It may have been a chance meeting-just another customer and just another salesperson. But when Scott Schweda was picking up the spare key for his new GTO in 2004, Dan Long was delivering a GTO to another customer at a Pontiac dealership in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Scott couldn't help but notice the body kit on it: side exit exhausts, a duckbill spoiler, a lip spoiler on the front fascia, and dual-colored striping along the length of the body. Equally striking was that Dan's GTO was the identical Torrid Red color as Scott's. He asked Dan how he could get the same body kit. Months later, Scott acquired the turnkey package: body kit, painting, and installation.
Still craving knowledge about the full potential of his GTO, Scott kept up his inquiries with Dan; how the car could perform better and what parts were needed to do so. Dan specialized in GTOs and responded to Scott's desire to push his vehicle to the edge of street-legal limits with an introduction to NASA, the National Automotive Sports Association. He suggested Scott get involved since the organization offered high-performance driving education in the form of safety, handling, and speed. A month later he'd joined the NASA Arizona Chapter and showed up at its monthly event at Phoenix International Raceway. After completing his first road course and hitting the triple-digit speed mark with his GTO, he was hooked.
After running their GTOs together on the track for a year through NASA, Dan and Scott decided to combine their experience and passion for GTOs by forming their own racing team, Unrestricted Motorsports.
The pair decided to broaden their horizons by venturing into a business that could accommodate their racing through designing and selling aftermarket body kits for General Motors' Pontiac brand. Unrestricted Motorsports sought to expand knowledge of performance on the track to performance on the street for the average consumer. The idea was simple-obtain a SEMA partner car through GM to showcase the parts to sell. The process wasn't as simple. Combining Dan's automotive industry experience and Scott's design background, Unrestricted Motorsports submitted its first SEMA partner car proposal to GM in 2008. Since the GTO model was phased out by 2006, the duo wanted to work with a car that featured a similar platform. That year the Pontiac G8 was the only car that fit the bill.
Dan and Scott liked the clean body lines on the factory design but Unrestricted's goal was to outwardly reflect the inner power of the G8's available 362 hp through sporty styling. Once they finalized the concept for a new front fascia, side skirts, spoiler, and bumper insert, Unrestricted enlisted Michigan-based Jim Brinkerhoff of Brinkerhoff Design to render their vision and present to GM along with their written proposal.
Though Unrestricted's design wasn't chosen for one of the 2008 SEMA partner cars, the experience of attending SEMA proved invaluable for the partners. When it came to the G8, they noticed that no one was offering full body kits in the G8 line. Dan and Scott wanted to offer customers more than a new paint scheme or rims, and they felt confident that there was a niche for what they wanted to do. Until next year, it was back to the racetrack.