The Per­fect Pon­tiac?

This 1973 Trans Am Might Just be the Per­fect Pon­tiac

Hot Rod - - Contents - Ja­son Reiss Grant Cox

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

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