The Green Hornet
As President of YearOne, Kevin King has seen a hot muscle car or two in his day. In fact, YearOne's in-house hot rod shop, Ghostworks Garage, has been building high-profile street machines for the better part of a decade. Although the shop cranks out the usual suspects for customers—like '69 Camaros, Chevelles, and fastback Mustangs—when his own money was on the line, Kevin had to have a '73 Trans Am. "YearOne builds a lot of mainstream cars, but the company was actually conceived from Pontiac enthusiasts. When company founder Len Athanasiades was building a '69 Trans Am clone back in the late '70s, he started a parts business specializing in first-year Trans Ams, hence the name YearOne," Kevin says. "I had been looking for a '73 Trans Am to build a McQ tribute car from for the last 20 years, but it was one of those situations where I couldn't find the right car or I just didn't have the money. Then my business partner surprised me one day by buying me a Brewster Green Trans Am as a gift."
Interestingly, although Pontiac has always distinguished itself from its corporate GM cousins by way of gaudy graphics and peculiar body embellishments, it was the movie car's simplicity that struck a chord with Kevin. "The Green Hornet car in McQ was so elegant and understated with a small Firebird graphic on its nose, and a subdued color combination. That's what I loved about it," he says. Outward appearances notwithstanding, there's nothing subdued about the Trans Am's performance. Kevin's Poncho posted the quickest quarter-mile time at PHR's 2012 Muscle Car of the Year competition by a large margin, running a best e.t. of 11.50 at 131 mph on street tires. The wicked engine combo responsible for that blazing performance is a Chevrolet Performance LS7 crate motor packing twin 67mm turbochargers. "This car puts down 780 rear-wheel horsepower on pump gas, and dumping in some race gas and turning up the boost bumps that figure to 1,200. The first time I laid into it on the freeway, it scared me silly, which doesn't happen to me very often."
Since cornering and braking competence are essential to any car inspired by an epic Hollywood chase scene, Kevin's Trans Am is loaded up with chassis goodies as well. Up front is a complete Detroit Speed and Engineering front subframe and suspension assembly, which is matched with a DSE four-link out back. Big six-piston Baer brakes scrub off speed in a hurry, validated by the car's second-best finish in the Speed/Stop portion of the MCOTY competition.
Sure, John Wayne was always a tough guy, but if he was still around today, he'd need a box of Huggies to manhandle Kevin's modern rendition of the fabled Green Hornet.
By The Numbers
1973 Pontiac Trans Am
To make the shaker scoop functional, the YearOne crew attached it to a modified air cleane
Kevin King, 46 • Braselton, GA
Type: GM LS7 small-block
Block: factory 4.125-inch bore aluminum
Oiling: stock dry-sump system
Rotating assembly: GM forged-steel 4.000-inch crankshaft and titanium connecting rods; Mahle forged 8.5:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: stock LS7
Camshaft: factory 211/230-at-.050 hydraulic roller; .591/.591-inch lift; 120.5-degree LSA
Induction: GM LS7 intake manifold and throttle body
Power adder: twin Turbonetics 67mm turbochargers and wastegates; custom air-to-air intercooler
Ignition: GM coil packs and wires
Exhaust: custom YearOne turbo headers, dual MagnaFlow mufflers
Cooling: GM water pump; Be Cool aluminum radiator and dual electric fans
Output: 780 rear-wheel horsepower
The YearOne Honeycomb wheels look retro cool, and they’re wide enough to accommodate 295mm
Transmission: Bowler 4L80E trans and 3,200-stall converter
Rear axle: Moser 9-inch rearend with 3.73 gears and limited-slip differential
Front suspension: Detroit Speed and Engineering subframe assembly, control arms, spindles, and sway bar; Eibach springs, Koni shocks
Rear suspension: Detroit Speed and Engineering QuadraLink four-link, Eibach springs, Koni shocks
Brakes: Baer 14-inch discs with 6-piston calipers, front and rear
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: YearOne billet Honeycomb; 18x10, front; 18x12, rear
Tires: BFGoodrich 295/35R18, front; 335/30R18, rear