2005 Pontiac GTO - Street No More

Sole owner Gary Deak transforms his '05 GTO from a weekend cruiser to a dedicated 9-second drag car, one quarter-mile at a time

Andrew Nussbaum Apr 21, 2014 0 Comment(s)
View Full Gallery

For half a century, the annals of musclecar folklore have abound with tales of the legendary Pontiac GTO; perhaps no other moniker evokes such loyalty or ignites such passion from devoted owners – this is the story of yet another.

In May 2005, Gary Deak of Washington, NJ. was a young mechanic wrenching away at Flemington Pontiac, when he first experienced the last-generation Goat. While road testing the new muscle coupe, he instantly fell in lust with the Aussie-built Poncho. Utilizing his employee discount, he ordered his '05 Torrid Red 6-speed without delay.

Being no stranger to iconic American nameplates, Gary grew up around his father Steve's coveted '57 Chevy Bel Air. Now it was his turn, with the 400hp/400lb-ft., all aluminum, 6.0-liter LS2 under the twin-scooped hood that was ripe and ready for modification.

Gary's factory fresh GTO served as his weekend toy for barely a month before the mod bug's bite infected him. First came Stainless Works 1 3/4-inch stainless steel long-tube headers, flowing through 3-inch piping and bellowing from a Borla catback exhaust. With the corporate small-block exhaling like it should, Gary only needed one 1320-ft. pass and he was hooked. The 21st-Century Goat's rigid frame and powerful pushrod motor supplied impressive out-of-the-box performance and seat-of-the-pants excitement.

With his well-breathing GTO running mid-12's, Gary was enticed but wanted more. After a year of spirited cruising and time trials, he got serious and went to Cartek in Garwood, NJ. for a N/A, 3X head and cam package and stout 3.91 gears. This set-up shaved a second off of his previous best pass and kept Gary grinning for the time being.

By 2008, Gary was bored with his naturally-aspirated GTO's performance. Yearning for big power and lower E.T.'s, he sought the expertise of WM Motorworks in Bethlehem, PA., for the installation of a Magnuson roots-style 112HH supercharger and a more fitting bumpstick. With the blower in place, Gary's manual-shift Goat galloped to 11.0's all day long. There was no turning back now.

Fast forward to the next racing season, and Gary was ready to let the computer assist in shifting duties, having WM Motorworks swap out the stock T56 for a TH400 automatic with a manual valvebody for ultimate control. Frank Lupa at Pro-Formance Transmissions mated the new tranny with a 4500-stall Dynamic torque converter and TCI flexplate. Once in the car, a B&M cooler, a carbon fiber driveshaft, and a safety loop were installed. Now having only to mash the gas pedal, shift at the appropriate RPM's and hold her straight, he ran 10.47 at 128 mph.

With the high-stall speed set-up, street cruising was definitely a thing of the past. Now a true track car, Gary's GTO scorched the drag strip until 2011 when after a close pit inspection, a cracked block was discovered.

Seeking options, Gary took his wounded Goat to Doug Ring at East Coast Supercharging in Cream Ridge, NJ. where an LS3 mill from a C6 Corvette was sourced for replacement.

Aware of the GTO's track allocation and supercharged power, it was decided to bore the 376ci. LS3, to achieve a total displacement of 416 cubic inches. At this point it was "no more Mister Nice Guy," as Gary was intent on building a 9-second track wolf in Goats clothing.

2005 Pontiac Gto 5/9

The 416's rotating assembly consists of all forged components; including a Callies Compstar crankshaft, Manley flat-top pistons and R&R Racing Products connecting rods. Oiling the wild Goat is a Melling high volume pump with the stock pan.

Changing the camshaft for the third time, a Comp Cams ECS Big Blower hydraulic stick with a 230/236 duration at .050 .572/.578 lift and a 115 LSA was chosen for its supercharger compatibility.

The cylinder heads are Precision Race Components (PRC) Stage 2.5 CNC aluminum pieces; fitted with stainless steel 2.02 intake and 1.575 exhaust valves, pumping air into the 10.1 compression. Completing the top end are Comp Cams hardened pushrods and the stock LS2 1.7 ratio rocker arms.

Feeding fuel to the blown 416 are huge 1000cc (95lb.) Injector Dynamics squirters, drawing C16 race gas from a Lonnies in-tank double-pumper with an Aeromotive A1000 regulator operating at 60psi. Air is drawn through a Holley 90mm cable operated TB, and into the stock LS2 intake manifold. Gary relies on Hendrix Engineering wires, NGK plugs, and stock coils to provide spark.

2005 Pontiac Gto Front View 6/9

With the new powerplant in place, Gary used the rest of 2012 to test and tune his Goat's track performance. With his larger displacement GTO still running mid-tens, he was left a little puzzled. After some Q&A with Doug at ECS, the small blower's 10-lbs. of boost proved inefficient for the new 416ci motor.

The moment of truth had come, as a Paxton Novi 2500-series centrifugal supercharger with 25lbs. of boost replaced the Magnuson unit. ECS installed the massive blower creating a custom one-off set-up with modified Corvette bracketry.




Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print