Howdy! 76 GLM Safari

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by Steve-E-D, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Steve-E-D

    Steve-E-D Well-Known Member

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    *edit* 11-4-09 added pics posted later to this first post.

    1976 Pontiac Grand Le Mans Safari

    I still remember the day I rolled out of the dealership lot in the back seat with my father at the wheel in 1976. I purchased the car from him in 1989 and have been driving it ever since. I still have all the original paperwork, purchase receipts, window sticker and dealership brochure.

    I've spent the past three summers tearing down and rebuilding the engine and front suspension.

    I went with the Polygraphite bushing kit and coils from PST.

    The 400 block got bored 0.030"
    1968 casting #16 heads - 72cc
    SSI-10335 cam .204/.214 duration: .420/.443 lift

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    Here is the definitive "before" picture:

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    More pictures of the build are here http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6514

    This project still has a long way to go, but paint and interior work are $$$ away.
    Its funny how these projects go. Every time you clean up one part, it makes other parts nearby look worse. Next thing I knew I had stripped and painted everything from the cowl forwards. Went way over schedule and over budget, but was it worth it?.... oh hell yes! This car will never be for sale. I've got 33 years of memories and adventures tied up in this car. Not really concerened with how much it will take to get another 30+ years out of it.


    So I finally dug out my box of old photos and fired up the scanner.

    Day One: April 3, 1976 Still with the Hine Pontiac dealership plates on.
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    Proud new owner - 1989 - Thanks, Dad!!!
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    "Rally Wagon" El Paso, TX - 1991
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    1992 - Best MPG ever!!! 1772 miles on ZERO gallons. El Paso, TX to Vancouver, WA
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    1997 - OMG! you can drive ON the beach in Washington! (after being severely scolded by beach patrol "this is not a racetrack") Ever see one of those dogs that love water take their first trip to the beach?.... we were worse than that. Power drifting fishtails and donuts...
    [​IMG]


    End of the Road - 1999 - The ranger said we'd need 4X4 to get here. I beg to differ...
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    1999 - "I think the road ended about 1/2 mile back."
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    So where did this fanatical love of wagons come from? Dad, of course.

    Dad's first car: 1958 Chevy Nomad
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    He still regrets trading it in for this 1964 Chevy Impala
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    Had to sell the '64 when his job took him overseas. He bought a 1972 Impala upon returning to the states.
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    Sold the '72 before going overseas again and upon return, bought the 1976 Grand Le Mans that is now mine.
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    He still says that 58 Nomad was the best car he's ever owned.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  2. Glide-Aways

    Glide-Aways Well-Known Member

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    Fabulous job Steve!

    I too remember being in the back seat when my dad drove off the dealer lot in HIS '76 Chevrolet Caprice Estate :D We lived in NYS, a salt-road state, so unfortunately the body was shot by about 1983...when my dad bought another Caprice Estate. I may not have THE car my dad had then, but I was lucky enough to find a '75 very well cared for; and like you, I'll never sell mine either.

    Great job on the engine! Mine is in great running order, but I would love to dress it up. Wanna come to CA and give me some pointers? LOL.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  3. The Stickman

    The Stickman Well-Known Member

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    Wow great job and keep up the good work and keep us informed.
     
  4. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Steve. At least you live in the 'eternal carwash' state! Sure is nice to see another member with an original family wagon. I think that maybe 6 people so far.:bowdown: :Welcome:
     
  5. Phantom SS

    Phantom SS New Member

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    welcome to the site. Now thats an engine bay!
     
  6. TopherS

    TopherS Well-Known Member

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    :Welcome: from the other side of the Columbia River. That's a nice GLM you have there. I forgot about those wagons. My baseball coach had one (maroon, but without the woodgrain...same rallye wheels) and I always thought it was pretty cool. You don't see many of those model wagons anymore. It's good to see one that's been well-loved. Keep up the good work.
     
  7. the Rev

    the Rev senior junior Charter Member

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    :Welcome: from the other Vancouver :D

    Dont let Norm bug you about the 'rain'....he'll be knee deep in snow in no time:rofl2:
     
  8. tsynek

    tsynek New Member

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    :wow:damn nice work! How fast have you gotten the old girl after the engine rebuild?:icon_drive:
     
  9. Steve-E-D

    Steve-E-D Well-Known Member

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    Haven't gone over 70 yet as I'm still only ~300 miles on it.
     
  10. tsynek

    tsynek New Member

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    What was the total cost on the engine rebuild (including new alternator, water pump etc)? Sounds like you did it yourself(y), if so what would you estimate a total rebuild(parts and labor)like yours should cost if done by a good mechanic? Thanks for sharing your story with us. I love it, your dad's wagon. Most of us can only wish we had our one of our dad's old cars.
     
  11. Steve-E-D

    Steve-E-D Well-Known Member

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    tsynek,

    Yes, I did 95% of the work myself. I spent in the ballpark of $3000 for parts + materials + shop services (crank grind, valve grind, cylinder bore, thrust alignment) for the engine and front suspension.
    I am working out a build sheet that tracks the expense. When its done, I can post it as an .xls spreadsheet if you are interrested.

    I'd hate to think of what the labor charges for the entire job would have been. With a knowlegeable buddy helping out, it was not nearly as difficult as I first imagined. I've always been good with my own general maintainance, but this was my first serious engine work. I learned a ton in the process.
     
  12. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    :Welcome:Steve. I'm behind on my welcomes. What a good story from childhood to adulthood with the same wagon. I can tell you what a 3.8 liter replacement engine cost in the 92 Tbird. $3,950. The engine was $1250 so the math is easy. But that included a new water pump, hoses, O2 sensors, belts. The total labor cost was about $1300. It was worth it to me as we didn't have the wagon at the time.

    Good job.
     
  13. Steve-E-D

    Steve-E-D Well-Known Member

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    So I finally dug out my box of old photos and fired up the scanner.

    Day One: April 3, 1976 Still with the Hine Pontiac dealership plates on.
    [​IMG]


    Proud new owner - 1989 - Thanks, Dad!!!
    [​IMG]


    "Rally Wagon" El Paso, TX - 1991
    [​IMG]


    1992 - Best MPG ever!!! 1772 miles on ZERO gallons. El Paso, TX to Vancouver, WA
    [​IMG]


    1997 - OMG! you can drive ON the beach in Washington! (after being severely scolded by beach patrol "this is not a racetrack") Ever see one of those dogs that love water take their first trip to the beach?.... we were worse than that. Power drifting fishtails and donuts...
    [​IMG]


    End of the Road - 1999 - The ranger said we'd need 4X4 to get here. I beg to differ...
    [​IMG]

    1999 - "I think the road ended about 1/2 mile back."
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  14. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    You bought your Pontiac at Hine in San Diego? I know that dealership very well. Used to frequent their body shop quite a lot in my travels as an insurance appraiser / analyst. Know the body shop manager (Steve) real well. Been a while though.
     
  15. Steve-E-D

    Steve-E-D Well-Known Member

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    Sure did... well... Dad did anyway. I was not quite 4 but I remember it well.

    I still have all the paperwork, purchase receipts, window sticker and dealership brochure.

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    Couldn't fit the whole thing on the scanner bed.
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