When looking for a project car for 2019, the Original Parts Group team didn’t have to go very far, in fact, the vehicle had been awaiting restoration in the OPGI warehouse for several years. Here at OPGI, we do a lot of test fitting to make sure that the products we sell are of optimal fit. To do so, we need cars to test-fit said products on. The 1966 Lemans convertible has been a part of the OPGI collection since the early 2000s and throughout the years, we have used this car to test a variety of OPGI manufactured products, such as headlight bezels, mirrors, convertible top components and more. In Mid-2018, it was proposed that we take this car and turn it into a build that showcases all of the product varieties that OPGI offers, and after much discussion and internal brainstorming, we determined a resto-mod GTO Tribute was the way to go.
To get the project underway, the car was completely disassembled to a bare shell and sent to media blast at Media Resurfacing in Huntington Beach, CA. The blasting revealed that a fair amount of bodywork was needed to repair some lower level rust and previous collision damage to the driver’s side quarter panel. The body and several pieces of reproduction sheet metal were sent to Santini Paint & Body in Westminster, CA. where it will be repaired, smoothed and prepped for a fresh coating of Marina Turquoise Poly paint. Prior to completing the paintwork, the body and frame will be split and the frame will be sent to Newport Mesa Powder coating for a fresh finish.
While the car is away, the OPGI build team will be hard at work gathering parts, organizing for assembly and working to restore any of the items that may not be available in the reproduction world.
When the car returns from paint, the assembly work will begin. The car will be outfitted with a long list of top-quality products available at OPGI. We would like to give a special thanks to those contributing to the build including GM Performance Parts LS3 & 4L70E transmission, CPP LS Install kit, Hotchkis Performance Suspension, Distinctive Interiors and more to come.