With the frame done and rolling, Jerry could now set the motor in place and work on the rest of the drivetrain. A Tremec TKO-600 five-speed tranny was chosen with a McLeod flywheel and Street-Twin clutch. This combo reliably shifts all that torque back to the Currie 9-inch nodular rear end complete with 3.89 gears. While the frame was being updated, the body was at Lanzini Body Works in Huntington Beach, Calif. The neglected paint was stripped away and numerous mods were done to the vintage tin. The door handles and locks were shaved away along with the drip rails. The firewall was smoothed and all the gaps were made just right. Once everything was perfect, the Mooneyes theme was carried forward with the application of PPG Chrome Yellow and a custom mixed "Moonshine Metallic" black by Mitch Lanzini. To jazz it up a bit, Bob Iverson laid on the unique turned white-gold-leaf accent stripe down the side of the too cool Goat. The body was once again bolted to the frame and it started to look like a car again.
With SEMA looming on the horizon, the GTO still needed an interior. Stitchcraft in Huntington Beach, Calif., was tasked with sewing up the Honey and Black Suede in keeping with the Mooneyes theme. The heavily modified front seats started life as off-the-shelf Sparco units. Outlaw Products milled out the custom billet dash then filled it with a slew of gauges from Mooneyes. The Budnik wheel keeps the Goat pointed in the right direction and cruising tunes come by way of the Alpine sound system. The end result is a comfy place to enjoy romps around town. A/C is there anytime you want to roll down the windows, which has the added benefit of letting in more sound from the mill thumping under the hood. The GTO made it to its SEMA debut and Jerry was thrilled at how the Pontiac came out. He told PHR: "This was a great way to start my new hot rod shop and at the same time give my father-in-law the car of his dreams. I would say that I've been so lucky to have been able to build this car and make it so different from every other run-of-the-mill GM or Ford. I know there will be those hardcore Pontiac guys out there who absolutely hate what I've done to the GTO, and believe me I met a few of them at SEMA, but this is what I think a '66 GTO should have looked like all along." Don't get the idea that this ride is done. Jerry is already hard at work on it for the '06 SEMA show and is working on more power from the 439 by way of massaged heads and maybe a bit of forced induction. You can bet the Moonshine GTO is going to be around turning heads for a long time to come.
Moonshine On The Dyno...
We caught Jerry Maletich at Westech Performance fine-tuning his hidden fuel-injection system on the chassis dyno. Casual observers see only a traditional Pontiac tri-power set-up, but a closer look reveals a Mooneyes throttle body fuel injection system. Here, Westech's Tom Habrzyk makes an underhood adjustment before a dyno pull that yielded 332 rear-wheel hp at a street-friendly 4,700 rpm. All idle, cruise and full-throttle tuning adjustments are done via an attractive dash-installed control panel. On a streetcar like this, it sure beats juggling jets in three different carburetors.