Mebane, North Carolina
1988 Pontiac Trans Am GTA
2001 Pontiac Trans Am WS6
Head to Head
I bought this car in April from a lady in Greensboro. She used it as her daily driver, but I saw it as much more than that. It had the WORST paint job I'd ever seen, none of the electronics work, and the stereo crapped out on the way home. So what...she ran, she drove, and she was the car I'd always wanted. She was rust-free, with all the options I wanted, and a fairly easy restore. I sold my 1983 T/A because I wanted it SO bad, and even though I miss that car, this was a good move. I am so in love with this car and she's going to be not only a great car, she'll be a great learning tool.
Now that I've had her over a year, I've done a LOT of work to her. The paint job was one of the biggest things. New brake lines and hoses all around, new rear calipers, new valve seals, and just some general catching up. It's been an adventure, and it's not over yet!
This is me and my husbands pride and joy, Dragonbird. This car has a very interresting story. She started out as a white '99 base T/A. We bought this car in Clarksville, TN in May of 2003. It only had a little over 3,000 miles on it, but it had been wrecked, but not to bad. you couldn't tell by looking at it. We have been taking it to shows since 2005, and the occasional run down the Bristol, TN dragstrip. (Thunder Valley). The best run in the '99 was a 14.03. Sadly on Aug 31st 2009, when me and my husband was leaving from the T/A Nationals in Dayton, Ohio, a truck came straight thru a turning lane hitting Dragonbird in the rear pasenger's side quarter. She sacrificed her life to save ours. We managed to get her back home with a rental truck and trailer. It was very hard looking at her in her wrecked condition. Me and my hubby Mike new we had to bring her back somehow, but her body was to badly warped. So we started the search for another T/A. It took a few weeks but finally we spotted a 2001 T/A in one of those auto trader magazines. This one was at a dealership in Clintwood, VA. In the pic she had a ramair hood, so we was wondering if she could be the real deal, we also didn't know the color of it because the pic was in black and white. Mike gave them a call and asked some questions. The man said she's a black 2001 WS6 T/A. Well with the color scheme we had goin with the '99 it would go perfect with a black T/A!!! So Mike tells the man we'll be up there to look at her. We get there, and I fall in love at 1st site. I look at her all around and with the exceptions of some places on the paint (which is now taken care of), she's perfect! I also check the RPO codes on the door to make sure she actually is a WS6, and she is :D We brought Dragonbird's new body home on Oct. 2nd 2009. Her old spirit is happily residing in her new body, DRAGONBIRD IS BACK IN BLACK!!!!!
Specs for “Emma”
5.0 Liter TPI
190 hp @ 4000 rpm
295 ft/lb @ 2800 rpm
9.3:1 Compression Ratio
9-bolt 3:27 Posi Rear
Specs for “dragonbird”
Body style:F-body, HP 325 at engine (the black "01), engine size: 350c.i. LS1 w/ six speed manual transmission,
1/4 mile time: 14.03 sec. at 102.25mph (this time was in the white T/A and she has 305 hp with 298 at rear wheel) ,
Top speed 155mph
Factory Options for “Emma”
Cruise, Tilt, A/C, Power windows, Power Locks, 4-wheel disc brakes, Leather-wrapped Steering wheel, Power Driver AND Passenger Seat, Extended-Range speakers, Wheel-mounted radio controls, Power Antenna, Rear-Window Defogger, Digital Dashboard
1 of 2,852 with the 5.0 Liter
1 of 2,809 in Flame Red Metallic
1 of 2,500 GTA models with T-tops
Factory Options for “dragonbird”
WS6 package, T-Tops, convertable, 4spd auto, 6 speed manual, 16 in. chrome rims, 16 in. aluminum rims, or 17in. aluminum rims (w/ WS6 package), beefed up suspension (w/ WS6package) monsoon stereo system w/ cd player, cd changer (can't remember how many discs off top of my head), and the best option is the SLP perfomance package which for my model year car offered 330 hp. My T/A used to be a base T/A but now with her new body she is a true WS6 ram air :) The '99 came with T-Tops, 6 speed manual, 16 in. chrome rims, power-doorlocks and windows, power driver and passenger front seats w/lumbar support, and monsoon stereo system w/ cd player. The '01 has pretty much the same options, except this one is a WS6 and instead of 16" chrome wheels she has 17" polished aluminum wheels.
Mods for “Emma”
K&N Cold Air
T-5 transmission swap
I'm not one to take mods lightly, particularly on a collector car, but she's been through several automatics and I think it's time to move to a manual! At least I chose a factory option!
Mods for “dragonbird”
I'll start out with what was done to the '99:
Flowmaster exhaust kit, SLP cold air induction kit, K&N air filter, red wire mold under hood, ramair hood from Jeg's, custom paint job (arctic white w/ a hint of pearl, and silver metal flake) with airbrushed dragons on doors and airbrushed phoenix on hood, new black carpet and headliner to replace the tan ones, customized door panels done in red and black, also some of the interior trim painted red (like the speaker covers, trim around the radio, center console), 7 color L.E.D.s under car kit, 7 color L.E.D.s wheel well light kit, 2 sets of 7 color chamillion L.E.D. interior kit (one set is under the dash, the other set is under the front seats), shifter knob with dragon, pedals are tail, body, and head of dragon, custom upholstered seats they are black w/ red inserts and they have a red dragon embroidered on the head rests and on the center part of the back seat, painted brake calipers.
Now for the '01's mod list:
Most of what is listed above is the same on Dragonbird's new body, with the exception of the Flowmaster exhaust kit. The '01 has Pacesetter headers w/ 3" exhaust, highflow cats, Spintech muffler (these were installed by the previous owner), Z06 Corvette replica wheels (black w/ a polished lip) and a 80mm TB. Her paint is Jet Black w/ silver metal flake and an awesome custom hood bird w/ many pearl colors and all the airbrushing was freehanded :)
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