Petrolicious, one of my favorite automotive lifestyle brands, has managed (like they always do) to profile this man and his car and I guarantee you, they are both pretty amazing.
When it comes to American cars from 70’s, there’s really none more iconic than the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It was made even more badass thanks to its starring role in the Smokey & The Bandit films.
Gregg Hamilton, the owner of this magnificent 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, has been living in the world of rallying for 22 years. He’s a longtime mechanic for some of the world’s best WRC teams. He now works on Ken Block’s outrages Hoonigan gymkhana machines in the U.S. When you’re Ken Block’s mechanic, plus have an impressive resume and have a soft spot for American muscle cars, you can build pretty much any car you like.
In the heart of this old-school “Smokey and the Bandit” Pontiac is a fuel injected 5.3-liter LS V8 truck engine, with twin-turbo setup that provides 10psi of boost. It also comes with a six-speed manual. Other modifications include a twin-plate clutch, big brakes and meaty sway bars so it handles better. As for exterior styling of the car, the changes made to the body have been kept at a minimum. Inside, the Trans Am has received a few upgrades, but nothing so far as to diminish its usability as a street car.
According to the Mr. Hamilton, he hasn’t actually test his car on a dyno yet, so he doesn’t know exact numbers, but he says it’s about as fast as brand-new Corvette Z06. And I believe him.
It’s an interesting choice for a guy who’s used to working on sideways all-wheel-drive hot hatches with hugely turbocharged engines. No doubt “Smokey and the Bandit” has something to do with this.
As always, it’s a gorgeous look into the mind of this man and his amazing machine. Enjoy.