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Jack & Sue Fusari's 1972 GTO

We bought our GTO from Lou Herwalt Olds Pontiac Dealer in Fresno on North Blackstone In 1981; we went looking for another car for Sue, as her 1972 Dodge Polara Ex CHP car was ugly. And also we belonged to a CB club called Double O Truck Association, and people kept calling over the CB that there was a black and white in our vicinity. Come to find out they spotted Sue in the Polara, it still had that big ugly antenna that the CHP had on all there cars.

Anyway we spotted the GTO on the lot and looked at it and they were asking $1499.00 for It. then we traveled all over Fresno looking at other cars ending up back at the Pontiac Olds lot and test driving the GTO, The car showed 75,000 miles on the speedometer, I said to myself well its nine years old It could only have 75,000 but I doubt it. Anyhow the salesman, Sue & I went into the little room where they tell you all the lies about the car and how good of a deal your getting, I then asked if they could drop the cost down some and was told no. Then I requested at least $1.00 and was told no, so we agreed on the price and that we will buy the car at which time the salesman said that I have to tell you now that the car has 175.000 miles on it and I told him that I knew that.

Sue drove the GTO for about a year and then her dad gave us the opportunity to buy a 1978 Chrysler New Yorker with vary low miles on it; and our daughter Jacki had just started driving, so she got the GTO. In a couple of months she was crossing Lake St. on Yosemite Ave in Madera and a guy ran a red light and collided into the GTO's right front fender. We parked it for a few years until I decided to fix it. After finding a complete front end clip from a GTO station wagon in a wrecking yard in Madera. I bought the front clip not knowing at the time that Pontiac only manufactured three GTO station wagons in 1972 . . . "Should Have Bought the Whole Car"!! I paid the wreaking yard $35.00 plus two junk cars for the front clip. We installed all the parts, removed the vinyl top and had it painted black on top and the bottom yellow. Sue drove it as her daily driver until we restored it in 2004 after I retired From Syar Industries in Vallejo California. Sue never wanted a new car to drive she would just tell me to keep her goat running and she would be happy.

Our choice for the paint happened this way: While working on the car in the garage Pre Restoration Sue came out and into the garage with new polish on her toenails and told me "this is the color I want the car painted ", which was Aqua Marine Metallic. Sue had lots of fun driving her goat; she would tease all the young guys thinking that they could blow-off her goat and wanted a second chance at another race.

Now A Little History; In 1972 there was a UAW strike going 0n and when it was time to start the 1972 production year for the Le-Mans there was no time to retool so the 72 was produced exactly like the 1971 with little change, The GTO was no longer a production model, You had to purchase the option package for the GTO at a cost of $353.88. Horsepower was now rated in SAE net terms and was down further, to 250 hp @4400 rpm and 325 lb-ft @3200 rpm for the base 400 engine. Most of the drop in hp was attributable to the new rating system (Which now reflected an engine in as-installed condition with mufflers, and accessories, and standard intake) In Real Terms, the engines were relatively little changed from 1971, and sales dropped by 45% to only 5,811 produced. (Some Sources discount the single convertible and the three anomalous wagons, listing the total as 5,807)

I Know Of One Wagon Because I Removed The Front Clip From It!

Our GTO Was purchased from Williams Motor Sales in Dinuba California; Assembly was in Fremont, Ca; its original paint was Adriatic Blue, with black Cordova top. Its Total cost excluding taxes was $4,795.70.

Thru the years I installed a set new lifters and rod and main bearings, with the engine in frame. In about 2000 I had the engine rebuilt, also about that time I decided to have the dash restored, I removed it from the car and sent it to a guy up in Oregon and we drove the car around for a few months with just the gauge cluster hanging in midair. Also That year I needed to get it smogged and the guy told me he couldn't smog it because he didn't know what the engine was doing, I told him there's the gauges what do you mean you don't know what its doing? So reluctantly it got smogged. In 2004 we did the restoration, and when completed and brought home, Sue would no longer use it as her daily driver fearing it would get damaged.

Then she drove a 1991 jaguar XJ6 For awhile until I bought her the Magnum that she drives once in awhile now. In about 2005 I had Victor Weitzel install a Paxton SN 2000 supercharger that raised its horsepower about 100 HP We had it dyno-tuned in Visalia at Roger Vogt's Dynolab. The engine is putting down 303 hp at the rear wheels at 6 lbs. of boost pressure, not bad for its stock engine.






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Last updated: May 9, 2012.