'The muscle car of my dreams': California man reunited with his old '69 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  4 weeks ago  •  6 comments

By:   Danton Unger CTVNews (Canada Television News)

'The muscle car of my dreams': California man reunited with his old '69 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



'The muscle car of my dreams': California man reunited with his old '69 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg

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Nolan Stoyko's 1969 Pontiac GTO in the early 1980s pictured in Kildonan Park in Winnipeg. (Submitted photo)

Four decades after having to sell his dream muscle car and move to California, a man has been reunited with the classic in a chance encounter in Winnipeg that has created a budding friendship.

Nolan Stoyko was 17 years old when he bought his 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg.

"This was the love of my life, the muscle car of my dreams," he says. "It was amazing. This thing was just a monster machine. It would rumble down the road, turn heads."

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Nolan Stoyko was 17 years old when he bought his 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg. (Submitted photo)

However, in 1982, Stoyko moved to California and had to sell his car. Every now and then, Stoyko would get messages from friends in Winnipeg telling him they had caught a glimpse of his GTO around the city.

"I was never on a mission to hunt it down. I was always curious about it. Like who owns it? What kind of shape is it in?" he says. "I just always was curious."

It wasn't until Stoyko returned to Winnipeg in August to visit friends and family that he spotted it.

"All of a sudden, I saw this GTO in front of me and I thought, 'Oh, what are the chances that's my car?'" he says. "He started turning on his street and I heard the car shifting, going down the street. I went, 'It's a four-speed car. It's got to be my car.'"

Stoyko followed the car until it pulled into a driveway, and got out to speak with the owner – Mel Bohn.

"I get a lot of that. I get a lot of, 'Oh, that used to be my car,' and I go roll my eyes. Yeah, okay," Bohn says.

But in this case it turned out to be legit.

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The rediscovery of the 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg has created a budding friendship between Nolan Stoyko (left) and Mel Bohn (right). (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)

s the two men began chatting on the driveway, Bohn, who had bought the car in 1993, recognized Stoyko's name from old receipts that he had kept over the years chronicling the car's history.

"He looked at it, and almost I thought he was going to cry really. He got really emotional about it," says Bohn.

The chance encounter between the two car enthusiasts has now led to a budding friendship.

"Yeah, that was almost instant," Bohn said. "I mean, between guys that own cars and see the cars again, it's almost an instant thing. You've got my car and you're looking after it."

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The rediscovery of the 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg has created a budding friendship between Nolan Stoyko (left) and Mel Bohn (right). (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)

The car hasn't changed much since Stoyko owned it – it has a new paint job and some different rims.

"But basically the same car," Stoyko says.

He'd like to buy the car back some day, if Bohn is ever ready to part with it. Regardless, getting to be reunited with the old car has been an experience, one he says he never thought would happen.

For Bohn's part, he says the whole experience has been really cool.

"I've always wanted to meet some guys that actually owned it and told me what they did to it and everything else," he says.

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Nolan Stoyko sits in the driver's seat of his old 1969 Pontiac GTO which he rediscovered while visiting Winnipeg in August 2022. (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)

Stoyko now works at a classic car shop in southern California, and has collected a few classics over the years; he calls himself a poor Jay Leno.

"I still love classic cars, but this car has always been the love of my life," he says, looking at the GTO sitting on Bohn's driveway.

Inside Bohn's garage, the walls are covered in classic car memorabilia – matchbox cars, pieces and parts of classics he's owned over the years. Among them, old parts from the GTO – many of which Stoyko himself had put on as a teenager in the early 80s.

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Inside Mel Bohn's garage, the walls are covered in classic car memorabilia – matchbox cars, pieces and parts of classics he's owned over the years. (Source: Danton Unger/CTV News Winnipeg)

"Look at this," Stoyko says, clutching an old gear shifter that had been sitting on a shelf. He holds the worn walnut wood shifter topped in a bright cherry red like it was a long-lost treasure.

"This used to be mine. I bought this," he says.

Outside the garage, Bohn turns to a reporter and says with a bit of a grin, "I'm gonna throw Nolan the keys, see if he wants to take it around the block."

He pulls the keys from his pocket and tosses them across the driveway.

"Want to take it for a drive?"

"Are you serious?" Nolan says, his face beaming with excitement.

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Nolan Stoyko sits in the driver's seat of his old 1969 Pontiac GTO which he rediscovered while visiting Winnipeg in August 2022. (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)

He pulls open the door and settles into the driver's seat, his hands instinctively wrap around the wheel. He jokes that the reporter had better take a photo before he starts to tear up.

"It's the car," he says, "The car draws the story."

With a turn of the key, the car's engine roars under the hood. It sends a rumble reverberating through the chassis, so deep you can feel it in your chest. As memories flood back to him, Stoyko drops it in first and peels out. 

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The rediscovery of the 1969 Pontiac GTO in Winnipeg has created a budding friendship between Nolan Stoyko (left) and Mel Bohn (right). (Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

What are the odds of something like this happening?  

Not many cars are so iconic they have a song written about them, and sung in a movie.  Has anyone watched the movie "RV" starring the late Robin Williams? 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

I was just thinking about the fact that I've probably owned (or leased) about 13 or 14 cars in my life, not counting ones I bought or leased for my ex-wife or kids, but I think the one that I would want the most to have back in the condition it was in when I was driving it would be the first car I ever owned, when I was 16, a used 1950 Ford Custom Coach with standard gearshift mounted on the steering column, a 5-manual push button A.M. radio, bench seat, no power steering, no power brakes, no air conditioning, no touch screen, no gps, no warning signals, and not one microchip.  I loved it.

Internet photo

1950-ford-custom-sedan

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     4 weeks ago

Not only is the car a classic muscle car but the Pontiac brand no longer exists. It's as rare as it could be.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3    4 weeks ago

I've owned 4 Pontiacs over the years.  My father gave me a graduation present of a brand new 1959 Pontiac Parisienne convertible as a graduation gift when I got my B.A. in 1958.  I was sorry to see GM drop the brand. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
3.2  Tacos!  replied to  Kavika @3    4 weeks ago
the Pontiac brand no longer exists

That's still weird to me. My dad had two firebirds over the years. It doesn't seem possible that they don't make them anymore.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.2.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @3.2    4 weeks ago

April 27, 2009 – GM announces end of Pontiac    (LINK) ->

Apparently it was part of a restructuring plan due to bankruptcy.  They previously dropped Oldsmobile as well not too long before. 

 

 
 

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