Features

Texas Tiger – 1972 Pontiac GTO

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GM Scene Magazine®

Cynthia Pierce's 1972 Pontiac GTO

In the heart of Springtown, Texas, Cynthia Pierce found herself on a thrilling journey to resurrect the glory of her childhood – a journey fueled by a deep-seated passion for cars that echoed through generations. The catalyst for this adventure? None other than the iconic Pontiac GTO.

“My mom drove a ’69 that my dad still owns today. I was brought home from the hospital in that car the day I was born. My parents were always building, wrenching and street racing some car or another. It was their love for cars that engrained that same passion within me, which has only grown stronger since my childhood”, Cynthia fondly recalls. Growing up in a household where wrenching, building, and street racing were the norm, her parents’ love for cars became the blueprint for her own automotive passion.

No matter the cars that came and went in Cynthia’s life, her mom’s ‘69 GTO remained the ultimate symbol of cool. Alongside her husband Eric, Cynthia has steered ProTouring Texas for over eight years, a powerhouse specializing in performance chassis engineering, engine building, and the art of crafting modern-day street rods and muscle cars.

The plot thickened when Cynthia and her dad went on the the Power Tour in 2021 and made it to the last stop in Champaign, Illinois. There, in a twist of fate, she laid eyes on a ‘72 GTO with a tempting for-sale sign. Though she resisted the impulse at the show, destiny had other plans. A few days later, while cruising Facebook Marketplace, the same GTO beckoned. Taking it as a sign from the automotive heavens Eric, and Coleton from their shop soared off to St. Louis to claim their prize.

The saga began with a mission to rejuvenate the GTO’s weary chassis. The ProTouring Texas crew are experts in turning dreams into reality and swiftly removed factory components, paving the way for superior parts to elevate the GTO’s ride and handling. SpeedTech Performance coil-overs, control arms, and ATS spindles took their positions upfront, while a SpeedTech 4-link and Viking double-adjustable coil-overs held the fort at the rear. ProForged steering components and an Ididit steering column ensured that the GTO’s anticipated second life would be a dance of precision.

With speed in mind, Cynthia laid the groundwork for the GTO’s upcoming power transformation. Front 18×9.5 and rear 18×10 U.S. Mags Rambler wheels, shod in Nitto INVO rubber, were the shoes of choice. Baer Pro+ 6-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors promised stopping power, complemented by a Detroit Speed master cylinder and booster for those moments when the horses needed reining in.

Out went the tired Big Block, which was swiftly replaced by a 408ci LSX powerhouse from Thompson Motorsports. Enhanced with a forged crankshaft, CNC ‘d cylinder heads, a DeWitts aluminum radiator, Hooker BlackHeart headers, an exhaust system, and a Procharger supercharger unit, this LSX was the pièce de résistance. A 6-speed Tremec F Series transmission joined the ensemble, ready to handle any tire-roasting and corner-shredding adventures that Cynthia had eagerly anticipated.

The GTO’s exterior, adorned in the non-OEM Mint Julep shade was weathered but Cynthia was rather partial to it left it alone. The interior, however, received a touch of modernity without losing its classic charm. Dakota Digital gauges found their place in the factory dash, a Bluetooth-enabled Kenwood receiver plays the tunes, and a cold-blowing Vintage Air A/C system ensures comfort during summer cruising.

In less than a year, Cynthia and her team of automotive wizards transformed the ‘72 GTO into a roaring daily beast. “I couldn’t have done it without my husband Eric as well as the ProTouring Texas team; Brandon, Coleton, David and Sam” Cynthia confesses. “Now that I have my own GTO, I drive it everywhere! It has recently been finished and I plan on making tons of memories with this car.”

GM Scene Magazine®