Sunday, December 26, 2021

'57 Chevy: One Of The Most Influential And Iconic Cars Of All Time!

 

'57 Chevy Bel Air

How Did The 1957 Chevy Come About?

It starts with Chevy's need for change. For the first time since 1918, Chevrolet was willing to offer a V8 in its 1955 Chevy sedan, and with that V8, Chevy thought it would be a good time to get rid of the shoe-box look that they were recently using and try something different. 

Chevrolet Chief Designer, Ed Cole, wanted to get rid of the shoe-box look by 1956 and have a whole new look for 1957. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and the new look never launched forcing Cole and the design team to make do with the shoe-box style for one more year, but there were going to be big changes.

To help differentiate the '57 from '55 and '56 Chevy, Cole brought in Harley J. Earl, a famous automotive designer. Earl had already had huge styling successes under his belt that not only worked out for General Motors, but also influenced the automotive world as a whole. 



The changes Earl was making to the '57 Chevy would be widely ridiculed by Earl's co-workers, automotive experts, and anyone and everyone who just couldn't see his vision the way he did. 

'57 Chevy Dramatic Transformation

'57 Chevrolet

Some of the changes were: A new dashboard, a reshaped windshield, sealed cowl, and 15-inch rims to replace the 16-inch rims. Also, Earl decided to relocate the air-ducts to the headlights, which gave the car the big distinctive chrome look in the front. Then he added the iconic quarter-panel fins to the rear to help make the Chevy six inches longer, ultimately giving the Chevy the lowered look that everyone recognizes today.

1957 Chevy Fuel Injection


Other intriguing things that were new with the '57 were a lighter front-end, a bigger engine bay, and new drivetrain options that included a fuel-injection system and a three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission. A dual exhaust was offered with all V8 options for a little more horsepower but more so for the cool sound that it would give the Chevy. 

In commercials, magazine ads, and on billboards, the Chevy motto was always the same: "Chevy Puts The Purr Back Into Performance."

1957 Chevy; New York Times



A 1957 Chevrolet Coupe And Convertible For Everyone

Different trim options helped make the car more affordable for the average family and classy enough for those who wanted the feel of something a little more luxurious.

Trim Models Were As Followed:

Base: 150 Series
'1957 Base 150 Series



Base: 210 Series
'57 Chevy Based 210 Series











Del Ray: 210 Series
'57 Chevy Del Ray 210 Series










Base: Bel Air
'57 Chevy Bel Air















Convertible: Bel Air
1957 Chevy Convertible Bel Air










Nomad: Bel Air (station wagon)
1957 Chevy Nomad Bel Air










El Morocco: custom hand-built to mimic a Cadillac
1957 El Morocco









Each version was available in a two-door or four-door body style. The base "150" series with an in-line six was not only priced very well for consumers on a budget but also did very well when it came to gas mileage compared to the V8s. 

As you went up in models, you went up in comfort and class and, of course, in price. The Bel Air and Bel Air convertible was the most popular and expensive models, and in today's market, it is the most wanted by all collectors and car enthusiast alike, even if you're not a Chevy fan, you've probably wished you had a '57 Chevy at one point or another.

Choose Your '57 Chevy Options

Each version had options that could be ordered up to make the car more comfortable and luxurious. Some of those options were air-conditioning, power brakes, power steering, a padded dashboard, power windows, and power seats. Color schemes and chrome trim options were another way to show your impeccable taste in automobile selection.    

Also, a signal-seeking radio with a power antenna could be purchased along with a separate speaker that could be placed in the back, and at that time, that's what automotive companies called surround sound. The "Automatic-Eye" was another new option. The Automatic-Eye was attached to your dashboard and could detect on-coming traffic and dim your headlights automatically - high-tech for 1957.


'57 Chevy Engine Bay


One of the things that played a part in making the '57 Chevy so desirable was the bigger engine bay it came with. This was important because it made room for the big-block engines that Chevy was making for racing at the time. As drag racing became more popular and going fast was the thing to do, having a '57 Chevy that could accommodate Chevy's big-block engines with virtually no fabrication required was a huge plus to the go-fast racing enthusiast.

Even without the big blocks, you could still make plenty of power by opting for what Chevy called the Power-Pack (283 cubic-inch engine with solid lifters, a 4 barrel carb, and dual exhaust), which would make 275 horsepower right off the showroom floor. 

