The term "street car" gets thrown around a lot these days, and we all know that the term can sometimes stretch the truth when it comes to a car's practicality. Despite the number of folks who make the claim, there aren't many that balance the go-fast necessities with street equipment. For Hixson, Tennessee's Steven Crouse, his statement was simple: "If I can't drive it on the street, I don't want it."
Steven's Trans Am is a great example of a wickedly fast car that is still easy and fun to drive on the street. It runs on pump gas, it features DOT tires and it hasn't gone through the standard gutting procedure to reduce weight. Additionally, the supercharged combination proves to be reliable on the street, and Steven drives it regularly, even after making the switch from an overdrive transmission to a Powerglide. And for those of you shaking your head about putting a ‘Glide in a street car, Steven doesn't seem to be bothered by it, and says the 3.60 rear end gear is a good all around setup for street driving and track time. At the end of the day, Steven is the one who determines whether or not his Trans Am is a street car, and he proves it by driving it to cruise nights, car shows and the local drag strip.
Steven bought this car from a member on LS1Tech.com and had intentions of making some serious power. His initial combination was similar in terms of the engine and supercharger, but the car still had air conditioning and the overdrive transmission. Over the winter, he spent some time and money getting it ready for the new racing season and hopes his efforts make for some outstanding results. With the previous setup, the car ran low 6's in the eighth-mile, and he's gunning for 5.70's with the new setup. The car definitely makes enough power, but it's just a matter of making it hook up. On the first time out with the new setup, the car ran a few 6.0 passes but the gearing just wasn't right, so he continued to tweak the combination and thinks he found a winner with the 3.60 ratio. So far, the best eighth-mile pass is 5.90 at 119 miles per hour on 275 drag radials.
Horsepower comes from a ProCharged 6.0-liter engine with a laundry list of parts to make it efficient and strong. It all starts with an ERL four-bolt aluminum block, which is packed with forged internals. With big time power in the works, Steven set up the short block to withstand the additional stresses of forced induction. Quality Engine Machine prepped the block and cylinder heads, while Steven took the reigns on assembling the engine. He bolted on a set of AFR 215cc cylinder heads, which have been massaged and feature titanium valves, locks and retainers. A custom-grind hydraulic roller from Crane Cams is one of the new additions for the new setup, as are the Jesel shaft-mounted rocker arms.
The real key to the horsepower is a ProCharger F1A supercharger unit. It's driven by a 12-rib serpentine belt, but Steven has plans to eventually swap the setup for a cog drive. At this point, he wants to tune this combination until it's maxed out, as long as the local drag strip will handle it. One of the coolest aspects of the car's supercharger setup is the CO2-activated AMS 1000 boost controller, which reads boost from a Precision 66mm wastegate, and allows Steven to ramp in the boost. Turbo guys have been using this technology for a while, but it also works for supercharged cars, and helps Steven get off the line, and add power down track. On pump gas, Steven crams 23 pounds of boost into the 6.0-liter engine, thanks to an air-to-air intercooler and a water methanol injection kit. Due to belt slippage, the dyno numbers aren't completely accurate, but the Trans Am put down 940 horsepower and 844 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, reading only 17 pounds of boost. Accounting for the additional boost, he's easily in the four-digit zone.
Underneath, the Trans Am features a BMR Drag Pack suspension setup, all installed by Smokey Mountain Chassis. A tubular k-member and control arms shed weight where it counts, while a manual rack and pinion continue the light weight theme. The front and rear suspension is outfitted with QA1 double-adjustable coilovers, while a BMR anti-roll bar makes for a level launch. BMR subframe connectors stiffen the chassis, as does the roll cage built by Daffron Race Innovations. If his local track cracks down on roll cage rules, he'll need to upgrade soon, but he's hoping to keep the minimal cage for comfortable street driving. And though the Kirkey seats and Impact five-point harnesses aren't practical for the street, Steven doesn't mind sacrificing the street credibility for the sake of weight reduction and safety.
Steven's creation is wrapped in a carbon-fiber-look vinyl material, which offers a cool satin look. The wrap was on the car when he bought it, and while he plans to eventually redo the body and paint job, the stealth fighter look definitely adds to the car's sinister appearance. Overall, Steven's Trans Am lives up to the expectations with five-second eighth-mile passes, and more than 3,500 street miles in the past year. Despite its satin finish and modest look, the car demands attention with its very aggressive exhaust note and whooshing sound from the ProCharger, but it gets the most attention when it lays down a killer pass at the track. It's the perfect combination of street and strip, and it's all wrapped-up in a stealthy package.
Car: 2000 Pontiac Trans Am
Owner: Steven Crouse
Block: ERL four-bolt aluminum, 365cid
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Heads: AFR 215cc, CNC ported, titanium 2.02, 1.60 valves
Cam: Crane Cams custom grind, Hydraulic Roller
Rocker Arms: Jesel Shaft-Mount, 1.7 ratio
Pistons: JE, forged, coated, 4-inch bore
Crankshaft: Lunati billet
Rods: Lunati 4340 with ARP bolts
Fuel Injectors: 160 lb-hr
Throttle Body: 90mm
Fuel Pump: Lonnie Performance double pumper
Ignition: Stock coil-on plug
Engine Management: HP Tuners by Heintz Racing
Supercharger: ProCharger F1A, 66mm wastegate, AMS 1000 boost controller
Exhaust System: Kooks 1-7/8-inch headers, 3-inch exhaust, Kooks mufflers
Transmission: Powerglide two-speed auto, built by Glenn McCary
Converter: PTC, 3,500 stall speed
Front Suspension: BMR tubular K-member, control arms, QA1 coilovers
Rear Suspension: BMR tubular control arms, QA1 coilovers, BMR Xtreme anti-roll bar
Rear End: Moser 9-inch, narrowed 1-inch per side, Detroit locker, 3.60 gears
Brakes: Stock with slotted rotors
Wheels: Billet Specialties Street Lite, 15x4.5 and 15x10
Front Tires: Nankang 165/80R/15
Rear Tires: Mickey Thompson Drag Radial 275/60R/15
HP/Torque: 940/844 on Mustang Dyno