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Pontiac of the Month

Michael Dalke's 1967 Firebird

2020 March
of the Month


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Fitzy last won the day on March 2

Fitzy had the most liked content!

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About Fitzy

  • Rank
    Learning to Fly

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  • Location
    North Queensland, Australia
  • Interests
    Cars, beer, pondering life's bigger questions until the beer kicks in. Then it's food.

Forever Pontiac

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    Grand Prix
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    389 4BBL
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  1. My GP came from the factory with a vinyl roof. By the time the car came to Australia, it had gone. As a result, my roof is a mixture of faded paint, old vinyl glue, rust and patches where the paint has disappeared and the metal has oxidised, turning black. So, being on my regular tight budget and armed only with sandpaper, several paint cleaning compounds and lots of elbow grease, I have begun the tedious time consuming process of bringing my roof paint back to life. If you have a similar circumstance and don't yet have the funds for fresh paint, you can try this: Because the paint was in such poor condition, I started with 80 grit wet, eventually working down to 400, then 1200. Cutting compound, then a good quality cut & polish (I use T Cut) then a final clean with regular cut & polish, and finally a coating of wax. Have a look...
  2. Thanks Last Indian! I will now scowl at my distributor with nenewed vigour, as it sits at the back of the engine, defiant, grinning at me as I grunt & strain to see where I should put the points! I sorta figured that the Pontiac manifold distanced itself from engine heat, and we all know that a cooler inlet charge is good for power, so I'll now look at THAT with a different set of eyes too. Clearly, because I'm self isolating at the moment, I have too much time hence peering into my engine bay and asking questions! I hope we're all doing the right thing and staying at home. The best way to stop the virus is to prevent it finding new hosts. Keep pottering with your cars, guys. It may transpire that the ICE actually helped save the human race, rather than tried to kill it off!
  3. Goodness me, I hope a Pontiac purist never inspects my car- they'll pick it to pieces, what with it's incorrect headlining, exhaust cutouts and flat brake pedal - it's my very own Pont-enstein. I am astounded by your answer, and am grateful that you took the time to respond and am equally astounded by the engineering behind a curved brake pedal. Simple, elegant innovation - once the driving force behind the auto industry, now robot assembled characterless bubbles with a life expectancy of 5 years or so. So, can you tell me why GM put the bloody distributor at the BACK of the engine, in a black painted engine bay, where anyone less than 7 feet tall will never see what's inside the dizzy without actually physically climbing on top of the engine? I remember tuning my old Cleveland V8s and how easy it was to adjust points with the dizzy front & centre of the engine. And the inlet manifold? Are there improvements in flow and breathing from that distinctive Pontiac design? I must admit, I enjoy peering into the inky blackness of my engine bay and marvelling at all the unique characteristics that my car displays.
  4. So, here's a curly one. There I am, idly surveying my stripped interior and I know I need to contort myself to get in there and continue wire brushing surface rust but am making excuses to postpone such pain. I examine my brake pedal - it has never looked right. The car is a factory auto, so it's the wide brake pedal, but it's not flat - it's slightly curved, so that the centre is higher than the sides. Is this how they came from the factory, or has the previous owner stomped on the brakes over the years, hitting the pedal off centre and thereby bending it's surface? I reinforced the centre of the pedal with my extended leg (foot on pedal) and bent the outside edges back up with a pair of multigrips in order to restore a nice, flat pedal surface. It now looks how I imagine it should look, but if it's meant to be curved (perhaps in order for a smooth transition from accelerator to brake) can someone let me know? At any rate, I'm leaving as it is, because it now looks like a brake pedal on a regular car, you know - with a flat surface!