Fuel-Injection '57 Chevy


Although the 283 cubic-inch motors would make 283-hp with fuel injection, that option was often overlooked by consumers at the time because very few people knew how to work on fuel injection setups. Even mechanics were having problems working on the new fuel-injection system. So, if you were buying the car to modify it and or race it, going with the carburated setup you already knew how to work on was a much smarter way to go.

The odd thing about these desirable collector cars is that in 1957, the sales of Ford's '57 Fairlane model ended up out-selling the Chevy. Maybe it was the 1957 Chevy's bold chrome front-end or the rear-fins that threw consumers off. Maybe it was the introduction of the fuel injection and the 3-speed Hydra-Matic transmission - both of which consumers were skeptical about. Whatever the case was, by the time the '80s rolled around, these were considered one of the most, if not the most, collectible cars around.

'57 Chevy Custom


Worth Every Penny

Nowadays, a meticulously restored '57 Chevy Bel-Air can go for around $100,000.00 or more, and a seller could catch even more for a convertible in the same condition. But if you are thinking about buying one, you will want to be careful and maybe even seek some professional help before doing so. There are a lot of replicas out there, and it can be very easy to be fooled.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary SLP Edition (LT4)

 

1997 Camaro SS SLP


1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary  SLP Edition

Anniversary Editions are always fun. Special stripes, badges, and performance upgrades find their way onto a limited number of stock versions of a vehicle to celebrate the special year. 

Although anniversary additions usually see minor changes, that wasn't the case when it came to the 1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary SLP Edition. All of the 30th Anniversary Camaros (RS, Z-28, and SS) seen an eye-popping color scheme and 30th Anniversary badges placed throughout the interior, but a few SS Camaros (US 100 – Canada 6 – Prototype 2) got much more than just a few minor upgrades and a cool looking color scheme. Those few special Camaro SS received a stout LT4 5.7-liter engine installed by SLP.



1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Card


Where Did The Color Scheme for the Anniversary Edition Camaro Come From?

The color scheme is a throwback to the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Camaro. Just like in '69, the '97 30th Anniversary Camaro was painted Arctic White accompanied by a set of Hugger Orange racing stripes that graced the hood, deck-lid, and roof of all of the 1997 Anniversary Editions (unless it was a convertible). 

The All-Important 330 HP Badge

They all may have looked the same and had the same embroider badges on the seats and the floor mats, but only a select few got to wear the all-important 330-hp badge indicating an LT4 under the hood.

Almost all of the Anniversary Editions came with stock engines that matched their trim package except for those few lucky SS Camaros that got to take the trip to SLP Engineering after they rolled off the assembly line.

SLP Engineering was able to get their hands on extra leftover LT4 motors that were used in the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport a year earlier. Before SLP bolted these LT4 motors into the Camaros, they broke each of the engines down and had them balanced and blue-printed. 

LT4 Camaro SS engine



On paper, the LT4 was documented to get 330-hp at 5,800 RPM and reached its max torque at 4,500 RPM. But many car enthusiasts and automotive professionals believe this motor that had 10.8:1 compression was definitely underrated.



SLP SS Camaro


More SLP Camaro Upgrades

The 1997 Camaro SS with the SLP LT4 upgrade also received a Borg-Warner T56 six-speed manual transmission, a performance exhaust, a lightweight driveshaft, Bilstein sport suspension (optional level III Bilstein suspension package), and a Torsen limited-slip differential. All those extras were good to get you from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and down the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds. 

With the explosion of technology in the auto industry, that may not seem so amazing in this generation, but back in 1997, that was the fastest production American sports car on the market. There were no American sports cars at that time that could be bought from a dealer that went that fast.

330 HP Badge SS Camaro



Identifying a 1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary LT-4 SLP Edition

So how do you tell if what you're looking at or what you own is one of these rare 30th Anniversary SLP LT4 SS Camaros? Regular SS 30th Anniversary Camoros are commonly mistaken for these very rare SLP Editions, and that's because they're easy to pass off as one. 

All of the SLP LT4 Editions rolled off the line and out of the factory as an LT1 before being shipped off for the special treatment. That means even SLP LT4 SS Camaros will still indicate that it is an LT1 Camaro SS in the Vin#. 

First, to either begin or end the discussion of is it a true SS or not, look at the trim options. If it's anything other than a white SS hardtop with Huggar Orange stripes, your SS is not an SS LT4 SLP Limited Edition.  

