If you're a Trans Am guy it doesn't get any better than this. Built as a special edition for the 1973 and 1974 model years, the Super Duty 455 (SD-455) was the top rung of the Pontiac performance ladder. They're quite rare with only a few hundred produced and command a premium on the auction circuit. And it wasn't just another pretty face. It had a beefed up block with 4 bolt mains, forged con rods and pistons, Muncie transmission, and a 12 bolt rear with posi-traction. And given it was introduced deep into the years of the oil wars and tightening EPA regulations, it's amazing that she could still haul ass.
With the passage of Pontiac into the sunset, however, the only thing that aficionados of the SD-455 were left with were glossy yet dog-eared posters celebrating past glory. That is, of course, until Trans Am Depot came on the scene. They're the Florida-based tuning shop that, through a partnership with Hurst, has been cranking out modern day incarnations of the iconic Pontiac muscle car since 2011.
Based on the modern version of the Chevrolet Camaro the Depot's Trans Am is a contemporary take on what made the car great. And the new SD-455 takes it up a notch. The exterior styling looks just like what I would imagine a modern iteration of the car would look like if GM still cranked it out. And all of the bits and pieces are quite solid. They even offer a lightweight carbon fiber edition to keep the weight down as these cars are known for being a tad portly. Likewise, the inside of the car is more than just a warmed over Camaro interior containing new seats, gauge clusters, dash treatment, door sills and panels, shifter, floor mats, and etc.
But it's what's under the hood that really counts. They could've been content with let's say the drivetrain from the ZL1 and that would've been just fine - it does make 650 hp after all! But Trans Am Depot opted instead to stay true to the SD-455 heritage and drop in a 7.4 liter Magnuson supercharged 1,000 hp monster motor. Wow! Even they think it's nuts!
But all that power doesn't mean a thing if you can't effectively put it to the ground. Trans Am Depot took time and reconfigured the suspension with a lowering kit, new springs, sway bar package and a host of other tweaks to corral those extra ponies. The finished product I believe speaks for itself. Now why doesn't GM bring these guys on board to straighten out the odd-looking Camaro? Hhhhmmmmm. Buckle up.