SEMA 2023: Kevin Hart’s Awesome LT5-Powered 1969 GTO

Comedian and Hollywood star Kevin Hart is a muscle car connoisseur. The collection of cars that Hart owns is impressive, and when he has someone build a car for him, it’s not just going to be a run-of-the-mill project. Detroit Speed & Engineering worked with Hart on his latest ride, a sensational restomod 1969 Pontiac GTO.

“This ‘69 GTO was purchased by me for a close friend who wasn’t a classic car fan, and instead of returning such a great muscle car, I decided to build it into a restomod,” said Hart. “I chose Detroit Speed & Engineering to build the GTO because when it came to fit and functionality, their name was always mentioned. From knowledge to creativity, the Detroit Speed & Engineering team checks all the boxes. I’m excited about the work that was performed on my classic.”

The first thing that grabs your attention when you gaze at Hart’s GTO is the exquisite stance. To functionally slam the GTO in the weeds, Detroit Speed’s X-Gen 595 front suspension, and custom QuadraLink rear suspension was bolted onto the Pontiac. You’ll find JRi adjustable coilover shocks at each corner of the car.  A set of HRE Valkyria wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tires complete the look. Inside the wheels, Baer Brakes 15-inch R-Spec rotors with XRT six-piston calipers have been added to bring the GTO to a stop.

Detroit Speed & Engineering made sure the aesthetic touches of the GTO were on par with the rest of the build. The front and rear bumpers were gently massaged to better fit the car. Astute GTO fans will also notice the subtle changes Detroit Speed & Engineering made to the front valance, hood, and spoiler. The Mercedes Mystic Brown Metallic paint that was sprayed by Detroit Speed & Engineering compliments the body lines of the iconic GTO perfectly.



You can’t build a muscle car like this and give it a meek engine. The 6.2 liter supercharged LT5 from Chevrolet Performance that Detroit Speed & Engineering slid in between the front fenders of the GTO cranks out a healthy 755 horsepower. The engine was dressed with one of Holley’s premium mid-mount accessory drive systems. Behind the LT5, you’ll find a T56 transmission from Bowler Performance that transfers the horsepower back to a GearFX Ford 9-inch rearend that’s filled with a set of 3.82 gears.

The GTO’s custom interior is luxurious and functional. The team at Avant-Garde used 3D scanning technology to help create what went into the cabin of this Pontiac. A full set of gauges from Classic Instruments were used to help the driver monitor the GTO’s health. An IDIDIT steering column plants the steering wheel in the driver’s hands as they relax in their RECARO Specialist seat. The Gen IV Magnum system from Vintage Air keeps the occupants of the GTO comfortable as they cruise down the road.

“With a collection of high-performance classics revered around the world, we were honored to work with Kevin Hart on his latest masterpiece and are excited to see our work showcased on the world’s largest aftermarket stage,” said John McLeod, Director, Detroit Speed & Engineering. “We worked closely with Kevin to deliver a custom rebuild that celebrates the timeless appeal of the 1969 Pontiac GTO, captures his individual passions and spirit, and incorporates many of Holley’s leading aftermarket solutions.”

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Detroit Speed & Engineering found a way to take a set of computer renderings and turn them into a real vehicle. This GTO is lathered in details and special tweaks that require you to really look it over, or you’ll miss something. The final product is a GTO that’s been elevated to a special status that any gearhead can appreciate.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. Brian enjoys anything loud, fast, and fun.
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