Friday, May 24, 2013

The 21st Century Pontiac GTO

Muscle Car GTO's of the 60's and 70's

Image result for 1971 gto

When car enthusiast hear the name Pontiac GTO, they most likely will think of the GTO's from back in the '60s and '70s when the cars had heavy steel bodies and high horsepower driven motors. And with good reasons, for many years they were some of the most popular muscles cars that were being purchased in the '60s and '70s. But like with all of the muscle cars, their dooms day would come. The 1971 was the last year for the GTO Judge and 1972 was the last you could buy a GTO with muscle car power and looks. The GTO did survive until 1974, but they were drastically de-tuned and the body-style had been changed, making them not so colectable in this-day-and-age.

21st GTO

The GTO was one of the lucky few muscle cars that got a chance to be reborn in the 21st century. For the years 2004, 2005 and 2006, Pontiac brought back the muscle car legend. With LS1 technology, interior space and roomy comfort just like the old GTO, the new GTO is a great tribute to what the Pontiac GTO was and is all about.

In 2004 the GTO came with a LS1 V8 rated for 350 hp and 365 ft-lb. of torque that could produce quarter-mile times of about 14 seconds flat. But for 2005 and 2006 the GTO would get a boost of power with a motor that produced 400hp and 400 ft-lb. of torque and managed to cut off about half of second on quarter-mile time.

Unfortunately, the suspension performance was found to be a little less than impressive. With its sluggish reflexes, excessive body roll and weak brakes, the GTO had more power than what it could handle. But, with a few hundred bucks and a few aftermarket blot-ons this could be easily fixed right in your own driveway.

With a various amount of cool colors to shop for, an optional ram air hood that could have been ordered, 15 or 16 inch rims and a standard retro looking Pontiac split front grill, the GTO stands out and can definitely hold its own in styling when sitting next to it's counterparts and competitors.

There is one downfall that turned many consumers off and that was the price tag. Unfortunately, you could buy a Trans Am or a Camaro Z28 for the price of a brand new GTO. One of the nice things about the GTO is that if you are looking to buy one now, you should be able to find one for a good price. I've priced them anywhere from around $9,500-$20,000 - depending on mileage and shape - a far cry from the 30k price tag they originally came with. On the low end of the price tag, most of the GTO's had high mileage, but I would not let that deture anyone. Cars these day, if taken care of can last for a long time with general maintenance and automotive knowledge.

Image result for gto ls2 engineIn the end, the 2004-2006 GTO is a great buy for car enthusiasts that really likes the technology of the LS1/LS2 motor. With all of the performance capabilities and plenty of aftermarket parts for visual effect and horsepower increases, the GTO is a perfect car for someone who is looking for something that can be fast, but reasonable and practical.