Diedrich Wolf's 1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible
(from Volume 28, Issue 337)

story by owner Diedrich Wolf, photos by Michael B. Kelly


I still remember that day in August of 1985, when I saw the ad in the Washington Post; 1967 GTO convertible for sale. OMG where’s the phone! I talked to the owner and discovered it had a 4-speed Muncie transmission. My head almost exploded. I made arrangements to meet the owner the next day. Flash back several years and I had just sold my ‘67 GTO hard top that I had during my senior year in high school for almost nothing. I was determined to find a ‘67 convertible with a manual transmission. I knew that if it had a 4-speed that it would probably have an HO motor and posi rear end as well. I’m not sure I slept that night.

I met the owner the next day at his house in Virginia. I brought my friend Emory who ran an auto repair shop in Kensington, Maryland with me so we could do a little testing on the engine. Oh yeah, Muncie M-21 four speed, HO motor with cast Iron heads, 3.55 posi rear, and all original...are you kidding me? Come to find out this guy is the original owner of the car bought in 1966. We looked it over and did a quick compression test, but no matter what the outcome I was going to buy this car. After a quick test drive, I shook the owner’s hand and gave him a check for $3,500. The deal was done. As we were leaving another man approached waiving a check book and saying he was ready to buy the car for whatever the owner wanted. Too late, I beat this guy by a matter of minutes. I was on cloud nine.

After a little over a year of driving it around the Bethesda-Rockville, Maryland area I decided that it was time to get a closer look at the rust I knew was underneath the paint. I thought it would be only a little rust. Boy was I wrong. I sand blasted part of both quarters, the trunk deck, trunk lid, the interior floor pans, the box frame underneath both doors and found significant rust problems everywhere. It was very depressing that so much expensive metal work was going to be required.

So I took it apart and did some work myself but did not make much progress. So it sat in the mother-in-laws driveway.... and sat, and sat. Engine over here, front end in the basement, body up on stands in the open driveway. Over the years my wife got so annoyed with the car parts everywhere that she forced me to make two halfhearted attempts at selling the car. There was substantial interest in the car of course, even in the condition it was in. I never really was serious about selling because I knew that I would be forever bitterly sorry that I ever let it go.

Fast forward to around 2006 and with a little money to spend it was sent off to get some metal work done in Pasadena, Maryland. Well, 2009 rolls around and it was off to Florida, with a new home and coming to the land of a car show or cruise-in every week. It was time to get serious and complete the restoration, now that I had even more motivation. After researching area restoration shops, I settled on Dan Stiteler at the LAB (Leesburg Auto Body) in Leesburg, Florida. So in 2012 the full restoration started. I was never a guy that wanted a totally original restoration, even though I had all the original parts. So I added a Be Cool radiator, a March serpentine belt system, power front disc brakes, power steering, an Edelbrock carburetor, and Vintage air conditioning.

Dan did a fantastic job on the restoration and I even got to help along the way. Finally in June 2013, almost 27 years after being torn apart, it was back on the road in show quality. I had forgotten how much fun it is to drive. Never mind the 1967 steering, it’s a dream. I can’t go any distance without getting a wave or honks. It’s almost embarrassing how much attention it gets.

Lots of car shows later and I have no room for all the trophies. The most satisfying award was the 2014 Walt Disney World Car Masters show at Downtown Disney (headlined by Chip Foose) were it won Best In Show. It’s always a crowd favorite were ever I go and often receives the People’s Choice award.

If you come to Old Town in Kissimmee, Florida on Saturday night, where the longest running cruise-in in America takes place, you may find me there with my friendly German Shepherd Sandy riding along. She’s “chief of security” of course. CN