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Lingenfelter Performance muscles up its own Trans Am

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Lingenfelter Performance muscles up its own Trans Am

This story comes from the 08/30/10 issue of AutoWeek magazine. Reading the magazine is the only way to make sure you don't miss anything. If you aren't getting the magazine, you can sign up today for a low price. GET AUTOWEEK MAGAZINE TODAY!


Lingenfelter Performance Engineering is reviving a name from the growing list of dead car companies, building a reimagined, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro-based Trans Am for the PlayStation generation.

Ken Lingenfelter and his Decatur, Ind., team redesigned almost every panel of the Camaro, leaving only the doors and the roof intact. They parked a 1971 Pontiac Trans Am alongside the donor car for inspiration. The recessed headlights and fog lights and the twin grille with offsetting borders practically scream Burt Reynolds. The seats are covered in a period-appropriate pattern and fabric, and it's swathed in GM's classic blue.

At the heart of the new Trans Am is Lingenfelter's 455-cubic-inch RHS aluminum block, ported and polished heads, a custom grind camshaft and a Fast LSX 102 intake. The overhaul is a 655-hp, 610-lb-ft walk down Memory Drag Strip.

The red prototype we drove wore '70s garb, with 20-inch rally-style wheels and gray accents. Color schemes include the classic white with blue and the Smokey and the Bandit special, black and gold.

The Trans Am rumbles like a speedboat and backfires like a Sprint Cup car. Torque is so prodigious that even a slight tip-in of the throttle produces massive burned rubber off the 335/35ZR-20 rears. The shaker dome rumbles at idle and has a full-on fit when you rev the motor.

What is all this nostalgia going to cost your inner Jerry Reed? The least expensive version, including a V6 Camaro donor car, sells for about $85,000. The SS-based Trans Am we drove is about $150,000. See more at www.lingenfelter.com.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100827/CARNEWS/100829883#ixzz0xpIcSzFG

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Yeah...no. The rounded soft shapes of the fascia don't match at all with the sharp creases of the Camaro body. Also, I hate the big expanses of flat nothing between the headlights/grills and the lower intake and fog lights.

The best design for the Camaro is still the way it looks out of the factory IMHO.

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So I guess when a second-gen inspired F6/Alpha Camaro debuts, they'll finally start applying first-gen cues to the T/A conversion kits?

Good to know there still is something of a demand for Pontiac to return in a limited form, though. All of these bad Camaro-to-T/A conversions are proof of that.

Edited by whiteknight
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