Reversing Gears ~ Rescuing One’s Own Derelict 1967 Pontiac GTO

Derelict 1967 Pontiac GTO

Kerry Pierno from YouTube channel Mechanical Advantage Garage has manufactured for himself a story of vehicular misfortune. He now hopes to reverse what he see’s in his past as he realizes it was terrible ideas all the way down.

As a teenager, Kerry had developed a love for Pontiac GTOs. While searching for a project car, he happened across a 1967 white-on-white convertible 4-speed GTO for sale. On his way to peruse the vehicle, he noted what appeared to be an identical car passing him in the opposite direction. When he arrived where he hoped the car would be, the previous owner stated that he sold it back to the person that he bought it from, feeling like it was the right thing to do.

Try to keep your project car a running car for as long as you can.” ~ Kerry Pierno

Disappointed, but still hopeful, a conversation led to another GTO on the property. This one, also a 1967 model, was a burgundy-on-black hardtop with 60,000 miles on it. Kerry noted that it was in “kinda rough shape”.

Kerry and his beloved 1967 Pontiac GTO when purchased.

The car ran, but not well. This seller was asking $3000, and after a couple of uncomfortable moments with the seller’s crazy Corvette-loving wife, the car was his.

This happened in 1997 when Kerry was just 19 years old. Between 1997 and 1999, Kerry spent roughly $16,000 doing a restoration including the engine, transmission, and rear end.

Kerry recalls running a 12.8 in the now derelict ’67 Pontiac GTO.

Then life happened — Kerry moved out of state, and the car was parked with roughly 90,000 miles on it. He returned to drive it several times over the years, but the car has not run since 2016.

“I didn’t mean for the car to become derelict, it just sorta happened. The good news is that since I put a cover on it the “will you sell it?” notes have stopped.” ~ Kerry Pierno

Kerry finally was in a position to make the journey back to New York with a truck and trailer with Austin from Lucore Automotive to get the old goat running again, and rescue it from where it’s been sitting under a cover for years and years on 4 flat tires, and bring it home to Ohio.

Watch the Full Story Behind the Car — A 32 Minute video including the full story, the car’s paperwork, manuals and books he’s collected, and some related automobilia.

With Austin’s help, Kerry looks forward to reviving the car and the associated automotive adventures, auto-crossing, drag racing, and more. But before that can happen…

Awakening the GOAT

…in the most failure-prone way possible!

Kerry discovers that starting the car he abandoned 7 years ago is more than just turning the key…

The Crypt of Lost GTO Parts

…and bringing it all home, NOW WITH 100% MORE FIRE!!!

Kerry realizes that the best way to unload a trailer is to just send it!

Delousing the GTO and Unboxing Treasures

Kerry discovers he’s forgotten what he has…

Getting the GTO to Drink Gasoline Through a Garden Hose

…and other adventures in not catching fire!

Kerry trains his muscle car baby to go from bottle-fed to tank-fed and learns that his memory of work done on the GTO in the ’90s was far better than the actual work done on the car…

Enter Lucore Auto and Lucore Racing

You’ll recognize and remember Austin from Lucore when he helped Kerry haul the GTO back from Long Island New York with Kerry a few months back. They’ve been hard pressed to find time to get it in to the shop, but it’s finally time to get the brakes fixed so the car can actually roll and maybe even be driven!

This is a true Pontiac GTO unfortunately it’s also a mostly stock car as well which means 4 wheel drum brakes. After sitting under a car cover, under a tree, in the shade for a decade or so it’s now suffering from a few understandable issues first of which is the brakes are basically completely locked up. So, time to do a drum brake brake job!

And while they are in there, there’s a small issue of some rusted and/or broken brake lines that might need fixed. No big deal right? They’ll just get her whipped out in a hurry! Uh huh…

Road Legal and Road Safe Are Not the Same Things

There’s not been much progress on the 1967 Pontiac GTO due to supply chain and scheduling conflicts, plus the car isn’t in my possession at the moment. Lucore, however, is doing a great job of working with me and has been professional the whole way…

Austin and his crew are getting the brakes sorted out on Kerry’s 1967 Pontiac GTO — 3 out of the 4 drum brakes were locked up, and the lines were all heavily corroded. Unfortunately the one thing he did’nt get done was getting a new fuel feed line run to get this thing fired up off it’s on fuel tank, so today that’s the priority!

Simply running a new nickel copper fuel line wasn’t all this monster needed to roar back to life, however, the rest were some pretty simple fixes. These classic cars and American muscle cars are simple machines, they don’t require much to run. All they really need is “Fuel, Air, Spark” to go and some hydraulic pressure to stop.

Well, with all that done, she roars back to life and that Pontiac 400 under the hood sounds pretty dang healthy!

The crew at Lucore Automotive fought brave and hard against old rusty parts, supply chain delays, and Kerry’s general ham fisted-ness in previous repairs and neglect to fix the brakes on the ’67 GTO. They also put in new fuel line and the Pontiac 400 is running smooth and solid.

Kerry Drove His ‘67 GTO for the first time in 15 years and broke It — TWICE!

Kerry claims that nothing is impervious to his incompetence and he manages to break the car not once, but TWICE in the first street drive in 15 years…

“I Released All The Horsepowers, and Very Few Came Back…”

Kerry sets out it fix the mistake he made overfilling the transmission in order to get a baseline dyno run in so that he knows how bad it is to let a car sit. Kerry has lost over 100 rear wheel horsepower that he doesn’t know if he’ll ever see it again…

“Special thanks to Rich and Austin at Lucore Automotive and Racing for being way to gracious in lending me space and tools, and for putting up with my general weirdness. We did have a lot of fun making the AMX exhaust even if all I did was beer and food runs, and crack jokes. Also the guys and gals at CIA performance were amazing, esp their Dyno guy Eric, if you are in central Ohio and want expert tuning – Eric is totally your man, and CIA your place.”


Stay Tuned…