  5. You know what? When I posed the original question, I was expecting a torrent of howls of protest at the indignity of what I was proposing, from a bunch of fanatical purists who couldn't stand the thought of someone messing with originality, but as usual, I was pleasantly surprised by the response and for the record, Ames pushed the work experience kid out of the way of the keyboard and told me that yes indeed, 1964 was the last year of the star pattern BUT they would make me a headliner out of it anyway. So, I'l keep you informed as to the progress. Little stars - all we got in Oz was endless single perforations across all brands & models. Those little stars go hand in hand with the beautiful almost art deco interior lights I have and the Indian head high beam light in the speedo. The cool just keeps on coming. After a protracted diet of (mostly) boring basic Aussie sedans, the delight of owning a 60s Poncho is a revelation. It's these little details that made them the works of art that they are. To any Australian members who may be reading, of course not all of our stuff was boring. We have an assortment of seriously capable machinery that was built over the decades, but have become so collectable & valuable, only the well heeled few can actually afford them. About 20 years ago, before Falcon GT prices went stratospheric, at my friend's request, I helped him drive his newly acquired XY GT Falcon from Brisbane to Melbourne. Despite it's antiquity, it drove like a true grand tourer - 300hp of 351, 4 speed, Wild Violet in colour and simply ate up the miles. One more thing, I see on my given profile that I am 'learning to fly' and have been given a single piston. What happens? As the years tick over, do I get an additional piston?
  6. Thanks JUSTA6, I know I don't need permission from anyone - I might like leopard skin headliner for example, but I was just chasing opinions. You needn't worry - my old girl will NEVER be anywhere near show condition. I want it 'as is' because it's honest and I like the battle weary look. Also, when (if ever) I get her on the road, our driving time together will be brief and sporadic, so no need for me to go apeshit (can I say that?) on front discs and real seatbelts. But...I want to remain as faithful to the original designer's brief as possible, hence the question re headlining. Still...little stars? How cool is that? Ames haven't responded yet. They probably think I'm insane and have relegated my enquiry to the work experience kid!
  7. Hi Guys, never could I have imagined the depth of allegiance nor the closeness to the industry that you experience. A love of all things automotive can be truly passionate, and it shows through with your responses - I'm impressed. Further, it has shed light on your various stances on the subject of imports and how the auto market is evolving, and how governments are rarely there for the benefit of the people, more often to feed politician's bloated egos and fill the coffers. It has been illuminating, so I thank you for taking the time to pen such eloquent lines. I've been Stateside several times but spent most of my travels in the south, with one brief trip to Chicago. When I used to look at a map of the north, I would read with some wonder all those evocative names that I had heard and read in the automotive field: Saginaw & Fairmont spring to mind. Clearly, the greater Detroit area was a manufacturing powerhouse. You're not alone. Australia no longer has a local vehicle manufacturer (we once had 4.) In fact, the only thing we make any more (as far as I can tell) are plastic clothes pegs - the one item that SHOULD be made in China! Absolutely everything is imported and you have to wonder how we prop up our economy. When we dig the last ton of iron ore out of the ground and sell it overseas, it'll be Goodnight Gracie. Okay, as an aside, I asked a headliner question for my 65 GP. General opinions please: is it okay for me to instal star pattern headliner in my 65, or am I committing the ultimate 'incorrect choice' travesty?
  8. Hi Wrongway (great name!) Thanks for the response. I have the Ames catalogue and also noticed that 1964 seemed to be the last year for the star pattern. I emailed them and asked if they'd manufacture a headliner for me in star but am still waiting for a reply - they're probably burning an effigy of me as we speak to drive out my demons of 'improper choice.' 'Sigh' I guess I'll have to stick with the double perforated, although I'll choose black even though my original was silver. There's something very 60's about a total black vinyl interior.
  9. Hi Everyone, if you're still talking to me I'd like to ask a question. I'm currently shopping for a headliner for the GP. SMS kindly sent me some material samples, but their headlining sample is the recessed star one. My car appears to have been factory fitted with the double perforated type. I love the look of the star type - how cool are little stars above your head? My question is - was the star pattern offered after 1964? I love it, but don't want to commit the Eighth Deadly Sin by installing the period incorrect pattern. If I have to go perforated, no sweat, but was the star pattern a factory offering in 1965? Your responses are always appreciated.