There are a few places on the Camaro that will definitely give you the information you want if it wasn't removed post-SLP Treatment. Right above the rear bumper on the opposite side of the SS emblem, a special edition 330-hp badge will let you know if it's an LT4 SLP, but these can be easily applied to regular SS Cmaros. 

To get to the bottom of your research, you want to look inside the driver's side door and or inside the glove box to find the RPO code. This should indicate if it has been in the hands of the SLP engineers. But if you're still not sure what you are looking at, you can always call SLP Engineering, they are sure to have records of what Camaros they got their hands on.

1997 Camaro SS 30th Anniversary LT4 SLP Edition



If you do have a true LT4 SS 30th Anniversary Camaro in your sights, you're looking at a true collectible. These cars will eventually sell on the Barrett Jackson block like the COPO Camaros do right now. They're good-looking, powerful, rare, and fun to drive.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Chevy 454 SS Collector Truck From The Early '90s

1990 Chevy SS

With only 17,000 produced between 1990-93, these Chevy 454 SS are some of the more rare Chevrolet C1500 trucks of the 90s. In fact, purchasing one of these badasses was the only way you could get a 454 cu.-in. engine stock in a half-ton truck. 

There is nothing really too special about these trucks. Let's face it, in this day and age, a higher trim modeled crossover could take it off the line and beat down the quarter-mile. But it is outfitted for a 454, meaning a healthier one could be built and dropped in with no problem. 

Also, it's a truck, and you can always do some cool stuff to a truck with ease. A Cowl Induction hood, lowering springs, rims, etc. - all things that could be easily bolted back to stock with little effort if that's the way you wanted to sell it. 




Power and Specifications

  •  230 - 255 Horsepower
  • 385 - 405 lb.-ft. of Torque
  • 3-speed - 4-speed automatic transmission
  • 3:71.1 - 4:10 Rear-End Ratio 
  • 10 mpg city
  • 500 lbs. Max Payload
  • Dual Exhaust
  • Bilstein Shocks
  • 7.7 seconds 0-60 mph 
  • 15.9 seconds 87 mph - 1/4 mile
  • Black / Summit White / Victory

Chevrolet 454 SS



The Chevy 454 SS trucks had some serious competition in the early 90s - the GMC Cyclone, Typhoon, and the Ford Lighting. But for Chevy, this was their way of showing everyone that people still craved a big block even if it wasn't the fastest truck on the market. 

You might come across one of these sweet Chevys for sale with a good price tag on it. They are not very sought-after by vehicle collectors right now, so if you find one in good shape, it might not be that bad of an investment. They have the potential to be nice little street cruisers with a lot of old-school power. And for you old-school gear heads, that might be a class you'd fit right into. 




Monday, October 25, 2021

GMC Syclone and Typhoon: First Factory-Built All-Wheel-Drive Drag Racing Performance Success

 

GMC Syclone and Typhoon

GMC Syclone and Typhoon Era: The Dog Days of Sports Cars

Back in 1991, the dogs days of the sad, slow, so-called economy-efficient sports cars were starting to come to an end. The days of the poorly performing Tuned-Port Injection (TPI) setups that General Motors were using for their unimpressive performing sports cars were about to be replaced by a much more stout performing LT1 350-cu.-in. engine.

'91 GMC Syclone

But before the change, the GMC truck division of General Motors made an interesting move to get involved in some of the performance hype GM was encouraging at the time. GMC made a move and signed a contract with a company called Production Automotive Systems (PAS), which in turn started the creation of the fastest production trucks of its time: the '91 GMC Syclone pickup truck and '92-'93 GMC Typhoon SUV.

The Pass Company was no stranger to this type of work. Pontiac called upon them to help build the very famous
20th Anniversary 1989 Pontiac Trans AM

1989 Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary Edition. Oddly enough, they just went with a drive train that was already tormenting all of the sports cars on the streets, the V6 3.8-liter Buick turbo intercooler setup.  

Originally Buick's Idea

Originally, Buick came up with the idea for the turbocharged truck, but to not cause any conflict with the GMC truck production branch, they handed the idea over to them. GMC was hesitant to take on the project at first since they already had a similar black regular cab pick-up truck on the market with a 454 cu.-in. engine. 

But some forward-looking engineers and designers saw the potential in smaller engines. Assuming Buick could make it work in a G-Body grocery-getter car with much success, doing the same in a truck and an SUV should work just as well, and to nobody's surprise, it did.  

Different Eninge/Turbo Setup For The Syclone and Typhoon

The PAS company engineered a 4.3-liter Vortec engine equipped with a turbocharger and an intercooler to fit in both the Syclone and the Typhoon.

