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1960 Pontiac Ventura 2 door Hardtop with Tri-Power & 8 Lug Wheels, Barn Find

389 with Tri-Power ENGINE
Gasoline FUEL

1960 Pontiac Ventura 2 Door Hardtop Description:

This Ventura is a survivor with some restoration to make it drivable. In March of 2015 the car was dragged out from a garage where it had been tucked away in the late 1970's. Prior to that, in 1975 the car was found abandoned, impounded by Nevada Highway Patrol and was sold as scrap to a salvage yard where the prior owner purchased it for parts. The prior owner decided to restore it and began by removing the front clip and started with body work to the driver’s side front fender. After sanding and poorly repairing the rust in one of the front fenders the car was left untouched for roughly 40 years.

The car is equipped with power steering, power brakes, Three-tone Morrokide vinyl bench seats, Softray green tinted glass, very nice ORIGINAL windshield with only a couple small chips, RARE courtesy light switch next to radio, RARE speaker switch for front and rear speaker volume control (missing rear speaker). Original interior. The original padded dash is in poor condition so a metal dash was painted and installed to match the color of the padded dash, then scuffed up to appear aged. The original padded dash is included for future restoration.

The car is also equipped with a full set of restored original date coded 1960 8 lug wheels and aluminum drums with excellent metal brake linings, all new stainless steel lug nuts and trim rings (correct left hand and right hand threaded lug nuts). Center caps are original but someone painted the details red (should be black) but left that way for that 1970's custom touch.

With the car still retaining most of its factory original paint there is no hidden repair secrets. The left side of the body has a few dings and minor dents but the rocker panel has rust damage. The trunk lid and rear panel has some minor dents as well. The right side has body damage to both the door and the rear quarter panel. Those dents may be reparable but may be more cost effective to replace the door and quarter so those panels will be included (removed from prior owner’s parts car).Since the front fenders had been removed and the rust repair was done so poorly both front fenders have been correctly restored and painted (scuffed to look aged) before being reinstalled.Along with refinishing the front fenders it only made sense to refinish all the front suspension and all engine bay parts before reassembly.

My original intent was to assemble the car and keep everything as an untouched survivor but due to metal fragments in the original oil the engine was removed. The prior owner’s parts car had a very smooth running, low mileage engine that was to be swapped in but once the original block numbers were researched I knew that the original engine needed to be rebuilt and reinstalled. The original engine has a matching vin number to the car as well as being stampbed A1, indicating a rare high compressing rating of 10.25 to 1 performance engine. The engine block was then inspected, cylinder ridges removed and honed, new rings, bearings, cam, lifters, freeze plugs, oil pump, and then assembled, sealed up and painted to original colors. The Tri-Power carbs and intake was also restored and checked for date codes. The Tri-Power set up is not original to this engine. The numbers indicate that the set is 1959. I’m told that this was a common dealer install to save on time and availability of special order cars as well as the fact that most of the factory built Tri-Power cars had been going direct to race car teams for Nascar and Drag Racing. The Tri-Power carbs have been rebuilt, adjusted and converted from vacuum to progressive mechanical linkage.

After stripping and adding a fresh coat of paint on all the engine bay and frame rails (with the exception of cleaning and polishing the firewalls original paint) everything that the car needed for safe driving was inspected, rebuilt or replaced (with the exception of the transmission and rear end). While the transmission was out, it was drained of its old fluid (that had very good coloring indicating that the transmission was still usable as is) reinstalled and refilled with fresh fluid.

As for the brakes - The master cylinder and power brake booster was rebuilt with all new rubber parts and tested for safe working condition. Wheel cylinders have also been honed, new internal parts replaced and tested. All rubber hoses were replaced and the steel lines were inspected and pressure tested to make sure the car had dependable braking. The emergency brake system was also inspected and adjusted for proper functionality.

