Ya know, often times some things come out awesome and no one seems to recognize it when it happens and it dies a lonely death. Kind of like when Gremlins had a Christmas movie and everyone panned it. Yet, to this day I haven’t found a more funny moment in motion picture history when the Gremlins go caroling, present Gizmo as a present while Corey Feldman works as a Christmas tree lot attendant. A bigger batch of “WTF” you’ll be hard pressed to find. But then again, there are those who see the real genius in things the way the creators saw them and completely identify with their vision. In the case of the Gremlins Christmas movie, it was pure hilarity from the word “go.” Now, we’re not sure that’s what the creators meant, but it’s still tops in our book.
You could easily say that Stuart Allan of Golden Valley, MN saw the true genius of his 2006 GTO. While the converted sedan’s European looks may not turn as many heads as a typical late model muscle car, it still packs every bit of brute horsepower we’ve come to know and love about the LS platform albeit in a fairly unassuming wrapper. Of course, it wasn’t long before Stuart got bored and slapped on an STS rear-mounted turbo kit to further boost the “fun” factor. As with all things, this too became wearisome for Stuart and this is where the story takes an abrupt 90-degree left hand turn at 60mph. You’d expect us to say, “Stuart went step by step in small increments to make the beast you see.” You’d like us to say that, but the truth of the matter is that Stuart went completely mad with power and handed over the keys to Nate Shaw of One Guy’s Garage with a virtual license to do anything he pleased as long as it was ultra reliable and made 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower.
Now, making 1,000 horsepower anything is a feat in itself and this isn’t a case of slapping a couple turbos on a stock motor and calling it good. This type of build requires the cunning of a well-prepped Navy Seal squad. The dynamic duo started things off with an ERL 6-bolt 427 Superdeck I, a sleeved 5.3L block. ERL reports that this block can withstand almost 1,500 horsepower, so the guys knew they were on the right track. Throw in a set of Wiseco forged pistons, a Callies crank and 8 of the best Callies connecting rods and they had a short-block to take the abuse.
The key to making any serious amounts of horsepower is the head and cam choice. The heads for this motor are a pair of CNC-ported Trick Flow GenX 235 heads with 2.080 intake and 1.600 exhaust valves, breathing through a FAST LSXR 102mm intake manifold. The cam is a custom Comp Cams turbo grind that uses Comp’s short-travel tie-bar lifters to activate the valves. We got to hear the audio symphony and this cam has a good old-fashioned thump that’s pure musical awesomeness to our petrol-sexual heads.
The turbo kit is purely one-off as Nate took mandrel bent 304 stainless tubing and TIG welded it to perfection. C6 exhaust manifolds were used to retain all the stock accessories, so Stuart doesn’t cook his little behind off without air conditioning, with 3-inch pipes on the hot and cold side. Two Precision billet 67mm 6765 turbos sit comfortably behind each headlight with a matching pair of TiAL MVS 38 wastegates and a 50mm blow-off valve. All that power needs an equally stout tranny and that comes in the form of a Stage 4 Jakes Performance 4L80E with all the billet goodies and its own Baumann Optishift stand-alone controller box as well as a transbrake.
On its first dyno session the GTO was making 630 horsepower and 597 lb-ft of torque at low boost (10 psi) with Carl Thomas doing the tuning, using a 2.5 bar custom operating system and E85 fuel. This was enough to make this journalist squeal like a girl while pricing out a set of turbos on his smartphone on a subsequent ride during the photo shoot. However, Carl went back to work on the HP Tuners software while cranking up the boost, working his way up to 21 psi.
Fine, you say, it goes fast in a straight-line, whoopdy-freaking-do, right? Stuart didn’t come all this way to skimp on the suspension and finer points. Bigger rubber was stuffed in the rear with a custom made mini-tub for the Toyo RA1’s measuring a Pro-Touring sized nod of 335/30R18. Nate was able to massage the front coilovers to accept a Dunlop StarSpec 275/35R18 all without having to stretch or flare the fenders. A cornucopia of Hotchkis, BC, Whiteline, and QA1 parts outline the upgraded suspension to match, as The Driveshaft Shop’s 9-inch IRS conversion eliminates the one weak link.
Inside the GTO gets a mild update with a 6-point roll cage, though we are fairly certain if Stuart hooks up, he’ll have to step up to a big boy cage. The Alpine navigation radio has a slick back-up camera and evokes a solid bump from the Rockford Fosgate amp and Alpine sub.
“I wanted something fast and reasonably priced, but something safer than motorcycles. The modern GTO is uncommon and that appealed to me. It’s also comfortable and I like the looks. The old turbo wasn’t able to come close to what they said it would, I wanted more. I met Nathan and he transformed it into what it is today. I told him I wanted to be streetable and had a goal of 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower.” Stuart went on to say that he’s invested a fair chunk of change on this project and with only a scant 18,000 miles on the odometer, it looks like it has a lot of life left in it.
Are you starting to see the genius, yet? We get it, we get it good.
Car: 2006 Pontiac GTO
Owner: Stuart Allan
Block: ERL Performance Superdeck I, 427cid
Compression ratio: 9:1
Heads: Trick Flow GenX 235, CNC-ported, 2.080 intake, 1.600 exhaust valves
Cam: Comp Cams hydraulic roller, .632/.593-inch lift, 247/242 duration at .050, 116+2 LSA
Rocker arms: Harland Sharp, 1.7 ratio
Pistons: Wiseco, forged
Crankshaft: Callies, forged
Rods: Callies, forged
Throttle body: Nick Williams 102mm
Fuel injectors: Bosch 2000cc (high impedance)
Fuel pump: Magnafuel 4303
Ignition: Stock coil-near-plug
Engine management: Stock E40 ECM, tuned by Carl Thomas
Power adder: twin Precision billet 67mm turbos
Intercooler: Treadstone air-to-air
Wastegate: twin TiAL MVS 38
Exhaust system: C6 exhaust manifolds, 3-inch downpipes, Kooks Afterburner mufflers
Transmission: 4L80E, built by Jakes Performance
Torque converter: Yank PY 3400-stall
Driveshaft: Driveshaft Shop carbon fiber
Front suspension: modified BC coilovers, Hotckis sway bar, Whiteline poly bushings
Rear suspension: G-Force rear control arms, Hotchkis sway bar, QA1 springs, QA1 shocks
Rear end: Driveshaft Shop 9-inch IRS, axles, 3.25 gear, Detroit Truetrac
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch, 6-piston front; stock rear
Wheels: Scarallo Motorsports DR-2 18x9.5 front, 18x12 rear
Front tires: Dunlop Star Spec 275/35/18
Rear tires: Toyo RA1 335/30/18
Current mileage: 18,500