To efficiently transfer engine
'91 GMC Typhoon
power, both models would receive the four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission, the same trans the Corvette and the Buick turbos were using at the time.

The First Factory-Built All-Wheel-Drive Technology Used For Drag Racing Performance

What made the Syclone and the Typhoon so unique from other trucks is that they used a very performance-efficient all-wheel-drive system. That technology helped these trucks that had an underrated, unofficial horsepower rating of 280 get down the quarter-mile with times that could stop the clocks somewhere in the high-to-mid 13-second range. 

Since the technology was so similar to the successful 3.8-liter turbos, aftermarket part dealers and car enthusiasts knew exactly what easy upgrades could be made to make these trucks amazingly performance efficient. I've personally seen Typhoons run in the high 10-second range and Syclones being lighter in weight, stop the clocks in the 9s. 





GMC Syclone and Typhoon: Unbeatable Deal

With great gas mileage, great performance, and the fact that they were limited production, the GMC Syclone and Typhoon were and are still collector items for all car enthusiasts alike. 

With production numbers of only 2,998 '91 Syclones, 2,500 in '92, and 2,200 '93 Typhoons built, the price tags on these rare trucks still stay up in the $15,000 to $25,000 range for the ones that are still in good condition.

Unfortunately, the PAS company based in Troy, Mi., that was responsible for the GMC Syclone and Typhoon's engineering and design would go out of business after GM decided not to go forward with any more specialized GMC vehicles at the time. 

The decision was mostly due to the progression of the Corvettes, Camaros, Trans Ams, and the need to focus on the new technology of eclectic vehicles. That may have sounded silly then, but now, all auto companies have moved into the electric vehicle direction, and GM predicts by 2035, the only vehicles they will be producing are going to be all-electric vehicles. 
             

Syclones and Typhoon GENERAL SPEC

4.3-liter turbocharged intercooled











Type:      V6
Disp.:      262 C.I. (4.3L)
Horsepower:   280 BHP @ 4400 (Syclone) 285 BHP @4400 (Typhoon)
Torque:     350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Syclone) 350 lb-ft @ 3600 (Typhoon)
RPO:       LB4
Bore:      4.00
Stroke:     3.48
Comp. Ratio:   8.35:1
Firing Order:  1-6-5-4-3-2
Oil Pres. (Min) 6 psi@ 1000 RPM, 18 psi@ 2000 RPM, 24 psi@ 4000 RPM

CYLINDER BORE:
Diameter:    3.9995-40025
Out of
Round:      .001 (production) .002 (service)
Taper:      .001


PISTONS:
Clearance: .0015-.0030
PISTON RING: Compression: Groove Clearance: .0012-.0032 Gap: .010-.020 (top) .010-.025 (2nd) Oil: GC: .002-.007 Gap: .015-.055 PISTON PIN: Diam: .9270-.9273 Piston Clearance: .0002-.0007 Rod Fit: .0008-.0016 Interference

CRANKSHAFT:
MAIN JOURNAL: Diam: #1 2.4484-2.4493
#2 #3 2.4481-2.4490
#4 2.4479-2.4488
Taper: .001 max
Out of Round: .001 max
MAIN BRG. CLEARANCE: #1 .0010-.0015 #2#3 .0010-.0025 #4 .0025-.0035
CRANK END PLAY: .002-.006
CRANKPIN: Diam: 2.2487-2.2497
Taper: .001 max
OOR: .001 max
ROD CLEARANCE: .0013-0030
SIDE CLEARANCE: .006-.014


CAMSHAFT:
LIFT +- .002 Intake .357 Exhaust .390 Journal Diam: 1.8682-1.8692 End Play .004 -.012

VALVE SYSTEM:
Lifter Hydraulic Rocker ratio 1.5:1
Lash Adj. One turn down from zero Face Angle 45 deg.
Seat Angle 46 deg.
Runout .002 max
Seat Width 1/16 to 1/32 Stem clearance .0010-.0028 Spring length 2.03 Valve Spring Pres. 76-84 lbs @ 1.70 in Closed 194-206 lbs @ 1.25 in
Open Installed height 1 23/32"
Valve Spring Damper: Free Length 1.86 # coils 4

   



Thursday, October 14, 2021

When Turbochargers Entered The Drag Racing World With Potential

86 Buick Pro Stock Turbocharged




It was back in 1986 when Buick started to master the turbocharger game. Turbochargers have been around for quite a while before the first 1984 and '85 Buick Grand National and T-Type turbos came out. The '84 and '85 Buick turbos lacked the power that the 1986 and '87 Buick turbos did due to lack of an intercooler and other things. But even with the success of the two-sedan being faster than all of the American sports cars at the time, no one expected to see one compete in a professional Pro Stock class. 


