Rutledge Racing Enterprises

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1966 Pontiac GTO

1966 Pontiac GTO

I bought this car around 1973 from a guy that had put a connecting rod thru the side of the block. It was a 389 tri power setup with a fully synchronized 3 speed tranny and a 3:55 rear gear. The car was a little rough but the price was right.

I bought a disassembled 400 Pontiac engine for this car and had almost all the stuff I needed to put that 400 engine together with the tri power setup. Then along comes another guy that I worked with that had a worn out pre 1968 327 Chevy engine for $20 and I bought it. Some time later that 331 SBC wound up in that GTO with a single 780 Holley on an Edelbrock Tarantula intake. It had a set of GM 461 heads on it with some mild port match and bowl cleanup. It used a TRW hyd cam with General Kinetics roller rockers, aluminum retainers and forged TRW flat top pistons. It made pretty good power up to about 7k RPM.

The 3 speed tranny was swapped out for a Chrysler 4 speed and the Pontiac rear was swapped out for a Chevelle 12 bolt, both free from friends. The 3:55 gears in the 12 bolt got changed out with a set of GM 4:88s and we were off. The car ran low, low 13s @ 104MPH in pretty much street trim.

This car was a daily driver for about 5 years, then I got a "wild hair" and changed out the Chrysler 4 speed for a Turbo 400 with a manual valve body. Along about that time I got interested in some other stuff so I parted that car out. That engine almost ran forever though as the guy that got it from me I know ran it at least another 5 years in a daily driver 68 Nova.

It was a fun car to drive back then though and it was definitely "low buck" also, which made it even better.