The original fuel tank was left with low fuel and the cap on tight resulting in condensation and heavy rust that destroyed the original fuel tank. Fortunately the parts car was left with a full tank of fuel. The 40 year old fuel was horrible and thick but it saved the fuel tank. Once cleaned and rinsed, the inside of the tank looked great so it was epoxy painted on the outside for that new, original look. The fuel gauge sending unit was cleaned, tested and reinstalled with a new screen filter and seals. All the rubber fuel lines replaced and the steel lines flushed and pressure tested.

The radiator is the original and both the radiator and heater cores have been professionally cleaned and pressure tested. All hoses have been replaced. Both upper and lower radiator hoses have been replaced with the correct shaped hoses as to not put stress on the radiator connections.

With the car rolling on a new set of steel belted white wall tires, the brakes were adjusted, the newly rebuilt font end was aligned. The engine went through a few hundred brake in miles and then the break in oil was replaced with fresh oil and filter.

The 4 speed automatic transmission shifts smoother and stronger than expected but after a few hundred miles it has begun to leak around the pan gasket. The rear end appears to have posi-traction but after driving a few hundred mile the yoke seal also started to leak and will need to be replaced. The axle seals were checked but there does not appear to be any leaks at the axles. The power steering gear box also started leaking at the seals so those seals have been replaced.

All of the glass is the optional Soft Ray green tint. The wing window regulators in these cars are known for failing and these did fail so both wing window regulators have been rebuilt and new rubber seals were installed for the wing windows correct fitment. The door hinges were greased and adjusted for smooth opening and closing of the doors.

All the wires and lights have been checked and replaced were needed. Three of the headlights are the original T3's and the one that was replaced is also a T3 but a few years newer. The rare 2 speed wiper motor did not work but a simple disassembly, cleaning, and grease is all it needed. New blades added to the rare Banjo style wiper arms and it's ready for a rainy day.

The original speedometer had 89,000 miles but was sluggish and bouncing. By the time I got around to working on it it froze up, broke the gears and snapped the cable. The speedo from the parts car was cleaned and greased along with the cable and now the speedo works as expected but shows 70,000 miles.

As you can see in the photos, there is some heavy rust on the drivers side rocker. The passengers side rocker has a small rust hole. The drivers side rear quart is very solid with only a small rust hole but the inner fender and drop panel looks very solid. The passengers side rear quarter has some rust holes and some dents and creases. The parts car had a very good quarter that was removed and will be included with this car. I have looked over the floors and braces and I have not notice any rust in those areas. The trunk floor has some small rust holes but it is solid enough to be covered with the original rubber mat so I was not planning on doing anything with the trunk till the day when the car would be blown apart for a full body off restoration. One photo shows one of the rusted mounting braces on the underside of the trunk. That brace is just above the rear bumper and is part of the trunk floor. The other rusty photo areas are all the underside of the trunk panel.

As for future restoration of this car, in the event the new owner wants to restore the car, I will include information on full replacement interior, dash restoration companies, and steering wheel restoration. As far as I can tell everything the car needs is included. Every piece of trim is fairly smooth and ready for polishing. Other than restoration, chrome and polishing I can't think of anything this car needs. No need to searching for any hard to find and expensive parts.

In one of the photos you will see a set of 5 burgundy seat belts. I recently purchase the belts but I did not get around to instilling them. The new belts are included with the purchase.

My plan was to keep tinkering with the car while driving occasionally and repairing the rust. I recently moved into a town home and my neighbors are not happy with the grinding noise when cutting and welding the rust repair areas. I like my neighbors and I just don't have the time to give the car the attention it needs so it's time the car goes to a new home.

You can see a clamp on fender rear view mirror in some of the photos. Sorry, that mirror is a very rare GM option and is not included with this purchase. The mirror may be negotiated at an extra cost if the buyer really wants it included with the car.

Inspections are welcome.

I will help with shipping in any way I can. All the extra parts and the extra door is packed in the trunk with the exception of the quarter panel. That panel will not fit in or on the car and will need to be shipped separately. I can also help with packaging and shipping the quarter panel. All shipping and handling costs will be the buyers responsibility.

Photo gallery
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Item location:Draper, Utah, United States
Trim:2 Door Hardtop
Engine:389 with Tri-Power
Drive type:RWD
Vehicle Title:Clean