Keep­ing the Name Alive

Drag Racer - - Mostly Stock -

DRAG RAC­ERS COME FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND EACH HAS A UNIQUE AND IN­TER­EST­ING STORY. Glenda Cochran from

Amelia, Vir­ginia, is one such drag racer.

“My hus­band had been drag rac­ing for sev­eral years and got tired one day af­ter I was ask­ing why didn’t he do this or do that. He told me that if it’s so easy, then maybe I should try it. So, I took our F-350 out while we were at the track and ac­tu­ally won with it! I later drove my 16-sec­ond Grand Prix at a Su­per Chevy event and started rac­ing reg­u­larly,” Glenda told Drag Racer.

All was good un­til one day she saw some­thing on a deal­er­ship lot that changed the course of her life. “I was go­ing to the gro­cery store in my lim­ited edi­tion Grand Prix GTP,” Glenda be­gan, “when I drove by the car deal­er­ship and saw new 2004 Pon­tiac GTO. On the way back, I stopped to look at it, and then called my hus­band to come by and pick up the gro­ceries be­cause I was go­ing to trade my Grand Prix in and buy that car!”

Ap­pear­ing 30 years af­ter the last GTO was pro­duced, this rein­car­na­tion of the iconic ve­hi­cle turned quite a few heads. As­sem­bled by GM’s Holden sub­sidiary in Aus­tralia, the 2004 Pon­tiac GTO wasn’t an over­whelm­ing sales suc­cess. Some Pon­tiac purists were put off by its pedi­gree and the hefty $35,000 price tag. Even so, it was a po­tent mus­cle coupe, pow­ered by a 246-ci LS1 rated at 350 hp. Mag­a­zine tests proved it was ca­pa­ble of mid-13-sec­ond quar­ter-mile E.T.s in street trim. In 2005, GM in­stalled a 400-hp LS2, low­er­ing E.T.s by half a sec­ond. Pro­duc­tion ended in 2006.

“Be­tween Vir­ginia Mo­tor­sports Park and Rich­mond Drag­way, we make 30-40 events a year and man­age to pick up two to three wins a year,” she said. “We won the Street Car cat­e­gory at our an­nual lo­cal Pon­tiac event and even beat Jim Wangers’ GeeTO Tiger in a match race. We’ve been rac­ing so much, I bought a Honda Ac­cord as my daily driver so we could fo­cus on mak­ing our GTO more con­sis­tent.” Glenda and her hus­band have per­formed sev­eral mods, in­clud­ing a K&N cold air in­take, Kooks long tube head­ers, Borla cat-back ex­haust and 3.73 gears, which has their Aussie Goat run­ning solidly in the 12s.

The 2004-06 GTO was the last mus­cle car to carry the Pon­tiac name. This wife and mother of two is do­ing her part to keep the name alive and hav­ing fun do­ing it.

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