After weeks of trolling the internet car classifieds several times a day, I finally saw a 2006 Pontiac GTO with a 6-speed manual transmission pop up Friday night. It was at CarMax in Buena Park, about 2 hours from where I live. There were no pictures of it, or anything. They had just added it to the inventory listing. Now, the thing about the manual GTO is that they never stay on car lots. Car people really, really like a 400 HP car they they can buy for less than $20,000. So, when a mannie-tranny GTO shows up on a lot, it sells instantly.
So, I called up instantly, and asked to reserve a test drive Saturday afternoon. To ensure they reserved it, I got approved for a car loan over the phone, and the sales guy stuck a “SOLD” tag on it to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. I then called up USAA and got a quote for insurance.
On Saturday morning, an extremely depressed Chris and I drove her beloved Spyder—though it was my nemesis, Chris really, really loved it—up to Buena Park. Long story short…we drove the GTO back home. I got the car, and also ponied up for gap insurance, as well as the CarMax extended warranty. The current odometer reading is 69,161 miles, which is more than I wanted, but beggars can’t really be choosers, and it was average mileage for a 2006 car. Now, with CarMax, I’m covered for 72 months or until 125,000 miles.
There’s a couple of little things that need to be addressed. The previous owner had a bad tint job, so the rear window is all cloudy. All the aftermarket tint has to go. The GTO badge on the dashboard is gone. I will want to get a replacement—or, perhaps, the Holden Monaro badge that also goes in that slot. One of the little storage trays is missing the rubber pad on the bottom. There are also some inherent downsides t the GTO—which I knew about going in: The trunk is small. The Tremec 6-speed transmission is just average.
Other than that, it really like it. It sounds very shouty and mean. The chassis is stiff, but the suspension is complaint, giving it nice ride quality, with a Jaguar-like feel. The leather seats are all in good shape. It’s a hoot, really.
And here’s what it looks like—with all the pictures being clickable to show the hi-res version: