photos by: John Machaquiero
A Rather Unusual Trans Am Left the Showroom Floor Back in 2002
Back in the days of the muscle car, dealer optioned cars were the car to have. They were rare, they were hardcore, and they weren’t the ‘run-of-the-mill’ in looks or performance. If you had something like a Yenko car, you were the boss (who are we kidding, you still are). The same goes for Baldwin-Motion, Dana, Nickey (who’s still at it with a 5th-gen Camaro out there), Berger, and DKM! There are still specialty some cars, here and there, which fit this bill, but nothing like the dealer option explosion of earlier times. We feel like we have to mention the Carl Black Blackbird here, to make sure you guys know we do acknowledge the other dealer optioned 4th-gens. This Slingshot Trans Am is probably the most rare of the (somewhat) modern practice, it’s a one-of-one that has a story that’s very familiar to the good ole’ days of popular dealer optioned muscle cars.
This car came out of a collaboration between Edward Feldman and Sheehan Pontiac-GMC of Lighthouse Point, Florida. The dealership doesn’t exist under this name anymore, instead dropping the Pontiac name, because, you know why… What does still exist as the testament to the dealership’s Pontiac roots comes in the form of a modified and made-over 2002 Pontiac Trans AM WS6. Edward Feldman and Sheehan Pontiac GMC dressed up this car with the intent of making it a modern day handcrafted muscle car. It was designed to be a car comfortable at the track — be it road racing, or drag — and also serve as an enjoyable street car.
Keeping with dealer optioned tradition, all of the modifications on this vehicle were Pontiac approved. Being manufacturer approved has always been important for dealer optioned cars, the mods shouldn’t void the original factory warranty. And like the dealer optioned cars of the muscle car era, the modifications were picked out with the intention of making the car better than when it left the factory line.
The Slingshot Trans Am option was only realized on one car, this 2002 WS6. Maybe if production had continued, the package would’ve shown up on more than one. The mods kind of remind us of what you would find on a Firehawk, except with the WS6 hood. They essentially took care of the basic bolt-ons, and then some to increase power, reduce unsprung weight, reduce drag coefficient, and improve the handling overall. The dealership wanted to offer a world-class level car, and the final product isn’t too shabby, you can tell a lot of effort was put into it.
So, what makes a Trans Am, a Slingshot edition? The short answer is, a lot of smart go-fast and handling mods, with a hefty scoop of body work — all of which are well-documented in a spiral bound book and binder with the build information.
Like we keep saying, the bulk of the work was done using bolt-ons. SLP components were used for the dual cold-air induction, air lid, MAF, high ratio rocker arms, manual fan override, thermostat, Jet Hot-coated long-tube headers, SS performance exhaust, and the Level 1 heavy-duty suspension package. A K&N air filter, Bosch Platinum +4 spark plugs, Red Line racing oil, polished billet aluminum inner fender vents, and Random Technology Street Lethal ultra-low restriction cats round out the performance side.
The 6-speed transmission has a Hurst competition shifter and CNC machined knob. They also reversed the TCS to stay inactive, unless manually activated, and used the SLP skip shift eliminator kit to kill one of the worst features on a manual 4th-gen. Baer Eradispeed cross-drilled and slotted rotors ,with the combination of VGX Stealth metallic carbon pads, give it some serious stopping power. It rolls on staggered 8.5×19”/9.5×19” BBS wheels, and special order Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
Other Modifications Include:
- LeMans Style Headlight System with Aircraft Aluminum ABS Headlight Tubs
- PETG Acrylic UV Coated Lens Covers
- Bubble Alignment system
- CATS High Beam 280 Watt Bulbs
- Front and Rear Seats Custom Hand Sewn Yellow and Black Italian Leather Inserts
- French Stitched Shifter Boot in Yellow Italian Leather
- Door Panels Customized with Yellow Italian Leather Inserts
- Gauge Pod on Windshield Pillar
- Auto Meter Pro Comp Oil Pressure, Oil Temp & Water Temp
- Custom Fiberglass Hood
- Modified Front Bumper
- Custom “Slingshot” Badging Throughout the Exterior and Interior of Trans Am
This car is also well-optioned from the factory, power everything, cruise control, a factory Delco AM/FM/CD/EQ stereo, and so on.
