The Perfect Pontiac?
This 1973 Trans Am Might Just be the Perfect Pontiac
Talk to enough car enthusiasts, and there’s one common theme that always presents itself: The car they’ve built holds some sort of strong emotional attachment, for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s their first car they’ve managed to hold onto for decades and eventually restore. Sometimes it’s a model owned by an older gearhead neighbor that’s wormed its way into the memory banks. Sometimes, as in the case of Sriyantha Weerasuria (SW for short), the car is a representation of the glory days of high school, when times were simpler and responsibilities were few.
“In high school, all my buddies had Chevelles and Camaros. I had a ’76 455 four-speed and a ’79 6.6-liter four-speed—I had three Trans Ams at one time in high school,” he tells us.
SW, who today is the owner of Elite Motorsports in Austin, Texas, one of the country’s leading used exotic-vehicle dealers, has a long and storied history with muscle cars, exotics, racing, and the gearhead life in general. But the Pontiac has always been the object of his affection.
“Right now, I have 18 cars. I’ve been a car guy all my life. I’ve had Underground Racing twin-turbo Lamborghinis, I’ve gone 240 mph in the half-mile, and I still hold the record for the fastest manual six-speed Supra in the quarter-mile with a 7.91 at 189 mph. I road-race a lot and have a Viper ACR and a Porsche GT3 RS. Trans Ams are my favorite cars, over my Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Ferraris. I’ve even bought my son a 1971 blue and white Trans Am; we are going to restore it together,” he says.
As you might have gathered, this isn’t SW’s only TA; he owns one other—a Buccaneer Red 1973 example—in addition to the aforementioned ’71. His 30-plus-year history at the helm of Elite Motorsports has put him in a position to build himself the ultimate example of what he envisions the Trans Am to be. Of course, this particular Trans Am, finished in Brewster Green, is an extremely rare example of the 1973 model year. Brewster Green was a one-year color, and there were only 146 Brewster Green Trans Ams manufactured in 1973, very few of which remain 43 years later.
SW’s Brewster Green beast was destined for a complete makeover from the moment he took ownership. The car, purchased for the princely sum of $13,000 on eBay, was immediately delivered to Detroit Speed, which has been responsible for other builds SW has undertaken in the past.
“Once I bought the car, I talked with Kyle at Detroit Speed about what I wanted to do. I wanted the full catalog— the ultimate Trans Am,” SW says.
The 427ci engine, developed and built by Mast Motorsports, features Callies forged crankshaft and H-beam connecting rods with Diamond pistons. Mast CNC-ported LS7 cylinder heads use 294cc runners and flow 410 cfm at 28 inches of water. The engine is fed by one of Detroit Speed’s 1,000hp fuel systems and controlled by a Mast electronic fuel-injection system to create a reliable, naturally aspirated LS engine. Combine these characteristics with the compression ratio and Mast Motorsports–spec hydraulic-roller camshaft, and you’ve got