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Hey All! My first post here, but I am no stranger to Pontiacs. I have an 08 G8 GT that I love and Iam a moderator on G8Board.

My uncle recently purchased a 71 GTO as a project. I don't think it's a numbers matching car, but I'm no expert.
I'm also curious if anyone can tell me what motor is in here if it is not stock.

If anyone can help out it would be appreciated!
 

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I might recommend that you blank out the last 4/5 digits of your VIN - you never know who might try to use them to build "your car" or claim you stole theirs by using a forged title. Just sayin'.
 

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Welcome. I also have a Holden built car that I really like. They made great cars down under....huge shame they closed up shop recently.

I am not too familiar with the 71 models but I will try and help anyway. :)
There were 3 engine choices for GTOs in that year. The base 400 cubic inch and two 455 mills, the top option being the LS5 455 HO. The PX trans is correct for base 400 automatic. Your VIN and cowl tag is Z which indicates the car was built in Fremont CA. The photo that looks like a partial VIN on the block appears to be from a different car so might not be the as born engine. Did your uncle acquire the PHS docs? Pontiacs of this vintage are well documented compared to some other makes so it pays to order the docs if the seller didn't offer them with the car.
 

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No on the documents. Where do I order these "PHS" papers and what are they?

There were 3 engine choices for GTOs in that year. The base 400 cubic inch and two 455 mills, the top option being the LS5 455 HO. The PX trans is correct for base 400 automatic. Your VIN and cowl tag is Z which indicates the car was built in Fremont CA. The photo that looks like a partial VIN on the block appears to be from a different car so might not be the as born engine. Did your uncle acquire the PHS docs? Pontiacs of this vintage are well documented compared to some other makes so it pays to order the docs if the seller didn't offer them with the car.
 

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no - Pontiac 400ci. The YS code was commonly used for the base engine with AT - not unique to '71.
 

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One dark side of the collector car hobby involves illegitimate vehicles. Cars that start off as a lower/base model and then restored as something much more desirable. Fairly common with Chevrolet cars since there isn't a reliable authority to validate their cars. So a buyer of a big block Chevelle SS doesn't really know if the car is authentic. Original dealer invoices, warranty docs, registrations, titles etc go a long way to authenticate the car.

Fortunately, the Pontiac community isn't in that same boat. A fellow enthusiasts who worked for GM was granted permission to save much of the factory invoices when Pontiac was planning to toss those records. I am not sure exactly which years he has records for but I think the range is early 60s through early 80s. The guy with the records is Jim Mattison and the go to person to authenticate Pontiac cars from this era. His website is PHS-Online.com (I think..). If that doesn't work than just Google it and it should come up. All you need to do is fill out the form and submit your VIN and he will send you a copy of the original dealer invoice which shows how your car was built (model, body style, color, trim and other options).

I think the fee is $60 or $70. You will also get other useful documents besides just the invoice. He will send model year specific dealer order forms and reference docs that you can learn more about the car.

Not all GTOs can be identified by just looking at the VIN. Only the middle years had a special model designation "242". 1971 is the last year for that so your car is a GTO. If you had a 1972-74 or an older 64-65 model then the only real way to know if the car is a GTO is to check the PHS docs. This is because the GTO was an option package on the base model during those years.

Hope this helps.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

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Thank you guys very much!

We just finished pulling the dash (used the forum to help), so now the engine and tranny are out and separated and the entire interior is out. Body will be sent off for blasting this week.

I'll try to update periodically as we bring this car back from the brink.
 

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Hey All! My first post here, but I am no stranger to Pontiacs. I have an 08 G8 GT that I love and Iam a moderator on G8Board.

My uncle recently purchased a 71 GTO as a project. I don't think
it's a numbers matching car, but I'm no expert.
I'm also curious if anyone can tell me what motor is in here if it is not stock.

If anyone can help out it would be appreciated!
Welcome to the forum! 71's & 72 restorations are my focus. Your uncle's '71 GTO is a Fremont built car, body built 4th week of Feb '71, over 2 1/2 months after Fremont production resumed. GM was saddled with a 67 day strike beginning Sept 15th of '70. Suppliers shut down as well, as a result, there are many dated components that do not follow what somw would consider a "typical" time frame to be installed on a post strike '71 model. This especialy is the case with cars that were built within a month of their respective assembly plant coming back on line. Very low 'volume Pontiac A-body assembly plants like Framingham really take the case.

