photos by: the author, Kevin DiOssi and Justin Fivella
Looking Ahead for 2016, While Bringing You the Updates on Your Favorite Project Cars!
It’s that time of year again; where we pull back the car covers, reinstall the Optima and blow out the carbon that’s been building up over the last four months. The tracks are drying out, the weather is more livable and we’re about to start seeing the high-horsepower monsters taking over the city streets.
Of course, if you live in the South or the Southwest, you probably never put your car away for the Winter, in the first place. Anyway, you’ve probably been wondering what’s going on with our current fleet of project cars, so I’ve broken them down for you below in an attempt to give you an idea on where our projects are and where they’re headed for this upcoming racing season. Two-thousand sixteen is going to be a great year!
Project Wicked6 (1987 Grand National)
We’ve actually installed a lot of great interior and exterior trim pieces from our friends at G body Parts, as well as a set of 15-inch aluminum wheels and a much-improved gauge cluster from Dakota Digital.
Future plans call for a complete restoration, but for now, we want to address all of the cracked, worn, weathered and largely unusable components that have always bothered us about our Buick. The Dakota Digital cluster will also improve functionality and provide us with much more reliable information of what’s going on under our hood, much better than the OEM unit ever could!
We’re also upgrading our turbo, intercooler and plumbing, with hardware from Precision Turbo and Engineering. A higher-stall Full Throttle Speed torque converter will be going in as well, with a completely Jet Hot-coated exhaust system that will include a TA Performance downpipes and a Pypes cat-back, ordered form Kirban Performance! Upgraded brakes and suspension area also in the works!
Project Redrum (1984 Trans Am)
For those who still have no idea why a bucket like this is even in our fleet, you’re going to love the end result! First and foremost, the horrible 305i. SBC will be hitting the dirt, for a forged stroker LS3 from Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, topped with a Magnuson Heartbeat blower. Should be fun.
but siting behind the boosted mill, will be an American Powertrain T-56 6-speed, Strange S60 rearend and driveshaft.
We’ve installed our rollers for 2016, a set of CTW 17-inch wheels that will easily clear our upcoming Baer brake install! We went with BMR Suspension to keep our T/A planted in the corners, and we have a slew of Hawks Third Generation components ready for the install!
Project Phoenix (2002 Trans Am WS6)
Much like its 1984 variant, our WS6 will be getting a mechanical makeover sometime later in the year. We’re compiling a list of hardware we intend to install by summer’s end; including a naturally-aspirated stroker engine, a 12-bolt rearend and an overall new look! It’s a little too early to announce all of the details, but we think you’ll like the end results!
Project Blue Magic (2004 Silverado)
We admit, we’ve been slacking a bit on this one. But working on a vehicle from six states away does provide us with one or two challenges. Since our last update, we have installed a set of long-tube headers in place of the previous shorties, swapped out the ailing 4L60E for a 4L80E and installed a new converter, trans cooler from PCM of NC and a driveshaft from the Driveshaft Shop.
We’re looking at dropping some weight, adding more power and reconfiguring the cosmetics to make it look more of a regular cab, short bed Silverado SS tribute truck that will be a solid daily-driven 11-second parts hauler! We’re planning on wrapping this one up before the end of the year, so we have a lot of work to do!
Project Sleeper Status (2000 Regal GS)
Sleeper Status, the long-term W-body is almost at a close in its lifespan. We recently installed a smaller pulley, a ported blower and basically every bolt-on imaginable from ZZP for the L67, but it’s still not quite where we want it in regards to quarter-mile acceleration. Our original plan was to get it into the 11-second range, while on 91-octane pump gas. We haven’t quite accomplished that goal yet, so we’ll be breaking out the nitrous so enough.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.