“I always dreamed of having a GTO,” Andrew Domingo told me. “One day one of my customers pulled up in one, and I was really admiring it. He told me ‘Hey, it’s for sale.’”
Andrew didn’t hesitate, and his dream came true. Four years ago, he became the owner of a 2006 version of Pontiac’s legendary muscle car.
Andrew drove it around in pretty stock condition until an oil leak showed up earlier this year. “The oil leak was coming from the pan gasket,” he told me. “I had to drop the engine just to get to it. I got some money together and did a complete rebuild.”
The LS2’s short block and heads are stock, but Andrew installed a very healthy 224/230 Comp Cams camshaft (the numbers refer to the intake and exhaust duration at .050 lift) along with a high-flow cold air intake from GTOG8TA.com and an MSD two step rev limiter.
Andrew also installed Texas Speed long tubes. I’ve been hanging around hot rods for almost 50 years and I’d never heard that term before. I had to ask: what are long tubes?
“Headers,” Andrew told me. “Out here, people call them long tubes.”
I learn something new every day on this job.
Andrew took his GTO, with what he described as “mostly bolt on” modifications, to a local shop for a dyno tune session. Andrew was guessing he’d get about 400 horsepower, and he got 419 on the first pull. But four more pulls and the related tuning in between resulted in 432 horses at the GTO’s rear wheels. That means there’s probably over 500 hp at the flywheel. Pretty stout from 364 cubic inches.
Be sure to check out the picture below where Andrew faded out the hood to let the LS2 show up underneath.
All that power is transferred through an Advanced Clutch Technology clutch to the stock Pontiac six-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential. Andrew controls that six-speed with an MGW-P short-throw shifter, which is a modified MGW made to fit the later GTOs.
At this point, the Goat’s suspension is completely stock. There are two reasons for this: 1) Andrew likes to keep everything looking as OEM as possible. “Out here,” he said about California, “if your car looks modified it’s just a reason to get pulled over.” And 2) Andrew doesn’t want a stiffer or lowered suspension because that tends to minimize weight transfer to the rear wheels under hard acceleration.
There are replica C5 Z06 wheels, 17 x 9.5, on all four corners. Andrew gets a lot of questions from other GTO owners about how he fit the Z06 wheels on his Pontiac. They fit just fine in the rear, but the front wheels needed a 15 mm spacer. He’s got Toyo tires for street use, along with a set of Toyo “Triple 8″ R888 tires, for when he needs them. The GTO has four wheel power disk brakes – to which Andrew’s added a front brake line lock.
There were only two interior colors available on 2006 GTOs: red, and the black that Andrew has. The interior is all factory stock, and is the beautiful Quicksilver metallic paint.
If you’ve been paying attention you’ve noticed the GTO has a rev limiter, heavy duty clutch, short-throw shifter, line lock, a suspension set up for weight transfer, and a set of Toyo Triple 8s.
Hmmm. Sounds like a car that’s being set up for the drag strip.
The only reason Andrew hasn’t already hit the strip in his GTO is that the tracks have been closed so far this year due to the coronavirus. But Andrew’s hopeful they’ll be open in July. And he’s also hopeful his GTO will run in the 12s.
“I have this app on my phone where you can try out your quarter mile time,” he told me. “I don’t know if it’s very accurate but it’s telling me I’m in the 12 second club. Hopefully I can get to 12.4s, 12.5s, but I doubt that. Maybe high 12s.”
One thing late model muscle cars have in spades over the 60s and 70s versions is better handling. Andrew reports his GTO handles “really well”. And he knows about handling. He used to be a JDM (Japanese domestic market) sports car enthusiast, having previously owned a Toyota MR2 and a Lexus SC 200.
But he was swayed by good old American horsepower. “My brother had a C5 Corvette,” Andrew told me. “It inspired me to have an LS motor. I kept on dreaming of the GTO.”
Future plans include suspension mods to help drag strip performance, upgraded axles and drive shaft, and maybe adding nitrous. Because 432 horsepower just isn’t enough anymore.
“Once you get used to the tune,” he said, “it’s like, ‘OK this car feels slow now’. I want more power. I’ve got a lot of plans for this car. I could dump a lot of money into it. I gotta calm down.”
He’d also like to build a vintage hot rod one day such as a ‘65 El Camino or a Chevelle or an early C-10.
Andrew’s enthusiasm for his GTO and for hot rodding was clear when we talked. But it’s also about more than just cars.
Talking about those future mods for his Goat, he said, “There’s always more. You want to keep doing more. Same thing with life. You’ve got to keep doing more for your life – for yourself.”
That approach is going to continue to bring Andrew success – and not just in hot rodding.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Domingo
Click here to see more photos of Andrew’s Goat.
You can follow Andrew on Instagram via @angry_goat510