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By Last Indian
The Last American Indian
A little back history to explain The Last Indian’s progression.
I’m not that guy that does car shows. So I just do cars for me! To please me! For the pleasure of seeing an idea live! But in 1984 a Swedish magazine, (Start & Speed) was here in Cleveland and was told of my custom 1969 Z/28 by a friend of a friend. They approached me for a cover piece so I allowed it. Most of the car was custom designed and handmade, including the full frame with an OEM type suspension front and rear, not coil overs in the back like you often see with full frame conversions, but it was so much more than that! For a myriad of reasons I sold it and a “74” Z/28 that was custom as well in 2004 after 35 and 30 years of ownership!
I had bought a brand new 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix as a daily driver, so after selling the Camaros I decided to take the GP for a summer only car and for a FWD it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good mind you, but I loved the updated Coke bottle shape and styling. So I thought I was done modifying & customizing cars I was just going to drive it. I had done a lot with cars at multiply levels, maybe it was time to refocus on something new, not sure what, maybe bird watching? Well the boredom lasted a year! So I embarked on a new path, a path that I didn’t know would became that of The Last American Indian! With the Grand Prix being the last American designed & built Pontiac and the end of Pontiac as a car company occurring just a few short years later!
I had always owned RWD cars until the GP, but I found myself realizing all I had ever seen anyone do with a FWD, was either cosmetic things or on the engineering side, power or drifting. Yet no true performance handling, no true blend of drivetrain performance, handling and style! Especially not in an American car and not in the vein of the old muscle car era ground pounders and most assuredly not performance handling. I remember when the first gen Camaro was called the poor man’s Porsche and that was what inspired me to make mine better than a Porsche. Why not a similar mind set with FWD I thought? Drifting isn’t powering thru a corner and it certainly isn’t handling, so l thought, try something different!
So here we go, The 3800 is normally aspirated, but there have been upgrades on the motor and its peripheries,(heads have been shaved .020, intake ports opened up, exhaust valves opened up, 1.9 Yella Terra roller rockers). Throttle body machined out to 72mm with a Ultem insulator plate. The stock exhaust on the left bank is not adequate for it’s duties so a ZZP Power Log replaced it on the left bank, but the crossover and right exhaust manifold are large enough to handle their respective duties. The down pipe was replaced by a Random Technology 3” high flow cat, this cat doubles the CFM output of the stock cat. The cat back system was kept, as believe it or not will work better than any of the aftermarket ones. The OEM cat was really the only restriction issue. Next Suspension!