The Pontiac GTO is a rare breed. To put it in the best way that we can, we’ll just say that the car has a very niche position in the landscape of GM EFI performance. The platform turned out to be one of our favorite touring vehicles, simultaneously managing to fly under the radar, but that’s a whole other story entirely.
A heavy curb weight and lack of room for instant improvement offset the perks of ownership of a GTO. In addition, the somewhat sloppy independent rear suspension needed modification to run any kind of decent rear tire combination and put power to the ground. As a result, the majority was deterred from the possibility of building the Australian cruiser to meet its drag racing potential.
Luckily for us as GTO enthusiasts, not all owners think that way. In fact, Travis Wester, the owner of this beauty lays claim to the fastest independent rear suspension GTO in existence. He really went above and beyond with this build.
Just how does he go about achieving such a goal? It all starts with a 427 Warhawk powerplant, complete with aftermarket crankshaft and connecting rods, complimented with an F1R ProCharger at the heart of the build. Of course in order to obtain the title of “fastest” in almost any category, you’re going to need a good automatic transmission. In this situation, that void is filled with a TH400. Manuals are great and all, but when you’re making big numbers like this they just don’t provide the consistency and longevity that needs to be there to get the job done.
When all is said and done, the Aussie coupe makes 1062hp to the rear tires. When we caught up with the car at this year’s Holley LS Fest, it was clocking in in the mid 8-second range with the help of a few bags of concrete over the back wheels in the name of traction. After seeing this thing make a few passes down the 1320,’ we’re sold on the sleek silver Holden and we don’t really care what any naysayer may think.
Jesse is currently a senior at the University of Delaware and has been around cars his entire life. From a GTO and a C5 Corvette, to a CTS-V and a C6 Z06, he’s always seemed to have his fingers in LS performance. He is a student by day and a YouTuber and automotive journalist by night!