The GTO rolled over 70K this month. The grind of a daily driver seems to roll right off it, just as the miles seems to slip by at its preferred cruising speed of 85mph. I’ve never owned a GM car before now, but I don’t think I could expect better from any manufacturer. A 2004 anything with 73K miles would be forgiven for any number of defects like rattles, cluster lights burnt out, blend doors stuck. Not to mention various engine or transmission issues.

Instead I’ve got two scratches in the paint and a side bolster on the driver’s seat fading from sliding in and out. No rattles, no interior bits falling off, and every light works. The engine, despite being sinfully dirty from constant driving doesn’t consume oil throughout the 7,000 mile intervals and doesn’t ever need lose coolant either.

Now, I’ve got parts wearing out that I need/want to replace, but I don’t count that on my list of problems. Just opportunities. Sure, the suspension feels like it’s just large rubber bands because the shocks and springs are inadequate from the factory, but I can fix that with coilovers for less than $1k and then another $300-$400 for polyurethane bushings that were reknowned for premature failure even in the late 2000's. The car is heavy, and Holden didn’t seem to plan for that.

There lots of little things I want to change but I think I hesitate to start down that path because of the inherent quality of the car already. See, if I add a part or piece to the car, I feel it has to come up to the standard of the rest of the car. My exhaust in my Mustangs was a mashup of BBK, Borla, and Flowmaster. But in this car I feel compelled to invest. $300 headers have become either Hooker or Stainless Works longtubes with a custum made mid-pipe with cutouts. A simple CAI and tune has become an engine build and a dyno tune from this guy - James Karger.

In the end, I think it comes down me becoming more appreciative of what the car can do and how unique it can be and already is. And me realizing I need a second vehicle.