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2001 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Here are a few photos from November, 2005. Click here.

I bought this Trans Am in February 2001. It was a long wait to get a "new Trans Am." I had hoped the GTA I got in May 1999 would satisfy the need for speed and Trans Am passion. Nope. Too many new LS1-powered cars in my car club, and as I stared at life down the road, it was a "now or never" decision. The GTO ad hanging on my wall that says, "Get one. Before you're too old to understand" must have been brainwashing me all these years.

On to business: this sucker is FAST. 3rd gear pulls 100 mph up insanely quick. It is almost scary. The GTA's Tuned Port runners are wheezing at 4500 RPM, and this LS1 is just getting cocky at that RPM. Rear wheel dyno results? At around 7K miles, it put out 319 hp and 336 ft-lbs with an airlid, "free Ram Air" mod, and closed cutout (FRA won't do anything on a dyno, but I thought I'd list it anyway). With the cutout open the numbers were 326 hp and 342 ft-lbs. That is about 370 hp at the flywheel given a common drivetrain loss of 12-13% for T56 6 speed manual 4th gen F-bodies.

Despite the power, it is as comfy a daily ride as you can imagine. Mileage? At about 8K miles (assumed fully broken-in) I started seeing 18-20 mpg city (my city route is somewhat mixed) and 30 mph highway (100%). Despite this, when the throttle is pressed, there's 370 hp on tap. Unbelievable. It is hard to describe the feeling of jabbing the throttle after a rolling start in First gear and feeling the tires break loose. Spinning Second and chirping Third gives a nice rush. The power it has for its polite manners is hard to comprehend.

In November, 2001 I added a Sun Coast Creations "Raptor" hood. It is a cross between the factory WS.6 hood and the SLP Firehawk hood. Personally, I like it better than both :) I bought the SCC cold air kit used from someone on LS1.com that didn't need it anymore. It basically directs air in the same manner as the factory '96-'97 Ram Air hoods did.

Other mods are a pair of subframe connectors, a strut tower brace, and Eibach lowering springs. It was lowered Memorial Day weekend in 2005. In late 2005 I added a set of Pontiac's 2000 year only "swirl" wheels. I had run a set of Camaro SS "ZR1" wheels that were silver in color and still wore their Bowtie center caps! Those wheels gave it an athletic look. The swirl wheels give it a sleeker look (with a slight tip of the hat to the infamous Pontiac Aztek. ;) ). I also added a Pontiac crest to the nose. The part is the same as the one put on '97-'03 Grand Prix's.