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My first car: '64 Pontiac Le Mans

Soon after I bought my first car.

1964 Pontiac LeMans

Looking better with new tires and rims. (Washing helped too!)

It's December of 1977. I'm 17, and my Dad is helping me look for a car to buy - my first car! After looking at some junkers, we come across this 64 LeMans. We look it over, and decide to take it for a test drive. Dad says it's in good mechanical condition. He steps on it and says "this has some power!" I'm sold! I offer the asking price of $250. I'm now a car owner!

My Dad had noticed that the heater core was bypassed because of a leak, so that was my first project. I pulled the heater core, took it to a radiator repair shop, and it was good as new.

Two months later I doubled my investment, spending $250 on new tires and wheels. Now she's looking sweet! In August of 1978 Jim Hall, a family friend, helps me pull the engine and I took it in to be rebuilt. Now it's running as good as it looks! It was only a 326, but it was pretty hot to me. I picked up a 4 barrel carb (a Carter AFB) and intake manifold at a junkyard. The carb is looking pretty rough so I rebuilt it. I installed it on the engine and it ran!

In the fall of 1978 I replaced my 2-speed automatic with a 3-speed (Turbo 350).

The morning of January 13, 1979 is cold and frosty. I'm driving to pick up my sister. The roads are very icy. I hit a patch of ice, but I easily corrected it without missing a beat. This only added to my hubris! After picking up my sister, we are heading to our Dad's house for a visit. The guy in front of me is driving like a granny. What a wimp. He obviously doesn't know how to drive, so I pass him. As I'm passing him by, my trans downshifts for me, breaking my tires loose, and I'm heading for the ditch! AWWWW!! After getting towed back home, I am bummed out. I take a nap. When I wake up, I look out the window, hoping it was just a dream. No such luck.

The front end damage was pretty bad. Fixing it would cost more than buying another car, so I bought a '67 LeMans (with a 4-speed), put my rebuilt engine in it, and parted-out the '64.

I didn't have any reason to report the accident to my insurance company (liability coverage only) and, ironically, a week later they sent me a Pemco Safe Driver sticker to put in my window!


Related

Brandon's '66 Pontiac GTO
Father and Son Showdown
More Cars of the 1960s
More Pontiac Coverage


Comments

Anonymous on Feb 9, 2007 said:

I bought that 67 LeMans from you. I Love that car. It had some rust below the back window so I started working on that. I was going to paint it mid-night star fire blue. I moved to Nebraska and left it with a friend and never saw that car again. Brandon, I think I paid $500 for that car and it was my favorite car. Won a lot of races on the Boeing freeway. Sure wish I could find that car.

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Anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 said:

Boy that picture brings back memories. You cuzz Curt...

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