A total of 1,165 Brazen Orange GTOs were produced for the ’06 model year, but only one of
For many hobbyists, how they ultimately select one car over another at a Pontiac dealership to become its owner is a story they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives. Some say they were magically drawn to a particular car; others say they established a bond with the car from the moment they saw it.
Jason Baird, a CNC programmer in Portland, Oregon, says of his ’06 Brazen Orange GTO, “It called my name from the moment I pulled into the lot at Auto Town Pontiac in Milwaukie, Oregon, in March 2006.”
First though, Jason had to get past an obstacle. He explains: “When I went to the dealer, my mind was set on a Phantom Black Metallic (PBM) GTO with black interior and a manual trans. I test drove it and 3 others of the 10 new GTOs the dealership had—Cyclone Gray, Quicksilver Metallic, and Impulse Blue Metallic.”
Zoom your eyes in on any one of the four iForged custom wheels and you’ll discover Brazen
Jason was confident his black-or-balk attitude was the be-all and end-all, and that he’d go home with what he planned. Despite his steadfastness, however, he couldn’t get the orange GTO off his mind.
“During the purchase negotiations, something unexplainable constantly kept drawing me towards it,” he says. “I would take a break from the back and forth with the salesman and go look at it. I did that about five times. Finally, the contract sat in front of me for the black GTO. With a pen in hand, I just needed to sign on the bottom line. That’s when I turned around for one more glance at the orange GTO. I realized at that moment that what I truly wanted was not the black GTO, but the orange one. After a moment, I turned back to the salesman and said, ‘I changed my mind, I want the orange one instead.’”
Jason then asked about the car’s mileage—70 miles, he recalls. “The sales manager told me the GTO was a highlight at Pontiac’s official display during the Portland International Auto Show. Going through the sales paperwork before I purchased the car, I found more details of what he said. The dealer bought the car from GM, GM bought it back and displayed it at the auto show, and then the dealer bought the GTO back from GM as a used car after the show ended. (The General Motors Vehicle Information Services report, which Jason later procured, states that the GTO was a “Spec-Event Used Car.”)
The factory LS2 retains its stock bottom end but is upgraded with an aggressive cam, a FAS
Unlike the days when Pontiac would pull its earmarked GTO show cars from the factory line and adorn them with wild one-off paint, upholstery, and trim, Jason’s GTO remained factory stock for its starring role in Pontiac’s display. All that was about to change—as soon as Jason drove it off the dealer’s lot. “Even before I bought my GTO, I knew my plan was to modify it and get it the way I wanted as fast as I could,” he says.
It’s easier to see how he did it by looking at a year-by-year timeline, which shows the highlights of the GTO’s transformation from 2006 through 2011. Jason also tested the GTO’s performance, so we’ll show how his quarter-mile e.t.’s, mph, and 60-foot times improved along the way.
With only a few hundred miles on his new GTO, Jason installed a K&N cold-air intake, 18-inch chrome wheels, and Flowmaster 40-series Delta Flow mufflers.
The Team SCSS Gator Gauge Pod houses Aeroforce Interceptor GTO Edition scan gauges.
At 12,000 miles, he added JBA shorty headers, a Holden Bluetooth-connectivity kit, an oil catch can, and upgraded speakers and amps.
Performance benchmark: 13.44 at 103.92 mph, 2.07 60-foot
“After my first car show (Tiger Run, May 2008), I received a lot of positive comments and a trophy; I think that’s when the mod bug went from a simple bite to unleashing its venom. I became my own worst critic after that, but with each positive comment, I felt more sure that I was on the right track and doing it right,” Jason says.