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Thread: Jay Leno takes you on a walk around his WS6

  1. #1
    What the cluck?
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    Jay Leno takes you on a walk around his WS6

    Keeps it pretty clean


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    He's missing a lug nut cover on the passenger front

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    What the cluck?
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    It's probably the locking lugnut, those didn't have the outer threads to screw on the plastic caps. Pretty sure that's how mine are too.

    edit: Maybe not. I may just be missing a couple lug nut covers myself
    Last edited by GldRush98; 02-17-2021 at 09:34 PM.

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    pret-tay, prettay good TTU's Avatar

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    I love Jay! Cool vid thanks for posting

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    Registered Member #1WideTrak's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GldRush98 View Post
    It's probably the locking lugnut, those didn't have the outer threads to screw on the plastic caps. Pretty sure that's how mine are too.

    edit: Maybe not. I may just be missing a couple lug nut covers myself
    The factory locks are threaded for the caps.

    Kinda strange seeing Leno old. In my mind he should still be in his 40s or early 50s.



    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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    DANSBIRD's Avatar

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    Nice video.

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    Registered Member MiLLs's Avatar

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    was he correct on the meaning of the WS6? "wide suspension, six pieces" ? i have always wondered that, also I didn't know they came with a different cam?

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    Registered Member Gearhead SS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiLLs View Post
    was he correct on the meaning of the WS6? "wide suspension, six pieces" ? i have always wondered that, also I didn't know they came with a different cam?
    No. He got a lot wrong in that video. Like the Corvette LS1 having a different cam and shit. And the WS6 having different engine internals over a regular Trans Am or Formula.
    Last edited by Gearhead SS; 02-18-2021 at 12:59 AM.

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    Big Red

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    When you know so much about so many cars, I'm sure its tough to keep all the facts straight. I give him a pass on that and enjoy the content.

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    Registered Member #1WideTrak's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackbirdWS6 View Post
    When you know so much about so many cars, I'm sure its tough to keep all the facts straight. I give him a pass on that and enjoy the content.
    Good point. And unless I'm wrong about the LT1, the LS1 was the first time the engine was the same between platforms. Most people assumed it was always like that. I wish he had been aware of the fact the factory HP rating was underrated as just about every dynoed LS1 told us.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

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    Registered Member 024mula's Avatar

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    I'm with Mr. Leno on this also, I wasn't crazy about the Trans Am nose but I liked the Firebirds nose but I didn't care for a 6 cyl. So thats why I got a Formula it has the best of both worlds for me. The nice clean look of a Firebird but the power of a Trans Am.

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    Registered Member MiLLs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead SS View Post
    No. He got a lot wrong in that video. Like the Corvette LS1 having a different cam and shit. And the WS6 having different engine internals over a regular Trans Am or Formula.
    I didn’t think base engine internals were any different between the models. Just wasn’t sure about meaning of WS6.

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    Registered Member 024mula's Avatar

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    Who knows.....................................


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    Registered Member Black96lt1's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by #1WideTrak View Post
    Good point. And unless I'm wrong about the LT1, the LS1 was the first time the engine was the same between platforms. Most people assumed it was always like that. I wish he had been aware of the fact the factory HP rating was underrated as just about every dynoed LS1 told us.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    The only difference between the vette and f-body lt1s were vettes got 4 bolt mains.

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    I have a very expensive pen. Hack Job's Avatar

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    I didn't expect him to be so enthusiastic about an F-body of that era. I was just cleaning my basement out a few days ago and found my LS1 Motorsports lid from my 02 SS. Between that and this video, the nostalgia is hitting me right in the feels this week.

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    Registered Member ARSENAL670's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter98TA View Post
    He's missing a lug nut cover on the passenger front

    First thing I noticed too

    Mine used to do that, until I got new tires this past summer and eliminated the locking lug nuts from all 4 wheels. No more missing caps.

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead SS View Post
    No. He got a lot wrong in that video. Like the Corvette LS1 having a different cam and shit. And the WS6 having different engine internals over a regular Trans Am or Formula.
    Well, technically that's correct, the Vettes did have a different cam than the Fbodies. In the earlier years it was due to no EGR on the Vette. But in any case the differences between cams were small enough that one wasn't any more aggressive nor made more power on the dyno.

    Quote Originally Posted by MiLLs View Post
    was he correct on the meaning of the WS6? "wide suspension, six pieces" ? i have always wondered that, also I didn't know they came with a different cam?
    I don't know where he got that from but yeah he does have 180 cars so I can forgive him. Sounded like he sort of confused it with the Olds 4-4-2 (4bbl carb, 4 speed trans, dual exhaust).

