Project Phoenix: Rounding out the Exterior Details with IROC Motorsports

photos by: the author

Project Phoenix evolves into the 21st Century Courtesy of IROC Motorsports

Project Phoenix has been in your author’s stable since the day it was first sold. As of January 15th, 2017 that means it has been in my possession for just over 15 years. Time flies when you’re having fun, but even this old bird can still hold its own.

With just over 90,000 miles on the clock (all of them are mine, thank you) and the exterior has been left largely untouched, save for tinted glass that was installed when it was new, the C4 GS wheels and the Last of the Breed badges — the latter two of which have been on the car since 2004. Needless to say, this WS6 is long overdue for a makeover and an update.

Modern pony cars have taken advantage of modern aerodynamic technologies; such as front splitters, side splitters and rear diffusers. Back when our Trans Am was designed and produced, no American car had them. These old F-bodies solely relied on basic aerodynamics within the body, front air dam and rear spoiler — much like they had in the early 1980s.

However, one company is looking to change that, namely IROC Motorsports. Located in sunny Southern Florida, IROC has been designing and engineering cosmetic upgrades for F-bodies for quite some time. Chief among which, is the front Q-Splitter that we’ve installed a few months ago.

The change in attitude is almost night and day, as our factory WS6 had plenty of attitude when it left the factory back in November, 2001. However, the front and side splitter tie the entire front profile together while the rear diffuser not only cleans up the rear bumper section, but gives us a unique twist on the cliché “CETA mod.”

6LE’s side (and front) splitters come molded in a semi-gloss black ABS plastic that’s a 1/4-inch thick, for durability and to match the industry standard for quality and strength.

They also serve as cheap insurance for those who are looking to protect the underside of their car’s body panels; i.e., it’s better to scratch up the aftermarket plastic rather than your high-polished, finished shine that’s often more than likely your factory paint.

The installation couldn’t be simpler; taking only a few of hours entirely to install the side splitters and the rear diffuser, including paint and prep time on the diffuser. We’re going to walk you through the installation of the side splitters and the rear diffuser below, and if you’re interested in learning more about how to install your front splitter, you can reference our previous installment HERE.

There are five mounting holes on each side splitter, and the included hardware mounts into the factory drilled holes for the ground effects.


Though drilling isn’t necessarily needed, after 15-20 years of use your car might need a little finesse to get the bolts into place. It should also be noted that the textured side of the splitters face up, smooth side faces towards the pavement and the pointed ends face the front of the car.


Before we mounted the car on a set of jack stands, we did test fit the rear diffuser to ensure proper fitment and get a glimpse of what it would look like when finished.


The IROC Motorsports rear diffuser doesn’t have the license plate holes pre-drilled, so you’ll have to take a precise measurement, to earn an exact idea of where to drill the diffuser.


We elected to go with a rattle can flat black enamel, available at any hardware or parts store. It really doesn’t matter which brand you use, just as long as its safe for plastics, automotive or otherwise. We laid down a base coat, then followed it up with another coat after it had dried.


Of course we didn’t want to leave it flat black in color, so after that coat had dried we finished it off with a coat of clear.


We drilled the holes off camera, but the diffuser is mounted via the plate bolt holes… and 3M double sided tape on both ends of the diffuser. Obviously we waited until the the diffuser was painted and the holes were drilled to remove the film that protects the tape.


Once we had the diffuser in place, we reinstalled the rear plate.


WS6 front splitter

We let the car sit overnight, then scrubbed her down the following day. As you can see, the Project Phoenix has a whole new look that will set her apart from the other red Trans Ams in our area.


WS6 diffusor

The rear just pops, and it looks one hundred times better than it did before, and puts an interesting twist on the played-out “CETA mod” typically seen on ’93-02 Trans Ams.


WS6 side skirts

We’re impressed by how impressive and how much the overall demeanor of the car has changed; but we’ll be looking at one or two more ways to bring the car up to “today” in the next installment. See you then!



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