What: 1991 Pontiac Trans Am GTA
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
“Raise your kids with a car addiction – they won’t have any money for a drug addiction…” Maybe this will bring light to why we love getting more and more of these young guys and gals into the Street Stomper section here on Carsillustrated.com
Wesley is a true example of this type of upbringing…setting his sights on building a drag car started with classes in school – a machine tool technology course and then took it one step farther and started an internship at a local machine shop during his junior and senior years in high-school. Along with that, he worked his butt off and it was that hard work that landed him a full time position at the machine shop, plus the much needed funds to start in on the project you see here.
Starting with a carbureted 355cid inside the bay of his 3rd-gen “it was kind of a rats nest with all of the factory TPI harness in the engine bay”. It had a mild roller cam and a 750 Holley, but like some of us, we are a little hard on our equipment and he blew the transmission the 2nd day he owned it. So out it came and had it rebuilt – we suspect massive burnouts?
So with the trans out and the winter approaching, Wesley decided to swap out multiple parts to try and settle the suspension and get the ‘Bird to fly straight – tubular lower control arms, panhard bar, torque arm, a-arms, single adjustable coil overs for the front, a set of 275 radials, and skinnies with the help of his dad George inside the family garage helped check that off the list. After that was finished, friends Brayton and Spencer helped him swap a set of 3.73 gears into his 7.5 10 bolt and threw a 3600 stall converter into the 700r4 to help guarantee a healthy launch/60ft time.
Leap to 2015 and Wesley was not taking part in too many official events, but he was down at Lucus Oil Dragways test and tune, constantly dialing in his Pontiac for better and better times….within this time at the track he learned from friends like Randy Dobbs and ran into another fellow local racer – Nick Taylor and it was Nick who talked Wesley into coming along for the ride during Hot Rod Magazines Drag Week and Nicks 3rd place finish.
It was that group of fellow racers that helped Wesley take the path he is on now…simply put, more power….that and Nick walked up to him one morning at the track and said, “hey do you want to make a few passes in my car I’d like to watch and see what it does?” totally shocked and nervous Wesley wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity and from that point forward he knew what he wanted to do to his car.
So this past winter Wesley took the time and removed all of the old TPI harness and anything he didn’t need. After gutting most of the car, including the dash and stripped the interior. He took the car to friend Pete Johnson and Nosnhoj Performance and had a beautiful 8.50 cert chromoly cage and Kirkey seats installed. Knowing he would not need an 8.50 cert cage this year and everyone thought it was overkill – they didn’t know his plans for the future. Also, with the help of Nick, his dad, and Brayton they also dropped in a Moser 9-inch onto the rear of the ‘Bird.
Another leap forward leads us to Sportman/Bracket class racing this summer for Wesley and making it to the Divisional Three finals with a best of 12.55 @108mph at Muncie Dragway – as well as heads up win where he picked up the 13.5 index win.
Then came Drag Week….and once again we are reminded that if you want to be involved, you need to step up and get dirty. Helping Lon Tibbs tear down for tech, Kenny LaFlowers swap out a transmission as well as others, Wesley made himself available for anything and anyone that needs an extra hand at the event.
…the future looks bright.
The plan is simple, but will take some work…tearing out the SBC and start putting his junkyard 4.8l Ls engine with a Borg Warner S475 turbo in, dropping in a Matt Rodgers built Turbo 400, Holley EFI, and some extra goodies like motor plates and a parachute to bring that thing to a hault at the big end are all on the docket.
Wesley is just getting started in his love affair with drag racing, and wanted to make sure to note who has been part of his support and team through out this journey – “huge thanks to my Dad and Mom, Nick Taylor and Brayton for all their help in the garage and at races…and to all of Team 260 FTW family for the knowledge they have shared with me over the last year and ahead of time for their help with my build this coming winter”
Wesley, keep up the good fight and make sure to continue to update us with mods to the car and lower and lower et’s on those time slips…
…we will be watching – The Janitor