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    Registered Member mogs01gt's Avatar

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    got to love that ground clearance!

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    Registered Member Gearhead SS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHRATA01 View Post
    Well, technically that's correct, the Vettes did have a different cam than the Fbodies. In the earlier years it was due to no EGR on the Vette. But in any case the differences between cams were small enough that one wasn't any more aggressive nor made more power on the dyno.



    I don't know where he got that from but yeah he does have 180 cars so I can forgive him. Sounded like he sort of confused it with the Olds 4-4-2 (4bbl carb, 4 speed trans, dual exhaust).
    There's no difference in them for 2001-2002. His car is a 2002 so that's why I said that.

    WS6 goes all the way back to 1978 and it was the suspension performance package for late 2nd gens. Larger diameter sway bar, tighter steering box gear ratio, GR70-15 raised white letter GoodYear Polysteel Radials, and 15x8 inch snowflake rims.

    Also, not sure how many of you have looked at prices for these things lately but they are sky fucking high. Worth what we all paid for them back then if they're low miles and in really good shape.
    Last edited by Gearhead SS; 02-18-2021 at 06:43 PM.

  20. #20
    SPECIAL DARK HOTCIVIC's Avatar

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    Damn he really said "nice interior"

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    DANSBIRD's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOTCIVIC View Post
    Damn he really said "nice interior"
    Shut your trap, HOTCIVIC. It IS nice interior. Sure, the dash cracks into a million pieces, and the door panels crack due to #reasons, and the glove box sags, and there's a hump in the passenger side floorboard, and the window motors are heavily underpowered and die, and the door is 5 feet long. IT IS NICE INTERIOR!

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    SPECIAL DARK HOTCIVIC's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by DANSBIRD View Post
    Shut your trap, HOTCIVIC. It IS nice interior. Sure, the dash cracks into a million pieces, and the door panels crack due to #reasons, and the glove box sags, and there's a hump in the passenger side floorboard, and the window motors are heavily underpowered and die, and the door is 5 feet long. IT IS NICE INTERIOR!
    When Jay said that I immediately went to the YT comments to look for the firestorm.

    However - pretty cool he's worth half a billion and he's owned/driven just about every exotic on the planet, and he's still down to earth enough to appreciate the Firebird for what it is.

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    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Pretty sure WS6 is just an RPO code and nothing more.
    Last edited by ChillPhatCat; 02-19-2021 at 04:01 AM.

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    Registered Member 024mula's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOTCIVIC View Post
    Damn he really said "nice interior"
    I can't believe he said that either, I was trying to see in his video if the door panels were cracked but I didn't get a good look.

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    Into the abyss EABiker's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat View Post
    Pretty sure WS6 is just an RPO code and nothing more.
    Eggzactly right.

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    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Also, if the 6 represented number of suspension components wouldn't that imply there are no shocks? Should be 10 suspension components... or does the panhard bar also count as a suspension component?

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    What the cluck?
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    Leno isn't the first one to claim that is what WS6 stands for.
    I think it's likely that one of the following things is the truth:

    WS6 was just an RPO code, and the wide suspension - 6 pieces claim was retconned to fit the RPO code,
    Or it actually does mean wide suspension 6 pieces.

    Origins of the WS6 code:
    Pontiac introduced the WS6 Special Performance Package with the 1978 Trans Am. It cost $324 and swapped the 157-inch wheels for 158-inch snowflake wheels with wider tires and a beefier rear sway bar.
    It's possible. It is wider, and it upgraded 6 suspension components; 4 thicker springs, and 2 thicker sway bars.
    I rate this myth: Plausible.

    Only the dude working at Pontiac in the late 70's can say for sure why he used WS6 for that package on the TA

  28. #28
    What the cluck?
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOTCIVIC View Post
    However - pretty cool he's worth half a billion and he's owned/driven just about every exotic on the planet, and he's still down to earth enough to appreciate the Firebird for what it is.
    I think my favorite part of it all. He could literally drive any car he wants.
    And he still takes the ole Pontiac out as a driver

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    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Considering that WS4 was used to designate Trans Am... and I've seen reports of a WS3 RPO code for some other appearance package, it seems like a stretch.

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Yeah and WS9 was a code too.


