Keeping the Name Alive
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.