Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
We're not going to get hung up on how rare a 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is (fairly) or how much money was spent on this (a lot) or even how famous the guys are who built it (Jaw Droppin' Customs in Corpus Christi, TX). What we are going to talk about is that this spectacular 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Restomod is one of the finest F-body builds we've seen in a very long time, a car that's fast, comfortable, and totally sorted. Need a car to cruise AND win some trophies? This is it!
The all-new second generation Firebird shape lends itself rather well to the pro-touring treatment since it was already long, lean, and low. Finished in beautiful Lucerne Blue paint, this one isn't going to be able to stay out of sight for long, and by adding a set of painted white-and-black stripes down the center, along with some cool metal flake in the finish, it has a killer Trans Am look that's very appealing. The pros who built it are professionals at the top of their game, so finish quality is exemplary, with great gaps, a deep shine, and no notable demerits in the appearance department. We love the contrasting hood scoop that makes it look like the engine is doing something special under the hood (spoiler alert: it is), and the factory spoilers, vents, and nose all give it a predatory stance. Proper Trans Am insignia were installed as needed, including that custom Firebird on the front nose, and all the parts that were chrome from the factory were either restored or replaced so it looks quite correct. Most people probably haven't driven a vintage F-body that looks this good, and that means these guys got it right.
The interior got a full makeover from the pros at Sturgis Designs, with slick upgrades that add sportiness and style but don't take the soul away from the factory recipe. The biggest change is a pair of custom bucket seats up front along with a matching rear seat that are a lot more supportive than the originals, yet they look right at home in this resto-mod. Other upgrades include custom door panels with integrated speakers, a custom dash cover that includes a lot of beautiful suede material, and a bespoke center console that houses a Sony multi-media head unit, switches for the power windows, and that big, bad Hurst shifter that manages the 5-speed manual below. On the other hand, the very cool 3-spoke steering wheel and engine-turned portion of the dashboard are all factory-issue; after all, why mess with a good thing? Obviously everything is newer, from the headliner to the carpets and again, fit and finish is excellent everywhere you look. Aftermarket Speedhut gauges are hooked up and work with the upgraded motor, and the aforementioned Sony head unit manages a powerful speaker system installed throughout the cabin. Vintage A/C blows cold thanks to new hardware behind the scenes, and there's a tilt steering column to make it comfortable for just about anyone. Out back, the trunk is beautifully finished to match the cabin, further proof that every single detail on this car was attended to.
The engine powering this beast is a pro-built 455 HO unit that's been bored .060 oversize, and fitted with H-beam connecting rods, and a full roller cam with roller lifters and roller rockers. It's an incredibly responsive motor thanks to an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and intake, sparking to life with a flick of the key that gets it ready for battle. Sitting under that air scoop it looks incredibly slick, especially with matching Lucerne Blue paint on the block, custom chrome valve covers, a Billet pulley set, an aluminum radiator, and a slick black firewall and matching inner fenders that help all the components pop. It's putting out big power, but the Tremec 5-speed transmission sure doesn't seem to mind because banging through gears is an absolute delight. And true to form as a Trans Am, this one loves to go around corners, complements of a full Detroit Speed suspension composed of subframe connectors and a 4-link out back, coil-over shocks, and Detroit Speed 'deep tub' wheel wells. Yeah, it's legit. It's also fitted with Baer 4-wheel disc brakes that run off of a Wilwood booster that give it the stopping power it demands, along with a power steering system that helps flip it in and out of corners with ease. It all sounds fantastic too, with ceramic-coated headers feeding an X-pipe dual exhaust system that lets everyone at the red light know what time it is. The hunkered-down suspension looks fantastic, especially framing those gorgeous staggered Billet Specialties wheels, which are wrapped in 255/45/18 front and huge 315/40/19 rear Goodyear performance radials.
With an "open checkbook" approach to the build and only 2,162 miles since completion, this restomod is filled with the best of everything. Performance, comfort, and style in equal measure, perhaps the most shocking thing about this car is its relatively affordable price
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