    Found this on ls1tech

    WS9 is the Formula conversion Pkg
    W66 is the Formula Merchandise Pkg
    Y82 is the Trans Am Merchandise Pkg
    All the V8 cars carry the WS9 Code, To be a Formula or Trans Am it must have the coresponding code aswell.
    WS9 + W66 = Formula
    WS9 + Y82 = Trans Am
    WS9 + W66 + WS6 = Formula WS6
    WS9 + Y82 + WS6 = Trans Am WS6

  31. #31
    Team Hobbit windham's Avatar

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    A bit offtopic but I loved the 3rd and 4th gen Formula Firehawk.

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    What the cluck?
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHRATA01 View Post
    Yeah and WS9 was a code too.


    Found this on ls1tech

    WS9 is the Formula conversion Pkg
    W66 is the Formula Merchandise Pkg
    Y82 is the Trans Am Merchandise Pkg
    All the V8 cars carry the WS9 Code, To be a Formula or Trans Am it must have the coresponding code aswell.
    WS9 + W66 = Formula
    WS9 + Y82 = Trans Am
    WS9 + W66 + WS6 = Formula WS6
    WS9 + Y82 + WS6 = Trans Am WS6
    Don't forget W68 (Sport Appearance Package).
    W68 was an appearance package for the v6 Firebird that added the ground effects and alternate exhaust tips to it. A somewhat uncommon option, my friend has a bird with it though.
    For the Camaro, it was basically the "RS" package with out the RS badges.
    Last edited by GldRush98; 02-26-2021 at 09:29 PM.

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    Cool article about 1 of the 2 only 1998 WS6 Formula Convertibles and how it accidentally ended up in the public's possession.



    Forgotten Formula: A ’98 Firebird Formula WS6 Convertible Exists

    By ANDREW NUSSBAUM AUGUST 26, 2019
    It seems more often than not that when we write about a Pontiac, the word ‘rare’ becomes part of the story. Well, with that said and as a follow-up to “Formula-Driven” The Final Firebird Formula ’98-’02, have we got a rare Pontiac for you. In fact, a Pontiac that, by all accounts, shouldn’t even exist, but it does. So now in an exclusive feature, LSX Magazine uncloaks this piece of late-model Poncho history, sharing all we know about this rarest of the last of the breed birds…and of course, we’ll show her to you, as well.



    Shoulda’, Coulda’, Woulda’: The 1998 Formula

    Not to be redundant, but this story demands reiteration of some key details about Firebird Formula production for the ’98 model-year. The Formula (W66) was fitted with the Gen III 5.7L LS1 and, like all birds, wore a new front fascia, fenders, hood, headlights, and taillights. It was all good for Pontiac’s other V8, bird-sharing drivetrain with standard and optional features with its Trans Am sibling, while retaining the silky-smooth sleeper shape of the base Firebird. The one negative, based on very low 1994-’97 orders:there would be no convertible Formulas offered from 1998-‘02, with open-air cruising relegated to the base ‘bird and Trans Am only.



    Early Birds And Acronyms: ASC, SLP, And WS6

    By mid-1997, the Firebird line was in flux with the aforementioned changes being readied for the 1998 model-year production. Most integral was American Sunroof Company (ASC), taking over the WS6 Ram Air program from Street Legal Performance (SLP). SLPs Tier-1 relationship with GM/Pontiac had developed/manufactured the Ram Air revival for the ‘96-’97 LT1 V8 Firebirds. ASC now conceived a new WS6 package, with a revised hood and Ram-Air intake integrated with the Firebirds fresh fascia. ASC was also responsible for fourth-gen convertible conversions an honored task bestowed upon them since the third-gen cars.



    With all this transference going on and seemingly before the final decision was made to ax the ragtop Formula option, two topless Formulas were built as test and tune vehicles. Both were pre-production proposal ASC WS6 cars in red (81U) pewter cloth(14B) interior, with our owner’s car having an automatic, black top, and the other, fitted with a six-speed and white top. According to extensive research and the paperwork provided by our owner, his car was invoiced by the Pontiac division and produced in May of 1997 and then shipped to GMs Fleet Operations in Milford, Michigan. The invoice also shows North American Operations (NAO), Company Vehicle Fleet Ypsilanti, Michigan, as a possible delivery destination.


    From there, one doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to apply deductive reasoning as to the early life of our subject car — only what happened after. As for the six-speed, white-topped example with no real evidence of its present-day whereabouts, except for some unconfirmed internet rumor, it most likely met with the crusher or was dismantled for parts or SEMA modification, as is common practice for vehicles of this type.

