Welcome to the official home of "SKNKWRX", my black Mecham Trans Am, build number 009. I had been trying to order a black WS6 Trans Am since October 1998 with no luck. Finally my dealer, Bill Rush Pontiac/GMC, in Burlington, CO, was allocated another Trans Am. So we put my order in as soon as possible. Much to my disgust, Pontiac would not accept the order due to constraints on building the WS6 Ram Air cars. The regional Pontiac representative told Bill and I that they would build no more WS6 cars for 1999, as they were so far behind already. So basically what is on the dealer lots, are what is left. And they are going for sticker and more.
I told Bill to give me a day or so to decide what to do. I have been torn between the WS6, Firehawk, and Mecham T/A, since deciding it was time to get a new toy. I pulled out my research material on the Firehawk and Mecham to decide what to do. A new friend of mine, Kadin, who I met on LS1.com has Mecham T/A #4, was very helpful with information on his car, and Mecham in general. I did get to see his when he was on his way home in April. Seeing it in person, made me want mine even sooner. Well the next day I called Dennis Mecham, and we spoke for an hour or so. Dennis is very friendly and willing to discuss his modifications to the Trans Am. I go into the modifications Mecham does on "SKNKWRX"'s page, just go to the table of contents and click on "SKNKWRX". I went ahead and called my dealer back the next day and told him to order a regular Trans Am, no ram air, 16" wheels and tires. I then told him it is to be drop shipped to Arizona for some "fun stuff"! My dealer laughed and said who is it going to? I told Bill it is going to Mecham! He went ahead and ordered it, and it is to be built the week of 3/15/99. So I should be able to pick the car up from Mecham towards the end of May if all goes well. You can go to "SKNKWRX" home in the table of contents and see the progress and pictures nd specifications.
You might be wondering about the name of my Trans Am. "SKNKWRX" is the abbreviation of "Skunk Works". Skunk Works is the legendary Lockheed Aircraft Corporation "secret" Research and Development team. Skunk Works is responsible for many of of The United States fighter aircraft past and present. Probably the two most famous planes Skunk Works designed and built are the famous U-2 spy plane, which took high altitude photographs during the Cold War; and the SR-71 "Black Bird", which is also the fastest and highest flying spy plane of all time. The SR-71 was designed to fly at Mach 3 for long periods of time and fly higher than any plane designed then or now.
Personally, I think the Trans Am relates to the SR-71 in many ways. Of course the "Black Bird" designation matches the paint color of the Trans Am. Where as the SR-71 uses stealth technology to hide from enemies; the Trans Am screams out for attention, and gets it in a brutal way. When you see any Firebird on the road, if you are like me, you take a double look and gawk helplessly in either awe or jealousy! Make sure you wipe the drool off your chin after a sighting. In terms of speed, the SR-71 can do Mach 3 for hours on end, the Trans Am cannot do Mach 3, but it sure feels like it! Many people will argue with Firebird and Camaro enthusiasts, but most f-body cars will run high 13's in the 1/4 mile right from the factory. This would include, Trans Am, Z28, WS6, and SS Camaro. With minor modifications, you can increase horsepower and torque. The 98 and up f-body cars benefit from the same all aluminum small block Chevy as the Corvette C-5, the LS-1. While General Motors states the LS1 is detuned for the Trans Am and Camaro so as not to be a threat for the Corvette. GM states horsepower figures of 305 for T/A and Z-28, 320 for WS6, 327 SS Camaro, the Corvette is rated at 340. Most f-body drivers record 320+ rear wheel horsepower on a dyno, which roughly equates to 340+ horses at the crank!
The consensus seems to be that GM underrates horsepower figures on f-body cars for a few reasons. First and foremost is the threat to Corvette. Chevrolet's all time performance car the Corvette has to be a step ahead of any other car that GM produces. This is not a flame on Vette's in any way, so please do not take it as one. I like Corvettes and would love to own one, but money-wise and insurance-wise, they are a little out of my league. The LS1 in the Vette is rated higher due to different exhaust, intake, and cam profile, 340 horsepower. The second reason for the underrated horsepower figures in probably for the EPA ratings for new cars. GM does not want to have to pay any more than they have to in the emissions and gasoline usage penalties. These two reasons are probably just the tip of the "horsepower iceberg" for General Motors.
Whichever f-body you purchase, the LS1 is a completely new motor, not just a revamped small block. The all aluminum construction gives weight savings plus heat savings in the engine compartment. There is one coil per cylinder for great spark and ignition control. The port fuel injection is state of the art, and very different looking the it's predecessors. Full roller valve train, aggressive cam profile lead to great power in all RPM ranges. All in all, the LS1 has been a great addition to the f-body, surpassing the legendary LT-1 in performance.
As I have not received my Mecham Trans Am yet, this page is dedicated to all the other f-body owners out there. My links page will give you links to other f-body (Firebird and Camaro) owner's web sites, and performance web sites for f-bodies and LS1's.
Please check back often, as I will be constantly updating the information and posting pictures. If you have any ideas for my website,
or want to link with me, or suggestion for a link; please e-mail me at the link below!