Several of the build practices at the Fremont plant were somewhat odd. One has to understand that Fremont also built other GM divisions A-body's, & Fremont had no body bank. Am very familiar with many of the Fremont plant's 71 eccentric build practices & how that related to detailing. Over the last 30 years, have owned over 2 dozen '71 Fremont built Pontiac A-bodys. Many more '71 A-bodys &!GP's than I've owned that were built out of the Pontiac & Lakewood assembly plants. Geographically, '71 Pontiac A-bodys built out of the northern California Fremont plant supplied nearly every state west of the Mississippi River. Iowa & Missouri are exceptions with many '71 Pontiac A-body's originally delivered in these states coming out of the home Pontiac, MI plant.

One thing anyone can do when looking at a prospective '71 model 2 door Pontiac A-body project (or completed car) is to look at the stamped two letter frame code & date on the LH rear leg of the frame. Examining the outside smooth face of the frame near where the drivers side tail pipe mtg bracket attaches, one should be able to spot the two letter frame code, the frame part number, and the date the frame was produced.

-The frame code CR was used for the common '71 Pontiac model 112" wheelbase A-body unboxed 350 & 400 frames. Chevelles, Malibus, & Olds Cutlass built out of Fremont also used this frame during '71 model year.
-1971 production Pontiac A-body 2 door hardtops & 2 door Coupes factory equipped with the 455 YC coded Dport engine, as well as same Pontiac body styles built with the 455 HO engine recieved the HW coded 455 unboxed frames.
-Factory equipped 455 Buick A-body's recieved their own 455 frame. I believe Olds did as well.C

Looking at the two letter frame ID code is a shortcut for those interested in purchasing '70-72 factory 455 built A-body's. Each of these 3 model years, the two letter 455 frame code was different & each of the 3 divisions used their own 2 letter 455 frame code. Chevrolet, for some crazy reason, used the same 2 letter coded frame under its 307 Malibus as it did under real 454 SS Chevelles. With no service available like PHS, & with '69 & later Chevelle SS built on the same 136 VIN prefix as a base V8 Malibu, one can see why there is a massive glut of no paperwork '70 & 71 "Chevelle SS's"... buyer beware.

Looking at the picture of the partial VIN on the face of the block, before even lowering down the number, its easy to spot where it was stamped. the confidential VIN stamping on '70 & 71 Fremont stamped Pontiac blocks is typically stamped much higher, also often cocked at an angle, but stamped just a few inches to the passenger side of the assembly number & two letter block code. The font of gangstamp for the partial VIN used at Fremont during '70 & '71 production is also of a smaller font than what the picture reveals here for the Lakewood partial VIN stamped block.

From the pictures of the '71 400 YS coded block, of note, one can easily spot the H210 date. With a partial VIN of 21A12448x, & referencing the database, that particular block came out of a late February built '71 Lakewood GA build. Most likely a Grand Prix! as Lakewood cranked out a TON of '71 Grand Prixs. Many more base 400 YS engined GP's were built out of Lakewood than '71 GTO's with the base automatic YS coded 400 engine or optional YS engines T-37's & LeMans

Note the near 6 month date span between block casting and eventual Lakewood factory install. This is due to the Lakewood assembly plant not coming back on line right after the 67 day UAW strike. The Pontiac home plant, Fremont, Van Nuys (F-body), & Kansas City Fairfax plant B series (vin X) all came back on line fairly quickly. Instead for supply reasons, Lakewood did not resume production until Jan 29th, 1971. The big F-body assembly plant, Norwood, also waited til Jan of '71 to resume production. Big gaps in assembly plant down time can really throw a kink in what was actually used component wise. An inexperienced restorer, ESP one in a hurry & with deep pockets attempting to restore a '71 Pontiac factory roundport car can thus make many mistakes procuring much needed & expensive parts. This often is the case with inexperienced buying missing engine parts for '71 TransAms, as well as other '71 455 HO builds. With 3 different casting number '71 application 455 HO blocks, early & late style 197 heads, as well as 3 different code 15x7 wheels, all used within the term of a few months, the quickee 71 slam it together '71 HO car "restorer" will often make costly mistakes, so can prospective buyers at auctions or finding what they think is a great deal.
 

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Best of luck! - post picts!! You might be inspired to start a resto thread as others have done (Dan W where are you ?)

Seems like you're diving right in on this. What are your goals for the project?

BTW - I really like the '71-72 styling too. I used to have a '72 442 W-30 and that hood scoop style is similar - the best part. I think the fender air extractors on the '72 GTO are a sweet use / borrow from T/A.
 
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