    Car Facts

    For both the present owner and us, no stone was left unturned in telling this story with the utmost accuracy. With that, we’ll take it from the top and our first piece of evidence: the vehicle CARFAX. According to this detailed history, our convertible Formula WS6 is not even identified as such but is recorded as a ‘98 Firebird Trans Am convertible. This is also the case on the previous owners’ buyer’s guide/warranty paperwork, but more on that later.

    With invaluable input from the founder and head of Pontiac Historic Services (PHS) and Poncho guru, Jim Mattison proposes that with the very low VIN number, and since no convertible Formula WS6 cars were supposed to exist, the car was assumed to be a Trans Am. He adds that this car should never have ended up in public hands for the above-mentioned reasons, and no window sticker will exist either. Mr. Mattison suggests that this Formula’s clandestine existence and lack of eyes on it, when its paperwork went across someone at GM’s desk, is how it slipped through the corporate cracks and was sent to auction and sold as a topless Trans Am.



    Mattison’s theory seems spot-on, since the CARFAX shows one owner from Minnesota purchasing the car with 12,899 miles on it at a Midwest Region Auto Auction in late January 1999. Mattison states this was probably a dealer sale with a manufacturer’s certificate of origin. For four years, the owner enjoyed the rare Formula, between residences in Minnesota and sunny Arizona. As of May 2003, the CARFAX shows the Formula ending up in a Phoenix dealer’s inventory, with 23,686 miles on the clock. Here’s where our secret saga really heats up.

    Owner Two: Enter Paul



    Paul Albrecht is a Wisconsin native and heavy truck dealer who also happens to be friends with our present owner. He’s not necessarily a car guy — in 2003, Paul was on the hunt for a sporty car, something to enjoy his days off, and during those brief Wisconsin summers. Hoping to avoid the likely rust and rot issues associated with cars living up north, Paul relegated his search to the southern states. One day, while scanning the Internet, Paul’s eye was transfixed by a shiny red Pontiac Firebird convertible, offered by Performance Dodge in Phoenix, Arizona. After some phone conversation and a local buddy’s quick appraisal, Paul hopped on a desert-bound flight with every intention of buying the topless Firebird.



    Once on the ground at Performance Dodge, Paul was told a story about this particular car. According to the salesperson, the Formula’s previous owner was a former GM executive who had a second home in Phoenix and had recently traded-in the ‘bird for a diesel-powered Dodge pick-up. Most tales do originate from truths. But connecting the dots on the CARFAX history, 16 years after the fact and with a Dodge dealership that no longer exists, knowing for sure if this backstory is accurate is quite impossible. All Paul did know for sure was that he loved his new red convertible enough to strap in and drive the 1,700 miles and roughly 27 hours back to Wisconsin.



    Once back in the badger state, Paul cruised the tires off his new ragtop V8-powered Firebird, still not knowing what he had. That question only started badgering him when everywhere he went, many admirers would ask, “What kind of car is this and do they still make them?” So, by early 2004, Paul decided to call PHS and the plot thickened from there. According to Paul, within a day of speaking to Jim Mattison at PHS, who told him [Paul] unequivocally, that he shouldn’t have that car, he received a pretty surprising phone call. The man on the line said he was from Pontiac and asked Paul how he got the rare ‘bird and then quickly made an offer of $30,000 for her. Only having just purchased the car and still in shock as to what he’d acquired by pure chance, Paul decided to keep his Formula. Since PHS gets its info from the manufacturer, this phone call makes sense, as Pontiac would’ve gotten word of the car’s existence and private ownership.

    In February 2004, the PHS documents arrived,including the vehicle invoice/order sheet from Pontiac. An enlightened Paul learned that his was an authentic, one of two built, 1998 WS6 Firebird Formula Convertible. As a further nod to his lucky acquisition of a car that no one should have owned, a big underlined “congratulations” appears on the PHS cover sheet.



    Even with the good news, Paul’s tenure would be short and sweet. By 2006, an unfortunate impending divorce began to steer him toward a painful and reluctant sale.

    Keeper Of The Flame: Present Owner



    Randy Davis is a 51-year old excavating contractor from Wisconsin, whose friendship with Paul started many years before this story. A lifelong car guy, Randy exalts being a self-taught mechanic, pulling cylinder heads and doing his first motor swap at 13 years old and fixing people’s cars by 15. The early hot rodding was definitely a byproduct of good parenting, being that Randy describes his dad as a youthful racer and mom being into cars, too. Randy had plenty of exposure to American iron, growing up around dad’s ‘55 Chevy, ’65 Stang and ’69 383-cid/four-speed-pistol-gripped Road Runner. However, Randy’s first steeds were big, heavy, hand-me-down sedans, which were better than nothing.

