1968 Pontiac GTO Pro Tour

Filed in Pontiac GTO, Pro Tour by on November 12, 2017 • views: 549

The beauty you see here was built by MetalWorks Classic Auto Restoration in Eugene, Oregon as their personal “shop car”.

The first recorded history of the GTO dates back to the early 1980’s when Rick, a customer of MetalWorks, purchased it for $2,500. After about 3-years of ownership, Rick had a blue velour interior installed in the Pontiac to match it’s blue and white exterior.

The GTO was eventually sold to a guy, then to another guy, until Rick lost contact with it. Then one day, Rick heard of a GTO for sale in the area, and went to check it out. Rick identified it as his old car by the blue velour interior. Rick bought the car back, but again did little with it. After some time of collecting dust, Rick convinced MetalWorks owner Jon Manilla that he needed another GTO. A deal was struck and Jon became the owner of a 2nd GTO. Jon had just finished the stock restoration of his first GTO, and was discovering that stock was just not his style. So, with a blank canvas in front of him, Jon decided to build his new car in more of a hot rod /pro-touring fashion. Jon thought that the GTO could become a promo piece for the shop. It would also allow MetalWorks to build a car the way they wanted, and to show people what was possible.

An Art Morrison chassis and a new GM Performance LS1 were ordered through MetalWorks’ own “in house” Speed Shop, but soon the build began to snowball as many builds tend to. The LS1 was used as a mock up engine, but a custom built LS3 by Wegner Motorsports was ordered running a stage 2 cam, and pushing nearly 600 hp. Then, before the LS3 was nestled inside the rails of the Morrison chassis, it was topped with an MSD Atomic LS fuel injection system and coils. Initial thoughts of an automatic were replaced with a TREMEC 6-speed manual that is linked to a Ford 9-inch with a 4.10 Trutrac posi rear end hosting 31 spline axles. With that much power, the GTO needed some serious brakes, so 14-inch Wilwood vented rotors with 6 & 4 piston calipers were ordered. A couple wheel and tire combinations were scratched until Jon found the perfect combo in a set of Budnik “Platnium” series. Thoughts of autocross racing resulted in a Ridetech TIGER cage for an A-body, with modifications performed to work with the Art Morrison chassis. Ridetech 5-point harnesses were also installed to keep the driver and passenger secure in the corners.

While the crew was hard at work on the chassis and drive line, the body was stripedand sent to MetalWorks acid dipping facility. Once the body was in bare metal, the guys in the body shop got busy massaging the body to perfection, before applying several coats of “MetalWorks Red” paint. The final step was to wet sand and buff the body to mirrored perfection. Once the body was ready, it was sat on the chassis, and the assembly process began. The hidden headlights were converted from vacuum to electric to do anyway with any more “lazy eyed” driving. The factory gauges were replaced with OEM styled Dakota Digital replacements, as well as an electronic climate controller from DD. An Alpine head unit controls 2000 watts worth of stereo that are masterfully hidden throughout the GTO’s interior. The interior was replaced with a custom OEM styled leather interior that was stitched together by Jon Lind Interiors.

When all the dust had settled, the crew at MetalWorks had created one wild pro-touring GTO. A comment often heard by admirers is that they have never seen a GTO taken to this level. Another common statement is that it is nice to see a less common GM model get the royal treatment, instead of yet another camaro. The GTO is definitely not just for customers to admire from a distance at the shop. If a customer is looking to have a high end pro-touring car built, or is curious about an LS conversion, Jon will take them out for a white knuckle rip in the GTO. This tends to leave customers in a state of perma-grin while reaching for their wallets.

Above and beyond being an excellent promotion and sales tool, the GTO is a point of pride for the talented crew at MetalWorks who built it. If you spot this red hot GTO cruising the streets of the Pacific Northwest, don’t be afraid to flag them down. But if you’re looking to race, you may find yourself admiring the GTO’s freshly restored taillights.


Wegner Motorsports custom 600 HP LS3 engine
Tremec T56 6-speed transmission
Art Morrison GT Sport chassis
Cut and buffed Red paint
Black leather interior
MSD Atomic LS electric fuel injection, throttle body, coils and starter
4.10 TrueTrac Positraction rear end
31 spline axles
3 inch stainless exhaust
Flowmaster Delta 50 series mufflers
Detroit Speed rack and pinion
JRE shocks
Wilwood 14.25 inch rotors with 6 piston calipers up front
14 inch rotors with 4 piston calipers rear
Wilwood master cylinder and clutch reservoir
Budnik 19 and 20 inch Tungsten wheels
Budnik steering wheel
Custom leather interior with OEM styling
Ridetech TigerCage and harness
Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air
Griffin radiator
Flaming River steering column
Alpine deck, amp, speakers and subwoofer
Stainless steel brake lines
Electric hidden headlight conversion
Ring Brothers hood hinges
Tanks fuel tank with and fuel pump


MetalWorks 1968 GTO Protouring build sitting on an Art Morrison chassis. YouTube play


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Metal Works


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