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2006 Pontiac GTO - The Pursuit Of Perfection

No Compromises Necessary For A 745-Rwhp Daily Driven GTO Thanks To The House Of Boost

Justin Cesler Jan 1, 2010

In the world of high performance, building an all-out race car is relatively simple. You buy the best go-fast parts you can afford, tear out all of the "unnecessary" items like A/C, power anything, and the other seats, bolt on some rear tires and head to the track. It is then, arguably, much more difficult to build a perfect daily driver. These cars need to do everything right, including the power. A constant balance of style, function, horsepower, and reliability, the daily driver poses many challenges that only certain people and certain builders can overcome. Of course, if you also happen to require an almost completely stock presence and you want to make over 700-rear-wheel horsepower, well, let's just say you've got your work cut out for you.


This particular story starts with a supercharged Porsche 911, which served as Matt Nigro's former daily driver. "The Porsche was fast, but had much too rough of a ride for daily driving. I went to trade it in on a newer Turbo model, and saw this getting traded in on a Mercedes. I fell in love with the car and knew I had to have it. I made the owner an offer on the spot." And, as they say, the rest is history. Matt drove off the lot and was perfectly happy with his new GTO, until he began to get the itch again.

Enter the House Of Boost and its lunatic crew of builders. Commissioned by Matt to build the "ultimate GTO" they began to formulate a plan, always focusing on quality and function before anything else. Knowing that Matt was a man of the road and could be in any number of states on any given day, they paid careful attention to making reliable power that was useable, but also easy on parts. "We wanted to build a true, real-world daily driver. No fancy fuel systems, no aftermarket computers, and no methanol systems. Just a real-world car that needs nothing more than 91 octane and standard oil changes."


With a scant 4,000 miles on the clock, the House Of Boost installed a ProCharger P-1SC and sent Matt out on the road to see what he thought. Immediately addicted, Matt returned looking for more power, while maintaining the delivery and reliability of his current ProCharger setup. Phase two began by pulling the heads off of the GTO's LS2 and replacing them with a ported and polished set from an L92, complete with a full Comp Cams valvetrain. Using a set of ARP head bolts, they were snugged onto the block and topped with a new L76 intake manifold, stuffed with an octet of 60-pound fuel injectors. Down below, the House Of Boost installed a custom hydraulic roller camshaft, which was specifically designed to keep a smooth idle, while still allowing for huge power. Doing away with the stock exhaust manifolds for a set of Kooks long-tube headers helped the GTO breathe, while a Kooks catted cross-pipe and MagnaFlow exhaust ensured a quiet, but still noticeable growl under acceleration. Before heading to the dyno for tuning, Erik Radzins loaded a custom speed density operating system on the stock computer, installed a Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump, and pullied the little P-1SC to the max. After a couple of hours on the dyno, the GTO put down 641 rwhp, which, for normal people, would be the end of this story.

Of course, the House Of Boost is not a place for normal people, not with a motto that reads: "We make fast stuff, faster." After Matt got used to his newfound power (11,000 miles later), it was back to the House for even more goodies, this time going slightly off the beaten path, with a brand-new head unit from ProCharger called the F-1D. While little is published on this sneaky devil, the F-1D offers a ton of power in a very small package and was perfect for Matt's current powerband and driving goals. After making a couple of phone calls, the House Of Boost had the first F-1D in hand and was ready to bolt it on. But, before they did that, it was time for some bottom end reinforcement. Tearing the engine down, the crew decided that the stock crank would work well, even at the new power level, so they slid a set of their custom Manley rods down the bore, topped with a set of low-compression Diamond pistons wrapped in a Mahle ring set. With the engine back together and the F-1D installed, the crew installed a custom twin in-tank fuel pump setup and headed back to the dyno for one last check. Eric told us: "the goal was to make 700 rwhp on nothing other than boost, and 91 octane. Well, I am totally happy with the 745 rwhp she laid down on the second pull. You have to love speed density cars; I didn't even have to touch the tune even though we added 100 rwhp since the last time she was on the rollers. Timing was low and safe, fuel was in the high 10s to low 11s the full pull, and fuel pressure was rock steady. This car flat out rules!"

So, what's next for Matt? "At this point there will be no more changes to the car, because it's absolutely perfect where it's at. The car makes way more power than a daily driver needs, yet has absolutely perfect street manners. The only, and I mean only, thing that I will change is possibly the wheels in the future, to something a little less stock." Matt went on to tell us that his favorite part about the GTO: "it's a 100 percent sleeper, not one person knows the power the car makes, from the looks, to its stealthy sound." Well, sorry to blow your cover Matt, but they will surely know now.



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Data File 2006 Pontiac GTO
Owner: Matt Nigro
Block: LS2, 364 cid
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Heads: L92, ported by House of Boost, 2.160 intake, 1.59 exhaust valves
Cam: House Of Boost custom hydraulic roller
Rocker arms: Stock L92, 1.7 ratio
Pistons: Diamond, forged
Rings: Mahle
Crankshaft: Stock, nodular iron
Rods: House Of Boost/Manley, forged
Throttle body: Stock 90mm
Fuel injectors: 60 lb/hr
Fuel pump: House Of Boost dual Walbro, in-tank
Ignition: Stock coil-near-plug, NGK TR6
Engine management: Stock, tuned by Erik Radzins at House Of Boost
Power Adder: Procharger F-1D
Boost: 14 psi
Intercooler: ProCharger air-to-air
Exhaust system: Kooks 17/8-inch long-tube headers, 3-inch X-pipe with high-flow cats, 3-inch MagnaFlow catback
Transmission: Stock T56
Clutch: SPEC Stage 3.5
Driveshaft: Stock
Front suspension: Hotchkis front sway bar, stock control arms, springs, shocks
Rear suspension: Hotchkis rear sway bar, stock control arms, springs, shocks
Rearend: Stock IRS, 3.46 gear, posi
Brakes: Hawk HPS pads, Power Slot rotors
Wheels: Stock 18x8
Front tires: Nitto 555 Extreme 235/40/18
Rear tires: Nitto 555R 275/35/18
Fuel Octane: 91
Current mileage: 31,000