    Randy had laid eyes on his pal Paul’s topless Firebird more than once and definitely liked what he saw. When Paul informed him about his marital situation and needing to part with the Formula, Randy was an instant player. Since receiving the iron-clad PHS confirmation of the Formula’s origins and the $30,000 offer from the unnamed Pontiac person, Paul felt brazen enough to put the Formula on eBay with a $100,000reserve. After a short stint with no offers, Paul and Randy’s negotiations got serious.



    Paul knew he had a rare collector piece, if not yet a six-figure car, and wanted to fetch a good price. Randy was aware of the Formula’s special uniqueness and didn’t want to insult his friend. But without a crystal ball, he was intent on getting the car for a price that made sense in the present. With that, Randy offered Paul $35,000 for the 8-year-old Formula Firebird, now showing a tad over 40,000 miles on the odometer. Taking into consideration that this was a strong offer, five-grand more than the anonymous Pontiac guy offered three-years prior, and knowing it would have a good home, Paul eventually accepted. So, with all that said and done, by May of 2006, Randy Davis took possession of the Formula Firebird WS6 convertible. Ironically, this is the only Firebird and Pontiac he has ever owned. Since obtaining the Formula, Randy has driven it sparingly during Wisconsin’s short summers, going to local shows and barely recording 1,000 miles in the last 13 years.



    Droptop Have And Have Not

    Lest any questions remain as to the authenticity of our subject car, one need look no further than the (RPO) sticker or Service Parts Identification (SPID) label on the driver’s side door jamb. Here we find four tell-tale codes, which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what she is. The first code in the upper right-hand corner is 2FS67 — this denotes a convertible Firebird it would be 2FS87 for a hardtop/T-top coupe. Code WS9 means a V8 Firebird and all Formulas and Trans Am’s have this. Code W66 denotes that this Firebird was built as a Formula model — it would be Y82 for a Trans Am. And WS6, which shows that this car is equipped with the Ram Air performance and handling package.



    Furthermore, it’s what our Ram Air Formula convertible is missing, as much as what it has, that cements the proof of its early secretive beginnings and not-for-sale-status. Clearly absent in the pictures provided by Randy, are any “Ram Air” decals on the leading edges of each hood scoop. Also not present is a “Pontiac Ram Air” decal under the hood on the airbox. And as the icing on the cake, the early production ASC Ram Air hood is rough, to say the least. With Randy’s description and images of the underside, depicting a hand-formed and unfinished piece, with glue visible on the seams and fiberglass and composite weave showing, it’s obvious pieces of this car were not off the assembly line.




    Conclusion

    Well, there you have it. This is definitely one of the rarest birds to fly from GM’s Canadian coop, and owned by a guy who hadn’t partaken in the Poncho hobby prior. After exhaustive questioning and with definite pushing of our own opinion, Randy seems intent on keeping his one-of-one ragtop Ram Air Formula for quite a while. Who knows, maybe 20 years from now, on a cool January night in Scottsdale, Arizona, Randy’s rolling piece of Pontiac provenance will go across the block and command some big money. Good luck Randy, and thank you for sharing.

    More pictures in the link.

    https://www.lsxmag.com/features/forg...rtible-exists/

  34. #34
    CEO: US Heat Lightning Network Dr WeatherBoner's Avatar

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    Cliffs?

  35. #35
    This one's for you, Nell cuda6pak's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr WeatherBoner View Post
    Cliffs?
    I heard Bob Cosby owned the second one but was so scared he drove it into a lake

  36. #36
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda6pak View Post
    I heard Bob Cosby owned the second one but was so scared he drove it into a lake
    And somehow Ted Kennedy was involved.

  37. #37
    What the cluck?
    GldRush98's Avatar

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    Gamertag: GldRush98 Steam ID: GldRush98
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr WeatherBoner View Post
    Cliffs?
    No LS1 Formula Convertibles exist. Pontiac axed them after the LT1 Formula Convertible sales flopped.
    However, 2 were produced by ASC as test cars. 1 is unknown, probably destroyed or otherwise dismantled.
    This one is the only known LS1 Formula Convertible to exist. It's also a WS6 as ASC made the convertible versions, and of course made the WS6.
    The hood is very pre-production which is pretty cool in itself IMO.
    So this is basically a test car from ASC. Supposedly owned by a former GM exec who traded it in at a dealer where it fell in to private ownership.

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