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May 2011 GM High-Tech Performance Letters - Off The Wire

Apr 13, 2011
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Six-Speed Dismay
I’m writing to express my dismay at your recent article about Circle D Transmission and their 6L80E upgrades. Even if it weren’t for the fact that you went through the entire process of meeting with Mike Kurtz at Century Transmission only to run a story about Circle D instead, the article does almost nothing to provide any concrete evidence that Circle D’s upgrade is any better than having a stock transmission. One of the main issues I have with the article is that you/they weren’t able to offer up a single example of a car running one of their upgrades, apart from a brief mention of the Camaro Circle D uses as a test vehicle. Now as for Century Transmission, that’s a different story altogether. Although you can accuse me of being biased since I’m already a Century customer, I think I have good reason to be. Not only does Mike Kurtz already have several of his 6L80 upgrades out there in the field as we speak, he also has one in my car which is a 600-rwhp LS7 that has run a best of 9.950 at 139.26 and will run 10.0’s on pretty much any given day as well as regularly pulling the wheels off the ground. Mike built my first transmission and when it failed after 83 track passes for a reason unrelated to the clutch packs, he immediately built me another one and as of last Saturday I have 92 very low 10-second passes on it.

gmhtp 01 O May 2011 Gm High Tech Performance Letters Mail 2/2

As a very active member of the Corvette community, I felt your article actually did a disservice because like politics, people want results, not rhetoric, and unfortunately that’s all your article really contained. Simply saying something is "near bulletproof" doesn’t make it true, whereas taking it to the track virtually every weekend and beating on it as hard as I can, does. Thanks for your time.

-Christopher Martin
Brentwood, CA

This story was meant to be an introduction and exploration into this "mysterious," new transmission. In the future we will look into some sort of test...perhaps with the help of Century. If you are looking for real world proof, than look no further than one of our past feature cars--David Brooks’ ’10 Camaro SS, built by Late Model Racecraft. Over 1,000-rwhp in a 4,000-pound car with (now) mid-9-second e.t.’s sounds like results to us. Mike Kurtz and Century Transmission are phenomenal builders; however, if you thumb through the pages of this magazine you will see several others. It is up to you to figure out which you’d like to do business with.

Houston, We Have A Problem
Dear GMHTP, I am currently deployed to the Helmand Province, Afghanistan with 1st Battalion 10th Marine Regiment. I own an ’02 Pontiac Trans Am with a few bolt-ons already installed. I have been out of the loop for a few months on what’s in the magazine, and I’m really wanting to make my car hit the 11’s once I return. I would just like to know what are some budget-friendly things I can do to meet my goals, and if there are any shops in the Houston, Texas, area that could help me get my car built while I am here. I know there is LMR, but I only know a little bit about them and they seem to be doing a lot of higher-end big turbo cars. If you have any advice or a list of parts, or even a few mag articles that could help me out, I’d appreciate it. I love GMHTP, and it really sucks not being able to get it out here.

-LCPL Chad Rousseau

LMR is an excellent shop as are several others in the Houston area. I would suggest calling or emailing a couple different shops and see which inspires the most confidence and satisfaction (rather than the best deal, as we are all accustomed to doing). Going 11’s is easy enough in an LS1 car; a shop can help you figure out which option suits the rest of your needs and expectations.


Please send all letters to:, or mail to: GM High-Tech Performance, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. All letters are presumed for publication and GMHTP reserves the right to edit all letters.



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