Read all about the '86 and '87 Grand National success here. 


700+ cu.-in. Pro Stock Engines Racing Against A 286 cu.-in. Buick Engine


 Buddy Ingersoll Buick V6 Pro Stock

This is when the drag racing world started realizing that not always is it all about big blocks and displacement. This race was from 1986, but later the Buick setup would be deemed illegal in the Pro Stock classes. Of course, the reasons for the outlaw were a bunch of smokescreen excuses to hide the real truth - old-timers didn't understand it and didn't want to believe a V6 could beat a V8. 

To me, it sounds much like when Nitrous Oxide exploded on the drag racing scene - if you didn't understand it or you couldn't figure it out, it was easier to just say using NOS was cheating. 


Early '90s GS Nationals in Kentucky 














It was in the early '90s when I attended my first Buick GS Nationals at Beech Bend Raceway for a week (a week off school - a week at the drag strip)! That's when I saw the first single turbocharged Grand National break into the sevens (1/4-mile), and when I saw a T-Type in stock trim ride its bumper halfway down the track while still turning in a time of 10: something. That was when my cousin and I, best friends, knew we were watching something the drag racing world wasn't ready for yet. 

Buick Regal T-Type Doing Wheelie
















Slowly but surely, the drag racing world caught up, and now you'd be hard-pressed to see a drag car that isn't racing in a highly regulated class that doesn't have at least one turbo under the hood or another kind of power adder.  

Beech Bend Raceway







The lineup to get into the GS Nationals - all Buicks and the track entrance is quite a ways away. 


Saturday, September 18, 2021

TV Tommy Ivo Four-Engine Buick Dragster Heads to Auction

 

TV Tommy Ivo 4 Engine Buick Dragster

Talk about a piece of Motorsports history. Coming from a Buick family makes this wild Buick dragster even cooler to me. With a Buick Riveria front end and a Roadmaster Station Wagon rear body frame, this exhibition dragster host four Buick 401 cu.-in. Nailhead V8 engines. 

The rare all-wheel-drive dragster originally raced by the famous "TV Tommy Ivo" will be auctioned off in January at the Mecum auto auction in Kissimmee during an eight-day event. 

The history behind the "Wagonmaster" and "Tommy Ivo" is vast. Before Tommy Ivo sold the, what was then called the "Showboat" dragster to Tom McCourry, it looked like just a regular slingshot dragster with four engines.  

Showboat Dragster - TV Tommy Ivo


To keep the exhibition interest alive for the Buick dragster, McCourry had the hand-crafted Buick body fitted for the slingshot and called it the "Masterwagon". Eventually, it was sold back to TV Tommy so he could take it on its last stretch of exhibition work that ended in 1996 at the Good Guys Hot Rod Nationals in Indianapolis. 




TV Tommy's name had a reason behind it, he was actually a TV star, movie star, singer, dancer, and radio personality. When told by his producers, he had to stop the racing and focus on his entertainment career, TV Tommy chose "Racing" instead. 

  Some of "TV Tommy Ivo" Great Racing Accomplishments

  • First to Succeed With Buick Power
  • First to Succeed With Dual Engines - Record Breaker of 170 MPH, 175 MPH, 180 MPH
  • First to Succeed With Quad Engines
  • First to Brake the 9-Second Barrier With Dual Engines
  • First to Break Into The 7-Second and 5-Second 1/4-Mile Barrier
  • With Other Racers - Brought Drag Racing to England in a Six Event Exhibition
  • Joined The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2005


TV Tommy

Masterwagon Car Facts (Mecum)