  10. Well said. That was a great response and illustrates how deep your car culture and allegiance go. You are probably aware that our own GM division, Holden recently announced that it was ceasing operations later this year. To be fair, the global car market has been overturned in recent years and here in Oz, the large rear drive sedan became a dinosaur which nobody wanted, despite the fact Australia was turning out some decent world class machinery - but...hello SUVs. Holden has been an Aussie institution since 1948 with a huge fan base, and now it's disappearing. Our disproportionately small car market can't sustain the 60 or so manufacturers who sell cars here, so the axe has fallen. As an aside, many years ago whilst tooling around Florida in a rented Pontiac LeMans, the thing drove so badly that I pulled over and checked the ID tag. Yep, made by Daewoo. It was a crapper, and I get your comments on the flurry of imports that have invaded your home market. Our petrol (gas) is far more expensive than yours, and just like you Australia is largely car-centric, so any movement towards low emission vehicles or to take an alternate means of transport can only be good. There will always be that segment, just like us, who dig the old stuff, so there's no reason why the daily drivers and the Iron Horses can't co-exist. It's not all about global warming either. I believe that the planet is undergoing a cycle that has been going on for millenia - our impact has been minimal, but if we can clean it up a little, it's all good.
  11. When I said you guys are nuts, I meant fanatics - no disrespect was supposed to be inferred. All valid points re EV infrastructure- yours would be far superior to ours and Australia in particular is as big as north America, but with vast expanses of...nothing, in between towns & cities. It's this scenario that causes EV range anxiety, and so it should. You know, I used to ride a bicycle in traffic when I was a teenager and I can still taste the leaded carburetted exhaust that I was forced to breathe in as I kept up with the traffic. God knows what sort of brain damage I have suffered breathing all that crap in! These days with unleaded fuel, cats and electronic fuel injection, vehicle exhaust is better than ever, so I guess going electric is the next logical step. Like I said, if your daily driver is efficient and fairly clean, it's the right thing to do. Keep the Poncho for the weekend, and everyone wins. That's not too extreme, is it?
  12. You guys are nuts! You probably should get used to EVs & Hybrids - anyway, let THEM make a statement whilst you guzzle precious fuel. There's no shame driving something economical & efficient as your daily, just so long as you can start the Olde Girl on the weekend and atone for your sins of being environmentally conscious. I drive a Japper as a daily and also have a mountain bike, but nothing comes close to that V8 rumble - nothing sounds like a V8, only a V8. Even a 40's Tatra with that aircooled rear mounted V8 sounds the business. Check YouTube for a clip.
  13. An update on my 'paint rejuvenation procedure.' If you're interested in trying it on your own car, tread carefully. My paint was trashed so I had nothing to lose. Sandpaper hurts paint, so go easy and one square foot at a time. You will NOT get your car done in one weekend. I bought an additional product today, so I now use wet 1200 sandpaper, cutting compound, then an 'extra cut' compound, and finally wax & polish. I do NOT recommend using any sort of machinery as you may take your paint down to the undercoat and beyond within seconds. Elbow grease costs nothing. Leave the beers until after you've finished. That way you can chug one down whilst walking around the car and admiring your handiwork. Then, when the missus isn't looking, you can drape yourself over your new shiny hood paint and gently caress it, like the poor Pontiac tragic that you are!
  14. So, I'm on a tight budget and I'm looking at the 55 year old faded paint on my GP. I want to keep it looking 'as found' but just a little more presentable, plus I want to get rid of the surface rust. So, I go over the old paint (about a square foot at a time) with wet 1200 sandpaper. Then cutting compound, and finally with polish. It's a slow process and requires plenty of time but little money. Check out the trunk lid - I had no idea paint that old & tired could possibly be restored so easily. The other shots depict one side of the car 'treated' and the other awaiting treatment. The difference is nothing short of staggering.
  15. Thanks Frosty. Now, can somebody out there make the Australian peso go up in value so I can actually afford a set?
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