It’s sometimes easy to forget that jaw-dropping cars don’t just come together overnight and that’s definitely the case with Kevin Callahan’s killer 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge. We caught up with him, as well as Irving Park hot rod builder, Mark Klopack, of Hot Rod Auto Body, at the 2011 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, held this past November at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, IL. We featured the restomod last winter and even included a video interview with both the car owner and builder, highlighting some of the trick components and bodywork on the car.
While the candied Planet Green Goat in its final form was a sure eye-catcher on the crowded show floor, the majority of those ogling spectators never had the chance to fully appreciate the year and a half’s worth of time, talents and energy that went into the labor intensive project.
Before Mark and Kevin ever rolled their polished creation into the packed convention center last fall, Classic Recollections had the chance to stop by Hot Rod Auto nearly a year before that weekend to check in on the progress of the custom Pontiac. When we laid our eyes on it, the still-primered body had been smoothed and prepped to go back into the paint booth but only the interior wore a coat of the mile-deep, glossy hue. Interior pieces and bucket seats of the donor 2005 Pontiac GTO had been fitted but not yet fixed in the cabin and the big block 455ci V8 was underhood, waiting to be started.
Fast forward twelve months and you get the amazing show-spectacle that stopped enthusiasts in their tracks.