  • This is the original Showboat slingshot dragster
  • Built by TV Tommy Ivo
  • The Showboat debuted on July 23, 1961, at San Fernando Drag Strip
  • The Showboat was converted to the Wagonmaster in 1981
  • 30th Anniversary and Final Tour car for 1982
  • Last competitive run at the 1982 World Finals at Orange County Raceway
  • Vintage run at the July 1996 Goodguys Nostalgia National at Indianapolis Raceway Park
  • Four Buick Nailhead 401 CI V-8 engines
  • The Nailhead V-8s essentially form two V-16 engines
  • Over 1,500 cubic inches and over 2,000 horsepower
  • 4-wheel drive
  • Two engines drive the front wheels
  • Two engines drive the rear wheels
  • Black/Orange/Red exterior
  • Black interior
  • Roll cage
  • Chrome side exhaust stacks
  • Parachute
  • Luggage rack
  • First-ever escape hatch
  • Two specially chromed front wheels
  • Cragar rear wheels
  • Formerly owned by Norm Day
  • Centerfold car in the September 2012 issue of Hot Rod Deluxe magazine
  • Sold on a Bill of Sale

The "Masterwagon" will be sold on the eighth day (last day) with over 300 other consignments at the Mecum auction event. The "Master Wagon" is the original "Showboat" slingshot dragster and is authenticated with an autograph by TV Tommy himself, including his quote to the future owner, "Take Care of My Baby."

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Pontiac GTO: Years 2004-2005-2006

 

'70 GTO, Pontiac GTO



Muscle Car Pontiac GTOs of the '60s and '70s

When car enthusiasts hear the name Pontiac GTO, they most likely think of the GTOs from back in the '60s and '70s. You know, back when the cars had heavy steel bodies and big cubic-inch motors. 

It stands to reason why that is, for many years the GTOs were some of the most popular muscles cars that were being purchased in the '60s and '70s. But like with all of the other muscle cars of that time, the Pontiac GTO received the ax for more fuel-efficient vehicles. 

1971 was the last year for the Pontiac GTO Judge, and 1972 was the last you could buy a GTO with a real classic muscle car look. Although by 1971, GM had already started detuning their cars and running them as unleaded vehicles to comply with emissions, they still had the muscles car look until '73. 


73 GTO


The 1973 Pontiac GTO (above) brought about a new body style that just did not look good and wasn't popular back then and or now. Pontiac tried to revamp the old look for 1974 (below), but by then the muscle car era was over and so was the GTO vibe. 


1974 Pontiac GTO



21st Generation GTO

21st GTO














The Pontiac 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, a roomy interior, and a sporty exterior just like the old GTO, the new GTO was a great tribute to what the Pontiac GTO was and is still all about.

2005 Pontiac GTO

LS1 GTO Engine Bay

In 2004, the Pontiac GTO came with a 5.7-liter LS1 V8 rated at 350 horsepower and 365 ft.-lb. of torque. You could either order one with a 6-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. These days, being happy with a quarter-mile time of 14.3-14.0 flat doesn't sound too impressive, but 17 years ago, that was pretty good for a sedan. 


2005-2006 Pontiac GTO

2006 Pontiac GTO


For 2005 and 2006, the Pontiac GTO would keep the transmission options the same but get an engine upgrade. GM decided on putting a 
6.0-liter LS2 motor in the new-generation GOAT that produced 400 horsepower and 400 ft.-lb. of torque. This new setup managed to cut off about half of a second in quarter-mile time and even more if you had some aftermarket performance parts bolted on. Some mostly stock GTOs seen times slips that dropped into the low-13 second range. 


Lack Luster GTO Suspension

Poor 2004, 2005, and 2006 Pontiac GTO Suspension


Unfortunately, the 2004 Pontiac GTO suspension performance was found to be a little less than impressive. They had sluggish reflexes, excessive body roll, and weak brakes. When the sports sedan received the LS2 for the 2005-2006 models, the brakes got upgraded, but the GTO still suffered from a weak suspension. The good news is there are plenty of aftermarket bolt-on suspension parts that can easily be installed in your driveway over a weekend to help fix many of the suspension problems.


The GTO: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing


Front-End Ram Air Pontiac GTO

With the 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 is a good-looking sedan that some might not even recognize as a modern muscle car. 


There is one downfall that turned many consumers off, and that was the price tag. Unfortunately, you could buy a Trans Am, Camaro Z28, or Mustang for the price of a brand new Pontiac GTO. 

Fifth Generation GTO vs Trans Am


One of the nice things about the Pontiac 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 range, most of the Pontiac GTOs had high mileage, but I would not let that deter anyone. Cars these days, if taken care of properly can last for a long time.

In the end, the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO is a great buy for car enthusiasts that really like the technology of the LS1/LS2 motor. With all of the performance capabilities and aftermarket parts for LS engine setups, the GTO is a perfect car for someone who is looking for something that can be fast, but at the same time, reasonable and practical.