The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Monday, January 01, 2007

GMI Virtual Tuner #2: Saturday Night Drifter: 2004 Pontiac GTO

GMI Virtual Tuner #2: Saturday Night Drifter: 2004 Pontiac GTO
By Ming

GMI Virtual Tuner List:
1. 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx / Malibu V6: LINK to GMI Tuner #1
2. 2004 Pontiac GTO
3. 2005 Cobalt SS
4. 2006 Pontiac G6 GT Coupe
5. 2005 Monte Carlo
6. 2005 Saab 9-2x - or your choice here?

INTRO: I decided that if I saw yet another magazine article on a modified Scion or Civic with a paint job heralding it as the "New Breed of Speed" I might just hurl. So I decided something needed to be done by making some "Fantasy" modifications to new-ish GM cars. In the first, I took a fellow Staff Member's Malibu Maxx as my inspiration, came up with a theme, and went with it. The result is a list of what COULD be done to his car with a budget of about $3500.00, and several hours of bolt-on modifications that don't require an extensive amount of expertise or a degree from an a automotive engineering school to accomplish.

In this go-around, I thought it would be interesting to take advantage of all of the GTO aftermarket support out there and come up with an amateur "Drift" GTO. Of course it would have to be a regular weekday driver as well, so modifications on the scale of Rhys Millen's drift car are out of the question. And the $3500 budget still stands.

One key elements of building a Drift car is chassis stiffness, so a large chunk of the money has gone in to that. However, since this GTO will be a daily driver, we'll not go so far as adding a roll cage. The other selections I made were based on various tips found on drifting websites, and though I'm sure there will be some parts that will be disputed for their worth in a drift car, I think its a pretty solid package for an attempt at amateur drifting events.

It's all done in fun, though, and to see what $3500.00 worth of modifications can buy you.

Below are listed the modifications I came up with, and you are free to suggest changes or tell us what you think the ultimate GTO drift car on a budget would be built from. Also, it would be interesting to get your take on another variation of a GTO performer - say a straight line drag car or a road racing track car.

Project Saturday Night Drift GTO


2004 Pontiac GTO
Engine: 5.7-liter V8
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual With Overdrive
Horsepower @ RPM 350@5200
Torque @ RPM 365@4000


Engine / Exhaust / Drivetrain:

LS1 SPEED High Flow Air Induction ($169.95)

2004 GTO Magnaflow exhaust ($659.99) * Welding required

2004 GTO Stage 1 SPEC Clutch Kit ($289.99)

Braking / Suspension / Tires:

Hawk GTO HPS Brake Pads - Front ($84.99)

Eibach Pro-Kit Sport Lowering Spring Set ($239.99)

SportsRyder Stage-1 Performance Strut and Shock Upgrade ($499.99)

Chassis Rigidity / Swaybars:

Hotchkis GTO Performance Swaybar set ($359.99)

BMR Subframe Rigidity Connectors ($329.95) * Welding required

BMR Strut Tower Brace - ($179.95)


RK Sport GTO Hood: ($579.99)

Hood and Exterior vinyl graphics at local shop ($100.00)


GTO DRIFT Cap ($18.00)

Total: $3412.78 + S/H - approx. $3500.00

(Image from


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