Speedtech Performance Parts
Street Fighter Kit
-Custom designed High Clearance tubular upper control arms
-Tubular lower control arms
-Second Gen Chicane kit that converts your frame to a true coilover system
-Viking Double Adjustable Coilover shocks
-AFX Tall forged spindles with GM C5/C6 hubs
-Specially designed steering arms
-Tubular Sway Bar and mount hardware
Torque Arm Rear Suspension
-Articulink Trailing Arms
From John Woods
I was originally competing in the optima series with an original 1970 Trans. With the new 1970 Firebird Espree (Trans Am Clone) that I am competing with in the 2019 the car is safer, faster, and the handles better.
Foregline GA3R 18×11 with hidden hardware and center caps. 5×4.75 Bolt pattern. 315 Tires on all four corners
Beautiful GM color from the 2012 Corvette – “Jet Stream Blue”.
For this build I included a Sparco racing seat with bolsters next to my head to prevent neck injury in case of a side impact. Custom mounting points were welded to the lower floor board to securely attach the seat to the body of the car.
The steering column is a Sweet Manufacturing collapsible steering column with a detachable steering wheel. The detachable steering wheel allows for quick exits from the car in case of fire. There are at least 3 car fires every year at Optima Events.
The car also has a complete SPA NASA approved fire suppression system with 3 fire nozzles under the hood, 2 in the driver compartment, and 1 on the rear fuel cell. The fire system is activated by a pull handle attached to the dash.
The fuel is now contained in a Fuel Safe fuel cell with a steel case, rubber fuel bladder, and check valves to prevent fuel from spilling in the event of a rollover.
And finally, The 1970 Firebird also has a full NASA approved roll cage that provides full front, rear, overhead protection along with NASCAR style door bars for side impacts and window safety net. At speeds in excess of 160 mph it would be foolish to complete without a roll cage. We are seeing roll cages become common place in optima street cars.
As you can see, this car was built around safety as the number 1 priority.
The new car utilizes a full Street Fighter suspension setup from Jay Weir over at Speed Tech Performance and custom valved Ridetech Triple Adjustable shocks.
The SpeedTech Track Time suspension relocated the suspension mounts on the front and rear of the car and lowered the upper control arm mounting positions to improve negative camber gain in hard cornering. Speed Tech also utilizes a full coil over spring and shock. The rear suspension is a modified torque arm setup, which was found in 4th gen GM cars.
Since Optima is a “steet car” event, I am utilizing the stock GM subframe, stock engine mounts and stock engine placement.
The new wheels are 18×11 Forgeline GA3R wheels with 315 BFG Rivals.
I designed a custom manual brake setup utilizing a CNC dual master cylinder with HUGE Willwood Aero 6 calipers with oversized pistons, 14.25 inch rotors, and Polymatrix H Compound racing pads. The stopping performance of this car is nothing short of amazing. Pad knock back is not an issue thanks to the full floating Ford 9 inch from Speedway
Jack Simms at Legend Gear and Transmission along with Jody Haag at Jody’s Transmission provided an outstanding 5 speed manual transmission with a custom .80 5th gear ratio. The LGT 700 transmission simply blows away the Tremec TKO 600. The LGT 700 Transmission is hands down the best 5 speed on the market. The shifting is fast and the gear ratios are better than the TKO 600.
For the engine selection I worked with Johnny Thomas, who runs an old school race engine shop in North, Ga. Johnny Thomas’s roots go back to working with the Elliot family NASCAR team from Dawsonville, Ga. The engine was actually dynode on Bill Elliot’s old Dyno from his NASCAR years. Pushing out huge power numbers of 627 horespower and 580 ft lbs of torque, the 414 ci small block will easily push the car upwards of 150 mph (top speed at the Daytona event). During the first test day I actually got to test the car on Bill Elliot’s airstrip in Dawsonville, Ga.
I think this is the best part of the new build. ALL of the sheet metal is original 1970 Trans Am sheet metal from GM, even the hood scoop is an original 1970. I was able to find the original 70 TA hood in New York. The front lower valance I found in Seattle. The original 70 TA fenders I found in Decatur, Ga. And the subframe is an original subframe. The front fenders and rear quarters were cut in half an “strechted” outwards to accommodate the huge wheels and tires. This mod is only noticeable to a well trained eye. All the metal on this car is exactly what you would have gotten from the Pontiac dealership in 1970, making this car a real ULTIMATE STREET CAR!