Firch's 1981 TA- Butler Performance 505 cu.in Pump Gas Street
My Super T/A"
On one sunny day in August of 1993, my eight year old son (Jeff)
and I arrived at the local GM dealership. My 1991 GMC pickup
needed some service work. Then Jeff spotted a car sitting in
the used car section of the dealership. My son said to me, "Dad
it's a black Trans Am, let's go check it out." We got out of
the pickup and walked over to look at the car. I couldn't believe
my eyes, it was a 1981 black and gold, 4.9 liter Turbo Trans
Am. The car was in surprisingly good shape, it was a black diamond
in the rough. I gazed into the window, and look at the odometer
it had 26,725 miles on it. I then thought to myself this is
too good to be true. A salesman walked over, and I asked, "How
much for the T/A?" He then checked his pricelist and stated,
"For $5,995 you can drive it away today." My reply to the salesman
was, "You got yourself a deal."
drove the car occasionally for year, then decided to freshen
it up. I gave the car a frame off restoration, rebuilt the 301
C.I. motor, repainted the car, and replaced all decals/pin stripping.
I took my T/A to the local drag strip, interested in what it
would in the quarter mile. It was sad to say that the performance
of my 301 Turbo Trans Am was a heart breaker. The best time
was 17.20 at 85.7 MPH. This car was about to undergo a serious
power plant change.
I then checked my parts inventory, my choice being a 1973 455
C.I. four bolt main block. Along with other goodies that included
the following: 1971 455 H.O. heads, mild solid lifter cam, a
850 CFM Holley carburetor, Holly street dominator intake manifold,
and a turbo 400 transmission with a 2800 stall converter. Shortly
after building this new engine combination, I took my T/A back
to the track. As you might of guessed, I had much better results,
with my best time being a 12.45 E.T. at 107.8 MPH. I was surprised,
my T/A started to regain some of its lost image of being a muscle
car. I finally felt that I had a T/A that looked great, and
ran excellent. All was good until I did a tear down inspection
of the motor. The lifter valley had several cracks in it.
After weighting my options of putting an old cast iron block
back in my T/A, I realized this is not what I want to do. I
thought to myself there must be something stronger that could
with stand a larger camshaft and more horsepower.
then heard about a speed shop in Leoma, Tennessee, from one
of my friends who races Pontiacs. He then told me, Butler Performance
can handle all my Pontiac high performance needs. So I called
Butler Performance, and David Butler answered my call. We started
to get an idea of what would be the best engine combination
for my needs. David suggested a 505 C.I. Indian Adventures II
block. I still wanted to use my set of H.O. heads on a trail
basis. David mentioned that pump gas engines work well for customers
who like to drive their cars on both the street and strip. I
was very impressed with my 505 C.I. setup. The torque and horsepower
output was a much needed change for the better.
have heard that real horsepower is in the cylinder heads. I
thought a pair of race ported B.P.. Edelbrock heads would be
the answer. I called Butler Performance. and placed my order
for the race ported Edelbrock heads. Once I received my new
heads, I started to assemble my new power plant. I'm very pleased
to say that every accessory bolted on and fit perfectly.
Once the engine was completely assembled, I took my T/A for
a test drive. The torque and horsepower increased dramatically
over my 455 C.I. H.O. heads.
Performance helped me put REAL EXCITEMENT into my Pontiac. I
am the proud owner of one beautiful l black and gold special
edition 1981 Turbo Trans Am. I wish to express my thanks to,
Jim & David Butler, Chase Milner, and also the entire staff
at Butler Performance. I will always highly recommend Butler
Performance, wherever my Trans Am and I go!
Update - 5/11/2011
I repainted my TA, changed the decals and gave it a new interior. The 505 is running great with no problems .The engine that you built is a source of great interest,as well as many questions about the installation and performance. I am having a good time going to car show, in 2010 the car won 24 of 27 shows I went to. In 2009 at the Trans Am Nnationals my TA finished in 2nd place in the modified SE-2 class, this year I am aiming at 1st place. I worked on the paint job and interior for the past 6 months and finished all the upgrade work on 5/11/11. My goal was to make it look like a brand new 1981 turbo trans am - Mission ACCOMPLISHED!