Let's be honest, while the '04-06 GTOs were awesome cars for their time, depending on your style, one could easily argue that they definitely lacked in the looks department. With bland lines, flat fenders, and narrow tires, some people claim the GTO is nothing more than a V-8-powered Cavalier, a boring ride with a nice interior and a big engine. While we don't exactly agree with those sentiments, as we have had the opportunity to spend some time with some of the coolest GTOs in the country over the past couple of years, we can certainly understand where those people are coming from. It is, after all, safe to say no one has ever looked at a GTO and called the styling outrageous-until now.
What you see here is Wade Hurtt's '05 GTO, the culmination of several years worth of work, which, curiously enough, started when the city of Fort Lauderdale decided to tear up the street in front of Wade's house. "They destroyed my neighborhood to install new drainage and I had to park the GTO in my garage and buy a truck." Up until then, Wade had been daily driving his GTO, which he purchased brand new in 2005 and was quite content with the way it drove. Luckily for us, after several months of seeing his GTO sit alone in his garage, locked in by the city's painfully slow work ethic, Wade decided it was time to do something with his former daily driver. Now, for a normal person, this might have meant taking it out and adding a new exhaust, intake, or paintjob. For former US Marine and firefighter Wade Hurtt, it meant tearing the entire car down to the bare body and building a one-off supercar killer, with the help of a couple of great shops across the country and across the globe.
Being that the GTO was still relatively new in 2005 and not yet embraced by the American aftermarket, Wade started to look abroad, mainly in Australia, where he was opened up to an entirely new market. Immediately he began researching offerings from the land down under, eventually coming across Harrop Engineering and falling in love with their products. At the same time, he also found Revenge Designs Inc., an American company located in Indiana, run by an Australian named Peter Collorafi. "The Revenge bodywork looked great, but for something like this I really had to see it in person." So Wade did what any focused individual would do and set up a meeting with Peter and Michael Hewitt of Harrop to see both company's offerings in person, live in Indiana. "After seeing a Revenge GTO in person and driving a Harrop-equipped car, I sat down with Peter and Michael and began making plans to build the ultimate GTO."
After hours of discussion and multiple build drafts, Wade flew back to Florida and set things in motion, orchestrating the entire build from his home in Florida. From command central, Wade ordered a literal crate worth of parts from Harrop Engineering, purchasing almost every single piece Harrop builds for the GTO, including a specially powdercoated Harrop HTV-2300 supercharger. With the crate en route, Wade called our good friend Chad Golen of Golen Engine Service, to have him begin work on a motor for his beast. With overkill in mind, Chad and Wade decided to build a 427-cubic-inch LS7, which they stuffed with a Callies/Mahle rotating assembly, built specifically to handle high-boost thanks to a friendly 9.0:1 compression ratio. To top the motor, Chad built Wade a set of CNC-ported L92 cylinder heads, which he loaded with Ferrea valves and Jesel roller rockers. Of course, no intake was necessary, as the motor had a special blower from Harrop on the way.
With the engine assembly under way, Revenge Designs of Decatur, Indiana took delivery of Wade's Goat, where it was swiftly torn down to nothing to begin its transformation. Initially Wade had contracted Peter and Revenge to handle the entire build, including installing the drivetrain, but later thought better of it and brought the car back to Florida. As far as the actual bodywork is concerned, the majority of it centered around the bulbous wheelwells, which had to be extended 2 inches per side by Revenge before being finished with a set of smooth and slick fender flairs. With the new, wider stance, the front and rear bumpers were also completely revamped, taking on a much more aggressive appearance, to match the rest of the bodywork. In order to make it all flow together, Revenge also installed new side skirts to give the Goat that finished show car look, which is unmistakable to any GTO enthusiast.
