Before I started writing this article I had a misconception about any car I’ve seen in Formula D. I saw Rhys Millen put a GTO sideways and so I thought like the S-Chassis, RX7, AE86, or the other plethora of cars supported in the drift community that there was abundant parts just there for the picking. Then I met Keane and his 04 GTO, he laid the knowledge on me. Truth be told Rhys Millen did make custom parts for his GTO, but never massed produced anything. So that makes getting a GTO sideways and able to stay sideways very tough, but that didn’t stop Keane.
His love for cars started long before his owning of the GTO. Like a lot of us in the car community, it started in 2001 with The Fast and Furious series opening our eyes to the grand world of fast and flashy cars. Fast forward to 2004 and Keane started with a FC RX7 hitting various parking lots and canyon roads in Cali building his driving skill slowly, but surely. Then came the chance to work at Adams Motorsports Park helping run track events and driving the track as much as humanly possible. He honed his skills from the parking lots and canyon roads to being able to find the correct line. More and more seat time led to even more events practicing high speed techniques and grafting his driving skill.
Jumping almost ten years to July of 2013 and Keane has now taken possession of his “new” 2004 Pontiac GTO. After his deployment overseas, he then jumped into modifying his precious Goat. Unfortunately, like I stated in the above article, almost all the parts put into the GTO are one off parts that have to be custom made. Yet there is hope for this build. Thanks to Shane Whalley a Pro-Am driver from the Midwest he helped design all custom arms for the suspension and gave Keane all his tips on the GTO chassis. But like any car enthusiast we do our research on our cars before we buy them. Keane knew going into this build that the car was a difficult chassis to build because of lack of support, but the core qualities were there. Being a long wheelbase, LS1, and being uncommon as hell in the drifting community.
It all starts with the suspension. All control arms have been custom made by Shane Whalley. Angle knuckles up front keep the GTO sideways with massive amounts of angle. BC coilovers at all 4 corners ensure the power from the LS1 is going to the ground!
Braking is done with cross drilled rotors all around. Being that the rear suspension arms are again custom made. They allow the ability for Keane to run a dual caliper setup linked to a ASD hydro E-brake.
The interior is minimal with only the necessities. A NRG steering wheel is connected to a Sparco Quick release hub. And a pair of Bride Buckets seats keep the Keane and lucky passenger from being thrashed about.
The exterior has just a bit of flair. The first thing that pops is the SSR Type C wheels measuring in at 18×9.5 +35 offset with 25mm spacers all the way around to bring the tires to just a hair width from kissing the fenders. The star of the show is none other than a Big Country Lab wing tying the rear together. A Uras style hood vent allows the engine bay to get the needed fresh air to make sure the LS1 is breathing the freshest air possible.
A custom intake makes sure to sift out any dirt lingering in the desert air. With Kooks Long tube headers propelling exhaust gasses out of a SLP Loud Mouth cat back with ISIS blast pipes making sure you hear the growl of the LS1. A CenterForce clutch is there to get the power to the wheels, and down a 1 piece aluminum drive shaft, that is linked to a Eaton Tru Trac LSD making sure those wheels are locked and making smoke!
After all that I’ve learned writing this article it makes me smile to see someone doing something different.
With the plethora of amazing builds in the drift community it’s always refreshing to see someone trying out a new chassis. Pushing and learning the limits of it while doing so sideways and with a smile on their face!