For the love of cars: Bonding with a Pontiac GTO

Strangers, complete and total strangers

Gabriel Dopazo and I were just that before we met and neither of us really had a clue about one another that is, of course, up until I had heard about a particular student in Columbus who had a red, loud, and fast GTO. I had always seen the GTO as the modern muscle car who’s design was too ahead for its days and as a hidden gem, so once I heard about this beast, I knew I had to film it.

This particular GTO though had something unique about it. From the outside, the GTO looked entirely stock but once I analyzed it a little further, I started to sense that it was going to be a heck of a ride.

As I pulled up to Gabriel’s house and got to talk to him about the car, I realized that through the power of the love for cars and the automotive industry, I had befriended someone who didn’t even know I existed at one point.

By having the chance to film such an incredible car, I not only drove the fastest car I have ever driven, but also made a new connection and gained a friend out of this experience and for that, I thank you Gabriel.

Now, onto the details of this absolutely mind boggling monster. This 2006 Pontiac GTO is the spawn of a reborn American muscle car and the maniac minds over at SS Performance in Miami. From the factory the car came with a six liter LS2 engine from GM and produced around 400 horsepower at the crank. Now, after the boys at SS Performance installed some goodies in it, the car now produces an insane 600 horsepower at the crank and was dyno tuned to produce around 580 horses to the tire (20 less than the crank HP due to drive train loss), the most awesome part is…it’s Gabriel’s daily.

With that much power on tap, this beastly GTO eats Subaru STI’s, BMW M3’s, Mustangs, Camaros, and even Corvettes for breakfast. This animal also has a superb sound system from JBL and with all the work done to it, I can see why Gabriel values this car as priceless.

Along with this beast, Gabriel also has a 1968 Ford Mustang fastback, the epitome of American muscle. Unfortunately, it was in the shop at the time and wasn’t there for the film day, but I still managed to find out that it has its body and original engine entirely restored and he is planning on having the car turned into a “Pro-Touring” car as time goes on.

After this incredible experience, it really goes to show that the passion for cars really does something special. It doesn’t matter what your political views are, nor does it matter the age difference, race, religion, or background, if two people that speak “car” meet, there’s a bond and a friendship that will form, never to be broken.

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