“There was never a great plan to build it into what it is,” is a funny way to describe how you end up with a twin-turbo V8 restomod Pontiac Firebird in your garage.
Those are the words of Kiwi Gregg Hamilton, currently Ken Block’s senior technician over at Hoonigan Racing. His day job is running Ken’s gazillion-horsepower all-wheel drive Fords, and his project car is this square-eyed Firebird that he bought not long after first moving to the United States. Hamilton said he bought the car sight unseen from a dude in Alabama and he mostly got it just so he’d have something to do.
The modifications, as they often do, just sort of snowballed from there.
“You want to make the engine a little nicer, so you pull some bits off it. You fix this then you fix that and when you fix that then this other thing looks old, and, it’s a slippery slope. Once you start,” Hamilton told Petrolicious, “you gotta be careful how far down the slope you go.”
The big change, it seems, was when he soldered himself a megasquirt ECU. That let him get some turbos, and before he knew it he had an all new engine in the car, a 5.3-liter LS V8 with 10 PSI of twin turbocharging.
“It used to just be a tractor,” Gregg smiles. “But now it’s a fast tractor.”
The look evolved from there and the whole project evolved from the engine out.
Watch the whole Petrolicious video. It’s a great story on how a project car quickly builds up and up when you don’t have a clear build plan. For once it’s nice to see it all end well, rather than with a forgotten hunk of a car gathering dust in your garage.