Fast forward one year later and Wade found himself with a crate full of Harrop goodies, a complete 830hp Golen-built blown LS7, and, amazingly, without his beloved GTO. Frustrated and tired of making phone calls, Wade decided to make another trip to Indiana, to check in on the progress of his project. These visits, Wade would later admit, "weren't casual visits. These were Louisville slugger in-hand type of visits." And while we won't go into the specifics, let's just say that Wade managed to get things under control, but not before changing up the build midway through. Of course, for a guy who was trained by some of the best in the world to "Overcome and Adapt," it should come as no surprise that Wade was able to keep his project moving along.
For the newly motivated crew at Revenge, they wrapped up their portion of the build by installing the remainder of Wade's suspension, which was just enough to get his GTO rolling again. Under the car, the crew installed a plethora of Harrop and Pedders pieces, starting with all of the bushings and both sway bars. For suspension, Wade turned again to Australia, having Suspension Technology Australia send Revenge a set of modified and re-valved Edelbrock shocks, which were wrapped in Eibach springs and built specifically for this particular setup. Wade also had Revenge install a set of BMR Fabrication subframe connectors before dropping the car back down on the ground, so that Wade could have it shipped back to Florida, where his engine and drivetrain were waiting for the final, drama-free assembly.
As you can see on these pages, the rest of the build went off without a hitch and the results are simply breathtaking. From the slick Quicksilver widebody to the 830hp Harrop supercharged LS7 under the hood, it's safe to say this GTO is a serious supercar contender. Of course, no widebody build could be complete without some custom wheels and for that Wade turned to HRE Wheels who built him a gorgeous set of 19-inch wheels, which are 10 inches wide in the front and 12 inches wide in the rear. Why 19-inch wheels you ask? Well, for one, Wade found them a perfect fit for the body lines, but, secondly, they allow clearance for the 15-inch, six-piston Harrop brakes, which can bring his GTO to a stop in a serious hurry. For Wade, these wheels and brakes completed the package, one that he can only describe as "a beast!" Wade also told us that even in a town as congested as Fort Lauderdale, where exotics are everywhere, "it gets a lot of thumbs up and people love the smell of the 103-octane gas coming from the tailpipes." After years of work and what must have seemed like moments of near failure, Wade proves that building your dream car doesn't have to wait, it can be born from something as simple as an inconvenience from your local municipality. And for that, we thank the city of Fort Lauderdale, for helping create one of the coolest GTOs we have ever seen on the streets!
Car: 2005 Pontiac GTO
Owner: Wade Hurtt
Block: LS7, 427 cid
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Heads: L92, CNC-ported by Golen Engine Service, 2.08 intake, 1.62 exhaust valves
Cam: Custom hydraulic roller, 236/242 duration at 0.050, 0.600/0.600-inch lift, 114 LSA
Rocker arms: Jesel, 1.7 ratio
Pistons: Mahle, forged
Crankshaft: Callies Dragonslayer, forged
Rods: Callies Compstar, forged
Throttle body: Stock GM, 90mm
Fuel injectors: 60 lb/hr
Fuel pump: Walbro 255-lph, twin in-tank
Ignition: Stock coil-near-plug, NGK TR6 spark plugs
Engine management: Stock, tuned by Ed Potter at Late Model Speed
Power-Adder: Harrop HTV-2300
Boost: 12 psi
Intercooler: Harrop air-to-water
Exhaust system: Kooks 1 3/4 to 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers, X-pipe, MagnaFlow 3-inch exhaust
Transmission: T56, built by Rockland Standard Gear
Clutch: Exedy dual-disc
Driveshaft: Drive Shaft Shop 3-inch, 2-piece, aluminum
Front suspension: Suspension Technologies Australia coilovers, Pedders sway bar, Harrop bushings, stock lower control arm and radius rod
Rear suspension: Suspension Technologies Australia coilovers, Pedders sway bar, Harrop bushings, stock lower control arm, trailing arm, and toe rod
Rearend: Stock GM IRS, 3.46 gear, Drive Shaft Shop axles, Harrop limited slip
Brakes: Harrop 15-inch, 6-piston front; 14-inch, 4-piston rear
Wheels: HRE C93 19x10 front, 19x12 rear
Front tires: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 265/35/19
Rear tires: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 305/30/19
Fuel octane: 103