A National Firebird and Trans Am Club Eagle (printed magazine sent to club members) featured car is the ‘99 Trans Am of Kyle Kelty. Here is his story:
Kyle Kelty’s Trans Am Story
Growing up in the early 80’s I had a lot of exposure to many classic television shows. I grew fond of K.I.T.T from Knightrider. The Trans Am appealed to me more than any other car. It had the perfect blend of aesthetics; aggressive and flashy yet it had a subtle beauty and elegance. I always thought each new generation had their own distinct qualities and style yet they all paid homage to previous incarnations. Although my first car was an ‘85 Buick Century (a hand me down), I soon had a red ‘93 Pontiac Grand Prix SE … and that’s when the speed bug hit me. I put on basic bolt ons and enjoyed my new (moderate) power.
I soon upgraded to a blue 88 Firebird Formula 5.0. I immediately fell in love with the raw V8 sound and aggressive looks. The TBI 5.0 was better than the 6 cylinder but anemic compared to the TPI 5.0 and 5.7 versions available. Still with exhaust and intake upgrades I fell victim to my friends ‘87 Lincoln Mark VII with its 5.0 H.O. engine. Another friend of mine had purchased a new ‘98 Corvette, envy set in. Feeling the power of the LS1 engine, I was hooked. After some reoccurring electrical problems with the Formula, I bucked up and went for my dream car. I found a gold auto ‘99 Trans Am with 25k miles. The power was thrilling and addicting and would scare passengers with ease. I had an SLIP cold air kit installed and the previous owner had already put on 3.42 gears and a magnaflow exhaust. After a few tough NYC winters, harsh driving and carrying several passengers often, I was running her into the ground and it was time to get a more practical daily driver and I opted for a 2004 Monte Carlo LS. Now with my TA sidelined, I was able to give it some TLC. First came a BBK SSI intake manifold w/matching 85mm TB. American Racing Long Tube headers with high flow cats were fitted to a 3 in Flowmaster muffler catback. Then a built rear end with 3.73 gears, Bilstein shocks and new springs. She was now passing cars in a blink of an eye. However I got wind that the local mechanic had a customer with a Firehawk getting a procharger installed and by God I had to get one! I had a D1SC installed and this was the fastest thing id ever been in. She put down 450 rwhp and 423 rwftlbs tq (@ 7.6lbs of boost). Next, I went with a Comp Cams XR265Hr, a perfect for street driving cam. To compensate for the excess heat being made I had a heat extractor hood with phoenix graphics installed. Still unable to shake the powerlust, I went for CNC-ported AFR 210 heads. I realized that I would now be pushing well over 500 at the crank was at the point of no return! A 383 lunatic forged rotating assembly was the cure. I retained the LS1 block( it is the soul of the car) and felt it could easily live up to the task. An 8 rib setup was required and the result was 530 rwhp and 517 rwftlbs tq @ 8.1lbs boost with increased power throughout all rpms. For necessary traction, 315/35/R17 C4 ZR-1 rear and 275/40/R17 front tires were fitted in. With the increased cubic inches and air flow from the heads, I have a Speed Inc blower cam on the sidelines waiting to join the game. (this is probably the last power mod I think!, updated stats soon!)
Driving my beloved Trans Am is one of my greatest stress relieving joys in my life, a constant reminder of the good times in life and she finally got the justice she deserved.