We were very curious about what this dealer project would cost to the driver, as they estimated the modifications on the car would add up to around $30,000 (we’ll let that sink it for a moment). This would put the Slingshot Trans Am at $65,000 brand new. Someone thought it was well worth it; this Slingshot Trans Am has been collector owned since it was new, and only has 1,544 miles on it — it’s still in showroom condition.
The original owner had chosen to never really open this car up, but hey, it’s their car to do as they like. It’s never actually seen a track, it’s spent most of its time in a climate-controlled collector’s garage for the past 14-years. Some might consider it a waste since it’s likely one of the best-optioned 4th-gens to leave a dealership, but collectors are all about preservation and keeping the vehicles safe from the dangers of the roads and tracks.
We do, however, suspect that this car may has since been sold to a second owner, and possible subsequent owners. We’ve seen ads for its sale throughout the years, but never any mention of it changing hands. These ads might all be from the original owner, or possibly different owners. Almost ten years ago, a seller had it listed for $70,000, and the feedback wasn’t spectacular across the LS/F-Body forums. We can trace it to an eBay auction in June of 2014, the highest bid was just over $27,000, and the auction ended without a new owner. It shows that the car was relisted, but then the ad was removed, so the owner either had a private offer, or a change of heart. With the highest bid nowhere near the seller’s clear expectations, maybe they just decided to hang on to it for another couple of decades.
▪ CAR: 2002 Trans Am WS6
▪ ENGINE BLOCK: 5.7L 346 cu. in.
▪ CRANKSHAFT: Stock
▪ PISTONS: Stock
▪ CAMSHAFT: Stock
▪ CYLINDER HEADS: Stock
▪ COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.1:1
▪ INDUCTION: SLP Dual Cold Air Induction, SLP Lightweight Performance Airbox Lid, K&N High Performance Air Filter, SLP Mass Airflow Sensor, Smooth High Flow Performance Bellows
▪ VALVETRAIN: SLP LS1 High Ratio Rocker Arms
▪ EXHAUST: SLP Jet Hot Coated Long Tube Headers, SLP SS Performance Exhaust System, One Off Handmade Stainless Steel Exhaust Tips
▪ FUEL DELIVERY: Stock
▪ OILING: Red Line Full Synthetic 20/50 Racing Oil
▪ TUNING: Stock
▪ GAUGES: Auto Meter Pro Comp Oil Pressure, Oil Temp & Water Temp
▪ TRANSMISSION: 6-Speed Manual Transmission
▪ SHIFTER: Hurst Competition Linkage Shifter with Custom CNC Machined Knob, SLP Skip Shift Eliminator
▪ DRIVESHAFT: SLP High Performance Heavy Duty Steel Driveshaft
▪ REAREND: Performance Products Differential Cover
▪ SUSPENSION: SLP Level 1 Heavy Duty Package: Reinforced Fully Boxed, Rear Control Arms & Panhard Bar, Special Polyurethane Bushings and Suspension Bushings, Heavy Duty Sway Bars 32mm Front / 21mm Rear, Eibach, Progressive Rate Pro Performance Springs (1.2 Inch Lower), Bilstein Road Racing Ultra Suspension Gas Shocks and Struts
▪ CHASSIS/FRAME MODS: SLP Subframe Connectors
▪ BRAKES: Baer Eradispeed Cross Drilled and Slotted Rotors, VGX Stealth Metallic Carbon Pads, Calipers Powder Coated Yellow
▪ WHEELS: BBS Ferrari ALMS Challenger Motorsports Aluminum Wheels (Super Light!), 8.5”x19” Front / 9.5”x19” Rear
▪ TIRES: Special Order Michelin Pilot Sport Tires 245/35/ZR19 Front and 285/30/ZR19 Rear, Ultra High Speed Balanced and Infrared Aligned
▪ POWER: 400+ Horspower
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!