Schwartz Performance – A Superb 1966 Pontiac GTO Build

Photos Courtesy of Schwartz Performance

When selecting a shop for a build, it is important to find that rare combination of experience and an eye for design. A 1966 Pontiac GTO was brought into Schwartz Performance in Woodstock, Illinois for what was supposed to be a simple chassis enhancement, but it eventually turned into a much greater project. Founder of Schwartz Performance, Jeff Schwartz has plenty of experience in racing, design, and building.

Thanks to the quality workmanship and years of experience, it was a natural progression for this GTO project to go from a simple upgrade to a detailed build at Schwartz Performance. From the exterior to the interior, this GTO has been treated to the works and the fine folks at Schwartz made sure to document the progression with a series of build photos.

This ’66 is not an average restoration, it is a blend of classic style with modern convenience and performance. Thanks to the Schwartz Performance G-Machine chassis system, Ridetech single adjustable coil overs, and splined sway bars, this classic rides better than anything that the engineers at Pontiac could have dreamt of in the 1960’s.

Although this Pontiac is powered by a “stock” 389 CID engine, it has been treated to a few upgrades along the way. A modified aluminum intake manifold is matched with Autotrend EFI throttle bodies for a little bit of modernization. A Tremec TKO500 5-speed transmission pushes the power to a rearend that has been upgraded with a TrueTrac differential with 3.70 gears, Moser 9″ full floater, and 31-spline axles.

Even though the parts list includes mechanical enhancements, the interior and exterior of this now pristine Pontiac were not ignored. The GTO received bodywork, a Carousel Red PPG paintjob, and what appears to be a serious clearcoat. Along with exterior facelift, the interior received some custom upholstery that proudly features Scat seats that are wrapped in pearl white leather. From the inside to the outside, Schwartz Performance is a where dreams can become a reality.


About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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