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Future Find: Low-Mile 2004 Pontiac GTO 6-Speed

The fifth generation Pontiac GTO is a hugely overlooked member of the next class of collector cars. Like so many others, it was unfairly maligned when new based on its superficial qualities that collectors and enthusiasts deemed undesirable; namely, it was bland and not very exciting to look at. Once you move past these critiques, there’s actually a very fine car underneath, and this one listed here on eBay looks like one of the better examples we’ve seen. It has just 15,250 miles and is equipped with a Magnasun 5.7 GTO supercharger kit.

The GTO is currently bid to $14,400 with the reserve unmet. This era of the GTO was one of the more prominent captive imports in recent memory, as it was effectively a loosely disguised version of the Australian-market Holden Monaro. The GTO’s return to the U.S. marketplace was deeply anticipated, but the delay in bringing in to market resulted in the attractive styling being labeled too conservative by the time it actually hit our shores. None other than Bob Lutz was behind the GTO’s revival, and he didn’t hold back his disappointment that it took GM as long as it did to get the car to market.

The 2005 model represented a major shot in the arm, as it received the 400 horsepower LS2 engine. This example is equipped with the 350 b.h.p. LS1, which is undoubtedly improved with the aforementioned supercharger kit. An important detail to note in the description is who maintained the car, an individual known as the “NSX Whisperer” for his prominence in looking after and improving Honda’s iconic supercar.  Ben Schaeffer owns a shop in Maryland that caters to all sorts of specialty vehicles, and it’s definitely a selling point that his hands have been all over this GTO.

The GTO was a solid performance car right out of the gate, and as it seems with so many GM sports models, the company itself was behind the disappointing lack of traction with consumers. However, as time begins to heal all wounds, it’s only fitting that we begin to recognize what a special car this last GTO was, and come to terms with the fact that its relative obscurity was based on qualities that had very little to do with the driving experience. This one is likely a hoot with that supercharger kit bolted on, and should be a blast to drive for many years to come for its next owner.


  1. jrhmobile

    I think I’d rather have the slick hood of this one over the phony scooped hood of the later years. And with a supercharger, I think I’d appreciate the extra casting between the cylinder bores with the LS1.

    But it seems like the paint is fairly faded in the photos. Different shades for different layers like those southwestern vistas you see on postcards. Arrest-Me-Red paint isn’t so attractive as it fades back and forth between strips of pink.

    Like 6
  2. Dave

    It’s a hell of a car to have such plain styling. I used to see one around at work, but I haven’t seen any others for years… or have I?…
    Anyways, I don’t see any faded paint, and it seems very well kept.

    Like 4
  3. BA

    I the magic was gone when you not only have a Aussie car but a Chevy engine with Pontiac seats.

    Like 10
    • ACZ

      If you had owned one, you’d have an entirely different opinion.

      Like 12
      • Jon

        When I first saw one of these, I thought of a Geo Prism or a Sunbird. My opinion hasn’t changed. Sure under the hood is impressive but this deserved much better in the style department

        Like 3
      • Mike Mitchell

        Agreed! I owned one with LS1 6 speed manual. One of the fastest most comfortable fun to drive cars I have had the pleasure of driving.
        Well built and very low key.
        Could drive to a sales call and hit 130 on the way home!

        Like 8
      • Buddy

        If you just DRIVEN or even ridden in one, your opinion of these cars would instantly change.

        Like 2
  4. Howard A Member

    Remember when I said how could anyone hate GM a while back? Correction, how could they hate them THEN,( 60s/70s) today however, I hate GM for cancelling probably the coolest division of ALL US cars. Buick and Olds, boring, Chevy, old lady, but Pontiac, by golly, that spoke volumes in itself on who you were. I had a late friend, Ruthie, single gal in N.Wis., in her 70s, but a wild gal if there ever was one, she had a G8, which isn’t quite a GTO, same drivetrain, I think, but similar driving, I’d imagine. For a newer car, that car flew. 75 mph didn’t seem any different than 45. And at night, I think the dash was orange. Could get in trouble real easy, and I suspect, this car is no different.
    I read the G8 and GTO were both from down under, and a major tip of the hat to them for helping keep the Pontiac tradition alive,,,for a while longer anyway.
    Apparently, there is no word in the Cherokee language for goodbye. Instead, they say “Donadagohvi”, which means, “until again”.

    Like 17
    • stembridge

      Yep, the GTO was a captive import Holden VZ Monaro, the G8 was derived from the VE Commodore, and the Chev SS Sport Sedan from the VF and VFII Commodore. Some of you may also have seen blue lights in your rear-view mirror attached to a Chev Caprice PPV, derived from the Holden WM Caprice (same platform as the Commodore, just a longer wheelbase).

      MY ’17 SS (rebadged to Holden) wasn’t the fastest thing on the road (despite having 415/415 under the hood), but it was an absolute blast to drive and autocross. We took it through 26 US States and into Canada during my ownership.

