Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen Editor
1/7/22 8:50 a.m.

The recipe for the traditional muscle car was simple. Take a plain-Jane, midsized offering and re-engineer it for performance: big engine, big tires and, in many cases, big graphics. That plan of attack gave us a laundry list of tire shredders, most sporting now-iconic badges on their flanks: Oldsmobile 442, Chevelle SS, Plymouth Road Runner and more. Pontiac’s entry into …

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06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/7/22 9:17 a.m.

Been watching GTO prices for the last few months now.  Clean 2006 examples were up to 30K back in November, they are starting to come back down to earth, but not quickly.  

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/7/22 9:56 a.m.

Another car I should have held on to for a few more years....

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/7/22 10:04 a.m.

I should have bought one back in 2019-2020, when even 2006 models were sub 15K.  Not anymore, hard to find a 2004 for under 15K now. 

EDIT: Prices are coming down quicker than I thought.  I just got an Autotrader alert with a 2004 for $14,900 and a 2006 for $15,995.  Still more than I would have paid pre-covid, like everything else. 

 

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
1/7/22 10:54 a.m.

When I bought my IS300, I was shopping between the Sportcross, E36 M3 in Techno Violet, or a 6 speed GTO. At the time, the GTO was the most expensive of the 3, but after talking to owners, it probably would've been the best of the 3 for long highway runs, the seats were excellent. High-mileage 04s were a fuzz under 10k back then..

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/7/22 2:00 p.m.

I had an '06 a ways back.  Was really a pretty darn good car.  A couple of minor bushing replacements fixed basically everything that was wrong with it.

It was a really fun car, but didn't make for a particularly good track car.  It really consumed some very expensive consumables on track.  

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/22 2:51 p.m.

A few more notes on the GTO:

The Red interior was available on Quicksilver, Torrid Red, and Phantom Black all 3 years and was fairly common. The Blue interior was only available on Impulse Blue all three years and is actually quite rare.

All of the colors had color-coordinated gauges and stitching except the very rare Pulse Red 04 which had grey gauges and red GTO embroidery on the seats. Yes, that means a yellow GTO has yellow gauges and stitching, a red one has red, etc.

The 04 only Cosmos Purple only came with matching Cosmos Purple interior, the only color without a Black interior option.

The rarest color/trans combo of all was the 04 Barbados Blue 6-speed with just 271 made.

You could order a flat 04 hood from the factory still in 05 as an option. Just 24 were made!!

The factory tire size of 245 is about the max due to the suspension design, tiny wheelwells, and narrow body. You can get more, but there will be compromises. This is mostly what holds it back from autocross and track work.

The power seat motors are the slowest ones known to mankind, but the interior is easily the best GM had made for decades. When you turn on the car, a little GTO in the gauge cluster does a burnout.

Fun fact, the 04 GTO's engines are weird. They are all LS6 blocks and intake manifolds (yes, same casting numbers as a C5 Z06 and everything) with LS1 heads.

I once held the 7th quickest all-stock GTO pass in the country with a 13.08@106 in 07ish with ThunderCougarFalconGoat's 05 6-speed.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/8/22 12:25 p.m.
The power seat motors are the slowest ones known to mankind, but the interior is easily the best GM had made for decades.

So very, very slow.

Supposedly they speed them up for the 06 models, but I raced a guy with an 05 and the difference was negligible, if it was anything at all.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
1/9/22 10:08 a.m.
BA5 said:
The power seat motors are the slowest ones known to mankind, but the interior is easily the best GM had made for decades.

So very, very slow.

Supposedly they speed them up for the 06 models, but I raced a guy with an 05 and the difference was negligible, if it was anything at all.

A power seat race?  

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/9/22 11:25 a.m.

In reply to A 401 CJ :

If there are two of anything in the GRM community, a race will take place.  If there's only one, someone will break out a stopwatch.  It's the way . . .

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
1/9/22 12:56 p.m.

I remember when my buddy had an 06 how nice the interior was compared to my 02 Corvette.  Everything just felt and looked nicer.  

Unfortunately lack of big tire and weaker driveline than a comparable Camaro or Corvette has sort of led them to boulevard cruiser status.  

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/9/22 4:14 p.m.
A 401 CJ said:
BA5 said:
The power seat motors are the slowest ones known to mankind, but the interior is easily the best GM had made for decades.

So very, very slow.

Supposedly they speed them up for the 06 models, but I raced a guy with an 05 and the difference was negligible, if it was anything at all.

A power seat race?  

Yes. And looking back through the GTO forum I frequented at the time I don't think I was even the only one to have done that!

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/9/22 6:24 p.m.

When I bought my E46 in 2006, GTOs were too new to be in my budget, and I needed 4 doors.

I held on to the E46 through the entire time it would have made even slightly reasonable sense to have traded it for a GTO.

Unfortunate timing for me, because I really would have liked to own one.

 

nervousdog
nervousdog HalfDork
6/19/22 8:27 p.m.

I loved my Cosmos purple. Still miss it sometimes.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/11/22 8:30 p.m.

I could never figure out when they didn't at least make the SAP front end standard. It was a lot less staid than the basic front bumper cover.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/11/22 8:30 p.m.

I could never figure out when they didn't at least make the SAP front end standard. It was a lot less staid than the basic front bumper cover.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
9/12/22 4:43 p.m.

I do regret not buying the 2004 they had on the lot new for $16000. It was a fire sale on these towards the end of the first model year.

Opti
Opti Dork
9/12/22 7:39 p.m.

If people are actually looking for these they need to know the GTo specific stuff is expensive. Random trim pieces and body panels were much higher than the other LS powered cars they will probably be price shopped with.

Answer is by a nice one, a beat one will be expensive to bring up to spec.

The suspension work, but wear out quickly by this point, it will probably need all the bushings.

Ignition housing problems are common and used to be expensive to fix properly, we fixed a reoccurring issue with cleaning up the cast housing with a dremel, I'm not sure if anyone has documented or come up with a solution that isn't replace the housing.

Tint and leather conditioning is crucial. The seats are nice, but when not taken care of they deteriorate quickly. When they were new, we saw a bunch of shrinking on the back seat on cars without tint and regular conditioning.

If you want to make power get an LS2 car, the large bore LS are so much better for making power, especially on a budget.

When I was working on them, options were limited for GTO specific upgrades, but where out there, just a little more expensive, and the cars have some idiosyncrasies, like the diff fluid, so just do your research and you'll be good.

They are awesome cars, capable and comfortable. I always thought of them as more BMW than GM, but with a reliable power train. I really love them.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/13/22 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Harvey :

I just missed out on a Yellow 2004 a guy was selling for $6000.  It may have been a scam or a basket case (or both) but it was gone before I could take a look at it.

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