The Fabled LeMans GT
Having a set goal when embarking...
Having a set goal when embarking on an automotive project not only helps guide the process, but it also serves as visual motivation in taking the project to its final form. Randy and Sean worked with Styles to come up with the final design.
As noted, this ’72 Pontiac started out as a Luxury LeMans, a variant on Pontiac’s A-body that boasts a higher standard of trim level than the ordinary LeMans. Of course, the GTO was at the head of the class as the Pontiac high-performance intermediate variation of GM’s A-body platform. In terms of popularity, the GTO has always been a favorite, and many a LeMans has been restored to mimic the famous Goat. Rather than this more predictable route, Sean and Randy Lorentzen decided to come up with a custom graphics package, paying homage to the traditional muscle car style, but unique to their modified car.
The LeMans GT name came to mind, and it just seemed to fit, clearly identifying the car for what it is, a LeMans, while conveying a muscle car theme. Using a bold panel treatment on the hood and deck incorporating the LeMans GT logo and accent stripes on the fender brows, the custom graphics have a style of authenticity that harmonize so well it seems to be original. Sean relates that the overall effect turned out to be so convincing, that many an admirer of the machine will strike up conversations about the rarity of this particular model, and blissfully share stories about their memories of the LeMans GT back in the day!
Restoring your first car is, to be honest, a massive time-consuming undertaking. In my case, it took two years of working most of my Saturdays to get it where it is today. Two years of what was at times monotonous physical labor. It was two years of sanding, bondo, sanding, primer, sanding, paint, and more sanding.
Because of all this, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was a huge bonding experience with my father getting out there on the weekends, working on it togetherand even my younger sister often lent a sanding hand! In addition, it’s a process that definitely shows results. Everything you put in through the prep stages shows in the final product. It’s extremely satisfying when the car gets pulled out of the booth, and those years of work finally see sunlight.
Of course, an undertaking like this is best done as a team effort. And once you get out there and have an idea, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help it become reality. That’s one of the best things about the hot rodding community. As such, I’d like to thank Jeff Styles (www.SoCalPinstriper.com), who helped us design the graphics and sprayed the paint. In addition, I’d like to give credit to Jason Pecikonis at Timeless Kustoms in Camarillo, California, for laying down the poly primer (and steering me away from the Hello Officer Orange paint). Max Gilmore at South County Auto Body and Paint in Lake Forest lent Styles and us use of their booth, and did the final polish on the clearcoat. Eagle Abrasives supplied their sandpapers and polishing materials, and last but not least, thanks to The Paint Store in Laguna Niguel for helping us out with the materials! - Sean Lorentzen
As these cars get older, there is greater interest in license plate restoration. See how the original California blue plates were restored by logging on to www.PopularHotRodding.com, keyword search: Plate Restoration.