      This GTO will be a fun ride for someone! GLWS

      Like 9
    • Lee Howell

      I have a 2005 black with black interior,it’s an automatic ,with the lingenfelter performance package ,super fast ,strong in low end and scary on top speeds ,I love everything about ,but the rear suspension ,I wish it had solid axel ,with trailing arms and shocks instead of struts , with 29500 miles on it , she’s the queen of my stable

      Like 1
      • Lee Howell

        Still looking for my 66 gto that got stolen while I was over seas during Vietnam war

        Like 2
  5. Tommy T-Tops

    I’ve tried to love these over the years and the LS1 engine is great (I have 99 SS Camaro same engine). I’ll even give them credit for bringing it to market..but…yeah I can’t fall in love with the styling at all. I’ve seen some with aftermarket recessed grills and 70 Judge style wheel arch stripes that wake it up a bit visually but yeah I’m sorry but it looks like a 94 Civic to me. More than once I’ve been next to one at a light and didn’t even realize it was a GTO until it took off and I heard the exhaust. However- these are still fairly cheap and if you found a low mileage original un-modded (lol not this one) I don’t think you could loose and they are sure to go up in value. GLWTA RIP Pontiac and with the supercharger this thing must be fun to drive.

    Like 6
    • Frank

      There is a guy in Cleveland Oh that had about six of these that were in really nice shape. He pulled the drivelines out of them and put them into some hotrods. I always thought it was a waste as they were all really nice cars, but nobody wanted them.

      Like 1
      • Claudio

        Being in canada , these are extremely rare , you won’t see any waiting around in a lot

        Like 0
  6. Frank Sumatra

    One of the most “under the radar” cars ever built. Very cool.

    Like 7
  7. Gamble

    Grand Am with a V-8

    Like 5
    • ACZ

      Hardly. Again, if you had ever driven one, your view would be entirely different.

      Like 6
      • Dcox

        I’ve owned a 5.7l auto for 18 years. As the man said, don’t knock one until you,very driven one. Has good around town manners. Won’t bounce your head off the headrests unless that’s what you want. The seating comfort and visibility from these things have no competition. A pleasure to run on the interstate. Negatives: gotta be a gymnast to reach the backseat. But pretty comfy when you get there. Thirsty. 20mpg of Premium. Power locks are a pain ITA. Blending into the compact crowd has it’s advantages. But don’t even take it out of the garage if has snow or ice on the road.

        Like 0
  8. David Michael Carroll

    I have a 2005. It is absolutely THE BEST and fastest car I’ve ever owned! One of the very few 400hp cars you could buy then. It took 6 months to be delivered to the dealer but it was worth every single day of waiting.

    Like 7
    • Frank Sumatra

      Seems as if the folks at Holden were glad to be far away from the watchful eye of GM and had a lot of fun. Good on ’em!

      Like 6
  9. Chris Londish Member

    It’s far better looking than some of the stuff that was coming GM America, the Australians were a far more discerning market these ran out the door here as the Holden Monaro and there was also an all wheel drive 427 version but only built in limited numbers and your air force used the chase car for the Blackbird surveillance planes

    Like 3
    • John Eder

      These must be really fast to be able to catch an SR-71…

      “License and registration, please. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?”

      (😉 I worked with these aircraft in the USAF)

      Like 2
    • Dcox

      I’ve owned a 5.7l auto for 18 years. As the man said, don’t knock one until you,very driven one. Has good around town manners. Won’t bounce your head off the headrests unless that’s what you want. The seating comfort and visibility from these things have no competition. A pleasure to run on the interstate. Negatives: gotta be a gymnast to reach the backseat. But pretty comfy when you get there. Thirsty. 20mpg of Premium. Power locks are a pain ITA. Blending into the compact crowd has it’s advantages.

      Like 1
  10. Goz

    i don’t think they’re as bad as a lot think. They are fast and look better than a lot of their competition. Pontiac, i’d say was GM’s best division and i miss’em.

    Like 3
  11. PairsNPaint

    I have to agree with Howard A about GM and how they screwed over Pontiac.

    Also, IMHO, this car is NOT a Pontiac, and it is NOT a GTO. It’s a Holden. I have a neighbor that’s been holden on to one for five years and can’t give it away.

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      How much does he want? Is it a 5.3 or a 6.0? Is it a 6 speed? What is his phone number?

      Like 2
    • ACZ

      Well, come on….where is he, how much does he want?

      Like 0
      • PairsNPaint

        I replied earlier, but I guess it was deleted due to my description of the owner. He’s what one might generously call a jerk. He wants $40k. Car is in Central Florida, has over 100k miles. And even though I don’t get along with him, I wouldn’t post his phone # here.

        Like 0
  12. Frank Drackman

    Probably easily defeated, like the Gen 4 Camaro “Skip-Shift”, but I remember hearing these GTO’s had some kind of annoying “Speed Chime” that went off at a relatively low speed (80?)

    Like 0
  13. Matt S

    I can remember getting behind the wheel of one these when they were new with 9C1 Police Package back when I was “boy in blue”. Damn it was fast, couldn’t wait for my first pursuit! Felt like a rocket ship compared to the beloved “Vic” but the shop mechanics were constantly replacing front end parts.

    Like 2
  14. BMan Lewis

    It’s a shame that after the Aussies and the PMD came up with the best collaborations General Motors had yet that they went outta business…. Not to mention that the American market during that time was tanking and ppl couldn’t afford them

    Like 1
  15. B Wallace

    There used to be a video on YouTube of one of these Street Racing a Volvo Turbo 850 Sedan. The Volvo was a 200000 Mile $1000 used car. They were 5 cylinders rated at 222 HP. The Volvo won I used to own one and they were faster than anyone would think just by looking at it.

    Like 2
    • John Eder

      My 97 850 T-5 wagon surprised quite a few people at stoplights. Shift into “sport” mode and wave goodbye…

      Like 0
  16. Claudio

    On paper it was awesome !
    On the road , it was awesome , ls engine and real brakes, real handling, real performance, real creature comforts,too bad they did not produce a convertible as i would own one

    Like 0

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