Films: This Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Is Transformed

This Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Is Transformed

“I always wanted a V8, manual, rear-drive—and then there was Smokey and the Bandit,” says Gregg Hamilton, “When I moved here to America, [I realized] this is the only place in the world where I can really own one.”

Wanting something that’s American, New Zealander Hamilton settled on this Pontiac Trans Am—that is definitely not like any other. Using tricks learned from years of working with some of the best World Rally Championship teams in the world—including Toyota Team Europe and Prodrive—Hamilton’s Firebird has been given handling to match its extensive engine modifications.

“I needed something to do, so we found this car on eBay, and flew to Alabama, picked it up at the airport sight unseen…[and] it sort of just evolved into what it is today.”

From its wider bodywork, to custom engine computer, to fully revised suspension and brakes, it’s “about as quick as a Z06 Corvette,” he says. Sound far-fetched? As someone whose day job is spent building and testing Ken Block’s latest projects, we’d believe him.

“I like the mechanical-ness of it. I like the engine bay…I like that you can see the injectors, and plug for ECU…There’s no wheel arches in there, so you can see the uprights and the roll bar,” says Hamilton.

“It’s not always about the drive for me. It’s about the build of it. It’s about tinkering with it…”

Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "This Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Is Transformed"

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Robert Gawlas
Robert Gawlas

Looks like the” Year One” build from a few years back, corvette motor, big brakes and 19 inch wheels. I like the twin turbos though. Love to hear them spool up.

Ian Paul
Ian Paul

Thanks for explaining the muscle car thing to me, I have never really ‘got it’ before. You and that car, on that road with a mountain back drop, so cool……..yeah now I see it.

Steve Gravelle
Steve Gravelle

No T-tops = not Bandit.

Roland Alfonso
Roland Alfonso

…” and that’s how I ended up working for Ken Block.” What a personal and professional journey. Wow. Sweet ride, too, as of course it would be.

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč

Wasn´t there article about this Firebird on Speedhunters? I had it on my dekstop. 🙂

Cool car! Firebird was always one of symbols of USA for me and I still want one. And this one is really gorgeous!

Wagoner
Wagoner

Gregg (if you’re reading this) or anyone else: Tell me more about the digital engine data display. What brand, where to source, etc…I’m guessing it ties into the ECU?

And Gregg: awesome Firebird. Waaayyyy beyond original build quality. I’m glad you could make your teenage dream an adult reality!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Smokey and the Bandit on steroids along with a healthy dose of WW’s wares ! Got to be honest .. until seeing this car … Pontiac ‘ Fire Chickens ‘ have never been a personal favorite . It figures it’d take an outsider to finally make a Fire Chicken come good ala restomod and a bit of WRC ingenuity ! Two thumbs up !

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt

WOW!
That’s the best sounding V8 I have ever heard.
And it’s the best Trans Am I have seen.
I would love to see and hear it in the flesh.

JB21
JB21

Wow!
Trans-Am of any kind to me has always been a bit off – I always felt that it has potential but I didn’t know for what, but now I know. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen.

Landroving
Landroving

Wow! That is the best and most realized T/A I’ve ever seen. I have a feeling it would take a good amount of time to spot all of the tweaks and changes made as they are so perfectly integrated and look so correct. It’s a shame he couldn’t get the new electronics to talk to the old gauges. I suspect that is something he will get sorted before long. The only thing the video lacked was a refrain from “East Bound and Down” as he drove away into the desert evening sunset.

wpDiscuz