FEATURE: 1969 Pontiac GTO
Having a significant other on board with your classic machine dreams always makes things go a lot easier. A surefire result is it allows them to participate in the cruising fun, giving you more seat time on the open road, which is exactly where any enthusiast wants to be.
Jerry Bertram has a wife who took some time to come around to see the cool in his Pontiac passions.
“For over 30 years, I’ve always loved the looks of the GTOs and wanted to have one myself. On the other hand, my wife has never liked them. Whenever we would see one, it always happened to be a green or gold one and she would say, ‘What an ugly car!’”
Apparently all it took was a simple color change for her Goat repugnance to melt away.
“When I took her to see this black 1969 GTO convertible, she immediately fell in love. Whenever you can get your wife to love a classic car you want to buy, that’s the best kind of deal!”
Jerry bought his fully restored drop-top in the winter of 2011 after locating it his home state of Illinois. “The previous owner competed a restoration on it 5 years earlier. In that time, they only put 410 miles on it. It was barely broken in.”
In addition to its flawless appearance, Jerry was drawn to its unusual pedigree. “It’s one of 339 convertibles made in 1969 with a factory four speed and factory air conditioning.”
Despite the low production numbers, Jerry insists the only way to enjoy his Detroit bruiser is by keeping it in motion. “I bought it to drive it – no trailer queens for me. Like most older cars the more you drive them, they better they are.”
Underhood is the factory 400ci V8, rated at 350 horsepower. Stock four-wheel drums, hidden behind red line tires, bring the muscle machine to a halt. Other equipment on board the ragtop are four-wheel drums, headrests, power steering and an AM radio.
“Driving the old cars are so different – you step on the gas and they just take off. It’s much more fun than any modern vehicle. This GTO has fairly loud mufflers on it which makes you feel all the more different from the guy next to you on the highway or on the other side of you. You really stand out.”
“It’s really an excellent car – everything inside and out is A1 – but truly the best part is a wife who loves it and loves driving it. Even in the hot weather when I want to leave the top up and turn on the ice-cold air, she insists on putting it down and letting the breeze blow in.”
Sounds like our kind of woman.
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