From street sideshows to aspiring to professional level drift competition.
Whether you’re for it or against it, the impromptu sideshow phenomenon is more popular than ever and Jose Aguilar, owner of this 2006 Pontiac GTO was once heavily involved in the makeshift events. If you’re not familiar, the sideshow consists of a group of cars, trucks, and spectators effectively shutting down a section of street or freeway to perform burnouts, short drifts, and assorted automotive mayhem. It’s as dangerous as it sounds and for Aguilar, was more of a springboard than a long-term affair.
“I started going to sideshows in 2010 in my 2001 SLP SS and from there, I went through a lot of cars.
I used to go to the sideshows often and noticed how much attention I got from companies. Then I was told to stay off the streets, so that’s what I did. That’s pretty much where we are now.” Being involved in the drift world meant being surrounded by Nissans and Mazdas, but as a dedicated GM loyalist, all his drift-related builds - a number that runs well into the dozens - have come from the automaker. He adds, “One day I found out that people were using the GTO/Monaro platform for Australian drift events, so I knew there was aftermarket support for the car.”
His first GTO was a 2004 model that only cost him a set of wheels.
He adds, “I used to have fun with my 2001 F-body Camaro and I had some Iforged wheels on it that a buddy of mine really wanted. I ended up trading him those wheels for his 2004 GTO shell.”
Aguilar would dedicate a few months of his time to bringing it up to drift duty standards and getting some valuable seat time, however, it was short lived. A trip to pick up additional parts for the build resulted in another GTO altogether – this one almost completely bare, except for a rollcage. Everything he’d installed over those last few months was pulled off and moved over to the newly acquired 2006 model you see pictured.
Power In Spades
Powering the build is an LS3 courtesy of LS Georgdie with ported and polished heads, a GP Tuning cam,
and a Vortech YSI V7 blower.
If the sound of tires being obliterated as Aguilar gets sideways allows it, you might hear the Turbosmart blow-off valve as the car is put to work.
Dual 450s and single 300 Deatschwerks pumps within a Nuke Performance drop-in surge tank feed ID1700s and support the 15psi bump that nets over 830hp with 675 lb.-ft. of torque. Black Bird Transmission beefed up the car’s T56 before a Mantic twin disc clutch with iron discs was added and backed by Drive Shaft Shop’s axles and drive shaft.
Of course, factory suspension wasn’t going to keep pace with Aguilar’s skills and to gain complete control of the car while going straight or sideways, a set of Maverick Man inverted monotube coilovers were installed.
Hotchkis sway bars, Showtime Customs and Fabrication angle kit help dial things in and custom ducts to cool the rear mounted radiators.
Touches were applied to the interior to help control and monitor this beast starting with a Holley ProDash. Just in front of the updated cluster is a classic Nardi steering wheel controlling it all.
The original seats were pulled for a Sparco Grid Seat for the driver side and Evo 2 for those who are brave enough to do a drive along.
In order to squeeze more tire under the GTO’s arches, a Battle Aero widebody kit was installed and allows for 18x10 Kansei Roku wheels in the rear with a 275/35,
and an 18x9 wheel up front.
Most of the car was painted Nardo Grey by J&M Auto Customs, with the exception of the Maverick Man Carbon Fiber Cowl Hood; it’s shiny gel coat highlighting the stark contrast to the muted grey body color.
Even with the additional clearance, the hood’s been trimmed to make room for the large charge piping and 102mm throttle body that feeds a carbon fiber intake manifold.
Other hits of black contrast come by way of a Ducktail Spoiler
and sleek rear Carbon Fiber Diffuser
Unlike the short blasts of all out power that take place in drag racing competition, drifting requires full throttle romps that often last much longer, sometimes going well beyond the car’s intended parameters in order to maintain momentum.
As a result, things don’t always go as planned. “I’ve blown head gaskets on my LS6 set up and in 2019, blew up my fresh LS3,” Aguilar recalls. “It gets destroyed a lot but comes back clean the majority of the time.”
Ready For The Big Leagues
The goal for Aguilar now is a Pro Am license so that he can claw his way up the ranks and eventually compete at Formula Drift’s pro level. His regular weekly drift exploits at Sonoma Raceway’s organized drift series provides a safe terrain to develop and progress and with so many events now under his belt, he’s become increasingly skilled and undoubtedly comfortable tossing this GTO around.
Engine Forged LS3 by LS Geordie; ported and polished heads; GP Tuning cam; Nick Williams 102mm throttle body; Vortech YSI V7 supercharger; Turbosmart Big Bubba blow-off valve; Performance Products Manifold; Nuke Performance drop-in surge tank; Deatschwerks 300lph, 450x2 fuel pumps; Fuel Safe fuel cell; Treadstone intercooler; Plazmaman HD intercooler clamps; Kooks headers, exhaust
Braking CTSV calipsers; ZL1 rotors
Wheels & Tires 18x10 rear, 18x9 front Kansei Roku; 275/35 Federal 595 RSRR
Interior Sparco seats, 4-point harnesses; Parts Shop Max hand brake; Pioneer head unit; Kicker speakers
Thank You Maverick Man Carbon; Battle Aero; J&M Auto Customs; Showtime Customs and Fabrication
Need More GTO builds in Your Life? We’ve Got You:
Author -> Staff
Photographers -> David Pelayo and Credited Watermarks