This story originally appeared in the Summit Racing catalog and at SummitRacing.com.
Jay Porter is an ironworker for Local 17 in Akron, OH. And as everyone knows, a guy with a he-man job like that can’t be seen driving some tin can weenycar. No sir, Jay maintains his iron man rep by driving an asphalt pounding, hydrocarbon-swilling piece of Detroit steel—a 1964 Pontiac GTO.
Jay comes by his GTO jones honestly. Dear Old Dad drove nothing but Goats when he was growing up, and Jay’s had four GTOs of his own over the years, including a 1970 Ram Air 455.
And being from Middle America, he also caught the Pro Street bug. Even when Pro Street was declared dead by the magazines, Jay still dreamed of a tubbed early GTO with a bad motor and an attitude to match.
He found the right candidate in the form of a tired 1964 GTO. Over the course of two years, Jay’s father, John Porter, and friends Jim Miller, Mike Jones, Jim Rose, and Paul Newman (no, not that Paul) helped Jay tear the Pontiac apart and put it back together the way he saw it in his mind’s garage.
The frame was backhalfed with two-inch tubing, and the stock 10-bolt rear axle was replaced with a narrowed Ford 9-inch sporting 4.56 gears, a spool, and Moser 33-spline axles. A four-link suspension with Koni shocks help plant the 33 x 19.5-inch Mickey Thompson Sportsmans on the tarmac. Up front, the stock A-arm setup was modified with disc brakes, Moroso drag shocks, and six-cylinder LeMans coil springs for better weight transfer. A 12-point roll cage ties the chassis together.
The GM designers did a fine job styling the first-gen GTO/Tempest. Other than rear wheeltubs, shaved driprails and door handles, and smoothed bumpers, Jay and bodyman Jim Miller wisely left the ’64 pretty much stock. Jay sprayed the PPG Violet Pearl base coat/clear coat paint his own self.
The big scoop is a pretty good indicator that something wicked lies underneath. Indeed there is, and—sharp intake of breath—it’s not a Pontiac. Instead, Jay had Mike Jones build an ultra-stout Chevy 454 big block. The engine has a .632/.644-inch lift Lunati solid cam, ported and polished rectangular port heads, an Edelbrock Super Victor intake with a flowed 926 cfm Holley carburetor, MSD ignition, and Hooker Super Comp headers. The Rat is backed by a Turbo 400 automatic with a 4,500 rpm stall converter, reverse valve body, and a shift kit.
Inside the GTO, one finds oneself surrounded by the roll cage, looking at Auto Meter gauges in a custom stainless steel dash insert, slamming gears with a Hurst Quarter Stick and holding on for dear life as 650 horsepower and 700 foot-pounds of torque pin you back in the Dodge Neon bucket seats.
The Goat is driven 500 to 1,000 miles a year with no problems. The car is no stranger to the track either, running 11-second quarter miles at a buck-twenty-two. It’s one GTO that would bring a tear of pride to an old ironworker’s eye.
Frame: Stock with two-inch square tube backhalf and 12-point roll cage
Rear Suspension: Four-link with Koni shocks
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch with 4.56 ratio Richmond Gear ring and pinion set, Moser 33-spline axles, and spool
Suspension: Stock A-arm with Competition Engineering shocks, 6-cylinder LeMans springs
Brakes: Front disc/rear drum
Wheels: Weld Racing Pro Star wheels, 15 x 4 front/15 x 14 rear
Tires: Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires, 28 x 7.5 front/33 x 19.50 rear
Engine: 1970 Chevy big block, 454 cubic inches
Reciprocating assembly: Steel crank, Eagle Specialties connecting rods, SRP dome pistons
Camshaft: Lunati solid flat tappet cam, 326°/336° duration, .632”/.644” lift
Cylinder Heads: Chevy iron rectangular port, 114cc chambers, ported and polished
Valvetrain: 2.19-inch/1.80-inch Manley Race Series valves, Comp Cams valve springs, 1.7 ratio Harland Sharp roller rocker arms
Induction: Edelbrock Super Victor intake manifold, 926 cfm Holley carburetor
Ignition: MSD Pro Billet distributor, MSD 6AL ignition, Accel coil, Taylor ignition wire
Exhaust: Hooker Super Competition headers, 3” dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers and dump tubes
Transmission: Turbo 400 with 4,500 stall converter, Turbo Action Cheetah valve body Engine and Transmission: Mike Jones
Body and Paint
Body Modifications: Rear wheel tubs, shaved door handles and drip rails, smoothed bumpers
Paint: PPG Concept 9300 Violet Pearl Base coat/clear coat
Bodywork: Jim Miller
Paint: Jay Porter
Seats: 1997 Dodge Neon front buckets
Carpet and Upholstery: Late model black carpet and felt headliner
Dash: Stock, smoothed with stainless steel gauge insert
Gauges: Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges, Auto Meter 5-inch Monster Tachometer
Upholstery: Lee’s Auto Trim
Special Thanks To: April Porter, John Porter, Jim Miller, Mike Jones, Paul Newman