If we come across someone who performs high-end restorations or builds high-performance cars for a living, we ultimately assume that their personal vehicles are probably top show winners or the quickest on the dragstrip. While that may be true in some instances, most often those individuals are so busy working on customers’ projects that they don’t have time to finish their own.
McKinney, Texas-resident Mike White was in a similar situation for a while. The 27-year-old owns Whiteside Customs, which builds high-performance vehicles for its customers. A devout General Motors man, Mike had owned a few Pontiacs in the past. “When the new GTO was introduced, I found that its fit and finish was far superior to anything I had seen from GM up to that point,” he says. “I bought a new Impulse Blue Metallic GTO out of stock from Sewell Pontiac in Dallas, Texas, in September 2004 for just under $28,000. I felt it was a performance bargain that had solid build quality.”
Over the next few years, Mike drove his GTO daily. “I installed headers, a custom exhaust system, and a cold-air-induction package to improve performance; ride-height-reducing front and rear springs, and aftermarket wheels and tires to improve handling; and custom paint accents. I was usually building someone else’s dream car and never had the chance to modify my GTO to the level of a customer’s car,” he says.
Chassis features include a complete Justice package from Pedders Suspension. Up front are
His strong interest toward any GM performance product was piqued when Mike learned of the new-for-2009 Corvette ZR1—a high-performance model boasting a supercharged 6.2L engine generating 638 hp at the crank. “When I saw the Jetstream Blue press car, I immediately fell in love with the color. As much as I liked my GTO’s Impulse Blue Metallic, the Corvette-only color was perfect for the GTO body style and I decided a repaint was necessary.”
Mike and his crew at Whiteside Customs quickly devised a plan for the GTO. “I always thought about building a late-model GTO if ever I had the chance but figured it would be years down the road,” he says. “Well, here was my chance, so I built the GTO to my taste, which is all about pushing the limits without being flashy. In addition to color change, we planned to increase engine output to over 500 rwhp without affecting driveability.”
The GTO’s body was stripped to bare metal and some exterior panels were subtly modified. The late-model Goat was then treated to four coats of PPG K36 primer and sealer. Three coats of PPG DBC Jetstream Blue Metallic and four coats of clear followed. The finish was wet-sanded using sandpaper with grit varying from 1,500 to 3,000, and the final polish was completed using Ferecla Fast Track compound, giving it its mile-deep luster.
In addition to its ZR1-type appearance, Mike wanted ZR1-level performance from his GTO as well. “I feel that the easiest way to improve the performance of the LS1 without sacrificing street manners is with a power adder,” he says. “I thought about supercharging, but I wanted to keep the scoopless ’04 GTO hood. Certain superchargers don’t allow that, and I also wanted more power than what’s commonly available from them. I decided upon a turbocharger system for its proven performance and clean look.”
Mike considered a few different complete turbocharger systems, but based on his past experience with the Stealth Intercooled Twin Turbo System from Air Power Systems and its aesthetically pleasing underhood appearance, he ultimately opted to go that route for his GTO. “We had used them before on customers’ cars, and they always fit and functioned well. They made great power and really kept the engine compartment very clean looking,” he says.
While the GTO’s stock fuel system is sufficient for a mildly modified LS engine, a complet
A catch-can from Billet Prototypes keeps oil from being ingested through the PVC system. T
Each turbocharger is fed fresh air through an open-element air filter that’s located behin
Originally Impulse Blue Metallic, Mike White of McKinney, Texas, bought this ’04 GTO new a
To the untrained eye, the engine compartment of this ’04 GTO looks as if it houses an orig
At the heart of the APS system are twin 16G turbochargers. The units are mounted beneath t
Full instrumentation was standard equipment on the GTO. A Stage 3 clutch package from Pink
The GTO’s factory Blaupunkt sound system gave way to a Pioneer Avic D3 head unit, dual amp
Mike liked the clean look of the flat ’04 GTO hood, so the original was replaced by a repr