigan. It is an amazing place and I encourage any car guy to go there if you have the chance.





Edited by Frosty
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