The winner of the Late Model Performance Playoffs—based on YOUR votes—is the 2006 Pontiac GTO.
The question you might be asking yourself is: In a tournament with the Camaro ZL1 and Z/28, the new Corvette Stingray, the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, the ’13 SRT Viper and the 2013 Shelby GT500, how in the heck did an Australian captive import based on the Holden Monaro slaughter all opponents?
There are a few reasons. Let’s talk about them.
1. People love Pontiac.
2. People voting in this competition showed a clear preference for aftermarket performance and wrenching on their cars, over factory performance.
3. Pontiac GTO owners and enthusiasts proved to be a passionate bunch and organized a get-out-the-vote campaign that pushed their favorite car to victory.
4. The 2006 Pontiac GTO is powered by General Motors’ six-liter, 400-horsepower LS2 V8, the same engine powering the concurrent year’s Chevrolet Corvette.
The result isn’t particularly popular with people who love Ford, Mopar, Chevy, first- and second-generation GTOs, or people who consider the fourth-gen Goat to be little more than a spunky Grand-Am.
We were accused of taking money from GM to pimp their now-defunct Pontiacs. (We’re still waiting for our checks.)
A whole bunch of people questioned one another’s manhood and called each other names. Even the girls.
Many highly inappropriate and mean-spirited Internet memes were shared.
In other words, it was a whole lot of fun, and we’re probably doing it again next year.
If you don’t want “really fast Grand Ams” beating your favorite late-model performance car, you will only have one choice: Organize a get-out-the-vote campaign stronger than the GTO faithful, or stronger than Diddy’s.
The Road to Glory
To sit atop the throne, the Pontiac GTO ran through a gauntlet of beloved late-model performance vehicles, including the:
2013 Shelby Mustang GT500
2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray
2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28
2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS6
If you own or are interested in learning more about the performance potential of the ’06 GTO, you need only peruse the Pontiac GTO section of Summit Racing’s website.
Congratulations, Pontiac GTO.
You proved that conventional wisdom isn’t always true.
You proved that life is still full of surprises.
You proved that people are still passionate about modern vehicles and that our hobby lives on.
And just maybe, you proved that Pontiac will never really be gone.
Love it! now get Summit to add a 04-06 gto parts section in the catalog Lol
Such beautiful words!
fantastic write up, matt.
[…] GTO: Late Model Performance Champion 2006 Pontiac GTO is Your Late Model Performance Playoffs Champion – OnAllCylinders __________________ President: Susquehanna Valley GTO firstname.lastname@example.org Public Relations […]
Awesome write up, sir!
Ooorah lets go Baad Goat
The result doesn’t surprise me. I’ve owned eight 5.0 Mustangs and two GTO’s (Monaro’s). I’ll never have another Mustang.
GTWOAH! even top gear said it was their preferred car.
I have to say, if you put a Trans Am WS6 side by side with the GTO and the same horsepower the Trans Am Will definitely beat the GTO, the GTO is almost 400 lbs. heavier.
Between these two, the Goat would still win though. But that is not even the point of this competition. The GTO went up against a 2013 GT500 and 2014 Corvette Stingray, of course it is going to lose to these cars stock for stock. This competition was much more than “the fastest car” concept, but more around the overall desirability of a car.
Not entirely true. That’s only 4/10ths of a second. Which isn’t much, at that point it comes down to driver. My best friend has a stock ws6, and I can win with my stock 04 gto.
Lol this is a joke. Every car it beat to win eclipses the GTO in every way
Apparently not or it wouldnt have won! LOL!
im honestly surprised the ws6 didnt win, ive seen alot of them run and they are damn fast, never actually seen a gto do more than cruise around town but the only guy I knew that owned one, LS2 6-speed said it was slow as hell.. but tough to know without 1st hand experience I suppose
Make this a poster?
This should show that the GTO shouldn’t be underestimated. There’s a reason why all these GTO owners have voted because it is a great all around car yes it’s a bit on the heavy side but it comfortable doesn’t have all those driver assist. A simple rwd car that loves to swing that rear end all over the place.
I love my GTO. Very comfy, beautiful interior, smith ride and lots of power!!! Long live Pontiac!
Yeah boi go the ozzy muscle. Well done holden for making a great coupe. Love them, got one for ever live in oz
I thought this was about performance when I voted. I like the GTO’s, but they won’t hold a candle to many of the other contestants in stock form. They have such limited wheelwells in which to fit bigger tires. This limits usable horsepower. They are great cars though, deserving to win on popularity alone.
“Weeeeee are the champions my friends…. We’ll keep in fighting till the end…. We are the champions, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. No time for losers cuz we are the champions… OF THE WORLD!” -Queen
Hey Matt Griswold, ‘thrown’???? Really?
Yes! Currently in my second semester of remediation spelling class. My mom and dad are very proud of my C-.
Got a good laugh out of this one this morning. Sometimes, slowing down and proofreading just a little bit harder is worth the time and effort.
The GTO isn’t the fastest or lightest. It doesn’t have a heads up display, magnetic suspension, built-in navigation, different performance modes, etc. It doesn’t hold your hand. However, it is a great car and mine has exactly what I wanted: a 6.0 LS2, a T-56, and tremendous potential for upgrades. Yes – it was made in Australia (by a wholly owned division of GM). So what? I love mine, had it since it was brand new, and plan to have it for many years to come.
I bought my GTO as something fun to drive, new, late 2006. I fell in love with the thing. It is no accident Top Gear called it ‘magical’ and named it “favorite muscle car”, or that it won this contest. Well done Australia. (and GM for the awesome LS engines). Lacks bells and whistles like nav I have zero interest in. Yet still was way underpriced in the US because the fixed costs had already been paid by its run in AU.
Notice the 1986-87 Turbo Buicks were not in the game! lol Would have been too unfair to the competition! lol