Father Approves! Jim Wangers weighs in on Pontiac's next Goat.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Jim Wangers, the “Father of the GTO.”

    By JOHN D. STOLL
    (17:35:42 June 25, 2003)

    Agree or disagree, those who know the name will appreciate his words.

    Jim Wangers spent 17 years pushing Pontiacs for the General (including a few on the track) and is most known as “Father of the GTO” for his high-octane ad work on the GTO. Wangers owns six GTOs, and recently was fortunate enough to drive the next generation. He dropped us a line to tell us what he thinks.

    -----

    AW: Having driven the new GTO, is the criticism surrounding it fair?

    Wangers: A lot of that criticism is unfounded in that they were looking for this thing to be an absolute retro in its styling.

    I have to tell you, when I got behind the wheel it really blew me away because somebody has spent the time to try, at least in the driving experience, to take you back to those muscle cars of the ’60s.

    This thing is really drunk with torque, which is not true of some other versions of the LS1. The torque curve is almost a straight line, coming in at two grand and carrying up to way over four grand. I’m an old Woodward street racer, and most of the races, because we didn’t have any tires, were taken from a 20-mph roll, so that’s where I kind of tested this car. This car felt just like those good old 389s or 400s or 421s of the ’60s.

    AW: How did it handle compared to the original?

    Wangers: The handling on it was pretty damn good. They had a taxing slalom course that enabled us to get it sideways, which is something of course with muscle cars you never even thought about doing. The originals were just plain piss-poor. They were designed to go straight. This car is right up there where it has to be.

    AW: People have criticized this car for its looks. Even after driving, would you say it has questionable styling cues?

    Wangers: It isn’t what I call an “Oh my God” car.

    The fact that they don’t have a hood scoop is critical
    . According to GM, it is because of EPA certification requirements and their hope to get the car out as a 2004 model. If GM had put a hood scoop on it, it would have interrupted the airflow, which would mean additional certification time, which is why they just could not and still meet the same release date. In fact, somebody said, “We were thinking about putting a decal hood scoop on it,” which would be flat. That would really be asking for criticism.

    But I do think the car has an appealing look really. It is conservative and sophisticated and that will have appeal to the people who currently drive Bimmers, Mercedes, Acuras or Audis, but who also remember the GTO.

    -----

    www.pontiac.com/gto
     
  2. 6SpeedTA95

    6SpeedTA95 OT Supporter

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    I'm all for this new GTO, it doesn't look all retro like I was hoping but its hard to argue with the LS1 motor coupled with either the 4 speed auto or the 6 speed manual transmission. I think it'll be one hell of a car.
     
  3. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

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    :bigok:

    Even though it'll be a couple of years until I'm in the market to get one, the 'rents are seriously talking about ordering one :x:
     
  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    If Jim approves, you know it's good. :bigthumb:

    I hope they go with a nicely styled ram air/scoop setup like the '65-'67 GTO's had. They were smooth looking.
     
  5. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

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    I seriously hope they add them for the '05 models, if not there's always the aftermarket :bigthumb:
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It's on the way for '05.

    I'm sure the aftermarket will be rife with all sorts of stuff for these cars, not to mention the HSV stuff Lutz wants to sell through Pontiac dealers here.
     
  7. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

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    Had almost forgot about that (the hsv stuff) :cool:

    Any news on if SLP is gonna work on them? Heard some people talking about it but havn't seen anything official :dunno:
     
  8. idontgiveashit

    idontgiveashit I eat rice

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    i heard there was only going ot be 15000 of them produced
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    17,000.

    I have no clue about SLP, my money would say yes though.
     

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