We’ve always had a huge amount of respect for the cars that Street Legal Performance (SLP) had tuned back in the day. Taking already potent performance machines from General Motors, and making them into rare and unique automobiles is something that your author was always intrigued by.
Ed Hamburger, who started SLP in the mid-80s, went from selling over-the-counter, smog legal performance parts for TPI-powered F-bodies, to building full-on performance cars beginning in 1991 with the release of the first Firehawk. Then they launched the Trans Am & Formula WS6 and Camaro SS in addition to the Firehawk in 1996
For 1998, WS6 production fell into the hands of ASC, the Firehawk went on a one-year hiatus as a result of being unable to meet the necessary DOT-approval for the PIAA-style “LeMans” headlights. Production would resume with the standard pop-up headlights the following year and throughout the Firebird’s remaining production run, however.
Eventually, they expanded their tuning capabilities to other cars, such as the supercharged Grand Prix GTP and Regal GS (dubbing them GTX and GSX, respectively), and even S10s.
Their performance parts catalog grew as well, from the C4 and C5 Corvette, to full-size trucks and SUVs. But once F-body production ceased, they’ve expanded into other markets as well, manufacturing performance parts for late-model Ford and Chrysler vehicles.
But they’ve never lost sight of their roots, and have offered speed parts for C6 Corvette, Trailblazer SS, GTO, G8, and have even offered a G8 Firehawk for two model years before Pontiac, too, had been canceled. Good luck finding a G8 Firehawk today, they’re rare!
Today, they market the Camaro Panther; an SS-based, roots-blown, blacked-out beast with up to 700 hp, and a ZL1-based Yenko 427 sYc with the same output that we would love to get our hands on. So when we found this throwback video featuring the real story of the SLP cars (up to about 2001 or so), courtesy of American Musclecars, we had to share.
There’s also a few friends of ours both mentioned, and featured in the video too, but you’ll have to click the YouTube “play” button above to see who!
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.