'78 Trans Am
Roadster Obsession

Owner of Performance Restorations, Brent Jarvis, has been into racing for a long time. He held the highest licenses in NASA, SVRA, VSCDA, and NHRA. He's also well-versed in both road racing and drag racing. With this much time around these awesome machines, he saw for himself what was missing, and wanted to build cars the way he felt they should be built. He started his shop in 1988, and has created some amazing cars since then.

One of his current projects is this '78 Pontiac Trans Am. He met the owners of this car at an auction. They asked Brent to look over some cars they were looking to buy, and Brent was able to point out the bad apples, and save them a lot of money and frustration. They quickly became friends with a shared interest in muscle cars. You may remember the Charger roadster previously featured in this column, that belonged to Josh and Francis too. They live in Chicago, so the cars would have to be tough to keep up with the potholes and rough roads the harsh winters produce. This wouldn't be a problem for Brent. "Josh comes up with these ideas for custom cars, and if they are possible, I call Murray Pfaff and we have him design them. Once we all agree on a concept, I bring the drawings into the fabrication shop and my guys build the cars," Brent says. They have worked with each other enough that the builds now go very smoothly and they have a mutual understanding of what is needed. Brent sourced a great body to start with that had absolutely no rust on it. The body's frame structure needed to be in excellent condition, because removing the top takes away some of the built-in structure that would have to be absorbed by the undercarriage-that's why it started with some heavy-duty subframe connectors and bracing.

By The Numbers

1978 Trans Am
Josh Fishkin and Francis Wisneski
400 hp
Type: 400ci Pontiac
Camshaft: COMP Cams High Energy series
Valvetrain: COMP Cams
Induction: Edlebrock Performer,
Holley 650-cfm HP
Ignition: MSD
Cooling: HD cooling system
Fuel system: Edlebrock mechanical fuel pump
Exhaust: Hedman headers,
custom 2 1/2-inch exhaust,
Flowmaster mufflers
Transmission/shifter: Turbo 400
Rear axle: 3.23 gears
Front suspension: QA1 shocks,
Energy Suspension bushings,
offset upper A-arm shafts,
W6 components
Rear suspension: leaf spring with
7/8-inch sway bar,
Energy, QA1 shocks
Brakes: four-wheel Wilwood disc
Wheels: Honeycomb style, 20-inch
Tires: Goodyear F1