2001 Pontiac Trans Am - A Lasting Impression

Christian Garcia's '01 Ws6 Was Born From A 30-Second Commercial, Now It Puts Down Over 545 Rwhp And Can Inspire Others To Do The Same

Justin Cesler Nov 5, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Take a moment to think back to your very first memory of the LS1 Trans Am WS6. Go on, we'll wait. If you're anything like Christian Garcia and I, you're probably still daydreaming of that sweet Pontiac commercial, the one that launched the '98 WS6 by showing it creeping up to a red sports car at a traffic light, in the middle of the night and devouring it, leaving only its carcass behind once the light turned green. That ad, one of Pontiacs most memorable, has left a solid impression on many of us long-time GM High Tech enthusiasts, but for Christian it means something a little more.

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"When I was in high school I remember watching that Trans Am commercial and I wanted that thing bad, but $30,000 was out of the question. My dad knew a guy who owned a salvage yard and one day we were over there looking at cars and I asked him if he had seen any come in." Unfortunately, he had not seen any wrecked WS6 cars, but he told Christian he would keep an eye out. "A year later I had completely forgotten about the car, when I received a phone call saying he had the car I was looking for." After asking all of the appropriate questions and finding out it was, unfortunately, an automatic, Christian hopped in his truck and drove over to see it in person. "The WS6 only had 8,300 miles and a woman had owned it-I thought, jackpot! The damage was in the back, it had broken glass in the rear and the taillights and bumper were hit. It was an easy fix."

With his low mileage WS6 back at his house, Christian got to work, first repairing the car's cosmetics and getting it back in running condition. "The car was great for stock, it met my needs for daily driving." Of course, you know what happened next. Christian began installing little bits and pieces, trying to add some power on a budget by installing an SLP air lid, a set of long-tube headers, and an exhaust. Happy with the new power and completely addicted to the LS1 engine, Christian began saving up for a set of LS6 cylinder heads and an LS6 camshaft, a combo that may seem a bit dated now, but it was once the bee's knees! Once installed and tuned, Christian started looking for something else to do, when he decided it was time to swap out the stock 4L60E automatic for the six-speed manual transmission he had always dreamed of, a decision that would later snowball into the car you see before you.

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To fund his transmission swap, Christian pulled the stock automatic and torque converter and sold it to another enthusiast looking for a 4L60E. With the money from the sale and his own savings, Christian ordered a built six-speed from a company online and began to play the waiting game. Unfortunately, as weeks turned into months and months into almost half a year, Christian's mind began to wonder and his dreams of cruising around with a six-speed behind his heads/cam LS1 turned into something much more sinister. "Since the transmission was taking so long and I already had the motor almost out, I just went ahead and sold the motor so I could build a new one."

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