Jim Oakley's 455 GTO

Jim Oakley's GTO sports unique one-of-a kind "Pontiac" cast aluminum valve covers. They were fashioned from the Pontiac corporate covers and according to Jim, plenty of time was spent working them to fit the Pontiac engine. Well, I saw the car and the covers at a recent car show in Maryland and can emphatically state they look great! In fact, this GTO looks "marvelous" as Billy Crystal would say. Jim purchased the car in 1978 from a bracket racer and the GTO has slowly evolved into its present state rather than being "built." It's been a little here and a little there. In the late '80s the car won multiple class titles at both GTOAA and POCI National Conventions. The color of this beauty is 1974 Camel Tan metallic. Most of the engine modifications, as you will note, are Pontiac or GM parts. It runs pretty darn good too...way to go Jim.


Technical Data
Engine Block: 1973 Pontiac 455 with 2 bolt mains
Bore and Stroke: 4.15" x 4.21"; bored .030" over for 462 cid
Heads: #96 heads 400 D ports (ported by hand); GM big block screw in studs; aluminum hot coated exterior surface
Deck Height: zero deck height (.000")
Valve Springs: OEM Ram Air IV
Rocker Arms: OEM stamped rockers 1.5 ratio
Retainers: stock
Keepers: stock
Valve Seals: stock o rings
Lifters: stock hyrdaulic
Push Rods: stock
Crankshaft: stock uncut with polished journals; all reciprocating parts are balanced
Rods: stock
Rod Bolts: new Pontiac bolts
Pistons: TRW forged flat tops +.030"
Main Bearings
Rod Bearings
Cam Bearings:
Clevite (Michigan) 77
Timing Gear and Chain: GM 4 cylinder
Gaskets: Felpro throughout
Camshaft: Crane's blueprint of the venerable RA IV cam
Intake Manifold: stock '66 tri-power with heat cross-over removed
Carburetion: Stock '66 Rochesters; center carb modified with electric choke
Fuel Pump: Carter electric at tank and Carter street/strip mechanical
Exhaust: Black Jack 3 tube to 2.5" Flowmasters to 2.25" stock tail pipes. System is flanged at headers and behind mufflers
Ignition: MSD billet distributor; Crane Hi 6 ignition box and coil, no vacuum advance
Oil Pump: Melling 54DS pumps 20-50w Valvoline racing oil
Transmission: Muncie M-21 with Hurst Competiton Plus shifter
Rear End: GM 12 bolt posi unit with 3.73 Richmond gearing; C clip eliminators installed
Suspension:  HO Racing 1.25" sway bars, front and rear; Cragar SS 14 x7 with Goodyears GT 235/60 x 14 on the front; custom made Cragar SS 15 x 8 with 5 3/8" rear offset with 255/60 x 15 Goodyear GTs on the rear
Vehicle Weight:  exact weight unknown

Metallic beauty

Performance: With open headers and slicks, the car has turned a best of 13.08 @ 108 mph; in current street trim it's performed a best et of 13.36 @ 102 mph.


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